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Ageing Traveller Series

The Ageing Traveller series is written by Rose Howell, who has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club. Her passion for travel is documented on her website www.ageing-hipsters-travel.com.

Click here to find out more about Rose.

Oh, the simple things when travelling


Photo taken at Shangri la Kuala Lumpur by Ageing Hipsters Travel

Years ago when I began travelling it was a real treat to stay in a nice hotel now and again, as we mainly stayed in Youth Hostels or camped. Nowadays it is a given thing and I seem to get fussier and fussier. What have I become? A travel snob? Or is it because as I get older I appreciate comfort more than roughing it?

Staying in nice hotels doesn’t mean that everything is going to be perfect. Following are some of my experiences and my gripes. I know, I sound like a grumpy old woman.

My gripes

  • One thing I don’t like is the add-on costs in the up market hotels. You would think because you pay more, you would get most things for free. Not true. Many charge for WiFi and movies.

  • And don’t get me started on tipping. How much do you tip, or do you need to tip or what if you don’t tip???? Do you tip everyone you see; porter, elevator person, waiter etc? I still can’t seem to get it right. (I am still doing the research for the best tipping tips)

  • Don’t ask for clothes to be laundered, because it will cost you an arm or leg. I recently read an article about a guy who had stayed in a hotel in Monaco and asked for his shirt to be pressed. Not laundered. It came back starched and ironed and packed in a box tied up with a ribbon (he thought he had a gift). The cost was 42 Euro.

  • Many times I have stayed in hotels and I haven’t a clue how to work the taps in the bathroom. I did have to ring reception once to say their bath tap wouldn’t work only for them to come up to the room and flick the silver thing which changed the water from the shower to bath. Am I stupid or do others have that problem?

  • What about the air conditioners? Some of them you need a degree to work out how to use them and fancy lighting and technology TV’s (I recently kept touching the TV screen before realising it wasn’t a touch TV even though it was state of the ark Samsung). Many a time hubby has hunted for the night light switch and can’t find it. Some hotels also have electronic curtains where you have to work out how to open and shut them. Whatever happened to just pulling them shut? Much easier.

  • Fancy phones are another bugbear, I have only come across one in Dubai so I didn’t even try to use it. If we needed anything I just trotted down to reception and asked.

  • Not all hotels supply an iron. I love it when I find an iron and board as I do still iron my clothes and can’t handle the creased look.

  • Shampoos, conditioners, soap and body lotion. If I knew all hotels had them I would be able to save weight and space in my toiletry bag.

  • I love a wardrobe with lots of coat hangers, this is because as I said above I don’t like my clothes creased. We recently stayed in an Ibis Budget Hotel and there wasn’t any hanging space, in fact there wasn’t much space for anything. I love Ibis but this is one I will not return to in a hurry.

  • We also get frustrated with TV stations in foreign countries where the only channel (from 100’s) in English is CNN. I must admit in Japan you didn’t need any language as some of the shows were so funny to watch without understanding a word they said.

  • A bath, yes I do like to soak in a bubble bath. It has to be a comfy bath though, not like a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where the bath was very modern but so uncomfortable, I had to get out before I got a sore back and neck.

  • Another gripe about bathrooms is any sign of mould. It is unsightly and unhealthy and I have seen it in a lot of hotels from luxury to budget.

  • I love to have tea, coffee and milk in my room but lately we have noticed some of the budget ones have stopped it. That is ok but at least have a kettle so we can bring our own.

On a more positive note, I must admit a majority of our stays in Hotels from luxury to budget have been pretty good. Our recent favourite is the Shangri-la in Kuala Lumpur, as featured at the top of the article. We only had a couple of nights there but it was so nice I would definitely go back again.


Photo taken at Ibis Adelaide by Ageing Hipsters Travel

For a budget stay the Ibis (Accor) group of hotels are usually very good. Very basic and you may find a few things lacking as I have mentioned above, but hey, you get what you pay for don’t you?

Rose Howell Biography

Rose has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club.
She has taken all kinds of transport and accommodation from budget to luxury. She has travelled through war zones, survived a bus accident in the Andes and visited areas that are no longer available to tourists, such as the Khyber Pass and Bamiyan Statues in Afghanistan.

Rose wants to inspire others to travel and offers free advice to all travellers in particular those who are embarking on their first travel experience. She has a passion for travel and since retiring from an Adult teaching position with TafeSA, has recently resumed clocking up kilometres interstate and overseas.
Her daughters have inherited the travel bug from their parents. The eldest daughter is a travel journalist/documentary maker based in a beautiful area called ‘Byron Bay’ in New South Wales and with her husband, has two globetrotting toddlers who at the age of 5 and 2 also love to travel. Her youngest daughter and fiancé have recently returned from 2 years working and traveling in the UK and Europe. They have only been home a couple of months and are already getting restless. Oh the travel bug!!!!

Rose has developed a website for the over 50 traveller www.ageing-hipsters-travel.com where you can access for free all her advice and past and present stories. You can add stories of your own too.

She also has a blog on:
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