There comes a time in your life when you just can’t imagine yourself sleeping in a bunk bed with 10 other people in some hostel anymore. You go to work like a real grown-up every day, you’re trying to desperately stay on top of your adult responsibilities, and you just deserve a holiday with a little more luxury than this.
At the same time, you need to be money-wise, because money doesn’t grow on trees – just remember all them bitches you didn’t slap at work every day to afford this holiday!
So how do you travel like an adult?
What do you save on? What do you splurge on?
1. SPLURGE: Realistic flights and journey times
How many times have you booked a low cost flight, thinking that sure, I’ll be fine taking off at 6am in the morning and having 2 stopovers of 7 hours each to save 100 bucks.
But think of the reality. If you fly internationally at 6am, it means you’ll have to be at the airport around 4am. Depending on how far you live from the airport, that means trying to organise transport an hour or more before then. And before that, you have to wake up and get ready!
Trust me, when you are shivering outside in the dark waiting for the airport shuttle bus at 2am in the morning on no sleep, with 22 hours of travel to go, and someone came along and told you: Hey, if you give me $100 right now, I’ll make this whole journey 100 times more comfortable for you!
You’d be like: Hell yeah, take my money and just get me out of this shit.
The same applies to long or frequent stopovers. I was recently tempted to buy a flight ticket from Sydney to Venice which was $900 cheaper than the average airline because there was a 26 hour stopover in Mumbai.
Woah $900! But let’s do the maths here.
Now, with a probably 40+ hour total journey, you’re looking at basically missing at least two working days. Let’s say you make $200 bucks a day, that means you lose $400, and at this point you’re only saving $500. On top of that, now you’re stuck in Mumbai for 26 hours. Do you leave the airport? That costs money. Do you buy food? That costs money again. Do you rent a room? That’s going to be a handsome sum!
And trust me, even after only 10 hours of waiting at the airport, bored out of your mind, dead phone, out of snacks, you’d be willing to spend $500 to be on the next flight to Venice.
You’re on holiday for fuck’s sake. Time to relax!
2. SAVE: Hotels and room service
When you finally say goodbye to youth hostels, there are a whole new set of challenges: Resisting the mini bar, the room service meals, and all sorts of other luxuries that come with a price tag. Many hotels will charge more because of the little extras – maybe you get a bottle of something bubbly on arrival, or fresh fruit every day, or some ‘complementary’ high-end skincare products.
The good news is that you can have all this and more for a fraction of the price, if you plan ahead a little.
For instance, did you know that you can have unlimited ice in fancy buckets delivered to your door for free? If you just bring your own bottle of champagne, or buy it when you arrive, you’ll be spending $30 on this sparkling experience instead of $150 in extra daily charges for the convenience of having it there on arrival. In fact, have a damn champagne bottle once a day for that price! Go ahead, you earned it!
Fill your mini fridge with your own favourite snacks and drinks – you are allowed to keep your own things in the fridge! You know that you’ll want a beer and a snickers at 11pm at night. And why shouldn’t you have those things, dammit? So when you arrive at your destination, just take a trip to the convenience store and fill up the fridge will all the disgusting things your heart may desire.
And if you really want food and drinks delivered to your door – just use a delivery service. Food delivery is a thing in most countries, so just use any of the normal delivery sites you’d use at home (and yes, they deliver to hotel rooms!). I recently ordered ice cold beers and awesome meals from a local restaurant to my hotel room in Brisbane. Not only was it delicious to eat, but it was delicious to know that the hotel would have charged me 200% of what I’d paid for the exact same thing.
I hope these tips and small hints of luxury will make your next trip feel a little more grown-up. And sparkly.