I always like to mix up my stay with a luxury hotel (or as luxury my budget will allow in whatever city I’m in) and have a spa-day on every trip. I offset the expensive cost of spa services and pools by staying in cheaper apartments without all of the amenities my diva heart so craves. This is the time of the vacation where it doesn’t matter how much things cost (obviously with a limit in the back of my mind, of course) as long as I enjoy them. Order the room service, get that massage, pay for the hotel’s over-priced restaurant meals simply because I don’t have to leave the hotel…this is when I overindulge.
I like to go grocery shopping.
Yes, I actually love grocery shopping, both at home and when abroad. I love heading out to the store in a foreign city and picking out my fruits and vegetables for my stay, perusing the aisles for anything exciting that we don’t have back home. Sometimes, you end up spending a lot more than you thought you would. Why? Because it gets so fun trying all of the new-to-you items in the grocery store. As long as you keep yourself on a budget, grocery shopping will far outweigh the price of eating in restaurants every meal for your entire trip.
I head to the local market, or store, to grab what I need to make a delicious home-cooked meal that costs WAY less than what the restaurant would charge me. That way….
I get to buy the $25 Kir Royale.
Because, when you’re at Laduree you do not skimp. Because I’ve saved so much on restaurant outings by eating in and buying groceries, I can indulge where it counts. And, ignore prices on menus to gain that must-have experience of drinking a champagne cocktail on the Champs D’Elysees while a gay couple argues with the waiter on keeping their adorable and tiny dog at the table.
By taking public transportation, or walking everywhere, I save tons on the cost of taxis. Taking a taxi can eat up your money like nobody’s business. While I like to splurge on a taxi to and from the airport/train station (lugging heavy suitcases to and from places is the absolute worst), switching to walking or public transportation once I’m settled keeps the costs down, and is a great way to see the town/city you’re visiting. It also means I get to shop to my heart’s content. Or… until my credit card’s limit.