By FlexMedStaff

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could transport our bed or house to our locums destination? For most of us that travel for locums, except those with an RV or camper, we can’t take our home with us. Nothing is more precious than a good night’s sleep. Traveling becomes easier when you find affordable and convenient places to stay. Each practitioner should take the time to evaluate which hotel group or chain is best for them.

For this conversation, four large hotel groups should be considered for locums travel. Each hotel group has numerous hotel chains under them and many hotel destinations nationwide. Not all hotel groups or chains have the same amenities or offerings. All hotel groups have loyalty programs. Earning points and status within a hotel loyalty program can be an added benefit for locums’ practitioners. 

The goal for any practitioner on the road is to manage a cozy place to stay. Unfortunately, the most luxurious hotels are not located in most cities that require locums practitioners. Thus, practitioners must look at hotel groups with low to mid-tier or budget-friendly hotel chains in small and rural areas. Depending on your situation, you may stick within one hotel group to earn loyalty points or use multiple hotel groups to satisfy what you are looking for. Some practitioners will prefer suits with a kitchen, and others will choose hotels with a small refrigerator with a restaurant attached. What is nice about becoming a loyal member of one of these larger hotel groups is that they many times will have hotels that have many of these options. For example, Marriot may not have a Ritz-Carlton in most small cities, but they may have a Fairfield Inn or Springhill suites. 

Not all hotel chains are created equally. In one city, you might find a terrific Hampton Inn with pleasant staff and clean rooms; in another, you might find a Hampton Inn that is unpleasant and noisy. It is wise to seek out the best hotel groups for your locum’s career and which hotels are preferred near your locum’s destination. 

The largest hotel groups in the USA are Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG. These will all be quickly reviewed in this article. We select the hotel chains within each hotel group that might be best for your life as a locum on the road. We do not do a complete analysis of which hotel brand has the best loyalty program. We leave that up to you, the user the figure out which loyalty program works best for your situation.

This article does not dive into short-term rental options that can also be considered for lodging while on the road for locums (ie: Airbnb, VRBO, or Furnished Finder).

Criteria Considered:

  1. Budget-friendly hotel chains within the larger hotel group
  2. Location (big and small cities)
  3. Loyalty programs
  4. Complimentary breakfast
  5. Suits and/or kitchen available
  6. Small refrigerator
  7. Work out room
  8. Pets allowed
  9. Mobile app for phone
  10. Dinning and/or restaurant in the hotel.
  11. International options for travel
  12. Co-branded Credit cards

The following is a list of the largest five hotel groups in the USA along with which hotel chain(s) within their network that are best for traveling practitioners.

1.   Marriott International

When Marriott merged with Starwood, the parent company of Sheraton, it became the largest hotel company in the world. The Marriott has many luxurious, high-end properties like the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriot, but most locums practitioners will find these hotel chains too expensive or not in their desired locations for locums work. Instead, Marriott offers several budget-friendly options for locum practitioners, including Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Four Points (by Sheraton).

The Marriott loyalty program was considered the best before its merger with Starwood. Although most users say it is not as good, the loyalty program with Marriott remains one of the best. As a locums practitioner, you can earn those points working and then take advantage of the Marriott’s line of luxurious hotels with points for vacation. One of the downsides of Marriott is that it does not have as many hotels in small cities where many locums practitioners are needed.  This article focuses on the budget-friendly, Fairfield Inn and Springhill Suites which are likely the best for traveling practitioners. They have many locations and are more likely to be found in smaller cities across the country.  

The Marriot may have the largest number of co-branded credit cards to consider if you choose to become a preferred member of Marriot hotels.

FlexMedStaff Recommendation: If there is a Marriot hotel chain near your locum’s destination, Marriot is probably the best for locums practitioners based on the quality of hotels, benefits, and points.

