Knowing me, knowing you

Good news if, like Alan Partridge, you were one of the 6.5m people who stayed at a Travelodge last year.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The budget hotel chain, owned by Dubai International Capital, plans to open 22 new hotels before Christmas, creating 450 new jobs. MD Paul Harvey said ‘the credit crunch is forcing people to review their spending habits and we are seeing more customers shift to budget hotel accommodation.’ The company will spend £125m on the 22 new hotels and plans to increase its chain to 1,000 hotels by 2020. It currently has about 350.

Business as well as leisure customers are eschewing more expensive hotels for the affordable and ubiquitous Travelodge experience. And if all you need is a clean room and an excellent trouser press, why spend more?

Certainly septuagenarians David Davidson and his wife Jean love the Travelodge experience. It’s why they’ve spent 23 years living at the Gonerby Moor Travelodge off the A1 in Lincolnshire. Said David: ‘We get great rates because we book well in advance and we even have our own personal housekeeper. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?’

Living at a Travelodge might not be to everyone’s tastes, but it could pay to take the Davidsons’ lead. According to, the bill for living in a Travelodge works out at around £1,370 a month – plus there's no water, laundry, gas or electric bills, no mortgage and you even get your bed made for you every day. That's 290 nights a year at a standard £50 and a further 75 nights at the reduced £26 saver fare. Which works out at £16,450 a year, or £1,370 a month.

Compare this with the cost of a £200,000 mortgage which, at a 6% interest rate, would set you back £1,303 per month. Then there's the average monthly council tax bill of £88, plus about £43.50 a month for gas, £28 for electricity, £24 for water and around £32.75 a month for property maintenance. That's a total cost of £1,519.25 per month - nearly £150 more than living it up in a Travelodge.

A-ha! It would seem Partridge gets the last laugh after all. Any one for Monkey Tennis?

In today's bulletin:
Markets tank again as panic goes global
Sales slide is no small beer
Editor's blog: Bad timing for Westfield
MT's Little Ray of Sunshine: Knowing me, knowing you
The Snowball Effect

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