Janie Jones is jonesing for a getaway vacation at a “just right” resort. She even has a list of things that would make her trip picture perfect.
I’m pretty much a professional vacationer.
Lucky me, right?
It’s true. I’m very very blessed. I go on alot of trips. When I’m not ON a trip, I’m talking to other people about their trips. We talk about the differences between trips and try to choose a trip that will be a good fit.
One thing that comes up often is “What’s the difference between that expensive resort and the lower priced resort?” Some of the differences are quantifiable. (Like, for instance, one resort being on the beach and another not. Or, one resort having more restaurants than another resort.) Many of the differences, though, are much harder to explain.
So, on a recent trip I tried to take note of the differences. I made a whole list. As I reviewed it after the trip, I noticed a theme.
Basically, the differences between higher end and lower end resorts (or cruise lines) is that the lower end companies take extreme steps to protect themselves from tacky people.
A great example is the hanger in the picture at the top of this post. I learned while looking for this image that the round thing that goes around the pole in the closet (the part that doesn’t let you take the hanger out of the closet easily) is called a “captive hook”. I hate it when I am in a hotel room that has hangers like this. I’m not a hanger thief. I don’t feel like a welcomed guest if I am suspected of hanger thievery.
The same thing goes with a towel card. Listen, I don’t want your towel. I probably don’t have room in my suitcase anyway. Believe me, I was raised to know that it is unacceptable to steal the towels of my host.
Listen, when I’m paying to go to a place for my own enjoyment and relaxation, I want to feel welcomed and at home. I don’t want to feel like they’re watching me to make sure I don’t pocket the silver. I also don’t want to vacation around people who don’t know how to act. You don’t either.
Next time you’re making a decision about where you’ll spend you’re vacation, keep this in mind. There are differences in resorts beyond the ones you can easily measure. Take the word of a professional vacationer.
There is a group of people going on vacation. Maybe it’s a destination wedding. Maybe it’s just a group of friends. You don’t have someone to go with, so you’re looking into having a room to yourself. Ooh! That’s a little expensive!
Then you hear about another person who also is traveling alone. Perfect! You can share the room and share the cost. Seems like a match made in heaven. But, maybe not.
When you book a vacation with someone in your same booking and/or same room, you enter into a financial agreement with them. Each of you is affected by the actions of the other. If one of you cancels, the other is financially impacted. Not only that, but when you share a room you either have to be ready to make deposit at the same time, or if one books as a single and another joins the room later, the rate will be adjusted to whatever the rate is at the time the new person booked. Any price advantage the first person had for booking early is lost.
Then when you get to the destination, you’re stuck sharing a room with someone you don’t know all that well. You have to consider their preferences in the temperature of the room, the channel the TV is on, (or if it is on at all) not to mention your time to utilize the shower and other bathroom facilities.
Even with all of that risk and inconvenience, what have you saved? Probably less than $200.00. If you’re faced with the situation, at least consider your savings versus what you’re giving up.
I recently returned from a visit to Alaska. I lived there when I was younger and I loved it. On this trip I kept seeing things that I hadn’t thought about in years. There are so many unique things about living in Alaska, I decided to keep a list. I didn’t quite get pictures of all of them. So, here are things I had forgotten about living in the great state of Alaska. (In no particular order.)
The way an airplane comes in for a landing.
When you’re flying into Ted Stevens International Airport, you come in over water. The runway starts pretty close to the edge of the water. As you approach, you’re really close to landing before you see the welcome site of terra firma glide in under the airplane. If you’re not expecting it, it’s a little shocking.
Great Tap Water
I had forgotten how simply wonderful the tap water is in Anchorage.
In an Alaskan winter, you can’t generally wash your car because if you do, the locks will freeze. This means that from October until about April the grime just builds up on the cars.
Brightly Colored Houses
Most of the houses, in Anchorage at least, have wood siding. Because so much of the year is filled with white snow everywhere, the houses tend to be brightly colored.
Here in Texas, we have vents in the ceilings of our rooms that blow hot or cool air depending on the season. In Alaska (and maybe in some other cold areas too) the heat comes to each room via these baseboard heaters. Hot water runs through the pipes and it radiates into the rooms.
Newspaper Boxes Mounted on Mailboxes
As you can imagine, throwing a newspaper onto a snowy driveway or yard doesn’t make for very clear reading. Most homes have a separate plastic box mounted on the same pole as the mailbox. This is so that paper boy can put the paper right there and it will be protected from the elements.
The air is very very dry in Alaska. Homes have a large household humidifier. Many times each bedroom will have its own as well.
No Sales Tax
What a delight!
I am writing this from 36,000 feet above the western portion of the United States somewhere. Our first attempt to leave Dallas was thwarted by a malfunctioning hydraulic pump. We drove back from the runway to the gate and the maintenance men took over. The pump was promptly replaced and now we’re on our way. Our projected delay is about an hour and twenty minutes.
While I was sitting there waiting I was hearing passengers around me start to call family members, travel agents and the airline reservation center. Some people were getting upset and making disparaging remarks about the situation.
I do understand that people have plans, and meetings and connections. The fact is though, if you look at the situation rationally, that you want the airline to identify and correct mechanical delays prior to being sealed into a large metal tube miles above the surface of our planet. Right?
So, rather than getting upset, I suggest that you make whatever provision you need to make for the delay, open a book and enjoy the found time. Enjoy the few extra minutes of internet access. Call someone you’ve been meaning to call.
You might as well enjoy the time, because getting upset doesn’t make the situation any better for anyone