One of the greatest boons for vacationers in the United States is Rand McNally's two-volume guide of places to stay overnight for less than $35 for two people.
The guide, titled "Lodgings for Le$$," has been published in Eastern states and Western states volumes, roughly those states on either side of the Mississippi River, and both are priced at $4.95.
It is a complement to the publisher's "Mobil Travel Guide," which for many years has been the bible of American tourists, especially those traveling by car.
"Lodgings for Le$$" makes selection of modestly priced accommodations even easier than the Mobil guide, while insisting on the same high standards of maintenance and cleanliness.
Every accommodation listed is inspected annually by Rand McNally field representatives.
The guide includes motels, hotels, inns, cottage colonies, guest ranches and resorts and describes credit cards honored and foreign language spoken.
Since budget lodgings are scarce in such large cities as Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis and Los Angeles, lodgings in surrounding areas are suggested. New York City isn't even included.
Other features include listing of senior citizen discounts, free lodging for children, discount coupons for attractions throughout the country, recreational facilities on or near the premises, coin laundries, free coffee rooms, picnic facilities, location of nearest restaurants and special equipment for the handicapped.
Sports facilities and the welcome given pets also are indicated.
The guide rates accommodations with one, two or three stars and reserves a "good value" rating for those establishments in each category for especially well-maintained facilities and an extraordinary number of appointments for the cost.
Minimum rates always are under $35 but maximum rates may go over this figure, up to $50.
Leafing through the guide, the slogan of a well-known credit card agency comes to mind: "Don't leave home without it."