A lot of people try to save money while on vacation, which is great. Even if you’re trying to keep to your budget though, there are still some fun ways you can splurge on yourself and add a little more enjoyment to your vacation. Here are a few of my favorites, would love to hear yours too.
1.Experiences – This may seem obvious to some. After all, you’re traveling to a new place to experience the sights and activities that make it famous. But sometimes these experiences can be pricey or inconvenient and some people may not take advantage of them. Is it possible to travel and not splurge on a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences? Sure, but why would you? You’re traveling for a reason and you should make every effort to enhance the trip whenever possible. Anticipate these added costs beforehand and budget for them. The best example I’ve had recently is the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia. The bridge is one of the most well known sites in the country, and climbing to the summit is just as well known. It’s also really expensive, around $200 US per person. That’s a lot of money to spend on just one, 4-hour experience, but it is completely worth it. There aren’t many times you’ll have the opportunity to climb a massive bridge, safely at least, and the views and just the experience itself make it worth every penny. Not every travel extra is this extreme, but they are just as important. So be prepared to spend a little more to get the most out of your trip.
2.Spa – Most of us don’t get to travel very often. Increasing work loads, diminishing time off and budget restrict our ability to get out there and see the best the world has to offer. That’s why, personally, I think it’s nice to add some personal perks to the travel experience, such as spa time. Booking a spa service while in a tropical local is a no-brainer for me, I almost always indulge. But it’s also really useful when taking a more urban or active vacation. I’ve had back problems for years and trudging around a new town with cameras and guide books in tow leave me hobbled after a few days. Before my trip I usually try to find a few places where I can get a reasonably priced massage and book it for the midway point of the trip. The service helps my back, relaxes me and enables me to continue my trip without being completely run down. It’s a small conceit, but oftentimes it helps.
3.Food – I throw this out there for the foodies in the audience. Personally speaking, I am content with lower end food most of the time because it’s what I prefer. I’m a fairly picky eater and fussy food is not something I enjoy. But for foodies, travel can be one of the best times to experiment with new restaurants and even cuisines. Food is a critical part of the travel experience and usually forms some of the best memories of the trip. No matter where you go or how you travel, there are plenty of ways to experiment with food you wouldn’t try at home. Whether it’s a 3-star restaurant in Paris, a new sushi bar in New York or one of the premium dining options on a cruise, spending a little more for food can many times be the best investment you make. I use that extra food money to buy more Nutella crepes personally.
4.Hotels – This is a little more controversial, I’ve found most people to have strong opinions on the importance of hotels. Some don’t care where they sleep, it’s little more than a storage locker with a bed for them and doesn’t factor into their travel experience. In my opinion though, where you decided to spend the night is a vital part of a trip. Luxury is great, and there’s nothing better than being well taken care of in a high end hotel, but spending more on a hotel doesn’t have to mean super high end. It can also mean a better located hotel, which is just as important. Since our travel time is limited, making sure where we spend the night is convenient is very important. The lower priced hotels on the outskirts of town may be attractive at first, but after you factor in the travel time and general inconvenience, you’ll realize it’s much better to splurge on a more centrally located hotel.
These are just a few ways I like to splurge when I travel. What are some of yours?