A lot of financial advice websites would encourage you to save money while traveling, and for good reason. Traveling can be quite expensive. Going on a mountain vacation, in particular, is even more so given the usual cost of activities. So if you don’t learn how to manage your money wisely, you might deplete your savings or worse, end up in debt.
This doesn’t mean, though, that you should stay frugal with everything especially if you don’t travel frequently. The key is to determine the things that are worth spending money on.
In the previous example, you might also want to consider the location of the airport when calculating transportation costs versus solely focusing on cheap flights.
For instance, it’s wise to invest in landing on the Eagle County Regional Airport if you want to explore Colorado because it is a stone’s throw away from popular mountain destinations, allowing you to save on time and transportation costs.
Please note that these expenses may vary depending on the needs and preferences of the traveler. However, most of the items that we’re going to share below are generally worth splurging on during a trip.
The first thing that you should consider investing in is quality luggage. It will increase the safety of your things against theft, provide convenience, and generally last longer. You are actually spending more if you buy a low-quality piece despite its affordability since it is more likely to get worn and damaged easily, sometimes even just after a single trip!
Not to mention that investing in a hard-shell case for your skiing and snowboarding equipment can make a dent in your budget, but it does protect your (more expensive) gear from getting damaged, allowing you to save more money in the long run.
You should also consider splurging on your digital travel essentials. Those who engage in extreme outdoor activities will find investing in a military-grade power bank a potential lifesaver. The same goes for any navigational equipment too.
A more average traveler should consider getting a quality portable wifi device. Network services in hotels can be crazy expensive while relying on free hotspots can be a pain to use. Spare yourself the inconvenience and invest in an efficient portable wifi device.
Another essential to splurge on is a good pair of shoes that fits your needs. Prioritize traction and ankle support if you expect to engage in a lot of (more adventurous) outdoor activities. Otherwise, we recommend something that’s lightweight and comfortable to wear; a quality pair that will spare you from the pain of blisters while sight-seeing.
Speaking of outdoor activities, we definitely recommend splurging on experiences that you can only enjoy in that particular place.
Here’s a tip to get the most out of your mountain trip (and your money): Plan the activities that you would want to try in advance. List them down and organize them according to priority. Put the non-negotiables first, followed by those that have simply piqued your interest.
You will not only save money by preventing yourself from signing up for activities that you didn’t really plan to try, but it will also spare you from wasting your precious time.
Put your money on those non-negotiables on your list instead.
Health and Insurance
Some people may view travel insurance as a waste of money, especially when traveling on a budget. No one really hopes and expects anything bad to happen during the trip, after all. However, investing in a reliable travel insurance policy beforehand can actually save you from a lot of inconveniences and unnecessary spending later on, should anything do happen.
More experienced adventurers know that a serious accident can happen at any time. Beyond that, having insurance also protects your investments (such as lift tickets, ski rentals, lodging reservations) from going to waste if a last-minute cancellation happens.
We don’t recommend splurging on an expensive hotel room. Instead, we suggest looking into home-sharing options (if you’re traveling with friends and family) or backpacker inns (if you’re traveling alone).
This doesn’t mean that you should book your accommodations from the outskirts of the place you’re visiting just to save money, though. Instead, you want to get the best lodging location possible for the sights that you want to explore and the activities that you want to experience.
For example, finding something like these lodging deals will help you find options when you can save money or spend more on Village lodging with many amenities and luxuries.
Getting accommodations in the city center might be more expensive compared to other locations, but it can potentially save you from certain inconveniences (such as missing the last trip back to the city) and cumbersome transportation.
Here’s a tip: Looking at the collaborative efforts of local businesses can help you plan a cheaper trip not just from getting accommodations but more discounted rates for activities and gear rentals by working with partnered companies.
One Treasured Memento
Finally, don’t hesitate to bring home one memorable item that can embody all the memories of your trip to that country.
Take note that the keyword here is “one”. We definitely don’t recommend going all-out on souvenirs. If you really want to take something back to your friends and family back home, then you might want to opt for something cheap and small, like a postcard or keychain.
Can’t decide which memento to get? The rule of thumb is to get an item that you will use and cherish for a long time and not something you wouldn’t mind throwing away when your next spring cleaning session comes along.
You might be tempted to get something from nature whilst you’re out there. Please refrain from doing so. We believe in the saying:
“Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”
In the end, it’s important to realize that sometimes splurging on something means saving more money in the long run. There are also things that are simply worth spending the extra money on to make your mountain trip more memorable and fulfilling.
Fortunately, there are ways to tone down your expenses. For example, finding cheap flights is a good way to save on transportation. Having a regional airport to fly into eliminates the need to rent a car, book shuttles and spend money on parking due to Eagle County and Vail’s public transportation systems.