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Old 10-22-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
WanderlustNZ
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Worthwhile Indulgences

I'm sitting here trying to work out just how far my holiday budget is going to stretch and it has got me wondering how best to maximise my money.

In an ideal world I would be able to stay in 5 star resorts, fly first class, eat at michelin star restaurants and shop till I drop. But given that my middle-class income is not that generous, I'm always looking for ways to get the 'best bang for my buck'.

So here's what I'm wondering:

1: When deciding how to treat yourself, what luxuries do you find the easiest to justify and why?

For me, it's spending money on the resorts and/or ships where I will be spending the most daylight hours. If I'm going to be out all day and just need somewhere to sleep, I'm happy with a 'value' resort. However, given that our Disney Cruise will be the relaxing part of our trip and has lots of sea days, that is where I'm spending the largest chunk of our accommodation budget.

2: Do you have any little indulgences that you will now always find a way to justify?

For me it's Works Deluxe on ANZ. It's the best seat I can afford on short-haul international flights and, despite being economy class, it comes with heaps of great perks such as lounge access and a neighbour-free guarantee. Also, as I was to discover on my last flight, it also increases your chances of a free upgrade to business. We only paid $80p/p each way to upgrade to Works Deluxe over Works and IMO it was money very well spent.

3: Lastly, have you ever 'splashed out' on holiday and regretted it.

While I don't regret any of my holiday expenses/experiences, I do think that helicopter flights are overpriced for the time you get in the air. South Island scenery almost brings me to tears with how beautiful it is, so on a recent helicopter flight I was expecting to be completely overwhelmed. I think the only thing that overwhelmed me was how quickly I had just spent a thousand dollars

Anyway, interested to find out how others think
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
Melbourne5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ
I'm sitting here trying to work out just how far my holiday budget is going to stretch and it has got me wondering how best to maximise my money.

In an ideal world I would be able to stay in 5 star resorts, fly first class, eat at michelin star restaurants and shop till I drop. But given that my middle-class income is not that generous, I'm always looking for ways to get the 'best bang for my buck'.

So here's what I'm wondering:

1: When deciding how to treat yourself, what luxuries do you find the easiest to justify and why?

For me, it's spending money on the resorts and/or ships where I will be spending the most daylight hours. If I'm going to be out all day and just need somewhere to sleep, I'm happy with a 'value' resort. However, given that our Disney Cruise will be the relaxing part of our trip and has lots of sea days, that is where I'm spending the largest chunk of our accommodation budget.

2: Do you have any little indulgences that you will now always find a way to justify?

For me it's Works Deluxe on ANZ. It's the best seat I can afford on short-haul international flights and, despite being economy class, it comes with heaps of great perks such as lounge access and a neighbour-free guarantee. Also, as I was to discover on my last flight, it also increases your chances of a free upgrade to business. We only paid $80p/p each way to upgrade to Works Deluxe over Works and IMO it was money very well spent.

3: Lastly, have you ever 'splashed out' on holiday and regretted it.

While I don't regret any of my holiday expenses/experiences, I do think that helicopter flights are overpriced for the time you get in the air. South Island scenery almost brings me to tears with how beautiful it is, so on a recent helicopter flight I was expecting to be completely overwhelmed. I think the only thing that overwhelmed me was how quickly I had just spent a thousand dollars

Anyway, interested to find out how others think
Under - splashed out and regretted

Yep 2 spring to mind.

Malolo island in Fiji . Place was a dump. Never got fixed up from a cyclone the previous year. Food was mostly basic to poor. Service appalling. ( knew I shouldn't have gone back to Fiji after going to jm Cousteau resort the prev yr. it was 10/10)

And Hamilton island apartment. Overpriced, nothing to do, captive for a week. None of the pools were heated and even the temperature resistant kids wouldn't swim..beach full if rocks , ocean full if stingers.....not a lot left to do! My bad - should have known better for Australian resort. Should have gone back to port Douglas instead as we liked it there .
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
For me it's Works Deluxe on ANZ. It's the best seat I can afford on short-haul international flights and, despite being economy class, it comes with heaps of great perks such as lounge access and a neighbour-free guarantee. Also, as I was to discover on my last flight, it also increases your chances of a free upgrade to business. We only paid $80p/p each way to upgrade to Works Deluxe over Works and IMO it was money very well spent.

