Thursday, 16 February 2017

Money Up Front.

Years a go we would either come here to Ireland or go to Scarborough for our holidays.  When we went to Scarborough we would stay in the North bay side.  My mother said it was much posher than the South bay.  We would get off the coach and walk around looking for digs for the week.  Sometimes though my mum booked it before we left home.  We would get bed and breakfast and evening meal with 'Colour TV' and 'Coffee Making' facilities.  The following Saturday my dad would say to the landlord:

"What's the damage?"  

Then he would settle up for our weeks food and accommodation.  We were never expected to pay a penny until the morning of our departure.  Nowadays if you book an holiday, especially overseas.  They expect you to pay for the flight, taxi transfer and your accommodation up front before you even leave your own town.

There are some holiday booking sites that let you ("No prepayment needed") pay on arrival.  Do you think you should have to pay your money up front?  Why do no frills air lines never give you a complimentary drink or give kids a packet of crisps?  What's your worst holiday experience?  Was it a dive?  Did the other holiday makers keep you awake all night laughing and getting drunk?

18 comments:

  1. It was a generation of we were all presumed to be honest rather than the other way around nowadays, dishonest. Although having said that when booking my room in the Gelat Hotel in Budapest I did not have to pay until departure and this is still quite often the case in foreign hotels. In the Hotel Ali in Marrakesh they hand write the bill and transfer all the information into a giant ledger at the reception desk in front of you on departure day and you hand over your money in cash, no credit cards. Maybe it is in the UK that we are not very trusting of our fellow human beings. (I prefer to pay upfront in fact so that I don't have to worry about it anymore). In Russia I insisted I paid the landlady at the end of each day for the meals she prepared and the guided tours she gave us because I was scared that by the end of the week I might not have enough roubles to pay her! I paid for the accommodation on the day of arrival at my insistence because she didn't want to take it until the end of the week. I had so many thousands of roubles but I really wasn't sure how much I had got in value!

    Giving a complimentary drink is the difference between profit and no profit. Many years ago I worked for a small travel company here who ran coach holidays to Europe. If the coach was full then a complimentary glass of sherry was given. If the coach was down by just one passenger the free sherry was withdrawn.

    Nothing keeps me awake all night, I sleep through most things.

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    1. Thanks Rachel for that. You could write a great travel book. I have only been to six or seven European countries apart from the four home countries. I have always found it very welcoming that they don't expect you to pay every time for your meal or a drink, unlike the British Isles.

      The cheap no thrills airlines could give people a complimentary drink or meal especially when a family of four or more have just paid 500 Euros/Pounds for the flight. When I went in a Czech restaurant in Warsaw and ordered Argentinian steak. They gave us all a complimentary cherry brandy drink. I think you remember these kind gestures. Thanks!

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  2. worst 2 holidays, 1, Albufeira Portugal. The hotel was dirty, the sheets didnt look clean. We had lager louts, above, below and both sides. Vomit on the stairs first morning. One night a girl was banging on our door, and needed to hide from her drunk violent boyfriend. We stayed out in the Old town as late as we could each night. We bought flights home 5 days in of a 14 day stay. You would have thought we had gone on an 18-30 holiday, it was so bad.

    Port el Kantoui, Tunisia, we decided to give all inclusive a whirl. The food from breakfast, was left out, then recycled into lunch, then recycled again into dinner. I had to get the rep to get the Dr for the Mr, food poisoning. We asked the rep where an internet cafe was, we were booking flights home. Dr said they wouldnt let him fly. Rare for me, but I completely melted down. Lost it! completely freaked out. Next thing I know, we are being moved to the hotel opposite. It was like a palace. I swear. Other than the staff pestered you to sell them your mobile phone. There were chocolate sculptures, fresh fruit. Not all the chicken sausages and crap from the other hotel. This place was the bees knees. They even made a birthday cake for the Mr, he couldnt eat it as he was still ill. But still better than the other place.

    We paid for an excursion the 2nd week through the UK tour company. 2 other couples, we ended up not going where we paid to go to. Ended up in a carpet factory, and couldnt get out they locked us in. We bought carpets so we could all leave! complained to the rep, they said they would look into it. Nothing. 2 days later it happened to others staying at the hotel. The lady was so upset, they booked flights home, via their son in England. Went into the town of Port el Kantoui. We needed new towels as ours were left at the old hotel and we were going snorkeling. We went into a shop the man started to haggle over 2 blue towels. we argreed a price, a lad brought out pink towels. We said we want blue, we went to leave the man stood in the door way so we couldnt get out. and was swearing at us and shouting. The tourist police turned up. urgh.

