Traveling can be expensive. Plane tickets, accommodations, activities, and meals certainly add up quickly. Luckily, in today’s society, there are countless websites and travel blogs out there with the sole purpose of helping you save money. Travel on a budget! Save money traveling by doing X, Y, Z! I’m all about saving money, but there are definitely times it is worth it to splurge and spend a little more. You can absolutely cut corners when you can so that you will have the extra money for a few travel splurges. Here are four common scenarios where you can choose to splurge:
Scenario 1: You’re tired of sharing a dorm room in a hostel.
We’ve all been there. Sharing a room with 9 strangers, with limited space and bathroom access can be a bit of a nightmare. As I am approaching my 27th birthday I have realized I can no longer handle the cramped quarters of a hostel. To my surprise, I have found that quite a few hostels have private rooms that aren’t that much more expensive. You may end up paying $5 extra dollars a night, but being able to throw your things wherever you want and turn the lights on whenever you see fit is absolutely worth it.
Scenario 2: You need air conditioning.
Traveling in Central America or South East Asia during the hot, sticky summer months can be horrendous. It seems like you can never cool off and nothing will dry. Finding rooms with A/C may be tricky, but when you do it may feel like you’ve won the lottery. Get the room with A/C and enjoy a night of comfort! You don’t need to splurge every night, but every once and in a while will make your trip that much more enjoyable.
Scenario 3: Relocating to a new country.
If you have ever packed up all of your belongings and moved across the country, or the globe, you know what I’m talking about. Baggage allowances on airlines are ridiculous! How are you supposed to move your entire life in one suitcase? After doing this a few times, I’ve realized it can be way more affordable (and comfortable!) if you use miles or pay for a flight upgrade. Business and first class tickets typically allow for you to carry more bags with a greater weight limit. American Airlines, for example, bumps up your luggage allowance to two 70lb bags. That is much better than paying the $100 fee per bag!
Scenario 4: The “Once in a Lifetime” Opportunity.
Have you ever wanted to take a specific tour and didn’t because it cost too much? Or hesitated on buying a souvenir because of the price tag? These are the best times to splurge! In 5 years you won’t regret going to see your favorite band in London or purchasing amazing tribal art. I have never met someone who wished they didn’t spend that $100 on an awesome tour. Money spent on travel is well spent, and if you truly don’t know if you‘ll have the change to do the activity or buy the piece of art, do it now.
How to balance the extra cost:
These travel splurges aren’t meant to ruin your budget or convince you that you’ll never be able to afford to travel. You can try to counteract these costs by making food at home if your accommodation has a kitchen. It is amazing how much you can save by cooking one meal at home or grabbing items to make sandwiches while you’re out. Another option is to compare your budget and determine what you really want to do/purchase and see if there are some things you can eliminate. You could also try to find work while you are traveling. Loads of hostels offer room and board if you work at their reception or bartend a few nights a week. Many places that are popular for tourists also offer some kinds of work for a little bit of money to cover the extra expenses you may want to incur. Just remember, “Travel is the only thing you can spend money on that will make you richer”!
Which travel splurges do you enjoy?