View of Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free...or included?

This discussion has come up between Ruth and I on a few different road trips, and in a few different circumstances. Is something free, or is it included in the price you have already paid for another service?

The most common reference to this is when you see a highway sign advertising a hotel, and it usually has big letters saying "Free Breakfast". Well, of course everybody knows that they mean if you stay at the hotel, and pay for a room, part of the deal is that you get breakfast. But to be clear...the breakfast is not free. It is INCLUDED in the price you pay for the room. So the proper wording on the sign should be "Breakfast Included".

One of these days, I am going to stop in at one of those hotels, and take advantage of the Free Breakfast that they have advertised on the sign. Ruth says she's not going to join me! Maybe I'll do it on our way down to Florida next month.

The other instance that we regularly see this poor choice of wording, is at campgrounds. Usually, you will see advertised that the campground offers "Free wi-fi". This one really bugs me, because while many campgrounds say that they offer the service, it's usually a very poor excuse for wi-fi, and that's if it works at all. Then, when you complain that the campground internet doesn't work, they have the attitude that, "well, you didn't pay for it, so you can't complain". Ah, but I DID pay for it, because it's INCLUDED in the price that I paid for the campsite, the same way that electricity and water is.

In my mind, if something is free, it is available to anybody, and with no strings attached. That's the meaning of the word "free".


  1. Got here from, while I agree with you on your definition of free/included there is a bit of twist here.

    Not all parks include hookups in the price really, so likewise some do not necessarily include the price of wifi in the price either.

    What am I saying? Perhaps the parks don't see it the way we see it or I somewhat see it. is that they have not included the wifi into the price they have just made it a courtesy to offer it at no extra charge so therefore it is now "free".

    Would be interesting if parks advertised "free hookups!" really... now I'd have to digress.

    I agree though with what you are saying, if its free then it should not matter if you pay to stay at the park or stay at the hotel to get breakfast, you are taking the definition of "free" quite literal (and I am not saying this is a bad thing and not quite that good either).

  2. well, just read thru your blog and was very interested in your mexico trips as that is in my future plans... looking forward to your past trip blogs and of course your future one on mexico...

  3. Hey kevin

    I followed you from your Trip Journal and agree that if they offer it "free" then it's a perk. They should offer the Wi-Fi that works, and the breakfast should be good.

    I look forward to your blog about what happened when you "stopped in" for the free breakfast without having a room.

    Should be fun!!!

  4. heyduke50...we are heading back to Mexico in November of this year. Can't wait to be able to update you on our travels in that part of the world. Maybe we can meet up on the road if you're still following along!

    Wild Blue Yonder...glad you've followed us over to our new site! I will be reporting on my free breakfast sometime next month... :-)


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