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Where To Sleep On A Road Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lorene Velez



Embarking on a road trip is an exciting adventure, filled with the thrill of exploring new places and discovering hidden gems along the way. As you plan your epic journey, one important consideration is where to sleep during your road trip. Finding the perfect accommodation that fits your needs and budget can greatly enhance your overall experience.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a fan of luxurious hotels, or someone who enjoys quirky and offbeat accommodations, there are plenty of options available to suit every traveler’s preferences. From camping in scenic national parks to resting in cozy roadside motels, the choice is yours!


In this article, we will explore various accommodation options you can consider during your road trip, along with some helpful tips to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready to navigate the different choices for a rejuvenating slumber on your road adventure.


Before we delve into the specifics, it’s essential to plan your accommodation ahead of time. This will help you avoid unnecessary stress and ensure you have a comfortable and secure place to lay your head each night. Research the areas you’ll be traveling through, consider the distance between destinations, and determine how many nights you’ll be at each location. This will help you determine the most suitable accommodation options.


Now, let’s explore some of the popular choices for where to sleep on a road trip:


Planning Your Accommodation

When it comes to planning your accommodation for a road trip, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, determine your budget for accommodations. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure you stay within your financial means. Consider allocating a larger portion of your budget towards accommodations if comfort and amenities are a priority for you, or if you plan on spending more time at your chosen accommodations.


Next, think about the type of experience you want to have. Are you a nature lover who wants to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, or do you prefer the convenience and luxury of a hotel stay? Are you open to trying unique and alternative accommodation options, or do you prefer something more traditional? Consider your personal preferences and travel style as you make your selections.


Another important aspect to consider is the duration of your road trip and the distances you will be covering each day. If you plan on driving long distances or have a tight schedule, it might be best to choose accommodations that are conveniently located along your route. On the other hand, if you have more flexibility and time, you can venture off the beaten path and explore accommodations in more remote or scenic locations.


Additionally, consider any specific amenities or services that are important to you. Do you need access to laundry facilities, a pool, or a fitness center? Are you traveling with pets and need accommodations that are pet-friendly? Determine your must-haves and use them as criteria when researching and selecting your accommodations.


Lastly, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and check ratings of accommodations from previous guests. This will give you a better understanding of the quality and comfort of the place you’ll be staying. Websites like TripAdvisor and Booking.com provide helpful reviews and ratings from real travelers, making it easier to make an informed decision.


By considering your budget, preferences, travel itinerary, and the amenities you need, you’ll be well-equipped to plan your accommodation for a memorable and enjoyable road trip. Now, let’s explore some of the different types of accommodations you can consider during your journey.


Camping Options

For those seeking an immersive outdoor experience, camping is an ideal accommodation option during a road trip. Camping allows you to fully connect with nature while enjoying the freedom of setting up camp wherever you please. Here are a few camping options to consider:

  1. National and State Parks: National and state parks offer stunning natural beauty and a range of camping facilities. Many parks provide designated campgrounds with amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms. Some even offer RV hookups. Research the parks along your route and make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  2. RV Parks and Campgrounds: If you’re traveling in an RV or camper, RV parks and campgrounds are a convenient option. These sites provide amenities such as electrical hookups, water hookups, and dumping stations. They often have communal areas, showers, and laundry facilities as well. Look for parks and campgrounds that fit your needs and offer scenic surroundings.
  3. Primitive Camping: For a true wilderness experience, consider primitive camping. This involves finding a secluded spot in a national forest or other public land, pitching a tent, and enjoying the solitude. Just be sure to follow any regulations or permits required for primitive camping in your chosen area.

Camping provides an opportunity to truly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in nature. Whether you choose a designated campground or decide to go off the beaten path, camping is a budget-friendly and adventurous way to sleep under the stars during your road trip.


Remember to pack all the necessary camping gear, such as a tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and basic supplies. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with any safety guidelines or regulations in the areas where you plan to camp. Respect the environment and leave no trace of your presence to ensure future generations can enjoy the natural beauty as well.


Now that we’ve explored camping options, let’s move on to other accommodation choices you can consider for your road trip.


