'Splurge' is a dirty word to backpackers, but it makes for the most memorable travel, wrote Sydney Morning Herald blogger Ben Groundwater.
Groundwater recalls the $180 football game. The team: Real Madrid. The place: Santiago Bernabeu. The players: Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo. It was worth every cent.
He remembers the bucks' party that cost $3,000. Not $3,000 on an alcoholic splurge through the town, but a six-night ski trip to Japan with the groom and his closest friends. It was one of the best trips he has ever been on.
He is still talking about the 10-course meal at the three-Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian that cost 400 Euros four years ago.
The trick to splurging is to choose wisely, he said. Pick the really expensive things that you really want to do, and do them. You won't regret it. As long as you don't botch the exchange rate, that is.
When Groundwater chose to splurge on a night at the Peninsula Hotel in Beijing, he miscalculated. What looked like a $250 night was closer to $500 with the exchange rate.
But the flat-screen TV above the giant jacuzzi was great. The room was bigger than his apartment. It was fabulous.
Like he said, he will never forget that night, just not entirely for positive reasons.