Five Simple Ways To Actually Enjoy Your Vacation: Part 2.

So you’ve decide to a flying leap off the treadmill that has become your daily routine and embark on an adventure. Good for you!

Now you just have to pay for the thing.

If I was David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber, I could provide you with some sound financial advice that would allow you to budget your trip effectively and avoid hearing the monthly howl of the financial wolf at your door in the months that follow your journey.

But David Chilton has sold over two million books and I’ve sold… Well, let’s just say I’ve sold considerably less and leave it at that, okay? However, I can tell you this: when it comes to paying for your trip you need to..


I’m not referring to the Simon Cowell American Idol rip-off, I’m referring to the seemingly-endless list of extra costs that most people refuse to acknowledge during their planning process. Of course, most people don’t even plan their trip at all, they simply fly by the seat of their Walmart-brand-pants and hope for the best.

And then they raise their arms in disbelief when their trip goes off the rails.

Listen up, folks… When traveling, especially with kids, you have to accept that the Modern World is actually too expensive for the Modern Citizen to live in! Here is a simple rule that should help you survive your journey:


The word “overkill” is flashing in your noggin right now, right? Well, trust me, if I could have used LARGER type, I would have! By the time your trip is over your wallet/purse is going to have been opened more than a… Well, I can’t think of a “clean” analogy. Let’s just look at some of the expenses most people refuse to acknowledge while vacationing…


 1)  Parking charges/gratuities for the valet drivers: Once upon a long ago, it was unheard of for hotels to charge their guests to park their vehicles; now the term “Free Parking” is akin to the term “Free Lunch”.

And if you think it’s a wise idea to stiff the guy that will be driving your car, consider this: it’s safe to say that your vehicle’s value exceeds the five bucks your valet driver is expecting, right? But if you want to enrage an underpaid, under-appreciated hotel employee and inspire him to re-enact the valet driver scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, be my guest…


2)  Food: Every day I unload plastic shopping bags (way to save the planet, people!), filled with cookies, bread (but strangely, no butter!), fruit snacks – that never contain actual fruit – and various items meant to stand-in for real food.

People think they can feed their kids garage and thus save on the cost of dining out. HELLO! You’re away from home! EVERY… SINGLE… MEAL is considered “dining out”!


3)  Luggage: Most people think a cloth shopping bag is a suitable substitute for a suitcase. It is not. The same goes for a laundry basket, a Rubbermaid tote or a garbage bag.

It all comes down to the all-mighty dollar – again; people don’t want to spend the money, so they cut corners. But that just leads to a big pile of crap that someone has to lug through the lobby – I’ll happily do it, but you won’t like waiting for me to sort through it all as you load/unload – so do both of us a favor and wait for a sale or borrow a suitcase or two.

Put a few dollars away every week if necessary, but purchase the proper tools and you’ll avoid that shock people experience when they arrive at a hotel, pop the trunk and take a good long look at a huge pile of junk that they have to transport to the room.


The list goes on, but I think I’ve made my point. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if you truly can’t afford to travel, then don’t! Find a budget system that works, muster your willpower and save your pennies (I can’t say that for much longer, can I?) and you’ll be happier for the effort.

There is nothing worse than spending a year staring at a credit card bill and remembering that lousy vacation you took, the one you’re still paying off…

See you in the lobby, kids…


About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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17 Responses to Five Simple Ways To Actually Enjoy Your Vacation: Part 2.

  1. Laundry baskets? Garbage bags? Really? I have missed so much. We only see so much in the restaurant world.

  2. List of X says:

    I couldn’t possibly enjoy a vacation if I knew it was expensive, and that usually means avoiding places that even have valets or bellmen. (For example, when i did stay in NF, twice it was a motel and once it was a hostel (although a pretty nice one). Which also means I don’t have to worry about someone dinging my car or a bellman judging my luggage. 🙂 (and no, there are no trash bags or laundry baskets in it, either. )

  3. curvyroads says:

    Seriously, I have a friend, who will remain nameless, who travels with those plastic grocery bags as luggage. A highly paid, professional woman. Go figure…

  4. The Cutter says:

    I sometimes fall into the trap of underestimating the additional costs of vacation. Don’t worry, I totally make up for it by stiffing the bellhops and other service workers.

  5. Doug in Oakland says:

    Overkill, FYI, is not only a Motorhead song, but is emblazoned on one of the Motorhead branded vibrators they are apparently now in the business of selling…

  6. 50g says:

    All sound pieces advices, Rob. But in the same time, if everyone listened to you and stayed home to save money, the hotel would be desert and you’d have to find another job 😉 Or maybe you’d only have the wealthy, who probably can be even more PITA’s that the average person…

    One comment though, It would be nice if hotels had a little sign somewhere saying how much a gratuities to the bellman, the doorman, the elevatorman, and the rest of the “tribe” should be… at least at restaurants, hairdressers, etc… it’s easy to calculate 15%… but for you guys, 15% of what? is 1 buck ridiculous? is 5 or 10 too much?

    Obviously, if you are as funny in real life as you’re here “behind the stage”, you’d easily earn 10 bucks from me for the fun – and I’d obviously buy your book, that you’d generously advertise on the way to the elevator. But then giving a friend 10 bucks also sounds ridiculous 😉

    On the other side, we feel compelled to give 10% or more to waiters when their service is sometimes pretty poor… Life seems quite unjust with people working in hotels – unless you’re a barman I guess.

  7. If you don’t have the money…… stay home!

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