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.]