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 Road Trippin’ the US with Roomkey

Road Trippin’ the US with Roomkey

The following post is sponsored by Roomkey. All opinions, text and advice are my own.

Read on if you’d like to learn about a hotel search site that saves you money and some pretty amazing hot spring locations in Oregon!


Last month we decided to embark on an epic cross-country road trip from New York City to Santa Monica, California – our new permanent home! We had 11 days to complete our move and we were extremely ambitious to not only get to LA but really get some amazing photography along the way. 

Besides renting a car and deciding on our northern route across the US, we had no pre-booked hotel reservations. Part of me was extremely nervous about the lack of planning on our part (especially since it was July 4th weekend) but the other part of me felt a thrill by the amount of freedom we had.

I got introduced to Roomkey a few weeks prior to our road trip and I was stoked to try it on this trip. Roomkey is a hotel search site that aims to save you a lot of money since it directs you straight to the source. You’re able to browse different hotel deals without the false urgency messaging such as “Only 1 room left at this price” which personally just adds extra stress to the process. Instead, Roomkey has a “no tricks” approach and simply lists all the available hotels along with all the benefits that come with booking directly with the hotel. 

After spending a few days in Glacier National Park (Montana, US) Banff + Jasper National Parks (Alberta, CA) we were finally ready to head down to Washington and Oregon and drive the PNW. We decided to spend an extra amount of time in Oregon because of all the amazing hot springs that it has AND this was my first time at an all natural hot spring. 

Roomkey worked especially well during this portion of our trip since we weren’t staying in National Parks, where hotel bookings are managed by the parks directly. Therefore, we had a lot of wiggle room to stay wherever we wanted.  And like any photographer or nature fanatic knows, you have to get up for sunrise and stay out until sunset to get the best shots. 

Therefore, it was really important that we found hotels that allowed us to sleep in (and by “sleep in” I mean get up at 5am versus 3:30am) using Roomkey’s map feature since the distance between the hotel and our next location was incredibly easy to see on their interactive map. Additionally, the map feature came in handy when we checked to see which of the celiac-friendly restaurants that were open late were also on our route for our sunset location.

One of my favorite hot springs that we visited for sunrise was Umpqua Hot Springs, conveniently located just 20 min from our hotel:

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There are multiple pools you can choose to soak in. The further down you descent the cooler the water gets! Also, I would ALWAYS recommend flip flops or water shoes for any hot springs you go to. A local told us about a few shady things that happened down here…

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And our sunset location, which completely blew me away, was just reopened July, 2019. Be sure to check out Terwilliger Hot Springs sometimes known as Cougar Falls!

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This hot spring just reopened and it shows. It was my personal favorite since it was exceptionally clean and the water was SO hot!

This hot spring just reopened and it shows. It was my personal favorite since it was exceptionally clean and the water was SO hot!

While Michael drove, I would spend my time on Roomkey to find our next hotel. Here are a few things I loved about booking on the site:


Love the icons!

Both mobile + desktop versions available!

1)   You can filter by dog friendly options! Although a lot of other hotel search engines offer this feature, the message does not always reach your direct hotel. With Roomkey, it was guaranteed that our hotel would put us in a dog friendly room, because they put us in touch with the hotel directly. Russell (our pup) is a 110 pounds and sheds a ton so this was crucial!

2)   It’s cheaper! We found that by booking through Roomkey we always saved a few hundred bucks. Since it’s free to sign up for as many hotel loyalty programs possible, you get access to potential upgrades and discounted rates. Each hotel allocates a certain amount of rooms that they have available for their loyalty members so it’s truly a win for you!

3)   No lost reservations. I’m not sure how this happens but hotels often have trouble locating reservations, even when provided with the confirmation code from 3rd party sites.  By booking directly with the hotel, we never faced that issue. The process to check in becomes fast and effortless -- the only thing you want after a tiring day of shooting.

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That’s a wrap…

We finished off our road trip at the great Yosemite -- one of the most photogenic places in the world. We were so happy to arrive at each hotel and we have Roomkey to thank for the ease of it all. If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out! Stories + more highlights from the trip are all on @alwaysroaming

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