What were your best splurges?
Can anyone list some of their best splurges along the way? Where was it, and what did it cost? This should really help me plan some things to do along the way. Thanks!
I guess on my rtw my scuba diving course in Ko Tao, Thailand would count as a "splurge" but I went there knowing I wanted to do it so somehow am not viewing it the same way (though the subsequent dives prolly count in that category- scuba diving is wicked fun). I recall the whole thing was like US$250 for a four day course that included accommodation and four dives/ one session in the pool, this was going on 3 years ago tho now so it's probably a bit more. My best SE Asia splurge tho was The Gibbon Experience- back then it was $150 for three nights so definitely a splurge, but I'd do it again for sure if I found myself in Laos.
By far my biggest and most expensive splurges now that I think about it were safari-ing in Africa, which is an incredible experience. Not quite a safari but certainly the most expensive thing I've ever done was shelling out for a US$500 gorilla permit in Uganda to be with the mountain gorillas for an hour but I truly don't regret it. It's really something to hang out with our closest cousins and marvel at how similar and dissimilar we are- I remember the silverback lounging around like any guy would on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon, and it turns out the teenage guy gorillas have a "I punch you, you punch me back" game like males are wont to do that they decided to test on me hey gives me a good story for life!
There are also of course high-adrenaline stuff- bungy jumping, skydiving, skiing, paragliding, rock climbing, horseback riding etc. Your mileage will vary depending on where you are of course, but bungy/skydiving are like $150 a pop. Skiing/snowboarding is a LOT cheaper in Europe than in the USA (and prolly more so on other continents but I've never been in the right season to try), around here I can go skiing at awesome places for 100 Euro/day including ticket/hostel/rental whereas it's US$100 for the ticket alone in most places in North America.
Anyway some ideas, I'm sure others will have more.
Then there was the $60AUD for a flight over Fraser Island that was spur of the moment when the tour bus stopped at a plane on the beach offering the flight. Likely another $500 in unplanned mini-splurges.
One planned splurge that was worth every penny was a $250 dawn hot-air balloon flight over the outback at Alice Springs, AWESOME!
Due to a boo-boo in planning I had 6 weeks to fill in SE Asia before heading to OZ which I spent in Bangkok taking a $1200 TEFL course, met some interesting people, learned a lot, not only in the course but also how Thais with a bit of money live. No regrets there.
There was also the $3600 spent on 7 days in Greenland but this was budgeted so doesn't really count in your question. Also worth the money.
Worth. Every. Penny. And I wish I'd had enough cash to get the week-long cruise, a scuba dive or two, and spend another 3 or 4 days lounging around a different island (I stayed on Santa Cruz, and would have liked to also spend a few days on Isabella.)
As for other things...what qualifies as a splurge is all relative. I don't think there's anything else I've spent thousands extra on. But is renting a car a splurge? If so, it's often worth it in places with poor public transit and fantastic countryside. I spent about 5 days on Lesvos, Greece, and a week in Romania with a car, which probably added about $600 to my total trip cost. Worth it, though, got to go places that were largely inaccessible without a car, and both had some fantastic scenery.
$100 in Syria is a lot of money - I could live very well for about $30/day - but $100 to hire a driver to spend on days taking us around to inconvenient locations was money well spent. I would never have seen Qasr-al-heir-al-sharki, Rasefeh, or the Euphrates without it, all of which were amazing locations.
And perhaps some of the best splurges are the little things. We spent about $35 one morning in Jordan to eat breakfast at the Movenpick (5-star hotel) buffet. But my. That was one of the best mornings of the trip. After weeks of hard-boiled eggs, and maybe omelettes, for breakfast, a full buffet with fruit and everything, was just an awesome break from the every-day routine, and recharged us quite nicely.
Similarly, an extra $10 per night to get the room with A/C at a number of places we stayed was money well spent, and I often regretted the days that I cheaped out on the room to save such a small amount of money.
I'm not talking splurges like, A/C rooms or car hires....
I'm talking about activities, experiences, and the such.
Helicopter escape from Lukla, Nepal after being stranded by bad weather for 8 days ($500)
I don't really think I regret any of the money we spent on our trip. We tended to balance splurges with days during which we spent nearly nothing. It all seemed to even out.
Buying rugs in Turkey- never mind they got ruined later.
$200 for a roundtrip flight from Chennai, India to Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands...again worth every penny!
Those are two of the biggest ones I remember splurging on...there's always the activities like ziplining, white water rafting, buying a better meal, upgrading your room every so often, swimming with dolphins, etc. These are all usually under $100 but they do add up! Like RTW2010... said if you spend a lot one day try to spend next to nothing for the next few to make up for it and it all evens out.
Have a fantastic trip!
"I travel not to escape but to find reality"
It's a once in a lifetime trip.
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