If you want to relax- make your home real nice or buy a camper, and don't eat out.....

GON

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If someone wants a vacation, they should make their home their vacation place or buy a camper of RV. Going out to dinner, flying, or staying in a hotel is most likely a big step down to what most people have at home.

I checked this morning, I have stayed in over 110 different hotels since 1 JAN 2021. Flew over 170 flight segments, and ate out while doing this. Most of us know flying is a free for all. More sane people at a Wal-mart at midnight on a Friday night than on a commercial flight. But what isn't talked about is the hotels and restaurants while away from home.

I stay at hotels primarily in the Marriott family. Occasional hotels in the Hilton and IHG families also. The market has shifted. The rooms are dirty, missing things, and often can't even flush the toilet. And this is at top branded hotels. The rooms next to my rooms are often people that seem like to act like they are at a Chuck E. Cheese. Don't think I had a sink drain in the past dozen stays.

Between people mistreating the room, and the management unable to maintain the room- it is not crazy. It is just reality. One doesn't even want to sleep on the sheets. And this from a guy who spent many nights just in a sleeping bag on the ground for the past 24 of 27 years (last three years I never slept on the ground- had a office job.

Eating out is just as bad. At Freddy's right now in South Carolina. I like Freddy's... a lot. Ordered the number five meal. One hamburger, one hot dog, and fries. I order plain so should be a easy order. Hot dog came in the bun unheated. I would say uncooked, but commercial hot dogs are cooked at the packaging plant. How can one forget to heat the hot dog before putting it in the bun.

With the above observation- the fix is simple. Build that great outdoor kitchen and patio, and pool, whatever and go out "at home". Make the wonderful family /great room. If you "jones" for traveling, get the RV/ camper. Control your destiny.
 
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Zee09

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The hotels have went down hill and I can't agree more. I don't care what big name places you stay at they are disappointing and far from what they once were.
Just a few months ago I stayed a bit longer in Florida and had to leave my house rental to a few hotels.
Just dreadful.
 
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The hotels have went down hill and I can't agree more. I don't care what big name places you stay at they are disappointing and far from what they once were.
The luxury chains? If I'm on the road I look for the cheapest of the cheap chains or maybe even an indy. Motel 6, Econolodge, Super 8, etc. Just need a place to sleep and a bathroom. Under $50 OTD or I keep driving to the next town.
 

Zee09

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The luxury chains? If I'm on the road I look for the cheapest of the cheap chains or maybe even an indy. Motel 6, Econolodge, Super 8, etc. Just need a place to sleep and a bathroom. Under $50 OTD or I keep driving to the next town.
Not a bad strategy as I used to do the same as you. I got older and said quit being cheap and in Northeastern Florida the luxury chains are not luxury anymore.
Go look at the star or # ratings.
In the end I checked into Best Western and it was far better. True.

Now in Palm Coast the Econo lodge is probably the nastiest joint i ever stayed in. Just disgusting...lol

The roaches even left because it was so bad.
 
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I pity the poor fool in the USA who randomly walks into any given restaurant expecting even halfway decent food. You feeling lucky?

Not saying there aren't better places to eat, but you have to know locally and NO - Yelp and that lot are not a great resource.
That's why we carry a travel guide (AA guides are good). A recommended restaurant is likely to be average or better.

And we often follow an old route for some part of a trip and know where to get a good room and a good meal.
 
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I stay at hotels primarily in the Marriott family. Occasional hotels in the Hilton and IHG families also. The market has shifted. The rooms are dirty, missing things, and often can't even flush the toilet. And this is at top branded hotels. The rooms next to my rooms are often people that seem like to act like they are at a Chuck E. Cheese. Don't think I had a sink drain in the past dozen stays.

