There have been just a few times when I pulled into a hotel parking lot thinking, 'this should be good enough,' because of it's location, it's price that was posted outside, and the fact it did not look like too much of a dump. But I should have kept driving.

Over the years I've added an item here and an item there to the list of reasons why I will not stop at this hotel or that. There are warning signs.

It's simple, we don't want to pay too much, but we don't want to have to worry about closing our eyes, or what might be living on or under that mattress.

Here are the top 5 ways to spot a bad hotel before you even check in:

1). Is their sign neglected? That is your first clue before you even pull off the highway.  It's fine if it was recently damaged. That happens. But if it's old, faded, and most of all neglected, that is a - literal - major warning sign right there.

2). How many holes in the parking lot and how big are they? If you feel like you are off-roading when you pull in, then you might as well be camping when you check in.

3). If you pull into the parking lot and your car is the nicest car there I need to keep driving.

4). When you walk through the front door is the tile sticky, is the carpet wrinkled and does it smell? Does all of that apply to the guy behind the counter?

5). Is the person behind the counter acting as if they are happy to see you? If the opposite of this is true then you know everything you need to know - turn around.

BONUS ITEM: If the sign says they charge by the hour, keep driving.

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