Travel Splurges Worth Making

I’m just going to go ahead and admit something you probably already know about me: I suck at budgeting. I’m not great at math, I’m terrible at organization and worst of all I just have no willpower to stay in some sort of arbitrary daily constraint on how much I can spend.

I still travel very far for very little, but I’ll never be the sleep on the beach, eat canned tuna for a week kind of traveler. There are just some things I am never able to resist spending money on when traveling. This doesn’t mean that I’m the private jet charter, penthouse suite kind of traveler either, but there are some small splurges that just make all the difference to me when traveling.

Private Rooms

couple time

Look man, I love hostels, but I am just getting too old and cranky for dorm rooms. I’ll do it still, if I don’t have a choice, but given the chance I’d much rather shell out a few extra bucks and have my own door.

This is where traveling with Mike comes in handy as a justifiable excuse. We’re engaged! We need our privacy! We also travel with an irresponsible amount of expensive electronics and we always feel safer with our own room to lock them up in.

I still like hostels (although as time goes on I also really love a good hotel room or apartment rental). I like being able to meet people, but the truth is that for a traveling introvert like me, it’s really great to socialize a whole bunch then go back to my own room and shut the door.

A Good Camera


One of the worst travel mistakes ย I’ve ever made was buying a sub-par camera in Vietnam, simply because it was cheaper. When I look back at my pictures from South East Asia (and particularly those from Angkor Wat), I can’t ignore the crappy quality. It’s distracting and it messes with the way I remember these vibrant and truly beautiful places.

Now I know the importance of investing in a quality camera. In fact I just picked up a new Canon S110 for my upcoming trip so that I can take pictures actually worthy of the places I go.

Diet Coke

An addiction is an addiction guys. I’ve been cutting down my coke consumption here at home for health reasons, but once I’m back on the road with the constant fatigue and need to a pep-me-up, all bets are off.

Whether I’m paying 10 cents for a glass bottle Coke in China or 4 Euros for a can of Coca-cola Light in France, nothing can stop me from turning the entire world into my very own Diet Coke commercial.

Food.. especially Dessert

My biggest downfall. I just have to try the local cuisine. This is not so much a problem in places like Vietnam, where a street food snack is literally pennies, but it becomes more of an issue in Europe, where my desire to eat well and my desire not to spend all my money are sometimes hugely at odds.

I almost made ice cream it’s own separate category because local dessert is important too! I can not resist ice cream while traveling, or any other new snack that will satisfy my sweet tooth.

What do you splurge on when traveling?

This article was written by me, brought to you by Eljet.

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33 thoughts on “Travel Splurges Worth Making”

  1. I’ve always stayed in hotels and only recently had a chance to stay at hostels. Its a love-hate relationships….I can’t tell you yet what I decided about them-I have to stay in a few more….;)

    About food – I would definitely splurge on that and like you, I love desserts! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I would also spend as much as necessary on day tours/hikes/specials adventures if I’m somewhere. No point on saving and then regretting….

  2. Private rooms too are my jam. Unless I am only crashing for one night, anything longer and I gotta have my own space. Good call on the desserts too!! Other then that, I really only go for broke on activities.

  3. Apart from chocolate pralines, my splurge on past travels has been accommodation. While I don’t mind hostel dorms (I’ve stayed in several) I’ve had a tendency to go for comfortable and convenient instead of one of the cheapest options.

  4. Hi Steph – I agree with you on the diet coke, the private rooms, and the food, but I regret the money I spent on my last camera because I like just using my iphone. Before having the phone I hardly took photos because I don’t enjoy it but I don’t mind it as much with the phone.

  5. Definitely splurges worth making. Well, except for the Diet Coke. I’d rather have a glass of wine with dinner or a cocktail before ๐Ÿ™‚
    Splurging on a room with private bath/wc or one shared with only a couple of people (rather than the whole hostel) is a must for me. As is trying local cuisine. Sometimes we’ll share a dish to keep within our budget, but our philosophy is to try the local foods whenever possible. We learn so much about cultures and people this way…

  6. Totally agree with all these points! AirBnB (as the peson above said) is an awesome way to get cheap sleeps in a private room. We’ve booked an entire apartment just of Times Sq with them, for less than what a hotel would’ve cost us…. and the hotel would’ve only been 2* at best!

    Splurging is important, it’s nice to treat yourself, and at least make sure you’re comfortable and happy and safe. It means you can enjoy yourself more.

  7. I can’t handle hostel life anymore either. And as much as I love a swanky hotel room, I can’t justify the cost when I’m on a longer trip. I’ve been using Airbnb to get the private room luxury at hostel cost. It’s pretty great. It’s even better when friends come with me and we can split things like a beautiful house in Nice.

    Also, yes to food! Especially if you’re a foodie, I like picking one place in a country that I must try, regardless of cost. (Though, El Bulli in Spain was still way too expensive for me to consider, I do make a point of stopping by some chef-idol’s places when I’m there).

    I also think location-specific goods are worthwhile, i.e. things you can’t get in the States no matter what. I’ve promised myself to get some Travelite luggage when I’m in Germany. Shipping to the US costs 50 euro per item! Insanity.

  8. I totally agree on the room issue. Been there, done that with hostels and dorms and I feel far too old for it now. If you can afford a private room then it is a luxury you should always consider.

    Is that picture of food a gorgeous lamb shank? I love lamb shank ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. You’re so right about accommodations and good food! Food is an absolute must splurge item for me which is why I over budget to cover it. I try not to eat at restaurants that are too expensive, but I do want to have the option of trying a bunch of different restauraunts, street food vendors, etc. I also splurge on souvenirs for our home. When the hubs and I finally buy a home and start having kids, I want to be able to decorate and accessorize it with different relics from around the world so that I can look at daily reminders of the places I’ve been.

  10. Great list! I wholeheartedly agree with all of these splurges — especially the part about being too old and cranky for dorm rooms anymore! Haha. I also splurge on adventure/outdoor activities, such as scuba diving, multi-day treks, etc. They’re one of my favorite parts of traveling, so it’d be a shame to miss out!

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