 Marriot Hotel Chains
Fairfield Inn and SuitesSpringhill Suites
# Locations1,115 and growingApprox. 500
Suites?Available“rooms with a little extra space”
In-room fridge?YesYes
In-room Microwave?Yesyes
Fitness Room?YesYes
In-hotel DiningSomeSome
Pets Allowed?Some ($20-75 fee per day)Some
Mobile app?Yesyes
ComparisonsHampton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt PlaceHomewood Suites, Staybridge Suites

2.   Hilton Worldwide

You cant find many destinations in this country without a Hilton hotel chain. Hilton has 18 hotel chains. They got every time of hotel you would want, from the upscale Waldorf Astoria to the family-friendly Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. The Hilton group has much more budget-friendly options at the mid-tier and lower-tier for locums practitioners than Marriot. DoubleTree, Embassy Suites.

As a locum practitioner, you can book a suite for an extended stay at an economical price. If you are someone that does not require luxury but looking for quality hotels at a great price, then look no farther than Hilton. You can quickly build up points and status with Hilton while doing locums and then enjoy the benefits at some of their great mid-tier hotels such as Embassy Suites, DoubleTree, and Canopy.

Hilton does have some great co-branded credit cards. Check out the Amex Hilton Aspire credit card if you chose Hilton properties. This credit card would be worth it to most traveling locums practitioners that use Hilton chains. In addition to the excellent points when using Hilton Hotels, the card offers great points on flights and dining. 

In this article, we select Hilton’s hotel chains that are likely best for most locums practitioners. This includes Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn. Each of these is good quality and inexpensive. They can be found in big and small towns. You can find a Hampton Inn almost anywhere. We also want to recognize Tru and Home2Suites of Hilton, which we are seeing more of in small and large cities. The only downside of these two hotel chains is that Hilton members earn fewer points when staying at them.

FlexMedStaff Recommendation: As a loyalty program, Hilton is probably best for those practitioners that spend a significant time in rural America and have access to a Hampton Inn.

 Hilton Hotel Chains
Hampton InnHomewood SuitesHilton Garden Inn
# Locations2,5000500850
Breakfast?ComplimentaryComplimentaryFree for Diamond members
In-room fridge?SomeAllYes
In-room Microwave?SomeAllYes
Fitness Room?MostYesYes
In-hotel DiningNoNoYes
Pets Allowed?MostYesYes
Mobile app?YesYesYes
ComparisonHoliday Inn, Fairfield InnSpringhill Suites, StaybridgeHyatt Place, Fairfield

3.   InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

IHG has the best budget-friendly hotel chains of all the hotel groups.  They may not have the same quality as a Hilton or a Marriot, but they have more options in rural America, where you might find your locums destination. IHG does not have the best points system or loyalty program, but they make it easy to start accruing points quickly. Add a Chase IGH Reward Premier credit card, and you will see the points grow as you will get great points with travel, dining, and gas purchases.

IHG’s most recognizable chains are likely the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Although these chains would be considered lower tier, they are great options for most locums practitioners. IHG does have several high-end hotel chains in big cities like the Intercontinental and Hotel Indigo, which are great hotels to take advantage of with all your reward points. Don’t forget about the Crowne Plaza, which is a fantastic mid-tier hotel offered by IHG. IHG also has larger, affordable hotel rooms for extended stays at the Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites.

For this article, we will look at Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites. The majority of Holiday Inns have undergone significant renovations within the last ten years, making them a great option in many rural locations over other hotel chains. Staybridge Suites is the most luxurious extended stay offered by IHG. Compared to Candlewood Suites, the Staybridge is a little higher quality and includes a complimentary breakfast. 

FlexMedStaff Recommendation: If you travel to rural America, IHG offers the best low-budget hotels for locums practitioners.

