In the travel blogging world, there are two main travel styles that are very noticeable – luxury travel and budget travel. I’m neither and if I have to brand my travel style, I’d call it… the in-between travel style? Lol. I don’t have a good word for it so maybe you’d be able to help me find the correct term.
So what’s my travel style?
Let’s talk about accommodation first because that’s probably the main criteria for you to identify yourself if you’re a luxury or a budget traveler. I don’t seek out luxury accommodations and I definitely steer myself away from luxury hotel chains. On the other hand, I have never set foot in a hostel before not because I’m too fancy for it but mainly because I’m a light sleeper and I just can’t have sleepless nights during my holidays while I share a room with 2 (or more) other people.
If I’m staying for just a night…
I don’t mind staying in small, budget, chain hotels like Ibis and Novotel. I’ve tried and tested these chains – most of them are centrally located, clean and provides your basic needs for a single night. Rooms may be small but who cares when you’re leaving the next day anyway?
If I’m staying for two or more nights…
I like staying in boutique hotels – something unique and comfortable but shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I just can’t justify paying so much money for a room that I won’t be able to spend time in until the day ends. I also love staying in small, family-run hotels because it makes me feel like I’m helping local people by doing so.
When it comes to staying in destinations where you will have no other way but to stay in the resort, I definitely would want to have a bit of luxury because then, I’ll be able to maximize my time and be able to use all the facilities the resort offers – but I still stay away from big hotel chains.
I have nothing against big hotel chains, I just feel like once you’ve seen or stayed in one, it’s the same everywhere else. There’s no uniqueness nor character. Being a travel agent, I have stayed mostly in luxury chain accommodations on business trips and while I don’t really hate it, I just feel like it’s all the same wherever you go and you somehow lose the local’s touch of the destination you’re in when you stay in these kinds of accommodations.
My favorite hotel stays were Chalet Hotel Le Prieure in Chamonix, France because of its amazing view, Omni Homestead in Virginia, USA because of all the activities it offers, Fosse Farmhouse in Castle Combe, England because of its coziness and it’s also my first bed and breakfast experience, 3 Sixty Hotel in Nafplio, Greece because it’s probably the most beautiful boutique hotel I’ve ever stayed in and lastly, Kinsterna Hotel in Monemvasia, Greece because it’s simply perfect! So as you can tell, it is a combination of luxury, boutique and family-run bed and breakfasts – a mix of everything.
I am not a big city girl, not a big fan of New York, Hong Kong and not even Dubai where I lived for 7 years. I do love European cities though mainly because of its architecture and history. Having said that, I like visiting places which is rich in history and culture – I’m a sucker for old and Medieval towns or ancient ruins, I also love walking along cobblestone streets with beautiful old style architecture surrounding me.
I love being in nature as well, being surrounded by beautiful and scenic landscapes of rolling hills, high mountains or a beautiful beach. Basically, I would enjoy any destination as long as it’s not all steel, high rise buildings that I’ll see.
I like taking walking tours specially when I visit a historical place. I have a fascination in learning the stories behind a place I’m visiting, it makes it more interesting and in my eyes, history makes a place more beautiful.
I’m not into outdoor activities and I’m also afraid of heights, but I will for sure climb a mountain if there’s a promise of a great view at the top. I have climbed Sigiriya Rock Fortress in Sri Lanka which I think is the most ambitious feat in all of my travels and while I didn’t enjoy it at the time, I do feel proud for being able to do it. I won’t do it again though, not even if you pay me.
I believe that food and travel goes together, if you’re going to visit a place but not try their local food then you might as well just stay where you are unless it’s because of health or medical reasons. Food is highly influenced by the location and culture so trying out the local cuisine gives you a complete experience of the place you’re visiting. I never ever go to Mc Donald’s when I’m traveling, unless there’s no other choice or if I’m in the airport (because Mc Donald’s and airports blend well together, at least for me lol).
I went on a business trip to Venice a few years ago and my colleagues wanted to go to Hard Rock Cafe, I mean seriously? There were so many trattorias, osterias and tavernas around where we were staying, why would anyone want to go to Hard Rock Cafe in Venice? I despised the group I was traveling with after that and steered myself away from them for the rest of the trip. I don’t mind eating alone as long as it’s not a Hard Rock Cafe. :p
The Greek Mister loves to drive and by that I mean, he loves driving so much that he will do it for 6 hours straight without ever complaining. Which is a good thing for me because I hate plane rides. When I first traveled solo in Europe, I preferred taking trains and buses to go from one place to another. Although it’s a longer way to travel, you get to see local scenery along the way and I am easily entertained by it.
LENGTH OF STAY
I used to travel in a rush wanting to see as many cities as possible in one go but now, I tend to stay longer – 3 nights minimum. Maybe it comes with age, I get tired just by thinking of moving around daily or maybe because I have matured. Maybe I realized now that I don’t really get to experience a place if I spend only a night in it. Gone are the days when I just want to go to the main tourist sites of a place I’m visiting to take a selfie with it, I rarely ever take a selfie now and I actually do enjoy exploring a place without rushing.
Having said that, I stopped counting countries I’ve visited because for me, it doesn’t mean anything. You might have visited a country once but how many days did you actually stay there? Were you able to explore it? Were you able to learn anything out of it? Or is it for just a mere 3 days and you’ve already scratched that off your bucket list? I don’t think there’s a point of country or even city counting because I tend to re-visit places I’ve been to before mainly because there’s always a reason to, in fact I never run out of reasons to go back to a place I’ve been to before.
My first Paris visit was a disaster, I hated it but it’s because I had a different Paris in my mind. I thought it would be perfect as how it’s portrayed in movies and tv shows. I didn’t realize that Paris is just like any other cities in the world, it’s beautiful but not perfect. So I told myself that I won’t let that first trip ruin my Parisian experience for me, I went back 3 years after my first visit and stayed for a week. I loved it the second time around because I embraced its imperfections so I was able to like it more. And to be honest, I’d go back there in a heartbeat as it has easily become one of my favorite cities in the world.
We all have different travel styles, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. It all depends on what you want and what you enjoy, you’re paying for it after all so might as well do it your way. What would you call your travel style then? I think I’d call mine simply as, MY style. :p