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Retiring to the Travelodge

Remember a few weeks ago when I published a humor piece about Retiring to the Hilton? A couple in England has done it for real. David and Jane Davidson have been living in Travelodges for more than 20 years:

“The couple stayed at the first ever Travelodge in Barton-under-Needwood, Staffordshire and liked it so much they began to stay more and more often, finally choosing the hotel in Newark.

“By booking 12 months in advance, they pay £90 (US$181.00) a week and have all housework done by maids while often eating at the nearby Little Chef.”

BBC News, 11 September 2007

Over those years, they have spent a total of about £100,000 (US$201,491), a rate they get by booking twelve months in advance. Now, Travelodge is naming a room for them:

“Room 1 of the Gonerby Moor Travelodge near the A1 will now be called The Davidson Suite, complete with a plaque…

“Paul Anstey, Travelodge director of operations for the North, said: "We know Travelodge has really loyal customers throughout the UK but the Davidsons are unique - they've literally made a Travelodge into their home."

Of course, they must be careful about the amount of personal belongings they keep in their room, and they do own a flat. But, says Mr. Davidson, who is 79 years old (his wife is 70):

"The Travelodge room suits us so much better than our first-floor flat in Sheffield, which has no disabled access for Jean. It's important as she now suffers from a bone disease and uses a wheelchair."

I don’t know what a Travelodge room costs in the United States, but other costs must be calculated too as savings: heating, power, homeowners insurance, household maintenance, water assessment, property tax. And wouldn’t it be glorious to never change the bed again – one of the chores in life I dislike most. Is hotel living in retirement not a joke, but an idea whose time has come?

[Hat tip to Ian Bertram of Panchromatica.]

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Joy Des Jardins shares one of her lifelong pleasures in In the Eye of the Storm.]


What a great idea. I suppose they rent their flat to boost their income. Sounds far better than an old people's home. Do they still only pay £90 a week? If so, Travelodge had better watch out for an invasion.

Wow. If we could bring our dog and 2 cats, that would be sweet.


I am with you Ronni on the bed changing. Those fitted sheets can be such a pain.

How about this idea. A linen service that picks up the sheets, washes, irons and returns them directly to your bed? Might work.

This idea has always made a lot of sense to me.

Oh if wishes were horses....wouldn't that be just great?

I guess I would rather go to the dentist AND the gynecologist than change the bed linen. It's a task I, too, dislike, Ronni. Especially here in Sweden where they have these goofy pocket thingys for the quilts. I DO it, but I don't like it. So this whole concept looks more and more intriguing the more stories you find. I know exactly the reaction I would get from my husband, though, if I suggested it. :)

I can see the attraction, but what would I do without my stuff? I love the luxury of no housework, etc. but I am afraid it would become boring after a while.

I think it's a fantastic idea! Especially if you can use the reservations to move with the weather, during off-tourist seasons in scenic places and have someone else do the laundry...hmmmm, sounds like something to research.

This is a great story, never mind that it's true...can you imagine the things they've seen during the stays. Someone should ask them to do a book....

Dorothy from grammology
call your grandmother

Hi Ronnie,
I'd like to know if the Davidson's are still living at Travelodge?

I took their idea to heart and started looking at the costs for the US. Extended Stay and InTownSuites are good options. Extended Stay allows pets, InTown does not, yet.

With the average rate for assisted living $2700 a month, and that doesn't include medical care it could be a bargain to consider.

Here's how I figured this:
Extended Stay - $1200 a month.
Home care service 3 days a week, 4 hours a day -$900 per month(yes, your apartment is consider a 'home' and rates may be lower or higher depending on your needs)
Food (both Extended Stay and InTown have full kitchens) - $200 a month = $2200 a month.

Unless you must eat out every night of the week or require skilled nurses around the clock, it still comes out cheaper.

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