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So I came across a new travel term that I had not heard before – Vendoming. I saw it on a post by Miles for Family, and I was not familiar with the term. So I did what I normally do when I don’t know something – Googled it!
LOL – anyways, so when I googled Vendoming, I got…. a link back to the same blog post?!?!
What kind of circular world do I live in?!?!
What is “Vendoming”
I learned that this was a term originally coined by one of my favorite travel bloggers – Dia at The Deal Mommy. I think we’re still in the early stages of the word, so I think we’re still figuring out what the exact definition is, and it probably means different things to different people. But to me it’s just the idea of super aspirational travel just for the sake of aspirational travel.
Park Hyatt Vendome
The term comes from the Park Hyatt Vendome hotel which is one of the most super aspirational hotels out there.
I mean I’m sure it’s great – and I don’t judge or begrudge anyone that stays there. It’s just not my style. I’m not even saying that I’d never stay there – if I had the Hyatt card that gives you a free night anywhere, maybe that’s where I’d go. Again, I do not judge or begrudge anyone that chooses to stay there.
Fancy Steakhouse or Chipotle?
I’m just reminded of the time a few years ago when my work gave me a $200 gift card to a famous local steakhouse. Now, I can forgive them for not knowing my wife is a vegetarian, but there were at least 3 or 4 actual vegetarians (typically Indian Hindus) ON THE TEAM ITSELF, but that’s a separate issue.
So, even setting aside the fact that my wife is a vegetarian and probably not interested in a dressed-up salad bar at a meaty steakhouse, I have always remembered what she said about that
I’d rather just go to Chipotle 20 times
So if that’s Vendoming, what’s Anti-Vendoming? Well… it’s the opposite, of course! The Portland Travel Tips blog wrote another post about it. His take on it is feeling left out of the local culture and that by just staying in your “cocoon” in the luxury hotel, you’re missing out on that.
I can kind of see that point too though I don’t feel as strong about that. I just have been so frugal for so many years, it’s hard for me to “pretend” that I’m one of the 1%ers, ya know?
Anyways, if you want to read more about how my family and I travel, check out some of our trip reports, like our trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
What about you? How do you travel?
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I don’t see why staying at the Park Hyatt Vendome (on points, pre-devaluation, natch) means you can’t experience Paris itself? The hotel is walking distance to 3 metro stops putting the entirety of Paris in easy reach. You have a nice place to sleep, a phenomenal and very French breakfast (amazing pastries, great cheeses for instance) that’s free as a Diamond, and can be taken from room service. And then you go out into Paris.
Do you NEED it? No. Do you need to travel at all? No. Do you need cable television? No. Or any television for that matter.
But if you can spend 10,000 more US Airways miles and fly roundtrip in first class to Hong Kong instead of business class, and you can find the availability, why not do that trip in first? You don’t need the caviar, or the Krug (though the Krug is nice). But it’s sure more pleasant to have that bed. To dine across from a significant other at a table as though in a restaurant. To sleep on their bedding. To be more refreshed when you land.
If there was a huge tradeoff to the miles, then you can accept the tradeoff in an instant.
But there’s nothing to apologize for either in redeeming for first class instead of coach, in staying at nicer places instead of less nice ones. You’re in Paris either way, and it’s worth traveling for many people either way, although goodness knows I felt great when i redeemed miles for my 80 year old grandmother to fly first class to Australia to visit her grandkids there. There was no way she was going to make the trip in coach, so the miles and premium cabins really made that last trip there possible for her (she’s no longer able to travel).
You say that the term doesn’t have a precise meaning and that makes it pretty shifty, but if you’re talking about traveling in a cocoon… Well, I guess I don’t do that so maybe I don’t understand what it’s all about and this is all off base!
I appreciate your perspective – you’ve got a lot of experience and so I appreciate your comments. Like I said, I don’t know the exact meaning of the term. I think your points are pretty good – traveling is all about what is best for YOU. And in that vein, you shouldn’t let anyone tell you what you SHOULD or SHOULD not do.
For me, maybe I will stay there someday, but for the points, I think I’d rather stay multiple nights at a less-aspirational hotel. But again, that’s ME, and how SOMEONE ELSE travels is fine by me, if it’s fine by them.
I dunno – maybe I’m just rambling 🙂
I can see all perspectives on this. Unlike Gary, I tend to be the type of person luxury is completely wasted on. I have never tried caviar, and given my general dislike of anything that comes out of a lake, ocean or river I don’t have any intention of ever trying it. I don’t have sophisticated taste and probably couldn’t tell the difference between various kinds of champagne or wine. On the other hand, if I do get the occasional free night and have the option of going uber luxurious, why not? It works. I stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney back in February. And while I admittedly didn’t see what all the fuss was about, it was a supremely comfortable room and bed. I actually preferred the Park Hyatt Melbourne, but mostly for the rooftop tennis court and much larger bathtub.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with flying 1st class or staying at an aspirational property. I’ve done it, and make no apologies for it. That’s the beauty of this hobby. There’s no right or wrong. I, for instance, have no interest at all in visiting the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius or Bora Bora. To others, that is the ultimate dream.
