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Bates Motel, the American psychological horror series that acts as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1960 thriller Psycho, has become a cult classic. And while millions of fans love their dose of macabre murder and questionable family relationships as a nightcap, many would be horrified to end up in such a place on their next holiday.

To make sure you avoid ending up in accommodation that could pass for the set of this popular series (Seasons 1 to 5 are on Showmax), ASATA (Association of South Africa Travel Agents) has offered up their top 5 tips for planning your next holiday.

Bates Motel on Showmax
Image: NBC

1. Nice Town you picked, Norma…

First of all, don’t let your mom make the plans, unless she’s an accredited travel specialist who has years of experience. There’s nothing better than travelling with #peaceofmind, knowing that what you’re getting is legit. And, in the event of a plot twist, you’ll have someone reputable to bail you out.

2. Ask about the victims, er, guests

In avoiding a Bates Motel fiasco, it’s not just deciding on the right cities, activities and the accommodation either — it’s also the people. Season 1 reveals much about the local White Pine residents, and if you shudder at the thought of brushing shoulders with the likes of Norman Bates, request itineraries where you can mingle with like-minded travellers who don’t have a hidden agenda.

3. Put down the meat tenderiser

The last thing you want to do is end up on holiday in a fantastic destination, only to be arguing with your partner or travel buddies. Don’t revert into a Norman Bates tailspin. Get a travel expert or operator to do all the planning so you can avoid those travel pain points where friction typically arises.

4. Skip the motels altogether

If you’re not sold on the possibility of knives in showers, men in ladies’ bathrobes and a dead Norma still lying on the living room couch (Season 5), be thorough on the type of accommodation facilities that you want. If you’d prefer something a little more “alive”, skip the cheap motels and ask for budget-friendly, modern hotels, or even self-catering apartment options.

5. Don’t go with a Bates budget

If the price of your holiday is much lower than anywhere else, the red flag should go up immediately. Travel fraudsters typically hook unsuspecting customers with deals too good to be true. Be safe. Do a cross-check with a reputable travel expert on what the normal price for the air ticket, hotel or holiday should be. Consider paying a little extra for comfort.

And lastly, when you’re not planning your next trip with your accredited ASATA agent, stream all seasons of Bates Motel on Showmax.

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