Now, what do you really look for while traveling to new places? Answers may range from excitement, adventure to solace and serenity. Very few are going to vouch for “comfort”, and astonishingly enough, that’s the first element everyone looks for! Spending days in a luxurious hotel with extravagance may not be very feasible for everyone. But spending the trip comfortably is definitely quintessential to simply enjoy the trip to the fullest. Talking of luxury and extravagance, the Five-Star hotels primarily ride on the backs of wealthy customers willing to shell out a good amount (a very good amount) during their stay clearly able to afford a bomb. Celebrities in the form of film stars, sports stars, politicians and the likes usually prefer camping at such places since a Five-Star hotel undoubtedly provides top-notch security and privacy which lesser capable places do not provide.
The exclusiveness of such grand places comes at a hefty price, hence for a cost-effective stay; one always doesn’t need to end up broke. In bigger cities with better and superior facilities, the Five-Star hotels are definitely not the last word. Three-Star hotels and hotels with a lesser grading can also fit the bill of “comfort” for many. Instead of spending more than half of the money saved up for the trip, paying for hotel rooms in J. W. Marriott, The Taj, Leela Palace and the likes, one may choose to put up at a guest house or lodge which provides clean beds, good bathrooms, efficient room service and also tends to other ancillary needs of their customers at affordable and reasonable prices thereby qualifying as a smarter choice over other exorbitantly priced inns and hotels. It’s important to remember the purpose of the visit while on a trip and not go overboard spending thousands on just the stay. Abiding by the decided budget is a smart thing to do, and finding proper accommodation within a fixed range is mandatory. Exceeding the limits are characteristic of an unwise traveler because the wise one will always choose to spend a good amount on eating and shopping when in a new place.
Let me elaborate with an example. While on a trip to the commercial capital of India – Mumbai, during the peak season of Diwali, Mr. Sen decides to spend a comfortable week exploring the city during the festive season, and also take back mementos for his family in Lucknow. His budget for a 3 days stay in Mumbai is an odd Rs. 18,000 inclusive of food, stay, travel within the city and shopping. He checks up with Hotel J. W. Marriott and finds out that the tariff is nothing less than Rs. 13000 per room per day. Ouch!
He moves on and checks up with Hotel Transit on Nehru Road, a decent Three-Star and is happy to know that his stay in the hotel, per day would not cost him more than Rs. 3600 and thus he did not have to worry about exceeding his budget! With proper rooms, brilliant location (since the hotel is very close to the domestic airport) and prompt service received at a minimal cost, he could easily purchase beautiful gifts, eat Maharashtrian delicacies and explore Mumbai to his heart’s content while not having to outdo his resources.
Taking a leaf out of Mr. Sen’s tour diary, one should always learn to travel wisely and comfortably, not unreasonably.
Contributed by Arshia Dhar