"Affordable" has no meaning

Old Apr 10th, 2010, 03:56 PM
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When researching a desrination I've never been to, I find it best to do my own searches for price and then come to Fodors Forum for comments about the relative quality, handiness of location and other merits of each of my shortlisted choices. This worked well for us in Paris 18 months ago, and yes there were several good choices below US$200 a night.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 03:56 PM
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tuscanlifeedit, yours is another good point. Just how helpful is it to suggest hotels that don't fit the parameters the OP made a point of mentioning?
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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Ah, LI. It's well known that Fodorites are helpful in every department
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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twoflower, that's because you are putting some thought into the selection process.

Those that post asking for an "affordable" hotel are doing a lot of thinking.

LI: we're so nice like that, aren't we?
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 04:39 PM
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<Just how helpful is it to suggest hotels that don't fit the parameters the OP made a point of mentioning?>

None really. But heck... we regularly re-do the entire itinerary, change cities to visit, recommended different methods of transporation, question timelines, etc.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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I think money is a touchy subject in general (even with our dearest friends we can become shy about money) so people,especially if they haven't done any research yet on prices,epecially if they're newbies here, may be hesitant to post a preferred price that will sound either too cheap or luxuriously expensive. Either way, they can be pounced on. Just as asking for 'must-sees.'
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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From the boards: "Where is a good place to stay that would be central to seeing the sights? We like nice but not necessarily fancy! And we love it when they serve breakfasts!"

Where do we even begin to help this person?
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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nytraveler,

How dare you to be so rational as to ask for a meaning of "affordable" or "reasonable." Have you been to law school? Are we talking torts here?

Johnny Carson used to ask "How hot is hot?" and similar no end questions. The audience laughed.

The Fodor's Forum masters would be wise to put your comment in a "I approve" check box before allowing anyone to pose a ridiculous open end question. When I see these notes of nonsense I don't open them.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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saige - I saw that too - and it was about London!!!
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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<i>may be hesitant to post a preferred price that will sound either too cheap or luxuriously expensive</i>

True. But why don't the responders include prices, as long as it is based on personal experience?
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 07:42 PM
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I strikes me as really funny that so many Americans post questions regarding "affordable" hotels and such without specifying what their budget really is, when Americans are known the world over for being more willing to talk about money (how much they earn, etc.) than anyone else on the planet. Europeans in general, IME, HATE to talk about money, consider it a personal thing, etc. Yet on message boards, Europeans tend to be very specific about what price they want to pay for something, whereas Americans couch it in broad terms like "affordable."

Please, we have no clue what is "affordable" for you. And thank you, nytraveler, you always have good posts and thoughts.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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I wonder why people don't just invest in a guidebook, find some hotels that seem to meet their criteria,then check on TripAdvisor to see comments of others who've stayed at the hotels.

The same for "must-sees." Something that's a "must see" for one traveler might not be for another traveler. If one asks the "must see" question, it would be helpful to know the interests of the person.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 08:18 PM
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Sometimes people don't start with the concept of a budget per night. I know I don't. I end up paying twice as much in London as I do in Lisbon for a night in a hotel or apartment. I am interested in getting good value for money for the location. I don't want the most expensive room, I don't want the most inexpensive one. I want to know what it costs to get a room in a moderate hotel in a particular location. When I see the various options at the various prices, then I can decide intelligently where I want to stay.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 08:43 PM
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Nikki what you say makes sense for everyone. Even if the most inexpensive is $250 and the most expensive is $1200. What doesn't make sense to me is why people don't go to trip advisor or a guide book and check out the prices.

Same with the "must sees" that Peg mentioned. There are books that list the top ten sights anywhere in the world. I would trust a reliable book for a that information. Save Fodors for questions that guide books won't tell you.
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Old Apr 10th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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St.Cirq: I don't necessarily think this is a European or American thing, actually. I think that most of "newbie posters" on this board just happen to be American. After their knuckles get wrapped a few times ("Could you possibly specify your price range???"), then new posters tend to stop asking so vaguely.

And Nikki--You are SO right! Your point does support doing a bit of research before asking the "moderate price" questions. If by shopping around I sense that I can't get a decent hotel, say, in Manhattan in May for $100 a night, then I'm going to have to come up with the $300 a night or so to make it work. Or I'm going to have to cut my stay shorter. Or I'm going to have to lower my standards considerably.

There's always a problem with actual translation, too, based on the type of accomodation available. When searching London for a hotel ten years ago, I quickly found out that the "middle ground" hotel type I could so easily find in Paris wasn't as available there then. It's just like how the cookie cutter, rather inexpensive American motel/hotel chains with their comparatively large rooms are rarely found in Europe. Now THAT's a newbie situation, isn't it--explaining to how many posters that two double beds per room aren't the European norm!

Nikki's point brings to mind something my sister said while we were all sitting around in a cafe in Paris. My husband was pretty upset that she hadn't a clue as to the currency exchange, and she had no idea what the price of the scarf she had just purchased cost in dollars. He could not get over it. She just said, "When I come here, I LIVE here. I don't translate! The price on this scarf is what it cost!" He was baffled, but the rest of my family (all very frugal, by the way), understood. She was shopping within the price range that she was observing in the place where she was. I'm darn sure she got a bargain, because she quickly assessed value as she went store to store.
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 01:06 AM
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I admit to being among the guilty as charged. Many of the guidebooks are out-of-date by the time they hit the printing press, but they are a place to start, as is tripadvisor and many other places. Many of us, unfortunately, plan trips rather infrequently (my only other tirp to Europe was 15 years ago). You are all of course right, that the more helpful we can be in what our needs and interests are, the more specific advice we can get.

Thank you all for all your helpful, friendly guidance to the many posts! This is a very helpful forum!
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 01:39 AM
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Thank you, OP, for this post and for trying to help others
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Old Apr 11th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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It is also hard to determine what one person thinks is reasonable or affordable from the point of where they live.
I know when my son visits us here in Western PA he is amazed that a premium beer is $3 or $4 dollars. He lives in Manhattan.

But even if guide books are out of date, usually the hotels are listed as luxury, midpriced and inexpensive or words to that effect. It only takes looking at one or two to get a general idea of prices in a particular city.



Part of the problem is that some people expect everyhing to be done for them. I think that is what irritates those of us who really have worked at putting a trip together. And maybe even after all of that work are still a little perplexed and need help.

For my next trip, some place I have never been, I have purchased no less than five different guide books. I have looked at everything the local book store has and I have read every trip report here. And still I have questions.

If we sense that someone has tried to find something out for themselves, I think we always make an effort to help and with a smile.
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