Travel Splurges Worth Making

Michael Stressed

Feeling stressed out on the road is multiplied. It doesn’t help that I probably don’t speak the local language, I don’t know anyone, and the closest friends I have I met an hour ago. There’s been many times I was super stressed out and just needed a good day of splurging to feel better again. I don’t need to feel stressed out to do them either. It’s just what I enjoy and makes me happy.

Anything to do with food

I’d say most of the time when I’m stressed out, it’s because I’m hungry. Even if it’s not, it’s hard to get mad at anything with a full stomach.

I’m willing to go out of my way to have a fantastic meal even if it’ll cost extra to get there or the dish is expensive. I love food and discovering new dishes which is why we created Eat The World.

Although it doesn’t cost much, I usually go out of my way to find a good locally brewed beer as well.

Asado in Argentina

Asado in Argentina

Stay in a luxurious apartment or house rental

I caught a bad cold in Santiago, Chile the minute I got there. I didn’t care about sightseeing the city. All I wanted to do is rest in peace. That would have been in impossible in a hostel. I ended up staying in a rented apartment for 10-days and just relaxed the entire time. I felt bad I didn’t discover as much as I would have liked to of Santiago but I knew pushing myself would make me feel worse.

Sometimes I need some quiet time too whether I’m sick or not which hostels don’t always have. Hotels are sometimes too expensive and since I travel slow, I don’t mind booking a week long or more for an apartment so I can relax. It’s often cheaper to get a vacation rental than a hotel.

Apartment in Chile

Last minute getting out

Stephanie and I were in Ecuador super exhausted from traveling. I couldn’t imagine getting on another bus. I was also insanely behind on work and was running out of money unless I stood still for awhile somewhere to recover my funds. So we booked a flight to Buenos Aires for the next day. I never booked a flight so late minute before. Buenos Aires is my second home. It’s familiar to me and I have a lot of family there. We ended up getting an apartment for three months in Buenos Aires. By the time we left the city, we were energized and ready to keep on traveling.

I had a similar breakdown in SE Asia and decided to change my flight for the next day to go to Australia instead of India so I could visit friends. It cost me a lot but it was worth it to see my friends.

Comfort on buses

I can deal with chicken buses when I don’t have a choice but if it’s going to cost me $10 extra to ride in a better quality overnight bus, I’ll take it. Argentina and Peru are known to have high quality buses from regular seats to VIP seats that fold back into a bed and come with wine and steak. I don’t need VIP but middle class is perfect for me (semi-cama) especially on buses that last longer than about 8 hours. If it’s overnight, I definitely need a minimum of semi-cama or better. I’m useless when I’m tired so I’m better off going for comfort and getting a good nights rest or as good as it’ll get on a bus.

CATA Bus

What’s worth splurging on during your travels?

21 Comments

  1. Rease Kirchner on August 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I definitely agree that sometimes you just need to splurge. I never, ever took a bus in South American without at least Semi-cama. The price difference is so little compared to the benefit. A few months ago I had 3 shorter trips that happened to bump almost right into each other. I’d be home for a day or two, just long enough to do laundry and pack back up before getting on another plane. While on a long layover in Dallas, a saw a woman with pedicure sandals on. I was tired and stressed, so I hunted down the airport spa and paid for a pedicure in an airport. It was expensive, but totally worth it!

    • Michael on August 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      I took a regular seat from BA to Salta once.. Never again..

  2. Rease Kirchner on August 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I definitely agree that sometimes you just need to splurge. I never, ever took a bus in South American without at least Semi-cama. The price difference is so little compared to the benefit. A few months ago I had 3 shorter trips that happened to bump almost right into each other. I’d be home for a day or two, just long enough to do laundry and pack back up before getting on another plane. While on a long layover in Dallas, a saw a woman with pedicure sandals on. I was tired and stressed, so I hunted down the airport spa and paid for a pedicure in an airport. It was expensive, but totally worth it!

    • Michael on August 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      I took a regular seat from BA to Salta once.. Never again..

  3. Fred Perrotta on August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    100% agreed on food, especially if it’s a local specialty. 

  4. Fred Perrotta on August 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    100% agreed on food, especially if it’s a local specialty. 

  5. Andi Perullo on August 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I agree 100% with everything, especially upgrading accommodations when you can!

  6. Andi Perullo on August 25, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I agree 100% with everything, especially upgrading accommodations when you can!

  7. The Humble Tourist on August 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

    That bus seat looks amazing! I was sick while in Seattle and stayed in my hostel.  In hindsight I wish I’d splurged on private accommodation so I could get some R&R and also not disturb my room mates with my coughing.  At the time I was too sick to move.

    • Michael on August 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Yeah, the bus seats were really comfortable. They moved pretty far back too.

  8. Rachel Birchley on August 25, 2012 at 10:49 am

    That bus seat looks amazing! I was sick while in Seattle and stayed in my hostel.  In hindsight I wish I’d splurged on private accommodation so I could get some R&R and also not disturb my room mates with my coughing.  At the time I was too sick to move.

    • Michael on August 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Yeah, the bus seats were really comfortable. They moved pretty far back too.

  9. Audrey Bergner on August 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I’m all about splurging on food! I find that if I go too long without a good meal I can start to get quite moody. I like a good sit down dinner with a bread basket, entrees, a hearty meal, and perhaps a glass of wine. I don’t always eat like that on the road, but every once in a while it’s a nice little splurge.

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      I definitely get mood when I’m hungry. It’s not a good mix.

  10. Audrey on August 25, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I’m all about splurging on food! I find that if I go too long without a good meal I can start to get quite moody. I like a good sit down dinner with a bread basket, entrees, a hearty meal, and perhaps a glass of wine. I don’t always eat like that on the road, but every once in a while it’s a nice little splurge.

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      I definitely get mood when I’m hungry. It’s not a good mix.

  11. acoupletravelers on August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Definitely agree with the splurging on food! We are starting our trip in Japan and though I know it will be expensive there I’m determined to try tons of sushi – especially at the fish market in Tokyo. Even if it’s over $50 for the meal it will definitely be worth it to me! 

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Japan would have me broke so fast. I haven’t been yet but I know it’s going to happen and I’ll have to make sure I prepare myself for that.

  12. acoupletravelers on August 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Definitely agree with the splurging on food! We are starting our trip in Japan and though I know it will be expensive there I’m determined to try tons of sushi – especially at the fish market in Tokyo. Even if it’s over $50 for the meal it will definitely be worth it to me! 

    • Michael on September 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Japan would have me broke so fast. I haven’t been yet but I know it’s going to happen and I’ll have to make sure I prepare myself for that.

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