I live in hotels. I really do. I spend, probably, 1/3 of my year of the road and at least 6 weeks in hotels. Yay. I get tired of hotels, I don’t give a damn how nice they are. For our honeymoon, I had a few money saving ideas. First of all, off season. Secondly, and most important, we would stay with ANYONE WE KNEW. This meant, we have to go places where we know people!
Luckily, I know lots of people and several in Europe. I want to take Jonathan to Italy, he has never been and I have been twice. Handily enough, I know a woman who owns three, yes, THREE properties in Europe. One is an olive oil farm, so we can see olive oil being made. One is a…village…or manor house in Tuscany? And the third is a flat in Venice. So, three places down. We may stop in France, and hang out in the Pyrenees at another friends cottage…check.
Yes, part of this is saving money, but part of it is I travel. A LOT. And I do not consider myself the usual tourist. I travel smart, like a local, I travel alone, I figure things out. I am not a ‘package deal’ kind of person. I watch, read, find out where I want to go and how to get there. It is always an adventure!
Case in point, went to Spain, but I wanted to see Andalucia. So I got on a place from London Stanstead and took good ol’ Ryan Air to Jerez de la Fronterra. Where? EXACTLY. A tiny town (where Sherry is made) in the middle of friggin’ nowhere Spain. No one spoke English (I took French in high school and college). Thanks ok! I have a guidebook and hand gestures! I stayed in a youth hostel further in the middle of nowhere, go tlost on a bus, made it to Seville, finally, got lost finding my hostel…you get the picture. So the idea of using AirBnB, iStopOver, and Crashpadder is the best idea ever! I totally dig it! We can stay even more places! And I do not mind, AT ALL, staying with someone. Hey, I used Couchsurfing for MONTHS in Europe and had several people over to my house!
Although Martha Stewart Weddings and I probably rarely think the same, this is the one time when we do.