Being in the travel industry all my life has given me access to many different styles of lodgings. From large all-inclusive resorts to small family owned boutique style hotels and everything in between. Although I did draw a line at tents… camping is not for me!
Making the right choice is important for a successful holiday and so it is a good idea to read between the lines of the reviews and websites. As with everything in life, budgets are a consideration and value for money is important.
“All inclusive” deals are popular with families and can offer good value if you are happy to stay within the hotel environment. Meals are usually buffet style with drinks included although many places also offer a selection of restaurants within the complex to give you more variety. Activities and entertainments will keep everyone happy and you will find lots of amenities on offer, swimming pools, spa and gym and on site shopping.
But all this comes at a price and is not for everyone. The resorts can be very big and cater for large numbers of people meaning congestion and queues at busy times. It can also mean you forgo the chance to explore your surroundings outside the complex as it’s just too easy to stay put.
My personal preference is for small family run hotels, inns, B&B’s and guest houses, and over the years I have found quite a few both in Europe and the USA. You get the chance to meet the owners and lasting friendships can be made. Many just offer breakfast but this is usually quite a feast in a privately owned establishment.
I particularly recall being served an old family recipe when staying in Florida, a sort of “all in one” baked breakfast of sausage, egg, and bacon and lots more!
On a trip to the south of France we had the option of a memorable home cooked evening meal which was fabulous, but on the whole I enjoy eating out and my hosts are full of great recommendations.
The cheaper motels and hotel chains come into their own for road trips and most offer clean and simple accommodation, sometimes with a basic breakfast thrown in.
My husband and I enjoyed a trip around Georgia USA where we vied with each other to find the lowest nightly rate by calling in around 5 pm to motels and asking for the “best price,” rather than booking ahead. A risky business, but it worked for us.
Finally camping and caravanning is great value especially for families and I have many friends who have the bug. Personally I like the comforts of a bed and bathroom especially now I am older. But maybe I should give it a try…
What kind of accommodation to you prefer these days? Do you like to stay at hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, camping sites or somewhere else? Have you found that your accommodation choices have changed now that you are a little older? Please join the conversation.