I had lunch today with an old colleague. Well, perhaps I’m using the term “colleague” loosely here; she owned the company and I did what I was told…most of the time. She was the boss and I was the peon. That’s probably not really collegiate. But I’ve already digressed, and we did truly become friends over the years. In any event Jennifer is also a Traveler at heart and we did what two travelers always do at lunch; we discussed travel a lot. (To learn more about my relationship with Jennifer, see this post: https://crpack.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/such-sad-news/).
Once I was reassured that she didn’t hate me for sending her and her family to Cambodia at my suggestion, and we’d worn out the topic of where we’d been over the past few months, we soon turned to where we’re going. It was my idea of a perfect day: An Appalachian gay male protestant, having lunch with a straight Jewish woman from south Florida, reminiscing about Southeast Asia, in an Indian restaurant in Marina del Rey, California, talking about my upcoming trip to Australia, and wondering if either of us would ever go on safari. After my second Coca Cola I was a regular chatterbox.
As the conversation drifted I was describing to Jennifer my latest dead-end travel research, a weekend at the Wolgan Emirates’ Resort about three hours outside of Sydney (http://www.wolganvalley.com/wolgan-valley/en/reserve/). When I told her it was out of the question because I’d soon learned that it was $1,500/night (US or AUS is irrelevant) she asked “why is that out of the question? What is the most you’d spend?” I’m glad she didn’t take a picture of me at that point because I’m sure I would have looked like the proverbial “deer in the headlights.” I’d never really thought about that.
That question stuck with me all the way home. It wasn’t until I’d had a little nap that I realized the answer to her question. I try to spend my money where I think the most memories will most likely be made. And honestly, when I saw the price of the resort, I didn’t see much hope of memories being made where at the evening dinner you sit alone, over-hearing a bunch of over privileged A’ holes (Americans, Australians, and Asians) discussing the chakra alignment that day. That’s when I said $1,500/day is too much.
I’m no cheapskate; I only fly in business class. But I really don’t think that where you slept matters once you get home. When it comes to accommodation I only have three criteria: is it clean? Is it safe? Is it comfortable? What matters to me is it in a location I desire? Do they have wi-fi, and can I smoke…at least somewhere within a mile radius?
But that’s just me. Others have different priorities when they travel. Before you go, and especially before you book anything, know what’s yours.