If you’re poor, and traveling city to city, you want to stay between the two. The morning drive is worth it. Your rate at a city Days Inn will be roughly $90-110, whereas you could get the same room w/ breakfast at an in-between Days Inn for $40-50.
If for some reason you find yourself in a city and you still only have $40 to spend on a motel (and you’d rather gurgle coolant than sleep in your car again) you can instantly gauge a motel’s quality using one factor: flatness.
If a motel is long and flat, it’s a dump. It was built in the 1950s and hasn’t been cleaned since. The soap will crumble in your hands and burn your skin.
If your only choices are long, flat motels, pick the one that has fewer letters burned out in the sign.
If both say only “MOT,” pick the one with less glass in the parking lot.
In any event, don’t buy yogurt from the gas station across the street. It doesn’t matter what flavor you choose. It will taste like gas.