Eating out is just as bad. At Freddy's right now in South Carolina. I like Freddy's... a lot. Ordered the number five meal. One hamburger, one hot dog, and fries. I order plain so should be a easy order. Hot dog came in the bun unheated. I was say uncooked, but commercial hot dogs are cooked at the packaging plant. How can one forget to heat the hot dog before putting it in the bun.
My wife ordered a number five yesterday (hotdog lived up to its name!) ☺️

We're headed to the UP pretty soon to stay a week, and I'll be curious to see what the hotel is like. We've traveled all across the country for the past decade or so, and have seen it all when it comes to hotels. Thankfully, I can only think of a few that were truly dreadful.

May your sinks drain quickly and your dogs be hot (y)
 
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Not a bad strategy as I used to do the same as you. I got older and said quit being cheap and in Northeastern Florida the luxury chains are not luxury anymore.
Go look at the star or # ratings.
Leaving Thursday for 2 nights on the road. Don't have an expense account like a big business, so every buck I save on a motel is a buck profit I keep. Will do a Google search a few days before for places along the route under $50. You have to read through the reviews, both good and bad to get the full picture.
 

Zee09

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Leaving Thursday for 2 nights on the road. Don't have an expense account like a big business, so every buck I save on a motel is a buck profit I keep. Will do a Google search a few days before for places along the route under $50. You have to read through the reviews, both good and bad to get the full picture.
Agreed
Like you I am self employed and money mattered. No free rides.
Good Luck
That Econolodge tricked me because outside it was top notch.
Looked like new. Inside an old dump.
 
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At the moment restaurants are winner takes all. The high quality, consistent ones are doing businesses like there's no tomorrow. Basically they would decline our order because they are way too busy kind of busy. Quality is still good, and they are worth it, taste is still genuine (Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, etc), they are not selling decoration or brand name though.

The industry is going through a shake up right now. MBAs run restaurants are going to have a tough time competing with chefs run restaurants.

Hotel wise, last Aug we went on a short road trip and we picked one of the better one (just a Best Western), that are not the cheapest but have good review from recent travelers. It is as expected on quality (no surprise nothing fancy), and they provide bagged breakfast you take out to your room to eat. I think I paid $130 or so when the lowest motel is probably $70, I'm happy I pay that so I don't have to deal with an upset wife. I learned a long time ago that it is wise to pay enough to avoid the lowest end places, and the lowest end customers that also go there.
 

01rangerxl

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I pity the poor fool in the USA who randomly walks into any given restaurant expecting even halfway decent food. You feeling lucky?

Not saying there aren't better places to eat, but you have to know locally and NO - Yelp and that lot are not a great resource.
It's crazy how variable restaurant food quality has become. Maybe I'm seeing things through rose colored glasses, but I think takeout/eating out was a lot better 10 years ago. Granted I lived in a different city then, but visited the one I live in now, and I really feel with the exception of taco trucks, takeout quality is down, especially at chains. My favorite places now are taco trucks. Nobody else seems to know how to cook chicken anymore.
 
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If someone wants a vacation, they should make their home their vacation place or buy a camper of RV.
I'll put up with the airlines, and hotels to experience an epic location.

I do try my best to stay at 5 star hotels, rent a luxury car and fly at least business class when on vaca. It makes a huge difference.
 
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A Barrier Island
I hate to eat out and do it only when forced to. I enjoy cooking and over the decades have become pretty good at it. Nobody at my house complains. Other than my own cooking I recall during my military years, chow halls were universally good places to sit down to a nice meal.

Good food and great camaraderie.
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Texas Hill Country
It's funny when we were younger, it was a treat to fly somewhere, stay in a hotel, etc..

Now we really hate hotels. I have had all the same issues as the OP, and we stay at 3-4 star hotels. Service is even worse. Everyone using the pandemic excuse to not clean rooms in between nights, I feel like I'm at a extended stay motel making my own bed, and exchanging towels.

This was at a 4 star hotel on St Charles in New Orleans also, and a downtown property in Miami.

Our best stay this year was a 2 star Comfort Suites, because it was a brand new hotel, nothing messed up yet.

Domestic air travel, even worse. Flight attendants treat people like dogs, yelling and making rude comments. Poor service, lack of food on flight.
 
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