Splurge: To indulge in an extravagant expense or luxury.
Too often, I hear people say that you can’t splurge on a trip without losing the culture of the place you have traveled so far to visit.
I am here to tell you that those people are wrong.
Every trip I go on, I try and splurge on at least one part, whether it be flight, hotel, or an excursion.
While staying in a bed and breakfast allows travelers to enjoy more cultural experience and intimacy for half the cost, spending more to stay in a centrally located hotel close to the sights may lead to the hotel having enough history of it’s own to be part of the itinerary.
Fun Fact: There is a hidden train platform underneath the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Among those famous guests to use the platform are General Pershing and FDR.
Another great splurge is to book a private tour instead of a large group tour. By investing in a good tour, you are getting one-on-one time with the tour guide and a more personal, informative tour of wherever it is you’re going. For our upcoming trip, we booked both a large group tour of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (only because a private driver was about 5x the cost). We will also be touring the Normandy D-Day beaches in France and chose to book with a small tour company with a maximum of 6 people in each tour group so we can learn as much as possible about these WWII sites.
Taking a food tour is another splurge that helps you become enriched in a country’s culture. While these food tours are expensive, costing about $65 to $135 per person, they come with several stops that allow you to sample local flavors, all explained by a guide. If a food tour isn’t your style, go treat yourself to the best meal in town. You’re not dropping $50+ on just food – you’re paying for a sensual experience that just happens to be curing your hunger pains!
Flights are another splurge that I always partake in on a trip. Why? Well, I rather pay an extra $500 for first class on a domestic flight or $800 more on an international flight so I can get extra legroom and bulkhead seating towards the front of the plane – nothing cultural about that. I just want to be comfortable while I fly! If you want to pull the”culture card”,upgrade to business or first class on an international flight to get the food experience of the airline you’re flying. Flying Emirates? You’ll get all the complimentary Moët Chandan your body can handle along with about 98 food choices from the middle east. See there? Culture!
I’m not saying you should splurge on every trip you go on, but if you have the extra money, definitely go for it! Don’t worry about the cultural aspect of it. Chances are, you are going to experience some wonderful things where you are going and really get enriched in that country’s culture. If you don’t, look on the bright side – you can always go back!