Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Picking a house instead of a hotel when traveling

When you are planning a trip, one of the most important details to nail down is where you will stay. Selecting a home instead of a hotel can pay big dividends for a photographer.

On a recent photo trip to Las Vegas, I found that I could rent a condo for less than the price of a decent hotel on the strip. This particular condo had two bedrooms, a completely equipped kitchen and an attached garage. The dining room had a table for six and I had the entire place to myself. Cost…only $95.00 per night.

First of all, many traveling photographers carry a plethora of chargers, computers and things that need to be plugged in. Having a whole condo meant more than enough outlets. Conversely, I find hotels cram every conceivable outlet full of lamps, TVs, radios and the like and leave barely one or two open outlets. I’m always packing one or two plug strips.

Having a full dining room table meant having a more than adequate area to set up computers, card readers, battery rechargers, etc. Not having maid service everyday meant I could leave things set up while I went out shooting. When I returned, everything was plugged in and ready to go.

The attached garage was also a great blessing. One of the typical inconveniences of parking in a lot or public garage is that you need to haul all your expensive gear out every time you leave your car. Do I even need to mention the cost savings of not tipping a valet each time you come or go? Parking in my own private garage enabled me to leave whatever I wanted in the car, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Granted, if you crave room service and in-house pools, this might not be for you. But, if you are a working photographer, it offers lots of advantages. I was reminded of this tip as I watched the Super Bowl and saw the amusing commercial for I used to use, but now they’ve merged into, which claims to be the biggest, with over 430,000 listings in 120 countries. Check out the great Griswolds film short at

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