    We had already paid for a night out, were walking in a huge group. A lady who was talking to us was on her own, we said sit with us, she looked in a jewellery shop window, a man rushed out, grabbed her and me by the wrist and dragged us in the shop. the lady pushed him off. and they both had an arm each wrestling with me in the middle. Another man had drapped a bracelet over my wrist. The Mr, was calling my name in the street, we could hear him. The man with the bracelet on seeing him come in, was shouting, "you touch it you buy it!".

    Honest to god, it was horrendous.

    Our best holidays have been in France, Thailand, Cambodia and one certain night in Egypt where I saw Saturn through a telescope in the desert with the Bedouins. What a night, what a memory that is.

    I think this is going to be a massive comment. Sorry :)

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    1. Hi Sol. I think you have got a book there too. There is a brilliant and very funny travel book called: No Shitting In The Toilet. It's incredible.

      I have been to Albufeira. We had a full English breakfast for 3 Euros and fifty five Cents. We washed it down with a large glass of Super Bock. Love your Bedouin tale.

      We once went to Folkestone in February and stayed in a B & B and they knocked on your bedroom door with your cooked breakfast. They said they didn't have a Dining room. Thanks for the massive comment Sol.

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  3. I don't recall anyone complaining about me getting drunk and laughing all night, but then I suppose you probably took the early breakfast whereas I had the late one and we never met :-)

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    1. It was you in the neon pink bikini right? With the dolphin tattoo on your thigh?

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    2. Oh' goodness me I was trying to keep that a secret Sol and now all and sundry knows !

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    3. Very good Heron and Sol. You both made me laugh. Was it Blackpool or Benidorm? It sounds like the comedy series starring the wonderful Sheridan Smith.

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    4. Benidorm of course! my mobility scooter or old lady chariot as I like to call it, has flames painted on it and I am a lovely tanned colour close to mahogany. Madge is my neighbour, we go to bingo together.

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    5. If they have an happy hour and play eighties music I am getting a caravan there too.

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  4. I don't mind paying up front for my holiday accommodation; I'm guessing that too many owners have had rooms booked and then no-one has turned up, so they aren't able to re-book the rooms. That would create an almighty loss for them, wouldn't it?
    I don't holiday abroad, preferring Cornwall / Devon mostly, but maybe I would feel differently about paying in full before seeing what the accommodation is like. In those cases, maybe pay a deposit and the rest on arrival.

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    1. Hello Rambler. I hate it when you book somewhere and when you get there it's completely dated from the photographs you saw in the holiday brochure. I love Cornwall. Haven't been there for about eighteen years. Ireland is very good for walking. I live nexcxt to the Sheeps Head Way. I walked 100 miles of the Dingle Way last year. If you want spectacular scenery and very few people. Come here to Ireland. I am hoping to walk the Burren Way this summer. Thanks!

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  5. I've only ever paid up front once and it was in France. The woman who owned the flat insisted on it. We had to sign various documents written in French. No copies in English or Italian or German. We had to take her word as to what was written on them. Various promises were broken, just like the light in the dark passage leading from the top of the stairs that was never fixed. We got ill. There was mold on the wall behind the bed. It was a complete disaster but we had to stick it out for a week in order to get our exorbitant deposit returned to us at the end of it all. That's life, as they say. One must live and learn.

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    1. Thanks Gwil. Like you say. You live and you learn. I once stayed in a hostel in Vienna and booked it through Booking.Com. They only asked for fifteen Euros by card and then I settled up on arrival. It was very good.

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  6. I think things were a lot simpler in days gone by. By Dad used to pay cash for our seaside holidays in a B & B. Then endless walks along the sea front looking at all, and I do mean ALL, the cafes which had menus on the windows, but then we would have to walk back along the sea front because he almost always ended up choosing one of the first cafes he looked at!

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    1. Hi Vera. Your Dad sounds like my parents. It would take us until Tuesday or Wednesday to choose the cafe which we would use for the rest of the week. We had some wonderful holidays in Scarborough: football on the beach, model naval boat battles in Peasholm Park, visiting the castle, Anne Bronte's grave and seeing the likes of the Grumbleweeds, Canon and Ball, The Spinners, The Bachelors and I would watch Yorkshire cricket team play Sri Lanka. Great holiday memories. Thanks!

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  7. My parents didn't believe in eating in the day time in case it made us too full to enjoy our breakfasts.

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    1. Our parents always knew best Heron. Great nostalgia.

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