I’m traveling again, it seems like forever since we have done this, and it is fantastic! As I walked into this latest hotel room, the Radisson Blu Madrid Prado, I had the same thought strike me again – how does this stack up against my home? It is especially relevant now as I am wrapping up the renovation work, and have spent the last month or so thinking of, and implementing new designs in the house.
For what its worth – the bathroom here is way better, because we haven’t got to that yet, and the bedroom is kinda close. Though we do have fancier art if it ever makes it out of storage. A reason that this thought always grabs me is primarily that I am a value driven home owner. As a renter, I would look at any hotel as a well much appreciated ‘upgrade’ on my current digs – but when I started owning property I realized that every penny that I waste on a hotel room I can’t enjoy in my Home. Despite this knowledge I find myself often trapped in a paradox. I still find myself being ‘cheap’ on some items, such as a HDTV, and willing to settle for a 55 inch 1080p rather than a 80 inch 4K, but willing to splurge on ‘travel’. A corollary might be that I rarely buy Rib Eye steak at $16.99 a lb in the store, but I will gladly pay $20 for a strip steak in a restaurant.
I know a common response is that ‘experiences change you’ and that you must consider the long term value of the power of travel. You don’t need to convince me of that as I have been on the move since birth! However, I think that wherever there is a pure thought – such as the power of travel, people will tack on other junk and hope to brush it off with the same excuse.
Ultimately, both the home, and the hotel have the same intrinsic shelter need. Anything above which can be considered a luxury, although some luxuries come with real value. Location is clearly one – both Hotels and Homes that are closely located to where you need to be save you time, which means you can do more, more easily and also save money on transportation. I too am a believer that investing in luxuries that ‘put your head in the right place’ are clearly worth it – if you need certain things to feel right, then you should consider them valuable. I explore this in my post Contrarianism.
However, there perhaps comes a time when we rely on the ‘fluff’ that is above shelter need too heavily. Perhaps in the same way that we might rely on a glass of wine more than we once did. We’ll never really know when this has happened, but it does to many, including myself. I think that a great reset button is the home. Look at it, see how it feels, if it doesn’t stack up to the hotels you stay at make changes. Once you start, you might move beyond the fixtures and fittings and improve the more intangible things.
Hotels and travel can be a way to open up the soul to the world, and equally they can be a way to hide from what world you have built from yourself. If your hotel room is that much nicer than home, you might want to stop and think about re-evaluating your priorities.
“If your hotel room is that much nicer than home, you might want to stop and think about re-evaluating your priorities.” Amen!
When I see other bloggers and folks in this hacking community gushing over the fancy bathroom and the amenities, the welcome gift and the upgrade, I can’t help but wonder whether they live in apartments or houses that do not match up in any way to where they stay “for free” through travel hacking. I realize I am fortunate to live in an affordable city and to be in a stage of my life where my home is comfortable. Still, how important is that fancy soap really?
It is easier to understand why some travelers want to sit up front – we’re flying a redeye cross country on Tuesday and I paid extra points to go First even though I know it is nothing compared to sitting up front on some international airlines. But we want to travel a little more comfortably and hope to get some sleep, so the extra points were worth it. But we tend to stretch the points when it comes to hotels. As you say, basically a hotel room provides us shelter and we can enjoy granite counter tops and our favorite snacks at home.
I actually threw in the ‘as a home owner’ as Im speculating many who are living the Vendome dream don’t own and therefore don’t think about saving/building equity in the same way. A real leap there- but its a gut feeling.