How short of a stay is too short for booking a hotel room?

I have a 5.5 hour “layover” in Seattle next month (not my actual Seattle trip, but just a mileage run), whereby I get in at 12:30AM and leave at 6AM. I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s worth getting a hotel room.

The way I look at it it’s going to be 1:15AM by the time I get to the room, and I’ll have to be up by 4:30AM at the latest, which means I’d get no more than three hours of sleep, and probably a lot less than that if there’s a delay or if I’m too “awake” to sleep.

The only real option I’m considering is booking the Holiday Inn SeaTac for $75, and only because I could earn a lot of points which would basically make the stay a wash (like my brother staying at the Holiday Inn Express FRA and earning nearly 10,000 points). Getting a hotel through Priceline doesn’t seem worth it since it would probably cost $50 and I wouldn’t earn any points. I’m leaning towards just staying at the airport, but am undecided. What would you do?

Filed Under: Hotels
  1. I would book the hotel.
    I done a very similar thing when I landed in BKK back in March.
    Even though I was awake all the time, I could still get myself a drink, have a decent bathroom to go to and lie down, and also get some decent food from room service.
    Plus the fact you will earn points on it and will count towards a Stay X Get X Points, it’s worth it.

  2. The restorative effects of a shower are not to be underestimated. 😉

    Betterbidding seems to suggest that indeed $45-50 is reasonable expectation for PL hotels near SEA-TAC (though none of those reports seem to be for Jan).

    I would do the hotel, but I’m less adventurous than you. 😀

  3. I’d go with the airport. The shuttle to and from the hotel will eat at least another 30-45m at those times, so you’re talking about negligible sleep.

  4. hotel, no doubt. a nice hot shower and being able to lie in a bed (even if you don’t get much sleep) is very nice.

  5. Book the hotel, pocket the points, don’t bother with Priceline as the $45 or so would probably land you the… Holiday Inn, sans points. (Yes, the Doubletree and Radisson are options of course but when the Holiday Inn is selling rooms ~ $75 it usually has Priceline inventory open.)

    IMHO it may just be a few hours in the room but that’s far more pleasant than sitting around the airport through the night And it’sa stay/night towards your bonuses, and a cheap one at that.

  6. There are many variables not being referenced here.

    1. How much money do you make per hour?
    – 50 Dollar to a person who makes 7 dollars per hour is nuts, however to a person making 200 dolllars per hour is nothing.

    2. How far is the hotel from the airport or it is in the airport.
    – Missing a plane for a business person could lose a million dollar contract and if you are truly an international traveler you may know the problems with transporation.

    3. What type of transportation to the Hotel?
    – Do you know the transportation in the city? First time or second time in the city, etc.

    4. Is the boss paying?

    5. What are you doing before and after the five hour stint? If you are going for a job interview,maybe the five hours of rest is a good idea. If you get off a 20 hour flight from New York to Tokyo, and need to give a presentation in, then make the hotel is good.

    If you are on a around the world backpacker trip and you will not be working or earning money then you will sleep in the airport maybe.

    I do find that majority of people though, vote for luxury, their tolerance for emotional pain of waiting is not sufficient to even travel the planet.

    I am a Professional Traveler with 10 years of perpetual travel and 79 countries under my belt. Thanks from Andy of Travel Blog and Hotels

  7. Have a similar layover in SEA in March in from SFO after midnight and out to DEN at 6:00 am ish. I considered the hotel option but I figure if I were to fall asleep in a bed I’d miss the morning flight. I’m thinking of a long leisurely breakfast at the airport or a nearby hotel. Let us know what you decide.

  8. In ANC they have sleeping rooms in the airprt for about $20. It was perfect for a similar layover. Check the airport website. I jsut don’t remember.

    If not, I second:

    My last sleep over was in Vegas. Bumped off the redeye. Gave the slot machine change gal $5 to wake me up. And I taped a sign on my back:
    “Wake me up at 5 AM Please”

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