This or That: 2 Ways to Travel
Something that you may or may not know about me is that I have expensive taste.. ‘Ugh Zoe, you’re such a snob, how could you admit that to us?’ Well, having expensive taste doesn’t mean that I have expensive expectations. Let’s be really honest with ourselves for a second. We all like nice things; we like going on nice vacations, eating at fancy restaurants, going to elegant parties wearing elegant clothes, and a Birkin bag here and there doesn’t hurt either. Aspiring to have these things in your life doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you shallow, or narcissistic, so long as you don’t want these things just to hold them over other people’s heads. There is a very fine line between being humble about how you invest your money and shouting it out loud for the entire world to hear. Lavish lifestyles seem nice, but they often take a buttload of work to achieve.
That all being said, I’m thinking of starting a new on-going ‘segment’ called This or That. The goal of it will be to show that there are always at least two different options: affordable and extravagant. I’ll do this for a number of different topics, but today I’m starting with travel.
1. GETTING THERE
This - Bus or Train
Buses and trains can now take us further than ever before. The VIA Rail train, for example, can literally take you across the entire country of Canada! You live in France, but you want to go see Milan for a day? Take a train. You live in Buffalo, but you want to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play at the Scotiabank Arena? Take a bus. These modes of transportation can get you from point A to point B without burning a giant money sized hole through your pocket. Tickets range from $10 to $500+ depending on where you’re going to/coming from, but often taking a bus or train is the more budget-friendly option for travel.
That - Flying
Flights can cost quite a bit more than a bus or train ticket would, but you typically get to your destination a lot faster. Some people are not lovers of travel, and the journey to and from is what they dread the most. By flying to where you’re headed, you cut out a huge chunk of the amount of time you need to have your butt glued to a synthetic blue seat. Splurge even further and get yourself into business or first class. This is especially worth it for flights longer than 5 or 6 hours. Think: extra leg room, better food, wine and cocktails, and a separate washroom (because we all know how gross airplane washrooms can get..). I wish we had first class seats on my flight to Europe a few years ago; 13 hours in an economy class, barely reclinable seat was BRU-TAL.
This - AirBnB
To save on accommodations, opt for renting an AirBnB when you travel. Set your destination, travel timeline, and number of guests to find a list of tons of different places to stay all over the world. You can then filter your options based on home type, price, trip type and more. Maybe you have a budget of $30 a night and you want to stay in an apartment by yourself, or maybe you’re traveling with an entire family and need more space for younger children. Maybe it’s a work trip and you need somewhere with a desk, or maybe you’re an athlete and train even while on vacation. Whatever your needs, you’re likely to find a great option on AirBnB!
That - Hotel
Alternatively, you can stay in a gorgeous luxury hotel and enjoy all the perks that go along with that. Some people really value sleep, and prefer a cushy hotel bed with crisp white linens when they go on vacation. Plus, luxury comes at a number of different price points! Spending more can mean spending anywhere from $100, to $300, to even $500+ a night. It really depends on what you choose to put your money towards. Often the more expensive hotels are also in better locations surrounded by fabulous restaurants and shopping. Saving up your money to stay at a nicer hotel on your next vacation is an investment in your experiences!
This - Cooking
A super affordable option for when you’re traveling is to find accommodations with a kitchen! Think about it this way: you get to go explore the markets in whatever new city or neighbourhood you’re visiting, pick out fresh colourful produce and try meats and cheeses that you may have never had before, and bring it all home to create a fabulous meal like the master chef I know you are. What better way to save money AND eat healthier than to cook your own meals in this new and exciting place? I’m picturing a Liz Gilbert a la Eat, Pray, Love moment, you know, when she’s making the eggs and the asparagus with the stunning drizzle of olive oil? This one, ugh, you just have to see it to believe it.
That - Eating Out
There are some people, however, who don’t like to cook. This too completely alright. I can definitely appreciate a nice dinner out at a dimly lit restaurant, sometimes even all by myself. When you cook for yourself at home every day, it can feel relieving to know that someone else will be doing the cooking for a change. Seek out your fave foods, check out cuisines you have never had before, and if you get the chance, be sure to chat with the chef or other staff at the restaurant. It can be an eye opening experience to see where your food comes from, how it’s made, and the story behind the restaurant itself. Often times, the chef puts thought into every choice they make towards the menu, so it’s nice to know where your hard-earned money is going. Savour every gourmet bite, and value the experience as a moment of self-care.
As I said before, there are always at least two different options. Coveting, enjoying, and appreciating the finer things in life is ok. Wanting to look put together, use tech that works well, get there better, faster, and more comfortably, won’t colour you as a selfish spoiled brat who wants it all. In my opinion, it just means you have a particular taste for style, class, and comfort. Whether that taste takes sacrifice or not, when it comes to money, you do you my friends.
How do you spend your extra cash? Do you prefer to save or spend? Let me know in the comments and be sure to keep an eye out for more of This or That to come!