Updated June 22, 2020.
It’s Travel Tip Tuesday, and this week we are talking about budgeting for splurges! I am all for saving money where you can and finding a great flight and hotel deal, but occasionally, budgeting for something special can be well worth the extra cost. Here are a few examples of travel expenses that won’t leave you with buyer’s regret!
1. Buying into Business Class (or a last-minute upgrade)
I know, buiness clas seats are reputably expensive, but not always as expensive as you might assume. Sometimes it’s worth that extra cash to arrive at your destination ready to go instead of ready to snap at anyone who looks at you. Are you taking an eight-hour daytime flight? You can probably suck it up in economy. Got a fourteen-hour overnight flight coming up? It may be worth that extra expense!
For those with airline loyalty status, free upgrades to business class are a fantastic perk. But sometimes the upgrade you want is not available for the day or time you want. Only you can decide if it’s worth the extra money for a multi-course meal (or meals), large TV screen, kinder service, a lay-flat seat for sleeping, amenities kit for comfort and relaxation, and the extra miles or status you’ll earn by flying in a higher-priced class of service.
Pro tip: More often than not, that business class seat could be available for the same price as the economy seat—it happens more often than you might think! It costs nothing look, so don’t count it out!
Just in case you don’t end up in business class:
How to Survive Long-haul Travel in Economy
2. Luxury Hotels
Sometimes it’s really just worth being comfortable and well-rested during your trip, especially a short trip. Treat yourself on a special occasion, and take full advantage of the perks of a luxury hotel experience: saunas, spa treatments, room service, snacks, warm beverages, comfy beds, multiple pillow firmness, soft robes, comfy slippers, gorgeous views—whatever those perks are, use them! The nicest hotels are typically in the best locations, so you can go back to your hotel for a refresher in the middle of the day or in the early evening before going out to dinner.
Are you a runner? You might come back after a great run to find a cool towel and bottle of water waiting for you. Staying on Waikiki Beach? Maybe your hotel will be giving you a beach bag, towels, sunscreen, and bottles of water as happened to us on our first anniversary trip! Is it worth splurging on a luxury hotel for a quick weekender or a special occasion? Sometimes it is for us!
A few instances when luxury was worthwhile:
Legendary Hotels of the World
3. Door-to-door Service
Public transportation or a taxi? Or a personal car from your accommodation? Check your options. Check the times for public transportation—if your flight lands at 1:00am but public transit only runs until midnight, you’ll be out of luck! Check with your hotel to ask if they have airport transportation. Sometimes door-to-door service really is the best option, not to mention that the convenience is worth something.
In both Seoul and Bangkok, a taxi was either the same or just a few dollars more than the public transportation, and the timing with door-to-door service was either the same or less than public transit! Check the Rome2Rio app for all your transportation options. You might just be surprised!
Did Rome2Rio just blow your mind? Check out the Best Apps for Travel!
4. Once in a Lifetime Experiences
Hot-air ballooning in Turkey was absolutely worth the cost. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was also worthwhile. Attending an opera at the Sydney Opera House? Also worth it. Using a travel agency to plan and manage our week in the Galapagos? Worth it. Taking a lava boat tour to see lava flowing into the ocean from the Big Island? Yes, worth the cost and the early wake up time. Meeting up with friends for a helicopter ride over Maui and the Molokai sea cliffs? So worth it!
Once in a lifetime experiences are always worthwhile if it’s something you want to do. For my husband and me, extravagant meals out are overrated, surf lessons on Waikiki were not worth doing, and big tours with lots of people and a packed schedule are not how we like to experience a new place. But a private tour of The Sound of Music sites in Salzburg, Taking the Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, and attending a luau on the Big Island were all epic experiences for us! It’s all about your preference and what you think will be worthwhile.
Need some inspiration? Check out Hawaii’s Best Adventures!
Still feeling a little guilty about your splurge?
It’s normal for a saver to have reservations about spending a little more for something special. But think of it this way:
- Staying at a nice hotel in the city center saves money on transportation!
- Including breakfast in the price of your hotel means you don’t have to hunt for breakfast and risk becoming “hangry” before your day of fun even starts!
- Booking into business class lets you arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go at 8:00 am local time, you will be in better spirits, more aware of your surroundings (and thus safer), and you will be more efficient in your touring a new city!
- Having someone from your hotel waiting patiently for you at the airport and getting you to the hotel safely gives you peace of mind and one less thing to figure out in your groggy, just-landed state.
- Enjoying that once in a lifetime experience will give you stories to tell for the rest of your life, and perhaps inspire others to take some risks and treat themselves, too!
Need some suggestions on saving for travel, check out
6 Ways I Afford to Travel!
So what do you think? Are some splurges worth saving for and going after? Have you ever wished you splurged on something while traveling but didn’t because you thought it cost too much? Tell me below!
And get all my best money-saving tips, hacks, and ideas on my Saving for Travel Page!
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