When the Money Isn’t the Most Important Thing

When I travel, I try to spend the time to make sure I’m getting a good deal. I look at multiple options to find sensible flights and hotels that fit my needs.

As an aside, I’m not good at booking on the fly (no pun intended) – I once booked a hotel from my phone while on the runway when I learned my connection was cancelled and I’d be spending the night in transit – I’ll share this story later, but in short, my night included an encounter with an unfriendly guard dog, an unnecessary uber ride across Denver and 2 separate hotels. Sorry in advance, mom, you’re not going to like that story. 

But sometimes, the money isn’t the only consideration. I’m not talking about splurging on a luxury hotel for your friends bachelorette party – although that’s a totally legit splurge too, as long as you planned for it. 

I kicked this idea around in my head most recently when my family got invited to my cousin’s wedding. The wedding is close enough that we can drive, but far enough that we will need to stay overnight after the wedding. When we first got the invite, I did a quick google of the area hotels to get an idea of what costs lay ahead. I didn’t book anything because I assumed my cousin would make a room block and I might as well do that, if there is one.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my dad about this fancy inn not too far from the wedding venue. He mentioned the price and my eyes went wide. It was a lot more than the hotels I had googled a few months back. I told him that was a little more than we were hoping to spend, but they were more than welcome to stay there, and we’d meet up at the wedding.

A week later, my mom mentioned that she’d really love it if we all stayed at the same place so that we could spend time together before the wedding and the following morning at breakfast. If we didn’t want to spend that much, we could all stay somewhere else.

Then I get another call from my dad telling me that he had booked the fancy inn and if we want to stay there we should book soon, as there aren’t many rooms. *hint* *hint*

At this point, I realized that my parents were thinking of this wedding as a sort of mini family vacation, and with the new baby around, it seemed all the more important that we spend the time together. Ultimately, I decided that staying with them and making this feel like a little family vacation was worth the extra expense. 

So I called up the inn and booked a room. To add insult to injury, the inn doesn’t normally allow children under 12, but because my parents had already booked, they made an exception, but they would only allow us to book the suite – because it’s the room furthest from any other rooms (which is fair, if I didn’t have a baby with me, I wouldn’t want to spend this kind of money and hear a screaming child) – and was also $50 more per night, but I know my parents will be so appreciative of our time together, so I feel okay about it. 

Although I initially spent the money begrudgingly, I also appreciate the fact that I can afford to do things like this because I have budgeted my life so well. I have budgeted the rest of my life so that occasional splurges like this don’t empty my bank account, am I’m thankful for that.