National and State Parks

National and state parks are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering breathtaking landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and a wide range of recreational activities. Not only are they great places to explore during the day, but many parks also provide excellent camping facilities for overnight stays. Here’s why national and state parks are a top choice for camping during your road trip:


Scenic Beauty: From towering mountains to lush forests, rugged coastlines to picturesque lakes, national and state parks boast some of the most stunning natural beauty in the country. Falling asleep to the calming sounds of nature and waking up to awe-inspiring vistas is an experience like no other.


Camping Facilities: Most national and state parks provide designated campgrounds that cater to different types of campers. These campgrounds often have amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, restrooms, and even shower facilities. Some parks also offer RV hookups for those traveling in recreational vehicles.


Recreational Activities: National and state parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. Hiking trails, mountain biking routes, kayaking and canoeing opportunities, fishing spots, and wildlife watching are just a few of the activities you can enjoy. Many parks also have visitor centers where you can learn about the local flora and fauna.


Reservation System: To ensure a spot at popular national and state park campgrounds, it’s advisable to make reservations well in advance. Visit the park’s official website or the National Park Service website to check availability and make a reservation. Keep in mind that peak seasons can be busy, so plan accordingly.


Proximity to Attractions: National and state parks are often located near iconic landmarks and attractions that are worth exploring. If you’re interested in visiting nearby natural wonders, historical sites, or cultural destinations, camping in a park can provide convenient access to these attractions.


When camping in national and state parks, it’s important to adhere to park rules and guidelines. Respect the environment, follow proper waste disposal practices, and be mindful of wildlife. Remember, you are a guest in their natural habitat.


Whether you’re seeking solitude in the wilderness or craving adventure in breathtaking landscapes, camping in national and state parks during your road trip will undoubtedly create cherished memories. So, pack up your camping gear, grab your camera, and embark on a journey of discovery and wonder.


Next, we’ll explore another camping option: RV parks and campgrounds.


RV Parks and Campgrounds

If you’re traveling in an RV or camper during your road trip, RV parks and campgrounds are excellent options for comfortable and convenient accommodations. Here’s why you should consider staying at RV parks and campgrounds:


Amenities for RVs: RV parks and campgrounds are specifically designed to accommodate RVs and campers. They offer a range of amenities such as electrical hookups, water hookups, and dumping stations. These facilities allow you to connect your RV to electricity, access clean water, and dispose of waste conveniently.


Community Atmosphere: RV parks and campgrounds often have a friendly and sociable atmosphere. You can meet fellow travelers, share stories, and make new friends. Many parks also organize community events and activities, such as bonfires, potlucks, and game nights, enhancing the sense of camaraderie among campers.


Convenience and Facilities: RV parks and campgrounds usually provide additional amenities for your comfort and convenience. These can include showers, laundry facilities, playgrounds for children, swimming pools, and recreational areas. Some RV parks also have on-site stores or restaurants, making it easy to stock up on supplies or grab a quick bite to eat.


Location Variety: RV parks and campgrounds are scattered throughout the country, offering a wide range of destination choices. Whether you prefer seaside getaways, mountain retreats, or scenic spots near national parks, there’s an RV park or campground to suit your preferences. Research the different options along your route to find the perfect location for your road trip.


Reservations: To secure a spot at your desired RV park or campground, it’s wise to make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Check the park’s website or contact them directly to inquire about availability and make a reservation. This will give you peace of mind knowing you have a designated spot to park your RV.


When staying at an RV park or campground, be mindful of the park’s rules and regulations. Observe quiet hours, clean up after yourself, and respect your fellow campers. These simple gestures help maintain a peaceful and enjoyable environment for everyone.


RV parks and campgrounds offer a comfortable and hassle-free camping experience for road trippers with RVs or campers. From the amenities provided to the sense of community, staying at an RV park or campground can enhance your overall road trip experience.


Next, we will explore an accommodation option that provides a convenient stopover: public rest areas.


Public Rest Areas

Public rest areas are a convenient and cost-effective option for road trip accommodation. These roadside facilities are typically located along highways and major roads and offer a range of amenities to provide travelers with a restful break. Here are a few reasons why public rest areas can be a great choice:


Rest and Refresh: Public rest areas provide a designated space for road-weary travelers to rest and rejuvenate. Whether you need a short nap, a quick stretch, or a restroom break, these facilities offer a convenient stop to recharge before hitting the road again.


