Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Home Away From Home

I am a Cancer,

"Emotion runs strong for this sign, and when it comes to family and home, nothing is more important."


These souls need a retreat, some place where they can step out of the spotlight and recharge their batteries. They are finicky and tend to be claustrophobic..."

SEE! That astrology website has confirmed my self-diagnosed claustrophobia. I feel so much better!

Since I love to travel so much, "home" is often a hotel. I LOVE hotels, and the older I get, the fancier they have to be. Well, not fancier necessarily, but clean, chic, well-located, and with bathrobes and preferably a sexy concierge. I have friends who, while traveling, couldn't care less about the hotel, and would rather save the money or spend it on a meal or shopping or whatever. I, on the other hand, HAVE to have a nice, cushy home base.

Finding cushy home base involves a bit of work.

1. TripAdvisor - I start here. Usually the #1 hotel is an outrageously expensive property whose cost I cannot justify, even if I try really hard.* So I continue scrolling down until I get to one that I can realistically afford.

2. I go to travel booking sites: Booking, Expedia, Travelocity, Splendia, etc. and look up several of the TripAdvisor-rated properties, for a good compare/contrast.

3. I make a list of the selling-points for my top choices: bathrobes? breakfast included? swimming pool? rooftop swimming pool? sexy concierge? (they really should list this under "amenities")

4. I then narrow down my choices to the Top 3 or so, and visit the actual hotels' websites.

5. I commit to a hotel, and make the reservation.

6. I go back to TripAdvisor and read all the positive reviews for my chosen hotel - I skip the negative ones.

This process can take hours, but it's hours of non-stop fun for me. I have no idea why. I also really enjoy balancing my checkbook.

*For my birthday this year, I'm splurging (don't tell Suze Orman, she'll just yell at me), and staying one night at the Covent Garden Hotel in London.

My justification is "Turning 40".