Patrick Clarke | November 21, 2015 12:00 PM ET
Room With a View, Please
There are countless ways to experience a destination when traveling. You can explore museums, famous landmarks and popular attractions, interact with locals and sample regional cuisine. But in many ways, seeing is experiencing.
So why does the experience stop once you head back to your hotel room or vacation rental? After all, you're only here for a limited amount of time.
Well, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't and shouldn't have to.
Give me a balcony or a window over any fancy hotel amenity any day. Yes, even Wi-Fi.
Whether overlooking a city, a busy street, beach, body of water or the hotel parking lot, the view from your room is your point of view for a good portion of your trip and it's personal. It's the mental snapshots and time to reflect you take in this place that can shape your memories of this trip and help you to process the day's events. It's here where you escape distraction and organize the next day in your mind.
What's more, since the view from your room is private, you're able to see without having to be seen. So yes, by all means, change into your footed pajamas if you like. It's time to relax in your destination with your destination.
If you're lucky enough to have a balcony, pull up a chair and let your imagination run wild. Ask yourself, what was here before? What will be here in 100 years?
While you've been experiencing your destination by exploring outside the hotel, this is your chance to live in the moment with your destination rather than simply being there, crossing off bucket-list sights or attending a work-related meeting or event.
Literally watch the day begin with a sunrise or be there to welcome the night at sunset. Enjoy a front row seat to a hellacious summer thunderstorm or people watch from a distance.
There's lots to see if you're interested, trust me.
If you want, take pictures to share with those who couldn't be there. The visual element will put text message descriptions to shame.
Now I know not everyone has the luxury of being able to zone out while traveling, and finding a room with a view isn't always easy or necessarily cheap. However oftentimes the view from your room is that particular hotel's single most unique offering. So give it some consideration.
Televisions and plush mattresses are tempting commodities, sure, but the odds are you'll find them in just about any hotel room around the world, not to mention those same amenities are probably waiting for you back at home.
Remember, this trip and this room are both temporary. Once you leave, the view will belong to someone else.
For many people, a hotel room is simply a means to an end or a getaway in itself. But either way, you're missing out if you don't pull back the curtains.
If you're like me, a viewpoint is already your top priority when making a reservation. In that case, best of luck in your future bookings.
But if the view from your hotel room balcony or window is typically an afterthought for you when searching for a reservation, I would encourage you to give it some thought. Spend a few minutes with Google Maps and find out what you can expect to see from your room and whether its of any interest to you. Otherwise you won't know until it's too late.
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