Facilities and Amenities: Public rest areas are equipped with various amenities to cater to the needs of travelers. They typically have clean restroom facilities, picnic areas with tables and benches, drinking water, and trash receptacles. Some rest areas also offer pet exercise areas, vending machines, and visitor information centers.


Safety and Security: Public rest areas are usually well-lit and have 24/7 security patrols. This ensures a safe and secure environment for travelers to take a break. Additionally, the proximity to a busy highway provides a sense of security, especially for solo travelers.


Convenience and Accessibility: Rest areas are strategically located along popular routes, making them easily accessible to road trippers. You can quickly pull off the road, park your vehicle, and take advantage of the facilities without detouring too far from your intended route.


No Reservation Required: Unlike other accommodation options that may require advance reservations, public rest areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This makes them an ideal option for spontaneous travelers or those who prefer a flexible travel itinerary.


While public rest areas provide a convenient place to rest and recharge, it’s important to note that they are primarily designed for short stops rather than overnight stays. Check the guidelines posted at the rest area regarding parking duration and any restrictions that may apply.


It’s also essential to prioritize safety when using public rest areas. Lock your vehicle, keep valuables out of sight, and be aware of your surroundings, especially during nighttime stops. Use well-lit areas and avoid isolated parts of the rest area.


Public rest areas offer a quick and convenient break for road trippers in need of rest, refreshment, and relaxation. Take advantage of these facilities during your journey, and enjoy a comfortable stopover before continuing your adventure.


Next, let’s explore another popular option for road trip accommodation: hotels and motels.


Hotels and Motels

When it comes to comfort and convenience during a road trip, hotels and motels are a popular choice. These accommodation options offer a range of amenities and services that provide a home away from home. Here’s why hotels and motels are worth considering:


Comfort and Amenities: Hotels and motels provide a comfortable and well-equipped space to relax and unwind after a long day on the road. With amenities such as comfortable beds, private bathrooms, air conditioning, and televisions, you can enjoy a restful night’s sleep and recharge for the next leg of your journey.


Options for Every Budget: Hotels and motels come in a variety of price ranges, making them suitable for a range of budgets. From budget-friendly motels to luxury hotels, there are options to fit every traveler’s financial requirements. Research different accommodations along your route and choose one that aligns with your budget.


Convenience and Accessibility: Hotels and motels are conveniently located in towns, cities, and along major highways, making them easily accessible during a road trip. You can easily find accommodations near popular attractions, dining options, and other amenities. This ease of access allows for a seamless travel experience.


Services and Facilities: Hotels and motels offer a range of services and facilities to enhance your stay. This can include amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, on-site restaurants, room service, and free Wi-Fi. You can take advantage of these features to relax and enjoy some downtime during your road trip.


Booking and Reservations: With the convenience of online booking platforms, reserving a hotel or motel room for your road trip is easy. You can compare prices, read reviews, and select the accommodation that best fits your needs. Making reservations in advance ensures that you have a guaranteed place to stay, especially during busy travel seasons.


It’s essential to consider the location and proximity of the hotel or motel to your planned activities and attractions. Check for parking availability, as well as any additional fees or restrictions that may apply.


For a more personalized experience, consider boutique hotels or bed and breakfast establishments. These smaller accommodations often offer unique decor, personalized service, and a cozy atmosphere. It can be a delightful way to add a touch of charm to your road trip.


Hotels and motels provide a comfortable and convenient option for road trippers who value comfort and a range of amenities. Consider your budget, location preferences, and desired services as you choose a hotel or motel for your journey.


Now, let’s explore another accommodation option that combines fun and convenience: roadside attractions with accommodation.


Roadside Attractions with Accommodation

For a unique and memorable experience during your road trip, consider staying at roadside attractions that offer on-site accommodation. These attractions combine entertainment, convenience, and lodging, providing a fun and convenient option for your journey. Here’s why roadside attractions with accommodation are worth considering:


Entertainment and Activities: Roadside attractions often feature unique and quirky attractions that can add an element of fun to your road trip. From themed parks and museums to natural wonders and cultural sites, these attractions offer a range of activities and entertainment options that can make your stay even more exciting.


