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Discussion Starter #1
I've put 5,500 miles on my scooter going nowhere... I leave my garage at home, ride for awhile, and come back the same day. Oh yes, I've visited some not-too-far-away attractions, gotten some errands run, and I have some favorite recreational roads.

But I want to do some traveling now. Explore some parts of the mid-west and west that I haven't seen before. I want to get out on the road for several days at a time - maybe a week here and there.

The main problem is lodging expense. I am currently retired and on a fixed income, so paying $65 a night for a hotel/motel room would use up my traveling funds very quickly. And with some arthritis setting in, the idea of sleeping out in a pup tent & sleeping bag doesn't appeal - I don't really want to carry that stuff anyway. Ever sleep in a pup tent on a really rainy night? Ugh!

I could go back to work part time to earn extra money, but it is rare finding a job where they don't mind you frequently taking off for several days whenever the weather is right. :wink:

Anybody have any ideas?
 

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A couple of suggestions:

1) Extended stay inns. Many of these places can house you for around $45 a night. http://www.extendedstay.com/index2.html

2) Aero bed & a eureka tent. I know you said no to the camping thing, but aero beds are super comfy & durable. They even have a couple of camping versions now: http://www.thinkaero.com/retail/product ... t+Camp+Bag

Unfortunatly hostles are few & far between here in the US.

But I heard from someone once that it's fun to stay at the: http://www.ymca.com/index.jsp

:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your thoughts,

The "extended stay inn" might be a good option when I can overnight in a city or town that is big enough to have one. I did see some listed in St Louis, MO for instance for $45 per night. For stops in smaller towns in rural America, they won't be there. But when available, the accomodations look a lot nicer than a "truck stop motel", for not much more cost.

I think the Aero Bed might well be comfy, but perhaps rather bulky to carry on the scooter (along with a tent). But maybe I do need to go to a big outdoor sports store - like Cabela's - and see what they have. I could always go to a local Target or Sears, but Cabela's would be an excuse for a scooter trip... :wink:

Um... I remember that song about the YMCA...
 

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Paul,

I making the assumption you're over 50 since you posted 'retired'. You might consider joining AARP. AARP is only $12.50 per year and can get you some good discounts (10%+) on hotel rooms. You can often save more than that on the first room rental. For a list of hotels and the discounts see :
http://www.aarp.org/benefits-hotels/

If you know which cities you are going to be in each day, you can use one of the online travel sites to save a few bucks. For example, you can try :
http://www.travelhero.com

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bill,

Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, I've been a member of AARP for a while now. I've used both AARP and AAA discounts in the past. I've found that most hotels that take one also take the other - and at the same discount rate. Of course, 10% off of a $90 room is still too high - which is sometimes the case. I did bookmark that page though, because it shows that some chains discount more than others, so it could be helpful.

I've also searched and reserved online before, sometimes with great results. For the kind of touring I want to do though, I won't know my lodging point in advance most of the time.

I once read an article that stated that for a perfect road vacation, you pick a direction to travel. You ride for a while, and when you come on something interesting, you stop. When you get bored with that place, you ride until you find something else interesting & stop there. So sometimes, you travel just a short distance between points of interest - sometimes further. Sometimes you'll stay at one point for an hour - sometimes for a day. Makes sense. I've found that when I pick a destination point in advance, I get focused on making that destination, and everything between where I start from & where I'm going is pretty much ignored. Since the purpose of these trips will be exploration & discovery for me, I'd like to try this more casual approach as much as possible.

But these ideas are still quite valuable, because at any point that I end up for the day, one idea or another might work.
 

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If you ever come up with an answer to your question Please be sure and let me know, I am in the same boat (and in my case add out of shape) .
I will put on 4 to 5 hundred miles a week and go nowhere, but at least I am enjoying the he** out of it. :D
 

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My suggestion is for the membership who are willing to post and let any wayward Burgman riders stay one night at there place. If you're coming to Toronto you can park your bike with mine and you have free use of the couch for an evening. Just let us know in advance.
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing. I believe that the BMW Owners Association have used this idea to such an extent that they have a book available of names and adresses of members who are willing to help fellow members out in case of breakdowns and overnight lodging.
You are quite welcome to to stay with us any time you are passing through Minnesota, Paul. The only way that I can afford to go on my trip is by getting my priorities in order and cutting back on things I don't really need - like food and clothes!