 IHG Hotel Chains
Holiday InnStaybridge Suites
# Locations (approx.)2,900300
Suites?SomeAll have bigger rooms
In-room fridge?MostYes
In-room Microwave?Mostyes
Fitness Room?MostYes
In-hotel DiningNoNo
Pets Allowed?MostYes
Mobile app?YesYes
ComparisonsHampton, Hyatt Place, FairfieldHomewood Suites, Hyatt House

4.   Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

With over 9,000 international hotels and resorts, Wyndham is the largest hotel franchise company in the world. With over 6,000 hotels and resorts in the U.S, they have a place for you to stay while traveling for locums. They have hotels in big cities, rural areas, along highways, and at your favorite destinations for vacation.

With a great loyalty rewards program, the benefits of going with Wyndham can easily add up. More so, Wyndham has partnered with Caesars so that all loyalty points are easily transferable. 

Although you might be able to stay at their more exclusive brands like Wyndham Grand and Registry Collection Hotels, most locums practitioners will be able to take advantage of their midscale hotels such as LaQuinta, Wingate, Baymont and Ramada. With over 70 locations, you could also consider staying at Hawthorn, Wyndham’s featured extended stay hotel and suites.

If you chose to stay at Wyndham hotels then it is worthwhile getting the Wyndham Rewards Credit Card offered by Visa. With no annual fee, 5X points on hotel and gas, free hotel stay each year, and elite status, it’s a no-brainer to get the Wyndham credit card.

FlexMedStaff Recommendation: If you are looking for the best loyalty program for low-budget hotels, Wyndham is probably best for locums practitioner traveling to rural areas.

 Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
LaQuintaHawthorn Suites
# Locations (approx.)>900Approx 80
Suites?SomeAll have bigger rooms
In-room fridge?Some (can ask for one)Yes
In-room Microwave?Some (can ask for one)yes
Fitness Room?MostYes
In-hotel DiningNoSome
Pets Allowed?MostYes
Mobile app?YesYes
ComparisonsHampton, Hyatt Place, FairfieldHomewood Suites, Hyatt House

5.   Hyatt Hotels

Hyatt has 20 hotel chains under its umbrella and is not as large as either Hilton or Marriot. Hyatt mainly focuses on high-end brands and luxury less desirable to most locums practitioners. They have a great loyalty program, reasonable redemption rates, and fantastic boutique hotels.

Unfortunately, most hotels offered by Hyatt are either too expensive for locums practitioners or not commonly found in rural America. On the other hand, if you happen to be doing locums in bigger cities, check out the Hyatt House and Hyatt Place. These two hotel chains are more budget-friendly. The Hyatt Place is meant for short stays, while the Hyatt House is for extended stays. Although they will live up to the Hyatt standard of quality, you will not be able to find them at many locums destinations.  

Hyatt does not have many co-branded credit cards as other larger hotel groups. If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred, you can transfer those points to Hyatt.

FlexMedStaff Recommendation: As a loyalty program, Hyatt is probably best for those practitioners that do locums in big cities.

 Hyatt Hotel Chains
Hyatt PlaceHyatt House
# Locations (approx.)350110
Suites?SomeAll have bigger rooms
In-room fridge?someYes
In-room Microwave?Yesyes
Fitness Room?YesYes
In-hotel DiningNoSome
Pets Allowed?SomeYes
Mobile app?Yesyes
ComparisonsHampton Inn, Holiday InnHomewood Suites, Staybridge Suites

Honorable Mention:

  • Radisson Hotel (includes the Country Inn and Suites)
  • Best Western Hotel Group
  • Choice Hotels (includes Comfort Inn and Quality Inn)


Every travel locums practitioner wants a quiet, cozy, convenient, and affordable place to stay. We listed some of our favorite hotel chains for locums practitioners. This article does not discuss which loyalty program is the best. This is for a good reason. Regardless of the perks or benefits offered by a particular hotel group, it is best to figure out which hotel at your location suits you best. Your lodging experience can dictate your enjoyment of doing locums.  Once you find a local hotel chain that can provide you with the quality you are looking for, find ways to start earning loyalty points.  

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