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Why Do We Spend so Much Effort and Energy on Accommodation

Why Do We Spend so Much Effort and Energy on Accommodation

Old Jan 16th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,005
When we first started traveling, my husband and I used to give little to no thought about accomodation. We showed up to Italy once for 5 weeks with no reservations and just wandered from town to town. We used to find the cheapest place we could in Europe, in fact we used to try to top ourselves by how cheap we could be. Our best score was a hotel room in Sicily for $18. It had rats, but the view from the window was gorgeous and we fortunately didn't see any of them although my brother in law did.

As we got older, and the vacations got a lot shorter, I started putting maximum effort into the place we stayed, as anyone can see by the obnoxious number of questions I ask on this forum. In recent years we started stepping it up a little, we slowly started losing the temperament for the adventure of a "cheap room". Now we're at a stage in our lives (which I'm not sure is age related) where we want even more comfort as we travel. I still try to find a bargain, but I definitely research it to death before hand. The trips are too short to mess around with a bad hotel or apartent!

I do think age enters into the equation a little bit for us, because when I was looking for an apartment in Barcelona, I didn't want to stay in a "party" section that was going to be loud and crazy. So it did take some extra effort to make sure that I found the right one.

Lastly, I have an even simpler explanation for why we put so much effort into accomodation....how about that it's just plain fun??? For me, it's a really, really fun part of the trip, planning, researching, learning about a new city, etc. So that would be my main explanation, at least in my case, it's just darn fun!
GiuliaPiraino is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 250
We always try to stay in apartments or cottages in preference to hotels which necessitates a lot more looking - to us anyway. To me one hotel is much like another although many would disagree with that!

I enjoy the research and we generally spend quite a bit of time in the accommodation - by choice. Way more than just sleeping.

We wanted an apartment with a terrace in Rome located centrally - that took a bit of research but now our fondest memories are of spending time on that terrace.

Staying in an apartment or cottage to us is a huge part of the experience of the trip. I would spend at least 70 - 80% of my research on accommodation and most of the rest on good things to see and do in the particular place - but usually not restarants etc - we just wing that.

I realise others feel differently and would prefer to research wonderful restaurants etc.
eliza3 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 425
I agree with all the posts about wanting a nice location, a comfortable room and a good price.

For me though, I think it is also part game, part control issue! I love to plan and research my trips, and like most other Fodorites, plan way in advance. The game of researching, narrowing down my choices, then finally waiting for that email response confirming availability is so exciting! Then once I know exactly where I'll be I can figure what's nearby, walking routes, etc. To keep my sanity, I NEED to know where I'm staying as soon as I can, then everything else is just fun research.

The control part of it is the fact that I obviously can't control the weather, the crowds or the little annoyances that we may encounter, but at least I can control where we stay. Barring any lost reservations on the part of the hotel or some natural disaster, I have that comfort of knowing where I'll sleep.

I know some people love to just wing it and find a place when they get to their destination, but for me, that is just crazy talk!
sherhatfield is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,178
Wouldn't it be even harder for you "planning people" to find a good place to stay if everyone was that picky? ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Nope, cuz each person has their own tastes they are picky to For instance, I prefer small villages, cozy and old world charm, while someone else may prefer city centre, close to shops, etc.
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,631
I prefer not to spend a whole lot of money on accommodations - I usually look for a hotel or B&B in the 2 star or modest 3 star range.

However, location of my accommodations is the most important thing to me. I always either walk or take public transport, so something centrally located and close to a metro, tube or bus station is key.

I'm usually out of my room first thing in the morning and not returning until late in the evening, so while basic comfort is necessary, I don't need a room that is really conducive to spending time in.
chepar is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Location is important to me as well, especially if it is someplace like London. Doesn't need to be near 'sites', but DOES need to be near a tube station!

GreenDragon is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063

surely most of that third of the day consists of sleep. In which case a good bed counts.

We are split with accommodation -with hotels - we hate them and spend as little time there as possible and hence very rarely spend large amounts per night.

Villas, cottages, apartments etc - usually go as far financially as we can justify and spend 10 times the duration of the holiday researching - haven't failed in 20 years of travelling and have ended up with some good value stunners.

Google Earth is a god-send - whatever the crap that is spouted on an advert you can use it to spot the oil refinery round the corner.

Two rules of travel

1. Never eat at a restaurant which shows pictures of the food outside.

2. Never book a villa that shows a picture of a sunset in its ad - that's desperate. I want to see your limestone bathroom and infinity pool not confirmation that the sun goes down each night, thank you.
markrosy is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,140
I can afford most of what I want now, but accommodation is nearly at the bottom of my list except for it being in a convenient location if at all possible. I have absolutely no trouble sleeping, and noise doesn't bother me. If given a choice between a quiet room and one directly on the busy street, I will choose the busy street, because I like to see and hear what is going on. I would prefer, however, that the plumbing, if any, does not look like it will give me diseases.

I have stayed in rooms for less than $2 and I have also stayed in fabulous 3-room suites in some of the finest hotels in the world. I have stayed in rooms where I have put the chair against the door at night, and others facing phosphorescent seas where I left the door wide open all night to listen to the surf even if bats would fly in and out from time to time.

Travel remains an adventure for me, and I want it to be as different from home as possible. Not knowing what accommodations I will encounter is part of the adventure -- and, yes, I have had to sleep in the car or in airports from time to time. I love it.
kerouac is online now  
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