Can You Afford Room Service?

Room-ServiceIf you don’t mind forking over $16 for three strips of bacon, then room service may be a no-brainer for your morning, noon or late-night meals.

The saying, “If you have to ask price, you can’t afford it,” takes on new meaning when you are traveling.  After all, we have to eat to survive, but we certainly don’t have to opt for the $20 chicken salad sandwich, plus the 18% gratuity tacked on because we’re too lazy to eat somewhere other than our hotel room.

With the economy still in the dumpster, can anyone afford the high cost of hotel room service?

According to a new study by TripAdvisor, prices for room service items vary greatly by location; however, when you start crunching the numbers, you might be surprised by what you find.

For example, Honolulu, Hawaii, not the Big Apple tops the list as the city charging the most for room service.  To have a club sandwich delivered to your Oahu hotel room you’ll have to shell out $23.65.  In New York, you’ll have to pay $21.75.  Meanwhile, the cost of ordering the multi-layer sandwich in Washington, D.C. will set you back $17.35, according to TripAdvisor.

Washing down your sandwich with a can of Coca-Cola will also cost you a pretty penny if you have a hotel staff member bring it to you via room service.  You are better off raiding your hotel room’s minibar, though the price of your carbonated beverage isn’t going to be dramatically lower.  In Honolulu you can pay as much as $5.92 for a can of Coke from the minibar.  Meanwhile, in Seattle, you’ll pay $2.81 for the same soda if you take it from your room’s minibar.

Convenience comes with a steep price tag when you are traveling.  To avoid becoming desperate enough to call room service or dive into the hotel’s minibar, consider packing your own snacks and drinks.  If you can’t bring goodies from home, then motivate yourself to leave your hotel room and patronize a corner store.  You’ll likely pay at least 50% less for food and drinks than if you speed dialed room service.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.