The Luxury vs. Budget Debate

There seems to be a general attitude amongst some travellers, that if you enjoy staying in luxury accommodation you’re not considered a ‘real traveller.’ I’ve come across this so many times over the past few years. Backpackers tend to look down at you if you enjoy the finer things on occasion. But let me tell you, those fine things can be pretty damn fine.

I’ve often wondered where this notion comes from. Just because you’re staying in a 10 bed dorm in a hostel, your travel experience is considered more ‘real’? I’ve experienced both ends of the accommodation spectrum – I’ve stayed in the grimiest of hostels, in large, co-ed shared dorms where people stay up partying all night (I can now confidently say I’m past this stage in my life). Not so much fun if you actually plan on sleeping…but a great place to meet new people.

The Golden Banana (Siem Reap, Cambodia) – one of the best places we stayed in Asia

I’ve also stayed in simply beautiful five-star hotels and resorts in various locations around the world. And I don’t think it makes me any less of a traveller. The picture below was taken at L’AND Vineyards Resort one of my favourite places that I’ve stayed in the last year.

L’AND vineyards resort near Evora, Portugal

I don’t need to stay in luxurious places all the time (I’m more than happy with some sort of middle ground – guest houses, etc.), but every so often it’s a real treat and you won’t catch me complaining.

In the last few years, I’ve experienced all sorts of accommodation. From five-star resorts in the Caribbean, boutique hotels in Europe, guest houses in Central America, shared dorms in Europe, to friends’ couches in the UK. In one particular location in Thailand, I stayed in a basic hut for about $10 – 15 per night. There wasn’t much space for more than a bed (and a bug net!), plus a small bathroom, but I loved every minute of my time there.

Bamboo huts, Thailand (one of the best places I’ve stayed and the most simple)

I’m often quite content staying somewhere really simple, as it gives me more money for activities, but sometimes it’s a real treat to stay somewhere special. What I’ve learned from each of these differing experiences, is that it doesn’t necessarily matter where you’re staying, it’s who you’re travelling with (or who you happen to meet along the way), that’s the important part.

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7 Comments on “The Luxury vs. Budget Debate”

  1. twoblackdoggies Says:

    So true! I’ve noticed that there is alot of travel snobbery directed a travellers who choose accommodation other than hostels and like you, I’m past that time in my life when I want to share a room with half a dozen other travellers. I’ve stayed in B&Bs and small (budget) hotels in Europe, Australia and New Zealand and have still managed to meet locals and have a ‘real experience’. The bamboo hut in Thailand looks fantastic, I haven’t been to Thailand but staying somewhere like that would be a great experience.


    • AdventuressAbroad Says:

      Thanks so much for the comment! I’ve noticed this ‘travel snobbery’ more and more recently, perhaps because I’ve decided I’m past staying in dorms. Although I’ve had some fantastic hostel experiences, there is no appeal left to sharing a room with so many others. And like you, I’ve met some great locals when I’ve been staying in other types of accommodation (in fact I find you’re more likely to meet them when not staying in hostels!). If you decide to head to Thailand let me know and I’ll send you the info on the Bamboo Huts. Such a great place 🙂


      • twoblackdoggies Says:

        You’re welcome and I agree, you meet lots of other travellers in hostels which is great, but we met plenty of locals staying in other accommodation and often got recommendations for great places to eat. Will definitely take you up on the offer of info for the Bamboo Huts, hopefully it won’t be too long before we can visit Thailand 🙂

  2. restlessjo Says:

    Can’t knock a bit of luxury! It’s a rare occurence in my life but much appreciated when it occurs. And I still consider myself a traveller, even if much of it is wishful.


    • AdventuressAbroad Says:

      Thanks for your comment Jo 🙂

      I’ve experienced both ends of the accommodation spectrum, from the most basic – squatter toilet and all, to the most luxurious. The luxury end is a real treat and one that is always appreciated, probably more so because I’ve stayed in many budget places over the last few years (and especially because it is more of a rare occurrence!).


  3. trendytripping Says:

    It depends on my destinations and my state of mind. Thanks for sharing.


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