The basic format of a road trip is drive, stop, drive, gas, drive, find a hotel for the night. Finding a place to stay in an unknown city that is safe and affordable is no easy task, especially when booking that hotel the day of.

We had done a decent job of booking our last two hotels in the morning as we drove to our destination but our trek across Kansas started a bit rocky.

Kansas is very flat and as it became late afternoon we were tired of the corn. We decided we were going to make it to Missouri. Kansas City, Missouri was about five hours away so we began our hotel search.


Finding a hotel is easy with hotel booking apps but they aren’t as helpful when attempting to find hotel in a good area.

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made while looking for a hotel is googling bad areas in a city. While it is important to be informed about which areas not to go, it can also cause unnecessary anxiety about the safety of the area.

The search results were not encouraging when we googled Kansas City. Each review stated that there was no safe place in the city and there wasn’t a single street we wouldn’t be mugged. We eventually decided our best bet would be a hotel by the airport and confirmed our reservation.

We nervously and drowsily drove up to the hotel at 10 p.m. Once we arrived we realized we had nothing to worry about.

Contrary to reports on the internet, we found a good hotel in a nice area.

When looking for a hotel, keep these tips in mind:

  • When in doubt, look for a hotel by the airport. It is often near the main highway, which makes it easier to get back on the road.
  • Many of the “cheap hotels” are actually pretty nice. The Motel 6 in Moab, Utah was one of the nicest places we stayed and it even had a pool.
  • Look for the deals. We stayed at the Sheraton in Nashville and it was one of the best deals we got because of a discount on hotel tonight.
  • If the hotel is not very nice, just remember it’s only for one night.

Once we got to Kansas City, we were ready for dinner, especially since it was around 9:30 pm. Daniel’s dad’s coworker had highly recommended a barbecue restaurant, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, saying it was the best in the country. He had even sent a detailed description as to what to order.

We considered skipping the food as it was about a half hour away from our hotel, but we didn’t want to disappoint. After carefully finding our way to the restaurant, we took it to go and headed to our hotel. Let me say, it did not disappoint.

The next day we stopped in St. Louis on our way to Nashville. The Gateway Arch was on our list of places to see on the way.

The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch

When we arrived in St.Louis the arch was hard to miss. After a lot of searching, we found parking and started to walk toward the famous landmark. After searching around, we found it difficult to get close to the arch because of construction.

The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch

We decided to go to the visitor center and ask a dumb question. Similarly to when we asked how to find the Salt Lake, I asked the security guard “how do we get close to the arch?” The security guard gave us directions and assured us we could get close enough to hug the arch if we wanted to.

We eventually got to the arch and we were definitely close enough to hug it.


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