It is nice to say you’re anti-vendoming and immerse yourself into the local culture. But, unless you’re staying for weeks, months, or years I think that you’re largely spinning your wheels. I think it can be equally snooty to anti-Vendome as it is to Vendome. To each their own.
Thanks Cory for your perspective as well. Giving it some more thought, I think you’re right that you can be snooty to anti-Vendome as well as Vendome. It comes down to the fact that different people travel in different ways, and it’s human nature to think that the way that YOU do it is the one and only true path 😉
Like I said in the post, I’d rather eat at Chipotle 20 times than go out to a fancy steak house. But that’s ME.
I’d rather eat half a dozen times at my favorite Thai restaurant than a pricey steakhouse, and I’d love nothing more than Singapore Hawker stalls or some of the best satay in KL. But i enjoy the pricey stuff too.
When there’s a tradeoff between staying at a fancy hotel or getting to travel more, by all means travel more! But when you can generate millions of miles, why not redeem a few extra points (and it often is just a few) for the room that has a balcony overlooking the city you’re visiting where you can take your morning coffee and soak in what you’re about to embark on for the day?
Lots of unstated premises… how points-constrained are you? are you talking free travel or substantial cash outlay? How cash constrained are you? What if anything are you giving up for your style of travel?
And then it comes down to personal preferences and goals. Let’s not criticize those, to each their own. Let’s do the best we can to fulfill what we’re most passionate aboute, in the best way we can.
Well said Gary! Like you said, there are so many different variables out there – it’s impossible to give a one size fits all way of this is the way that you HAVE to do it
Since we are a family of 5, we will most likely never fly first class because it takes so many points just to get us anywhere on coach! But we did the Citi Hilton card this year with the free weekend certificates, and my husband and I are splurging on a hotel in Times Square.
Most of the travel blogs I read (which isn’t a ton since I’m relatively new to this) show trip reports with first-class flights and really nice hotels all the time. Which is great if they can do it, but our travel will usually be different.
Nancy – I totally agree. That was one of the reasons I started (yet another) travel blog – most of the bloggers focused on very aspirational trip reports, and that’s just not the way my family (of 8) and I travel.
I was just talking with another blogger earlier today about something similar.
For me, I am right now much more RL-constrained than points constrained. I don’t have a ton of points, but I have enough that I could travel a lot more than I am able to, given my real-life obligations.
I find this an interesting discussion and just would like to add an additional perspective. I was fortunate to travel an incredible amount for business and attained platinum for life and millions of FF points. As for hotels, it was stays in what would be considered the most aspirational hotels, Four Seasons, Ritz Carltons (pre points), etc. After a life of business luxury and still having a passion for travel, I don’t aspire to travel in the front of the plane, we all get there at the same time, nor stay in the lap of luxury. I would rather redeem my FF miles taking my friends and family a dozen at a time to Hawaii or Europe. I give my hotel points to family or friends as a treat to aspirational hotels during their travels. I buy my coach or biz class seat so that I can get more points to treat others even more. I’d rather stay in a guest house or BnB where I can spend a lot time talking local shop with the owner vs a busy concierge. I guess you can say I attained zen travel enlightenment. Once you attain the aspirational goals, the true enjoyment of travel is to share it with as many others as you possibly can.
I agree with you. I’m actually in the middle of writing a post talking about that exact subject – using your miles and points to help family members travel as well.
Thanks for the shout out.
Here is what I find interesting after 50+ comments on my post: the status quo folks taking offense. Based on the overwhelming sentiment expressed, I think it shows a lack of awareness of how their own material is perceived. Sunshine can only help everyone.
The joy of coining a new term is watching how it grows organically to fill a need. The lesson I’m learning is how to better express NOT “I’m right, you’re wrong”, but ” you’re right, but I’m right, TOO”.
Variety is the point of the Anti Vendoming sentiment.
I agree with Dia. There is enough room in the world for everyone. I don’t see anything wrong with staying in nice places and I certainly don’t feel it prevents you from taking the initiative to find more local experiences.
As someone who has backpacked with my family and spent time in more hostels and guesthouses then I care to remember, I can tell you that traveling in luxury isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Backpacking or staying in more normal accommodations isn’t a bad thing either. To each his own.
On our recent trip to Asia, my family and I stayed in cheap accommodations, mid-range hotels like the Holiday Inn in Seoul (Cheapest option with points) and luxury like a suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. I would say that covers just about every range of accommodation. I don’t think our local experiences changed based on the accommodations we were staying in.
I do also love to travel in first class. When I am with my family (and I do prefer traveling with them to being by myself) we usually fly in coach. Coach is ok. Nothing wrong with it. When I am by myself and can afford it with points, I splurge and fly in first and business, because it is fun and I like it.
This new term is fun because it opens our minds up and gives us the chance to see another perspective. No one is wrong. We are all right. Whatever works for one person doesn’t work for another.