Never heard of works deluxe - off to google that one!!

I do like to indulge by staying concierge when we are at Paradise Pier - but then I can salary package that (work for a not for profit) so it would really be a waste not too - wouldn't it

I also really enjoy eating out while on holiday and me not having to cook, that and a really nice pool if its warm enough to swim
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:56 AM   #4
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Having only travelled the once i am not an expert but things i wished i had spent more money on: airfares.

We had 1200 return bne - lax flights in economy. PE were approx 2000 return and i had thought saving 800 per person was an awesome bargain and it was .. Arriving with a busted knee, fluid in both legs/ankles and sore legs after being jammed in like sardines?? Those were the longest 28 hours of my life Pe was looking pretty attractive from the contortionist position i finally managed to squirm my way into.

Also we went to nyc on the cheap stayed at the pod hotel. Tiny rooms with hardly any spare space or amenities and i got stuck in the room for approx 60 hours straight when i got sick. I actually loved it though as i knew we were only paying approx 129 a night there so we werent out of pocket a lot of money even though i got sick

Thing i regretted spending money on: an i <3 nyc tsirt. Only 25 dollars but it has a really high narrow neck that seems to choke me everytime i try to wear it. I hate buying things i cant use.

Second thing: hotel phone calls. I made 2 local calls in our anaheim hotel that didnt show up on the bill. I mentioned it to them and they comped them for me .. Approx $2 worth. No prob. In orlando our phone cards wouldnt work and mobiles were flat so made a 9 min call back home and 2 local calls = $295. Omg. I know rates in hotels are steep but not $30/min steep lesson learned that is one indulgence i am disinclined to repeat
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:58 AM   #5
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I've answered as best I can, hope it's what you're looking for.

1: When deciding how to treat yourself, what luxuries do you find the easiest to justify and why?

We did a cruise and while I hear everybody say how pricey cruising is I think it was great value for money.
Accomodation for me needs to be pretty good, I need somewhere comfortable to lay my head, to wash myself and to relax if it is a resort.
I will pay good money for food, it's my sustenance
If I want souvineers that I won't be able to buy anywhere else, i'll grab them.
And DH's indulgence is golf, it's all part of the experience

2: Do you have any little indulgences that you will now always find a way to justify?

Not yet LOL
I am yet to do premium economy/business or first...oh one day please

3: Lastly, have you ever 'splashed out' on holiday and regretted it.

Our's wasn't a splash out, but it was the whole holiday.
Not really regretted it, but taken a holiday that wasn't our best fit, but it was an experience, not one I care to repeat but it's another place I can tick off and say "been there, hated it"
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaccy

Never heard of works deluxe - off to google that one!!

I do like to indulge by staying concierge when we are at Paradise Pier - but then I can salary package that (work for a not for profit) so it would really be a waste not too - wouldn't it

I also really enjoy eating out while on holiday and me not having to cook, that and a really nice pool if its warm enough to swim
I too am off to google this works deluxe.

Zaccy i used to work for a salary packaging provider.. Small world how awesome that you can package your travel expenses -- all of my previous customers said they loved spending their full cap each year on international travel
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:03 AM   #7
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Can you please tell us more about Works Deluxe?

For us i dont think we could ever give up having a verandah cabin or cruise any other line other than DCL

Also the Fantasmic dessert package at DL is no longer an indulgence for us but a necessity

I would love to fly PE but until we only have the 2 of us to pay for its a dream though DH keeps telling me to upgrade myself but i just cant do it it seems so wrong.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:30 AM   #8
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Our indulgence was staying club level at the hard rock hotel - with five in the room I thought the extra $100 per night would pay in breakfasts and snacks.
In truth the breakfast room was so crowded that we really didn't want to be in there. We should have bought some cereal instead.

We cruised RCCL and booked interconnecting balcony cabins - I don't think I could stay in less, although I would book an inside cabin for the kids if we were to go again (they are old enough to be across the hall) probably would have saved us $1000

I try not to have too many indulgences, if I have extra money I would try and make the trip go further. When I was planning our trip the $ was sitting around 85c, so when it rose to parity I used this as justification for adding on 4 days in NYC. (Who am I trying to kid...)
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
WanderlustNZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne5 View Post
Under - splashed out and regretted

Yep 2 spring to mind.

