What’s Worth the Splurge When You Travel
Your dream vacation doesn’t have to be champagne wishes and caviar dreams, but it should be designed to be the best your budget can afford so you come home feeling sat-is-fied. In order to achieve that, take a minute to consider a few options that are simply worth the splurge; choices that will fill your heart and soul with experience, or save you precious time and convenience. For it is here where the real value lies: You will rarely remember how much you paid for a trip, but you will always remember how it made you feel.
For this reason we consistently encourage our clients to stretch the budget to the most they can afford because the experience will be that much better, and the chance of disappointment will be that much less. Here are a few areas we feel are worth the splurge on vacation:
- Hotel Location: Location, location, location! A trip can simply be made or compromised depending on the location of your hotel. Sure, prime locations ask prime rates, but you’ll be paying in time and money to travel where you want to go if you aren’t staying at a well situated property. And depending on your destination, you need to consider safety, which is something you can’t put a price tag on.
- Hire a private local guide: It’s never a bad idea to connect with a local guide to give you an authentic orientation of the area. They’re proud to share the local lore, the best off the beaten path spots, and if applicable, the places that are worth going back to to spend more time. Your vacation planner can connect with you a preferred and trusted guide.
- Room with a view: Saying good morning and good night to a pleasant view of your outside surroundings will confirm that you are indeed on vacation. If you are cruising, spring for a balcony cabin. Picture or port hole windows fall short on the satisfaction curve. They force you to not want to spend a minute more in your room than you have to. Isn’t it a lot more pleasant to picture yourself lounging outside, enjoying fresh air as the world sails by, rather than holed up inside like a stowaway?
- Room Category: Avoid booking the “lead-in” room rates because they generally have the least desirable location and are the smallest rooms on the property or cruise ship. And if you are a family traveling, your level of comfort will pay for itself if you can splurge on a suite.
- Private Airport Transfer: Don’t plan to just “grab a cab” after a long international flight or cruise. Between things getting lost in translation (or altogether lost!), currency transactions and overall comfort, having a driver meet you with a sign with your name on it isn’t as indulgent as it sounds. It’s smart, super convenient, and it will get you where you need to be with a rate you already know.
- Truly unique local experience: Immerse yourself in a dynamic, unique activity or excursion that you will talk and daydream about forever: cooking lessons in Italy, ziplining in the Amazon, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, hiking the Inca Trail, pedaling through Provence, truffle hunting in Croatia, horseback riding near Arenal Volcano, sleeping in a castle in Ireland…. The opportunities are infinite. But the bottom line is to not let a life-changing experience pass you by based on the price tag alone.
- One really nice, long meal at a fabulous place: Think of it not just as a meal, but theater. For example a meal at the Jules Verne Restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris will remind you life is not good, it is great!
Here are a couple of tips to help offset the cost of that splurge:
- Plan ahead: Waiting until the last minute to book will leave you with limited, and often more costly options. And usually what’s leftover is, well, leftover for a reason, and as we addressed earlier that can lead to disappointment.
- Consider staying less nights: If you can have a mediocre time for 7 nights, or a fabulous time for 5 nights, we suggest you opt for the 5 night stay. Remember, at the end of the trip you will always remember how it made you feel.
The world is extraordinary and there’s more than anyone can explore, so our advice is to make the most of every destination and never leave anything up for “next time.” When you consider that travel is the one thing you can buy that will make you richer, doesn’t it make sense to spend a little more to get a lot more? Consider these options as high value ways to have the most enjoyable and efficient dream vacation experience possible.