Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When to Splurge?

A little bit ago Mr. Awesome shared a post about budgeting, which is an endeavor we've undertaken and then failed many times. This year we're doing great overall (and I have the empty crisper drawer to prove it), having banked money more months than we haven't. But then comes the temptation...

The normal temptations I can resist; I am not much of a shopper and just stay away from the places that can lead to spending (I'm talking about you, thrift stores), but there's another temptation pulling at me - the temptation to take an outrageous trip. 

I am celebrating a landmark birthday this year. For some an adequate birthday celebration is going to dinner, but birthday's are a big deal in the Awesome household. No matter the birthday it's a least a day long celebration, but landmark birthdays are even bigger. We celebrated one overnight in a castle in Scotland and another listening to fado in Lisbon, Portugal. 

My birthday trip started out as a cruise to Alaska. What I didn't realize was just how expensive Alaskan cruises are. Cha-ching! And they book up quick! Even before we started considering shore excursions we were at the top of our travel budget for the year. The cost was disproportionate to my level of interest. 

Abandoning Alaska, we started an exploration of other travel destinations. Where else could we go for the same price tag as Alaska? Peru? Costa Rica? Chile?  There are Groupon and Living Social deals to consider, but many of those tour conductors have dubious reviews at best (I guess it just goes to the old adage, you get what you pay for). We could definitely plan a cheaper trip if we were willing to piece things together instead of looking for a package, but I also wanted to be realistic about how much time I had to dedicate to research and reservations. Your time is definitely worth something. So, I decided to take a step back and wait for a while before diving back in to the adventure planning. 

Yesterday I dove back in and fell in love with a South African safari that included a helicopter flight, vineyard tour, and days exploring a nature preserve where the "Big Five" roam free. The one problem... I forgot what our budget for the trip really was and was looking at a per person cost instead of per couple cost. Mr. Awesome is as much up for an adventure as I am and this one would be epic, but the question is, when is it worth it to splurge? What would you do? 

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