Malolo island in Fiji . Place was a dump. Never got fixed up from a cyclone the previous year. Food was mostly basic to poor. Service appalling. ( knew I shouldn't have gone back to Fiji after going to jm Cousteau resort the prev yr. it was 10/10)
Interesting! I have looked at Malolo a few times and considered a stay there. Might have to rethink...

Quote:
Can you please tell us more about Works Deluxe?
Unfortunately Works Deluxe is only available on shorthaul international e.g NZ to Aus and NZ to the Pacific Islands. I think it's available to Hawaii, but I'm not sure about Perth.
On these flights, ANZ now only has 2 classes - business and economy. However economy is broken up into 4 categories - seat only, seat and bag, Works (seat, bag, food and movies) and Works Deluxe. Works Deluxe comes with perks typical of business class e.g lounge access, extra baggage and priority baggage and check in. Also, it guarantees better seating (i.e Premium Economy) if such seats exist on the aircraft, and it also guarantees that the seat next to you will be empty (i.e my DH and I got an empty seat between us on the flight home). Because we were travelling childless to Fiji and at the start of a busy holiday period, I theorised that ANZ wouldn't want any empty seats on the plane, and our chances of an upgrade would be good. Lo and behold, on the way there, the system upgraded us to one of those lie flat business class booths. So cool, although it does make it hard to view economy class in the same way.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battymum View Post
Our indulgence was staying club level at the hard rock hotel - with five in the room I thought the extra $100 per night would pay in breakfasts and snacks.
In truth the breakfast room was so crowded that we really didn't want to be in there. We should have bought some cereal instead.
Wow, that's interesting. I have been wondering what club level is like at Universal hotels.

I too often splash out on club level at hotels if the price isn't too much more expensive. We usually eat enough evening canapes that we don't need dinner. This paired with the club breakfast means we only need to pay for lunch on that day.

Did you go to evening canapes and drinks at the Hard Rock. Were they any good?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:46 AM   #11
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I'll have to think about this one in relation to travel. But my general indulgence is good chocolate. I firmly believe life is way too short for the crappy stuff.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:47 AM   #12
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Indulgences:

We always book a hire car for the entire trip, even if it doesn't get used some days.

Fantasmic dessert pacakge at DL.

For our 2013 trip:
Staying in a Yosemite private house for 2 nights that is costing over $500per night, Phoenix accomodation for 2 nights is pretty pricey too. In fact most of our accomdation is not cheap ( but not crazy spensy either, I like to think I have chosen well/wisely )

For our 2014 trip:
Booked a Windsor Hills 6 bedroom + pool + spa + gamesroom house, just for the 4 of us!

In Mar 2013 we are going to the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix. Have booked great grandstand tickets for the 4 days, rather than just general admission.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:49 AM   #13
WanderlustNZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia1506 View Post
Having only travelled the once i am not an expert but things i wished i had spent more money on: airfares.

We had 1200 return bne - lax flights in economy. PE were approx 2000 return and i had thought saving 800 per person was an awesome bargain and it was .. Arriving with a busted knee, fluid in both legs/ankles and sore legs after being jammed in like sardines?? Those were the longest 28 hours of my life Pe was looking pretty attractive from the contortionist position i finally managed to squirm my way into.

Second thing: hotel phone calls. I made 2 local calls in our anaheim hotel that didnt show up on the bill. I mentioned it to them and they comped them for me .. Approx $2 worth. No prob. In orlando our phone cards wouldnt work and mobiles were flat so made a 9 min call back home and 2 local calls = $295. Omg. I know rates in hotels are steep but not $30/min steep lesson learned that is one indulgence i am disinclined to repeat
Arrghhh, that phone bill would have given me a fright also

I know what you mean about being packed like sardines. Economy class certainly isn't designed for anyone bigger than size 'tiny'.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becpee View Post
I've answered as best I can, hope it's what you're looking for.

Cheers becpee! Rest assured there is no right or wrong answer. I guess I'm just nosey and enjoy hearing what other people consider good value for money.

Plus, it's already provided me with some great tips for my own holidays.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline NZ View Post
Indulgences:

Fantasmic dessert pacakge at DL.
That's the second recommendation for the dessert package. It sounds like it's a must-do. Do they have the same thing at WDW?
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