Convenience: Staying at a roadside attraction allows you to immerse yourself in the experience without the need for additional travel. You can conveniently explore the attraction at your own pace, without worrying about driving to a separate location for accommodation. This can save both time and transportation costs.


Themed Accommodation: Roadside attractions with accommodation often have themed rooms or unique lodging options that further enhance the overall experience. From staying in a retro-themed motel to sleeping in an eco-friendly treehouse, these accommodations offer a departure from traditional hotel stays and provide a truly memorable and immersive experience.


On-Site Amenities: Many roadside attractions with accommodation offer a range of on-site amenities to enhance your stay. These can include restaurants, gift shops, swimming pools, recreational facilities, and guided tours. You can enjoy the convenience of having everything you need in one place, allowing you to make the most of your time at the attraction.


Choosing the Right Roadside Attraction: Research and choose a roadside attraction that aligns with your interests and travel preferences. Consider the location, attractions offered, and the quality of the accommodation. Read reviews and check the attraction’s website for information on amenities, availability, and any additional fees.


It’s important to note that roadside attractions with accommodation may not offer the same level of luxury and amenities as traditional hotels. However, they provide an opportunity for a unique and immersive experience that can add a special touch to your road trip.


Staying at a roadside attraction with accommodation allows you to combine entertainment, convenience, and lodging in one memorable package. It’s a great option for those seeking a fun and immersive stay during their road trip.


Next, let’s explore alternative accommodation options that can add a touch of adventure and uniqueness to your journey.


Alternative Accommodation Options

If you’re seeking a unique and adventurous experience during your road trip, there are several alternative accommodation options to consider. These unconventional choices can add a touch of excitement and novelty to your journey. Here are a few alternative accommodation options to explore:


Glamping: Glamping, short for glamorous camping, offers a luxurious twist to traditional camping. You can enjoy the beauty of nature while staying in stylishly furnished tents or cabins equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and even amenities like hot tubs or gourmet dining options. Glamping sites can be found in various scenic locations, such as forests, deserts, or near national parks.


Eco-Lodges: For environmentally-conscious travelers, eco-lodges provide a sustainable and eco-friendly accommodation option. These lodges are designed with eco-friendly practices in mind, using renewable energy sources, prioritizing water conservation, and incorporating sustainable building materials. Staying in an eco-lodge allows you to minimize your carbon footprint while immersing yourself in nature.


Farm Stays: If you’re interested in learning about rural life and agricultural practices, consider staying on a farm. Farm stays provide an opportunity to experience life on a working farm, participating in activities like feeding animals, milking cows, or harvesting crops. In addition to providing a unique cultural experience, farm stays often offer comfortable accommodations and delicious farm-fresh meals.


Treehouses: Sleeping in a cozy treehouse is like living out childhood dreams. Treehouse accommodations are built amongst the trees, providing a peaceful and magical atmosphere. You can find treehouses in various locations, from forests to coastal areas. Many treehouses are beautifully designed with modern amenities, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable and whimsical stay above the forest floor.


Houseboats: For a truly unique experience, consider renting a houseboat. These floating accommodations allow you to explore lakes, rivers, or even coastal waters while having a fully furnished home on the water. Houseboats often come with kitchen facilities, sleeping quarters, and living areas. Wake up to stunning views, spend your days fishing or enjoying water activities, and relax in the comfort of your floating abode.


When considering alternative accommodation options, it’s essential to research and book in advance, as availability may vary. Read reviews, check for safety measures, and inquire about any specific requirements or restrictions for each accommodation choice.


Choosing an alternative accommodation option can add a sense of adventure and uniqueness to your road trip. Embrace the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and create lasting memories in one-of-a-kind accommodations.


Now that we’ve explored alternative options, let’s dive into some tips for ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep during your road trip.


