Traveling should be a whole lot cheaper than it is. I truly believe that as even the cost of flights in-country is extremely reasonable, at least in places in Southeast Asia like the Philippines. (In fact Cebu Pacific takes you most places for about $30-$80 on average!). And you can always find ways to eat inexpensively, just like you would back home.

So what’s driving up the cost of taking a weekend trip? It’s the hotel.

You know this If you’ve traveled around the U.S. at all, where even a fleabag highway motel could cost $50-$80 a night EASILY. In major cities, that could bump up to $150 for modest accommodations and in New York, Boston, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, etc., good luck getting anything nice for under three bills!

Red Planet Hotels and What You Should Know

Here in the Philippines, hotels also aren’t as cheap as they should be. Sure, you can find hostels and local guesthouses, and those are great if you like moldy aircon, shared bathrooms, roaches, and a 50/50 chance of your things being stolen! In Manila, you’re looking at about $50 or more if you add breakfast, and the same goes in Cebu.

So that’s why Red Planet hotels are a welcome home away from home for any traveler here.

I first stayed at a Red Planet in Angeles City, at a time when I was price conscious for a quick trip there.

I since have stayed at several Red Planets, including in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and now, Davao – all major cities. The prices are nearly half of other 3-star hotels, and probably a whole lot cleaner and safer.

This is the rundown on what they look like. Just like any great franchise, you can expect 100% consistency with each location. They have a big lobby which is empty except for a few uncomfortable standing computer stations (designed so no one lingers too long), then you take the elevator up to your floor. The rooms are very small, but they’re supposed to be – just enough room for a full-size bed that’s perfectly comfortable for two people. There are literally about 18 inches on each side of the bed. But you get a flatscreen TV, great AC, very good wi-fi, a safe that;s easy to use, and a relatively large bathroom. In fact, Red Planet boasts that their showers have great water pressure (they do) and great hot water (they do in the morning and later at night).

But other than that, you’re on your own. No mini fridge, no dresser or drawers, and no other place to sit. They do have a small L-shaped hanger apparatus on the wall, but you better bring your own coat hangers or ask for some.

But it’s just about all you need. How many times do you go in a hotel room and sit on a chair? You come in from a long day and pass out on the bed and turn on the TV. And even for a big guy like me, the beds are large enough and super comfortable.

The only thing I miss is a few drawers or shelves to put things away, and I’m surprised they don’t have any (other than two night stands).

But the Red Planets are all very clean, well lit, modern, and maintained. The staff are great, and all locations have a partner coffee shop/restaurant on the ground floor where it’s easy to grab breakfast or a meal. They even have a great app, and you can communicate with the front desk through that instead of a phone!

Try a Red Planet next time you travel, and save your money for the fun stuff.

Norm Schriever

About 

Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post, Business.com, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo, Hotels.com, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.