Have you been seeing a trend online of traveling the world on a budget? I know that I have. More often than not the content I see online is about how to save money on travel or how to travel on a budget.
But, this blog post serves a different purpose. I want to share with you as a world traveler and travel professional when I think splurging on travel is worth it and what travel items are worth spending the extra dollar on.
For those of you who are visiting this page for the first time, you might be thinking how the heck is she an expert on this subject?
I personally traveled internationally for the first time at 12 years old, and traveled solo for the first time at 15 years old. I have since visited 39 countries and counting (as of September 2023) and founded Cherish Tours a tour company hosting women-only travel experiences around the world.
I have learned a lot through my extensive travel experience and this blog post among others on this page are here to help solo women travelers smarter, not harder.
So let's dive in!
In my opinion, treating yourself is something all women should be doing for themselves on a regular basis.
When it comes to travel, how can we apply this mentality in a smart way to the way we travel while also making the best decisions for our safety and enjoyment?
Let's answer the bigger question first: When is splurging on travel worth it?
Long-term travel - When I backpacked Europe for 3 months after graduating from university, I stayed almost exclusively in hostels to save money on the longer-term travel I was doing. While this was safe and totally fine for most of the time, at one point I really needed a refresher. I splurged and booked a 4-star hotel room for a few nights in the middle of my trip. This was one of the best travel decisions I ever made. I never appreciated a hotel room and my privacy so much. If you're a woman traveling alone for an extended period of time, I would highly recommend allowing for a splurge like this.
Traveling only 1-2 times a year - Are you someone who typically only takes 1-2 vacations every year? If this is you, then each trip should be something special that you're really looking forward to. When you're saving your time for limited travel, spending a bit more on the experience will make it extra special.
During life's big milestones - Treating yourself is even more worth it in life's biggest moments, whether you're celebrating something, rediscovering yourself, healing, or just acknowledging a big life transition. Travel can be the perfect way to commemorate significant moments in your life.
On once in a lifetime experiences - Is staying in a cave hotel on your bucket list? Meeting with indigenous women? Visiting a country half way around the world? When something feels like it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, spend the money it takes to have an incredible life experience.
When you've saved up for it - Budgeting is an important part of prioritizing travel. Travel is not as "cheap" as the budget travelers try to convince you that it is. International flights from the US can cost $1,000+ alone. I highly encourage women travelers to budget for the travel they want to do. If you already have the money set aside for the travels you want to do, you shouldn't feel guilty about spending it.
When you don't have someone to travel with - Are you someone who wants to travel more but the other people in your life just can't seem to find the time, money, or even the interest to go with you? You're not alone in this, women only travel groups are becoming increasingly popular for this exact reason. It never hurts to spend a little extra on a tour to be surrounded by like-minded women who prioritize travel.
Now let's answer the second question: What types of travel expenses are worth spending an extra dollar on?
Travel Insurance - This is a travel expense that I never skip. You're lucky if you haven't had an experience where you need travel insurance. Travel insurance helps protect you from losing money in case of certain last minute cancellations and also supports you in case of injury or illness abroad. Never skip purchasing travel insurance just to save a few dollars.
All of Cherish's trips offer an easy to use travel insurance platform to purchase necessary travel insurance for our trips. You're also more than welcome to use this quoting platform for your personal travels.
Direct Flights - Whenever I can, I book direct flights even if it costs a little extra. It is so worth it in the time saved, the energy gained, and preventing potential headaches and stress from delays or lost luggage.
Paying Local Guides & Gratuities - Paying your local guides a fair wage is incredibly important. I believe in bartering in countries where it is appropriate. However, I always do my research ahead of time to make sure that I am not paying less than a fair wage. If your guide provides an excellent experience, splurging on an extra big tip can truly make a huge impact.
Experiences/Excursions - Memorable experiences can truly make a difference in your enjoyment of a travel experience. Book the excursion!
Working with Local Women - It is Cherish's mission to support local women in business through our trips, even if it costs a little bit more. Supporting women may take a little extra research to find the businesses but through my experience staying at women owned hotels, going to women owned restaurants, working with women guides, etc. there is always extra care and love the local women put into the experience and then back into their communities.
Comfortable Travel Shoes - Cheaping out on your travel walking shoes is a quick trip to disaster. Sometimes on trips I can walk more than 20,000 steps a day, buying a shoe that supports your adventurous spirit on vacation is well worth the money.
Quality Luggage - Buying a carry on that I love has been a game changer for my travel experience. I can now pack lighter while navigating airports and new destinations with much more ease.
Souvenirs Worth Keeping - Souvenirs are something that women travelers can easily forget to budget for. In my opinion, a souvenir that you or a loved one will cherish for a long time is truly special and better than purchasing a knick-knack.
Transfer from the Airport - One of the most stressful things for me even as an experienced traveler is figuring out how I will arrive from the airport to my hotel. I typically find myself splurging the most on a taxi or transfer from the airport to my first hotel. Navigating after I arrive at the hotel in my destination seems to be much easier for me. It is also a way to ease my anxiety around safety in a new place.
What do you typically splurge on when you're traveling? Let me know in the comments.
Did you find this Travel Advice helpful?
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