Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by henry. henry Wonders, “How were hotels invented?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, henry!

Do you ever take road trips with your family? Maybe you go to visit relatives that live several hours away. Perhaps you play on a travel sports team and drive many hours to get to your games. Or it might just be vacation time!

There are many reasons to hit the open road. One thing many kids look forward to on trips is staying the night at a hotel. It’s kind of like a sleepover at someone else’s house! There’s a new bed and a television with many channels. If you’re lucky, there may even be a pool to swim in!

For many kids, the chance to sleep at a hotel is a bit of adventure. Many hotels are quite large. There could be hundreds or even thousands of other people staying there.

Some hotels have gift shops. Most hotels have elevators that can also be fun to ride. And don’t forget the hotel gyms, saunas, and hot tubs!

Parents, especially those who travel often for work, probably don’t get as excited about staying in a hotel. But it can still be fun for adults. Parents sometimes look forward to the conveniences. They might like the spa services, made-to-order breakfasts, or late-night room service.

Hotels have been around a long, long time. In fact, the earliest hotels were small inns that existed to lodge travelers thousands of years ago. Since trade began, people have needed to travel for business and to visit friends and relatives.

Today, there are large hotel chains. You probably know them by name when you see their signs by the highway. There are also many smaller, privately-owned hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts.

Are you familiar with the term “motel”? If so, you might have WONDERed what the difference between a hotel and a motel is. Motels became popular in the early 1900s. They started opening up shortly after the first cars began to appear on the nation’s roadways.

With the ease of travel that came with automobiles, people began to travel farther and more often. This gave rise to the need for places to stay along the nation’s new roadways. The “motor hotel” or “motel” was thus born.

Motels tend to be smaller places to stay. They generally are u-shaped or square with an inner courtyard. Motel rooms have doors that face the parking areas. Ground-level rooms have doors that open directly to parking spaces. That makes it easy to unload and reload suitcases from the trunk.

Hotels, on the other hand, have rooms that are like apartments within a large building. They don’t tend to have external doors that open directly to the outside or the parking lot. Hotels also tend to be much larger and often have more amenities.

Hotels tend to be located in or around larger cities. Motels, on the other hand, are scattered across the country. Many are located in very small towns along popular roadways. Hotels also tend to be used for multiple-day stays, whereas motels are usually used for just one night while traveling.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day may test your strength!