Cheers,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Guys,

I kinda caught a break for my first little trip. Found a Bed-and-Breakfast directory on the Web. Most of these have gone from budget stays, to the very exclusive & high priced ($90 plus) territory. However, I found a Hotel in O'Neill, Nebraska in that directory. An old 20th century, railroad boom time, downtown hotel, in what now is a small town. Renovated in the 80's - hey, every room now has its own bathroom! On street parking, but they said I could pull my scooter up on the sidewalk next to the hotel entrance if I want to. Some pictures of the rooms & furnishings on their Website look very nice.

Anyway, the directory said that prices ranged from $34 to $56 a night. I asked the lady on the phone what she could do for price if I wanted to spend a couple of nights there this week. I explained that I was retired and on a limited budget. She said $29 per night! I said, I'd like a reservation for Tuesday Night & possibly Wednesday night. Gave her my name & phone number - that was all she requested.

Well, O'Neil is within easy striking distance of the Nebraska Sandhills area, and also South Dakota - a couple of areas I wanted to explore anyway. So I'll use it as a base for a couple of days and see how it works out. I should have a report later in the week.
 

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I do most of my traveling during off season. A little trick I've used over the years:- I enter the office and say "I've got $20.00 (or whatever I'm willing to pay for the night) in my pocket. What do you have available?"
You'd be suprised how often I get a cheap room. Better to have it rented for the night than sitting empty.

Dodger
 

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I am a police officer in the town I live in. Every once in a while we get calls at our local hotels for first one reason or another. On one such visit myself and another officer got to talking to the night clerk at the hotel and asked how much they got a night for a room. She told us that they tell the customer for example 69.00 dollars a night. However she told us they have been told to work out deals and go lower because like Dodger said it is better to take less per night on a room than normal then it is to have the room empty. So prices are negotiable. I would think it may be a little harder in popular destinations to find these negotiable prices just due to the fact that once you say no and leave someone else will probably come in and pay full price. By the way this is at a Days Inn not just some local no name hotel. Come in kinda late in the evening and you probably will get a deal.
 

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I did a lot of traveling in my last job. You can often get a discount by rolling in late and haggling. But....you can also end up on the other side of the road too. I can't count the times I came into a town and had to check with multiple hotels/motels just to find one with a room available. One time I ended up staying about an hour away from the job site. :(
 

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pauljo, if you just recently joined Scoot-Tours, you have, ar will be getting a list of memers names, addresses and phone numbers. A post on thier web page just might get you lots of lodging options.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm back from my trip up into the northern Sandhills region of Nebraska. I stayed at the Golden Hotel in O'Neill, NE (a predominantly Irish town). At $29 per night, it lacked a few of the amenities one might expect in a more modern hotel, but the bed was comfortable, the shower worked OK, and the innkeeper was friendly. There were several restaurants and pubs within easy walking distance, so I could park the scooter at the end of my riding day and go eat and have a couple of drinks without worry. Parking was on street, but the innkeeper managed to keep me a parking place right in front of the lobby window.

Some unexpected little bargains kept popping up too. The inkeeper gave me a card for the "Wild Rose" pub (buy one get one free). Walked over to the pub and had two scotch and sodas. The gal tending bar used to ride and she dragged out a beat up old map and showed me some roads I might like to explore. Went to settle my bill... $1.75 total. Stopped in late the following afternoon for another scotch & water. Happy Hour - $1.25.
I also stopped at a convenience store to buy gas one morning, and grabbed a small cup of coffee while I was there. How much for the coffee I asked? The gentleman behind the counter said "a quarter". Meals weren't quite as cheap, but they were reasonable. Gas was $2.13 most places in Omaha when I left. It was generally $2.05 in the small Nebraska towns - and I paid $2.02 for one tank up in South Dakota.

Had a pretty good time without breaking the bank.
 
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