This post is the archived history of the term “Vendoming”. I’m proud to have introduced Vendoming into the Hobby’s vocabulary. I hope you find the backstory useful.
Now that Family Travel for Real Life is a reality, I wanted to take a minute to formally thank all of you. The Early Bird tickets sold out and I actually had more speakers volunteer than time for them all.
Many blogs (ranging from small to giant) have helped promote FT4RL on their own volition. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the support for proof of concept. The speakers (Shawn, Jason, Phil, Susan, and Debbie) also have been SO generous and deserve special recognition as well. Like a snowball rolling downhill, FT4RL has picked up speed and continues to do so.
The term “Vendomed” has picked up speed as well. I put it out there as an aside on Travel Blogger Buzz 2 months ago, defining it as “overplayed entitled arrogance”. Referring to the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris, I coined the term in frustration at yet ANOTHER points blogger referring to the property as the end all be all hotel in the entire world, in this case specifically for families (with which I whole-heartedly disagree).
(Aside: #1 hotel with the exception of the Park Hyatt Maldives, which is another pet peeve as it costs a $470 PER PERSON seaplane ride just from the airport to the hotel! Angelina at JAPT did the most balanced review I’ve seen.)
Since May I’ve seen “Vendoming” in no fewer than 4 blog posts, most recently on Miles for Family where it has generated a really interesting discussion. As the coiner of the term, I thought some background (both on me and where the term comes from) would be helpful.
My first Frequent Flyer event was in Chicago in October 2012. I was thrilled to meet my “idols” in the blogging community (update: LOL). However, I immediately noticed that as a Mom who didn’t require first class every time and didn’t want to open 15 credit cards most of the seminars left me cold. Ditto FTU in April 2013, and Chicago again in October 2013. Only one seminar (out of 15-ish) was tailored for families at each event, and it was the same speaker! All three times I searched for (and found) many others in the same boat, and all three times, I approached the organizers asking for more family- and budget- friendly content. (Note that I did not ask for MY content, just ANY content).
Anytime one voice owns the title of “the voice”, it’s going to be a trap as well as a gift. Diversity of opinion is best for everyone, and it’s how we all learn. That’s why “Vendoming” bothers me so much. It presents a hotel that’s clearly not great for families larger than 3 (due to room size compared to cost) as the best option. It’s the same as telling a family of 4 they need 600k+ points for a week long trip to Paris. I heard that at least year’s Chicago Seminar “Family” session: (4x100K for business class tickets, 30k a night x7 for the Vendome). With “advice” like that we (as a community) do a dis-service to people who are just trying to travel more with their kids.
(Edited to Add)
But the point of Vendoming is NOT the Vendome! The point is recommending the Maldives or Samui instead of ANY other SEA beach. (I like Hua Hin or Ko Samet.) It’s the Park Hyatt Milan at 30 K over ANY other hotel in Italy. (Is Milan even on the top 3 cities in Italy to visit if not for the hotel?). It’s the Andaz 5th as the best hotel in NYC. (I’m a Hyatt girl too, but what about the Union Square or (gasp!) the Hyatt Place Midtown?).
Travel is no longer travel when it’s a “points bloggers circuit”. THAT’s what Vendoming is all about, and rejection of the circuit is what’s gaining momentum.
I’m thrilled to see more voices at the table, and thrilled to present other options. But this needs to be said, loud and clear:
There is nothing wrong with spending 600K+ miles to get to Paris for a week at the Vendome if that’s what you want to do. I’m not ANTI-Anything, I am PRO options.
More voices are a blessing, not a curse.
I’m curious to get your take in the comments.