Saturday, 30 March 2013


Yesterday did not go as planned. It's not a bad thing; it's just a thing. Some days you do what you plan, others you do what happens. We started out sleeping in a bit, and in the push to pack I forgot to write my blog. While having breakfast I did something I almost never do - I pre-booked a hotel using Hotwire and choose the "secret deal". Big mistake.

We planned on going to Reno. My thought was that we would spend an easy afternoon there, sitting by a pool and drinking Margaritas, or some such silly beverage. My thought was that pre-booking would save me money. My thought was "how bad can it be".

So I clicked yes and ended up with a bad hotel and a price that was apparently no real deal. Hotwire promoted their selection by listing a bunch of similar hotels, many of them brands at which I had stayed. Instead of reading "Stay at hotels like these", the advertising line should have read "Here is a list of hotels that you definitely will not be staying at." After paying $60 for a hotel in Reno, something I now realize I could have done anywhere in that city, I got the aging Sands Regency.

My "secret pick" was a not-so-secret older hotel badly in need of renovations. The reviews online on sites like Trip Advisor and were almost universally bad. All, to a one, said the hotel was old, smokey and badly in need of renovations. When we got to the hotel we discovered that these kinds of reservations were non-refundable. When I checked online, sure enough the Hotwire site said "no refunds or changes".

So I thought for a moment, then I realized that I didn't want to stay at a smokey hotel with a crappy casino - I am not a casino fan, after all. Ricky didn't even want to stay in Reno! He wanted to spend the afternoon driving, to spend more time on the road. After all, it's a road trip, not a hotel trip. So we drove on.

What about the $60? For the rest of my life, whether it be short or shorter, I will never trade my comfort or peace of mind for a few measly dollars. I've had enough situations in my marriage where the fight over the money took all the joy out of something, enough situations where not spending the money was more important than comfort or enjoyment. I did my struggling, scrimping, living on the low end. From now on, I will simply spend the money. I can't spend it from the grave. And after all, I spend more than that on a good dinner.

I guess I may miss on the budget line this trip. Priorities change when you are in my situation.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Rick, you need to enjoy your surroundings.