Tips for a Comfortable Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential for a successful and enjoyable road trip. Here are some tips to help you get the rest you need during your journey:

  1. Pack Comfort Essentials: Bring items that contribute to a comfortable sleep, such as a cozy blanket, pillow, earplugs, and an eye mask. Having these familiar and comforting items from home can make a significant difference in your sleep quality.
  2. Create a Relaxing Sleep Environment: Regardless of where you choose to sleep, try to create a calm and relaxing sleep environment. Dim the lights, reduce noise, and adjust the temperature to a comfortable level. Consider using a white noise machine or a sleep app to mask any disruptive sounds.
  3. Stick to Your Sleep Routine: Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body’s internal clock. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even when on the road. This routine will help you fall asleep more easily and feel more refreshed in the morning.
  4. Choose the Right Accommodation: Select accommodations that meet your specific sleep needs. If you are a light sleeper, consider staying in quiet locations away from busy roads or booking a room with soundproofing. If you prefer complete darkness, choose accommodations with blackout curtains or use an eye mask.
  5. Avoid Stimulating Activities Before Bed: Engaging in stimulating activities, such as watching intense movies or working on electronic devices, can make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, unwind before bed by reading a book, practicing relaxation techniques, or taking a soothing shower.
  6. Manage Stress: Road trips can have their fair share of stressors, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress and promote relaxation. Engage in activities that help you unwind, such as meditation, yoga, or gentle stretching. Managing stress will contribute to a more restful sleep.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is important for overall well-being, including quality sleep. Keep a bottle of water nearby to stay hydrated throughout the day. However, be mindful of reducing liquid intake closer to bedtime to avoid disruptive middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.
  8. Practice Safe and Secure Sleep: When choosing where to sleep, prioritize safety and security. Park in well-lit areas, lock your doors, and keep valuables out of plain sight. Use your judgment when deciding whether to sleep in public rest areas or roadside locations. Choose establishments that have good security measures in place.
  9. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your sleeping arrangements accordingly. If you feel fatigued, don’t hesitate to take short naps during the day to re-energize. Listen to your body’s sleep needs and prioritize getting enough rest to ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip.

By implementing these tips, you can create an optimal sleep environment and enhance your overall well-being during your road trip. Remember, a good night’s sleep is the foundation for an adventure-filled and enjoyable journey.


As our road trip accommodation options and sleep tips come to a close, it’s time to reflect on the various choices available and plan your road trip with excitement and confidence. Whether you choose to camp in the great outdoors, stay at a comfortable hotel, or embrace alternative accommodations like glamping or treehouses, each option offers its own unique charm and experience. Consider your preferences, budget, and travel style to create the perfect itinerary that combines restful nights with thrilling days of exploration.


So, get ready to hit the open road, and may your road trip be filled with unforgettable moments, beautiful landscapes, and rejuvenating sleep along the way!



Choosing where to sleep on a road trip is an important decision that can greatly impact your overall experience. Whether you prefer the ruggedness of camping, the convenience of hotels, the novelty of alternative accommodations, or the excitement of staying at roadside attractions, there are countless options to suit your preferences and budget.


By planning your accommodation ahead of time and considering factors such as location, amenities, and budget, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay throughout your road trip. Whether you’re waking up to the sounds of nature in a national park, enjoying the convenience of an RV park, or immersing yourself in a unique and themed accommodation, each option offers its own charm and appeal.


Remember, a good night’s sleep is vital for a successful road trip. Consider packing comfort essentials, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and sticking to a consistent sleep routine. Choose accommodations that meet your sleep needs, manage stress, and stay hydrated to enhance the quality of your rest.


As you embark on your road trip adventure, embrace the freedom of the open road and the excitement of discovering new places. Whether you’re traversing majestic national parks, uncovering hidden gems at roadside attractions, or exploring the beauty of the great outdoors, savor each moment and create lifelong memories.


In conclusion, where you sleep on your road trip is an opportunity to enhance your journey. So, whether you opt for the simplicity of camping, the comfort of hotels, the uniqueness of alternative accommodations, or the fun of roadside attractions, choose an option that aligns with your travel style and allows you to rest and recharge for the adventures that lie ahead.


Now, go forth and plan your road trip accommodations with enthusiasm, knowing that a cozy bed and rejuvenating sleep await you after each exciting day of exploration on the open road.