Going on vacation is exciting, but it’s also expensive. From your meals to your accommodations, nearly everything comes with a price tag, and while it’s nice to let loose and treat yourself once in a while, it can be far too easy to let trip costs spiral out of control and make way more of an impact on your wallet than initially anticipated.
It’s important to plan your purchases thoughtfully to maximize your value and optimize your trip. Just as there are certain things you can save money on without making much of a sacrifice, there are other elements of your trip that are absolutely worth the splurge. Here are five things you shouldn’t cut corners on when traveling:
THE RIGHT SHOES.
Whether you’re exploring a city in Europe or you’re out trekking through rainforests in South America, there’s no way to escape the fact that you’ll probably do a lot of walking on your trip. Exploring a new place on foot is one of the best ways to truly experience it, but you’ll need to ensure you’re equipped with the right footwear – otherwise, you’re in for a bad time. If you don’t already own a pair of shoes well-suited for lots of steps, plan ahead and try to buy a pair a couple of weeks before you leave so you have plenty of time to break them in.
A NONSTOP FLIGHT.
Sometimes nonstop flights are more expensive than their direct counterparts, but sometimes they aren’t. As long as the difference isn’t too great, it’s almost always worth it to splurge and book the nonstop ticket – especially if your journey would otherwise be split apart by more than one layover. While it can be nice to have an opportunity to get off the plane and stretch your legs, it’s almost always nicer to get to your final destination a little bit faster, and streamlining your trip will help you avoid delays.
A GOOD MEAL.
While food is one of the easiest places to cut costs on your travel, a good meal can often be the highlight of an amazing trip, so it’s smart to plan at least one memorable breakfast, lunch or dinner at a local restaurant. Do your research and find a spot with solid reviews and make your reservations in advance – or wait until you’re there and ask a few locals for their suggestions. Either way, you won’t regret taking the time to slow down and experience the cuisine your destination is known for.
AN ONE-OF-A-KIND EXPERIENCE.
One of the most exciting things about going on vacation is the novelty of the experience. Getting to explore a new place for the first time can be enough to satisfy most on vacation, but to make your experience even richer, find something to do or see that you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. Whether that’s watching a production at the theater, signing up for a cooking class to get more familiar with the local fare, or experiencing the unique natural beauty of a place, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to make a memory that will stay with you long after your trip has concluded.
A GREAT VIEW.
After all, you’re on vacation to see a new place, right? See if you can find a spot to get a spectacular glimpse of your destination. You can pay to ride to the top of the tallest local skyscraper – or you could get creative and see what other options you can find to capture the perfect view. Take a gondola ride up a nearby mountain, or conquer your fear of heights and sign up for a helicopter tour of the area. You’ll be glad you did when you’re treated to incredible views and picture-perfect photo opps for your family.
While there are plenty of places to cut back on costs when planning a trip, there are a few areas worth spending a few extra dollars to make your trip that much more memorable. These are just a few to consider!