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Old Habits are Hard to Break

July 8th, 2015 at 09:48 pm

I realized that old habits are hard to break. I find that even now traveling with our kids and getting older I'm reluctant to spend more on our hotels. I do spend more because I need a bigger room, but the the level of hotels aren't so much more expensive than when DH and I traveled solo.

The level of hotel I've come to realize is substantially lower than most of our friends. Most tell me then never spend less than $100 or $125+. They look for hotels with pools and location and name. I will admit based on our income we likely should be spending more on hotels. Our next hotel stay is $60 for America's Best Value Inn.

But at the same time where we stay makes it more palatable for us to drop extra cash on experiences. Recently because the hotels we were staying at were less than $100 we made up for it by doing a Niagara Falls boat tour, Whirlpool Aero Car Ride, and renting bikes at Mackinac Island. The bike rental was $100 for 3 hours.

But at the same time if we spent more I think I might really examine what "experiences" we want to do when we are traveling instead of just doing them.

Do you find you've changed the way you travel as you've gotten older? Or stayed the same?

I wonder if I'll ever feel comfortable just booking a hotel without considering costs? And yes I will admit to spending more but it was Manhattan and it can't be helped there. Our most recent NYC trip we spent $200/night in the financial district and it was a king size bed for all four of us.

I write this because my DH mentioned perhaaps we should consider upgrading and staying somewhere nicer. FWIW with one exception everywhere we've stayed has exceeded expectations.

8 Responses to “Old Habits are Hard to Break”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    My family has never upgraded their hotel quality (parents and us). We just need a place to sleep and don't tend to hang out in our hotels. I don't know that we will ever have any motivation to spend more. I am always surprised to people's reaction to our hotel choice. It's really no big deal to spend $30-$50 for a quiet and safe place to sleep. The world hasn't ended. Maybe we just don't know what we are missing out on, but I am fine with that. We don't travel much and so it's not a big deal. With something like a Motel 6 you always know what you are getting and it's always more than we need.

    We don't book hotels much any more because we can stay almost anywhere with in-laws' endless timeshare points. As to the timeshares, the quality can really vary widely between properties. The last place we stayed at was king of UGH. In the past we have also stayed at "meh", though most the properties are a little nicer than we are used to. But this is a wide variety of quality. If you stick to a Motel 6 or a Best western they are pretty much all the same.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    What you get at the higher end hotels in many cases is free breakfast, maybe free drinks and appetizers in the evening, upgraded furnishings and decor. If you stay during the week you might also get a US News and World Report. And then there is the pool and fitness rooms.

    We stayed at a $60 hotel(can't remember the name) our first night traveling East. (My husband did all the hotel planning in advance) It was fine for what we needed, but filthy! It's like it hadn't been vacuumed in months. The shower was a least clean. We were at a Drury Inn (very impressive) and a Holiday Inn (which had a kitchen we didn't need) and then an Extended Stay America (King bed and pull out sofa and another kitchen). I would say Holiday Inn Express (with free breakfast) do tend to be our hotel preference. So we probably do spend more on hotels than we need to.

  3. doingitallwrong Says:

    I'm into inexpensive-but-not-cheap hotels, like Super 8, Days Inn, or La Quinta (although sometimes I've found Days Inns to be on the higher end of inexpensive!). Holiday Inn Express is a kind-of-expensive-but-not-totally-unreasonable option. The place we stayed in Napa, at $350 a night, was a we-never-would-stay-here-if-it-wasn't-free kind of place. Wink

    That said, I do have limits. My husband travels a lot for bike races, often with 3-4 guys in a hotel room, and they do it as cheaply as they possibly can. He took me to one place where he'd stayed in the past when we just needed a place to crash overnight during a 2-day driving trip. It was total serial killer motel, and while it seemed clean enough, the furnishing and decor were from the '60s so who knows what all was ground into the carpets, wallpaper, etc. It was pretty cheap, I think maybe $30 for the night, but just beyond my comfort level. I'm perfectly happy to pay $20-30 more to feel clean and safe.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I only need a place to sleep when I travel, but I require cleanliness and safety, so I often end up paying more than the Super 8 price. I've had good luck with Country Inns & Suites and Hilton Garden Inn.

    When I go to conferences, they are always held at upscale hotels in big cities. It's fun, but I really don't need the perks. If I add a few vacation days to the conference, I always move to a cheaper hotel.

  5. Butterscotch Says:

    I have stayed at some $60 hotels that have been really dirty, and smelled like smoke. One time I slept on top of the comforter because I didn't think that the sheets in that room were going to be clean based on the rest of the room.

    That said, I have had $60 rooms that are just fine. But now that Im in my 30's with a kid, I find that I would rather not risk the $60 room and generally book for around $100-$150 depending on the city. For the money I am confident that I will have things like enough towels (not sandpaper ones, either!) wifi that works, remote controls that work, sinks and showers that actually drain the water.

    If something is wrong with a more expensive room I feel more comfortable contating the front desk to complain and get it fixed. If I am at a $60 hotel and the towels are crappy or the people next door are being too noisy, I can pick up the phone and expect them to care. At $60 a night I feel that my complains wouldn't be addressed because, well, you get what you pay for.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I'm the one paying for lodging, I look for the best deal I can find, that is also rated as fairly clean/safe. If I'm trying to decide between two places, and one has a free breakfast but is less than ten dollars more than the other one - I'll go with the free breakfast place. Smile
    My family always stayed in Motel 6 type places when we'd travel - at least until the second time my parents divorced. After that if we were with Mom ... it'd be fancy places. Motel 6 isn't all that cheap anymore though.

  7. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Nope Motel 6 aren't as cheap as they used to be. I use expedia, hotwire or priceline express deals since I can usually figure out the hotel before hand and save a few bucks.

    I agree about the free breakfast. I am pricing that at about $10 and that's if we aren't getting up and driving at 6 am.

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Yeah, the free breakfast doesn't do much good if you're on the road before it starts.

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