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5 Star Traveller?

In a year and a bit we are going to retire and the plan is to be a permanent traveler, for a couple of years before we finally settle down. The question now is as a permanent traveler, what type of travel do we want. A five star traveler? Or a gap year traveler who’s ready to rough it?

My husband said that I should start doing my research on how to achieve a travel budget of 100 GBP a day for two. And what kind of lifestyle we will get by doing so? So I tested it on our little holiday trips here and there.  We stayed in the “cheapest” Shangri La Hotel in Oman, as well as the Address Hotel in Dubai for a long weekend as a sample of five star holiday style. Then a holiday to Lembang, Indonesia and a tour to Yemen where we stayed in a pension place where there’s no standard on cleanliness as well as proper service, not to mention facilities.

Keith, who was a boy scout when around 50 years ago, admitted that as he grows old, he doesn’t mind of roughing it on occasions, but he knows what he wants, and he prefers to have a five-star facilities. As for me, as an Indonesian; and I have to admit it, our cultures are different thus appreciation on hospitality services also have a different perception, I am always ready for roughing it, and 5 star services I have learned since becoming an expat, not long ago. However, as a good girl, who comes from a well-educated, middle class Indonesian, family I was never really exposed to the rough end of the Indonesian society, which makes me enjoy 5 star hospitality as much as Keith.

Imagine this: as a kid I never used a public toilet, not even a toilet in my school.  I was accustomed to arrive home after school and do my business instead of using public facilities that I can’t control the cleanliness. My first experience of using a public toilet was when I traveled abroad for the first time, and for me a public toilet meant a hotel toilet! Now, which type of traveler am I? the rough and ready back packer or the 5 star lady? Can we live on a budget of UK £100 a day all-inclusive (that means including local transport, hotels, meals , communication/internet, and other small shopping)? as I still can’t imagine what kind of lifestyle that will be? or rather where should we go to travel within that budget.



  1. Muhani Irawati Nandana

    Travel “in style” if you can afford it, why rough it? Part of travelling is also enjoying the ambience……


  2. On that budget you won’t be travelling in western Europe, or Australia, but could live like royalty in India or much of SE Asia. We tried to budget but cost varies so very much with where you are. Just about every country is different.
    100 British pounds is about $160 Cdn I think – that will *maybe* get you a 4 star hotel in Vancouver and that’s all. It’s a bit less expensive in the US. I’m not familiar with the middle east or China. I’ve heard eastern Europe is much less expensive than western Europe, still on 100 pounds per day in most places you should be able to manage a bit above roughing it, but very little 5 star. Pick cities around the world and pretend to book a hotel in each one on one of the hotel booking sites – this should give you an idea of cost. I vaguely remember our very 3 star hotel (i.e. down home) in Rome 3 years ago being $160 during the season, then from Nov 1 dropping to half that. Happy researching!


    • Thanks Alison for the advice, and yes, I still need to do my research mere detail, especially in SE Asia and Indonesia


  3. Alison’s perspective seems about right to me… and she and Don truly know the costs of travel, and of roughing it. I’ve done a lot of backpacking and once travelled for six months on a bicycle, camping out mainly. This last week Peggy and I were backpacking out in the wilderness, pitching our tent and dealing with rain– laughing most of the time. Places don’t have to be fancy to be comfortable, and food doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Clean and safe are important. But once in a while, Nin, taking a break and enjoying luxury is important. Our hot shower and king-sized bed when we got home from backpacking were heavenly. 🙂 –Curt


  4. Both ends of the spectrum can have their appeal — although sometimes something right in the middle has its own charm. I just posted on a charming inexpensive B&B we stayed at in Puerto Rico that we just loved — and we followed up with a couple nights at the posh Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan. Both were lovely in their own way, and we would stay at both again if and when we return to the destinations. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Nina!


  5. 100 GBP is around 1000 NOK (norwegian kroner), not enough for two people travelling even for a day here in Oslo if you want to stay in a hotel. The cheapest hotel room (budget hotel) is around 700 NOK and the cheapest decent food is minimum around 150 NOK. The Southern and Eastern parts of Europe are generally cheaper compare to the Northern part. My husband and I find the combination of staying for 2-3 days in a 5 star hotel room and 3-4 days in a budget hotel room as the best solution, a bit of hassle but more convenient for your wallet.


  6. We learned a wonderful tip from a few other travelers: determine the countries you will travel in and learn what your “per diem” might be for each country. Vietnam may be 50GBP/day while Australia may be 150GBP/day. If you spend equal times in each country – you’ve met your 100GBP budget. We set down the countries we wanted to visit for the first 9 months of our round-the-world trip and with some adding and subtracting arrived at the magic number to stay in budget. Good luck and maybe we’ll see you on the road?


  7. Pingback: 2014 | Nins' Travelog

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