What sort of traveller/tourist are you?
Do you stay at five star or four star? And if you cannot, then just don’t travel?
Does any hostel do you?
I’ve just finished reading Absolutely Faking It: Thirteen luxury hotels, five months … no money by Tiana Templeton.
Tiana and her husband won a round the world trip staying at the best hotels of the world: including the Ritz in Paris, Dorchester in London, Il Palazzo in Venice. Their normal travel mode is backpacker. In fact, they travelled to these luxury hotels with their backpacks. And very little cash. So they sneak supermarket wine and pizzas into their suites. (Yes, they mostly got put into the hotels’ premier suites.)
At first they self-consciously try to fit in and hide but as they relax and care less about what others think, they enjoy their surroundings more. Even though they can’t even afford to really tip.
Definitely makes me want to stay in some of these places – but rooms, let alone suites, are out of my budget.
I did the whole backpack across Europe thing in my early 20s; stayed in hostels, crashed at people’s places, slept curled up on trains and ferries. Too old for that malarkey now.
When our kids were younger, winter holidays were spent down the snow in a rented unti which we shared with friends. A week there was expensive but then everything about skiing is expensive. The cost were reduced as we shared with friends and cooked most meals. Summer holidays were spent driving north to family, stopping on the way in cabins in tourist parks or mid-price hotels or, as we earns more money, resorts.
Now Mr S and I stay in ‘”nice” places. We prefer self-contained so we can cook but like to mix it up. Last trip to Tassie our accommodation was a mixture of B’n’Bs, resorts and holiday rentals. Same thing, with a bit of staying at family, in New Zealand for the two summers before that. In London we booked the one apartment through AirB’n’B. I didn’t go for cheapest but one that looked good. And it was.
A spring holiday driving to my mother’s in Queensland last year, we stopped at a coastal resort on the way up and the loveliest B’n’B on the way down. We do prefer quirky or historic B’n’Bs to hotels.
We’ve been to the Whitsundays twice. Once with the kids at Hamilton Island, spending a week in a self-contained apartment (but with buffet breakfast daily at the resort lounge – we love the big breakfast). Family priced = cheap. The scond time without kids at Hayman in more upmarket accommodation. That was beautiful and the price matched. I’d love to go back to the Whitsundays and cruise on a yacht!
I’ve only really been burned once. Booked a place in Rotorua for the views over the geo-thermal activity. Woke to bed bugs!!!! Left that morning and got my money back. Luckily we did not transport the black beasties home.
Recent work trips to Japan, South Korea and China were spent in quite expensive hotels. Some I probably wouldn’t book if we were staying for a holiday.
An extended holiday in a hotel doesn’t really grab me because I do miss eating food I’ve cooked myself. Or cooked by Mr S. But I think the thought of how much more travel we could afford is the real reason I wouldn’t stay at expensive hotels. Then everything is relative, isn’t it? I have friends who think we pick expensive places.
What’s your choice?