AboutHome Exchange

Hey, you two. Get a room! How we choose our lodging

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Actually, we do behave…

Our PDAs (Public Displays of Affection) include a lot of hand holding, sweet kisses, smiles, and “I really like you, but you’re making me crazy” looks.

It’s likely that onlookers assume we’re on our honeymoon or having an affair, since many believe that married couples don’t usually like each other so much. Pish posh!




So, when we “Get a Room”, what lodging attracts us?

Well, there are quite a few styles that make us happy and it really depends on the situation. We prefer charm, character and local flavor over standardization, but there are places where the comforts of a known property are welcome. We enjoy luxury, especially when we have the time to stay in one place and enjoy it. Sleeping on the ground isn’t for us anymore, so no tents and we’ve never stayed in a hostel. Basics that are important to us: comfort, cleanliness, non-smoking, safety, value, nice staff, and great internet (essential for working anywhere in the world!) Bonus points for décor / charm (she), a nearby golf course (he), a nice view, breakfast included and proximity to cool stuff.

Sheila says: If we were designing the room, there would always be a nightstand on both sides of the bed and several, easily accessible power outlets.

Styles of lodging that catch our eye

Bed and Breakfasts: If there’s a bed-n-breakfast (BnB) on our path, we’ll often choose that over a hotel, especially if we’re arriving early enough to enjoy it. Usually the hearts and personalities running BnBs are lovely to meet.

Sailboat cabins: We love bareboat sailing trips and can tolerate the tiny cabins (we spend very little time in them). The layout of each boat varies and we do have preferences like having a shower door rather than soaking the loo and floor, but we don’t usually have a choice about little details. British Virgin Islands, Greece, Belize, French Polynesia and Thailand, so far –  St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Caribbean in 2016, then The Whitsundays, Australia 2017.

Houseboats at Lake Powell and SCUBA diving live-aboard boats in Thailand.

Cruise ship cabins: we usually opt for the best deal with a window or balcony. Caribbean cruise story!

Castles, Boutique Hotels, and Dive Resorts: Of course! Bucket List – Underwater Hotels!

Home Exchanges: We enjoy swapping our home for the home of other families in wonderful locations. Scotland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Iceland, England, Oregon, Florida and California, so far.

Hotels: We choose mid-range hotels with good value. Marriott, Best Western, Hilton, but if we’re going to be somewhere for longer we opt for a mini kitchen or at least a fridge and microwave. It’s nice to have the option to stay in after a full day of fun.

Overwater bungalows: Whether simple or luxurious, these are magic, especially for a mermaid.

Treehouses: Who doesn’t want to stay in a treehouse?! We haven’t yet, although our room at Vanira Lodge in Tahiti sure felt like one.

Rifugios, yurts, log cabins, safari tents: When in Rome…or Italy or Africa or an elephant rescue sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

All-inclusive resorts, especially ultra peaceful adult-only escapes, like Punta Serena, MX.

…and even re-purposed horse barns like the charming La Cour des Nobles in Riquewihr, France and the ruggedly adapted shipping container hotel in KirkjubæjarklausturIceland.

We enjoy planning a trip around a visit with friends and family and love having guests in our home in Colorado.

Tom says: Research usually saves us time, money, and disappointment. But even when the accommodations don’t measure up to our expectations, we adjust and make do. After all, we still have each other.

A couple things that will ruin a room for us:

  • Odor, but not the ones you might expect. Heavy perfumes (liquid plug-ins), cleaning products and cigarette smoke give Sheila an intense headache.
  • A wimpy shower.
  • Itchy linens/towels – too much harsh cleanser.

Sheila says: I’m going to look into more places that are allergy-free / chemical free either for sensitive guests or in order to be “green”.  Having an intense headache or red/itchy skin doesn’t make me feel romantic. Your suggestions are appreciated!

Where are you going next? Check out your lodging options, prices and reviews on TripAdvisor!

? What matters to you? What features do you enjoy when you get a room?


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