Wednesday, August 17, 2005

bleh and more on traveling

I don't know what is wrong with me, I just can't seem to find anything interesting to blog about. I have been busy at work, but not overwhelmingly so, I've been sleeping enough at night, Tango is feeling much better, despite another vomiting episode on Sunday evening, and we had a fairly relaxing weekend. So I have nothing to complain about, and apparently nothing very exciting to say!

In a related note from yesterday's post on travel, I also noticed after talking to a few people that traveling styles can differ a ton, as well. For example, Josh and I will stay at cheap but clean places when we travel. Our ideal lodging is a room in someone's house or at a bed and breakfast that is small and not very touristy. We have very few requirements and will live without a television or air conditioning or a phone, although I do prefer a private bathroom. We've done with and without sharing a bathroom in the past. We do this because we'd rather have the possibility of taking more than one vacation a year by saving money on the lodging and food.


At lunch with a friend yesterday, though, she was saying that she and her husband prefer to take one luxurious vacation a year (or every two years) and stay at very nice resorts. I was surprised to find that this shocked me! She was talking about hotels that cost $350 a night, a price that would probably make me choke. And these friends definitely are not big spenders and live on a strict budget, but staying at a lovely place and enjoying the resort is a high priority for them. Josh and I definitely choose inexpensive lodging and eat picnic type meals on vacations, and try to keep out of touristy areas to keep prices down.

For example, after graduating from college, one of the cities we visited was Venice. We found a fabulous teeny tiny room for about $40 a night, right off of Piazza San Marco and all of the most beautiful sites, although it didn't have air conditioning and was really really small. In the early mornings I would look out the window over the rooftops and into courtyards and see pigeons splashing around in the fountains. We wandered into residential neighborhoods and ate breads and cheeses on park benches while watching kids play soccer and scream in Italian at each other. At night, though, we were so hot that Josh started throwing water all over the floors of the room in a misguided attempt to lower the temperature. That image is clearer in my mind than many of the museums and churches we visited.


Not to say that I wouldn't love to eat at many of the amazing restaurants and stay at some of the beautiful resorts that many places have to offer, because of course I would. While we have limited funds, though, and since most of my memories are wrapped in the experience of hearing a different language and exploring new cultures, I'd rather have more of those than a stay at a beautiful hotel.

I love seeing how differently everyone travels, though! Thank goodness for so many opinions and likes and dislikes!

13 comments:

Ninotchka said...

My Mom travels often and she does the same thing. She's there for the "experience." You wouldn't catch her dead on a tour-bus type trip. She loves to walk everywhere and go to the little niche places that other people don't care to explore. She stays in whatever hotel is nice, clean and inexpensive. If she gets a great deal at a high-end place, she'll take it. But she's just as happy staying where most tourists wouldn't.

RussianViolets said...

I would love to stay in the expensive resorts, but the truth is that I've been broke for so long that I cannot make myself spend much even now that I'm less broke. I still dream, however, of being able to go wherever I want without money being an option. But then again, don't we all?

KLee said...

I'm with RussianViolets. I'm broke, and probably destined to remain very close to broke unless I win the lottery. I'd love to stay at more upscale places, but I'm surely not paying for them. I'd dearly love to return to Europe, but I can't see that for the forseeable future.

Jill said...

The level of luxury of the hotel I book on a trip is inversely proportional to the amount of touring that I intend to do at that destination. For example, I went to Paris with some friends a few years ago, and we stayed in a bare bones budget hotel because we spent all of our waking moments exploring the city. However, last year I spent my vacation on a small island off the coast of Michigan. On that trip, we stayed at a luxury hotel that offered gourmet meals and many activities, because we spent most of our time lazing about the hotel, rather than exploring museums and monuments like we would have done if we were visiting a big city.

halloweenlover said...

Ahhh, Jill's point is a good one. I do agree. If I was on an island without much to do, I'd probably be willing to pay more. But on a touring vacation, I'd want to pay less. I just can't see myself ever paying for an uber-expensive hotel in a place like Paris, mainly because I'd keep thinking of all the things I could do or buy with that same money! : )

Rana said...

Jill has already touched on something I was thinking -- the attraction factor. Most times I've not found "luxury" hotels to be all that much more luxurious than the cheaper ones, largely because "luxury" means things like having an iron in the room, or a coffee pot, or an extra-large tv, and none of those things are of all that much interest to me. (The most genuinely luxurious small hotel I've ever stayed in, in Portland, OR, had huge fluffy beds, soft bathrobes, the opportunity to check out books and CDs, and was just simply beautiful -- and it was only $150 a night.)

So the expense/luxury of the accommodations is just not enough for me -- I want to be getting something else wonderful, like a great view or proximity to the scenic parts of town, or whatever. Since things like resorts often tend to be focused on activities that I find boring, I'd rather go cheap and interesting and have the money to spend on trinkets and side trips and crusty loaves of bread.

But then, I also like camping, and have stayed in some truly grotty places in the courses of my travels, so I'm rather inured to the non-luxurious side of travel. *grin*

Running2Ks said...

I love your tales of travel. And let me say, we'll do most anything when it is too hot out to think :)

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