Why does hotel shopping have to be so hard?

To begin with, I’m not a fan of shopping in general. I have given serious thought to hiring a personal shopper and have resorted to having a monthly alert in my phone that says “BUY TWO ITEMS OF CLOTHING.” If I didn’t have that in there, I wouldn’t do it. Because, above. I just do not like it.

The arrival of the internet brought with it one of my favourite luxuries – an online alternative. Hurrah! I have some mixed feelings about it (doesn’t support local business, environmental impact, etc), but all in all, it works for me and it keeps me clothed. I like that.

When it comes to shopping, I have very clear needs and wants and little interest in bargaining for whatever that may be. Do I like a good deal? Sure. But do I value my money more than my time? In most cases, no. I have a friend at work who loves Winners. He raves about it. Me, I can’t stand even setting foot in the place. I don’t want to have to work for my purchases no matter how much money I save. It just isn’t my jam.

Today, I was trying to find some hotel for a trip we’re planning in August. Do you have any idea how many knock-off travel sites there are?!? It’s about a trillion. And that got pretty frustrating pretty fast. Where one site showed a hotel at one price, another showed it at $50 cheaper. Until thirty minutes later when they were the same. I just wanted a nice hotel at a decent price and to call it a done deal. At one point, I felt so much frustration of having to flip back and forth between sites and verifying prices and locations and amenities and ARGH.

It reminded me of something someone told me today. He said that people used to go to Arizona to go see spring training because it was cheap and fun. Now, he said, tickets to spring training games are going for $50 or more. It takes the fun right out of a formerly spontaneous and whimsical vacation opportunity.

That’s how I felt about the travel sites. They’ve sucked the fun out of vacation planning because there’s too many of them and greed has overtaken the market.

Thankfully, I was diligent in my pursuit and I saw it through. I managed to book four nights at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto for a ridiculously good price and I’m super excited about it. It’s an old CP Rail hotel that first opened in 1929 and I can’t wait to visit!

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