Splurging on Travel: What’s Worth Paying For?

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The variety of expenses associated with traveling can rack up all too quickly for globetrotters on a budget.

Checking in for a flight is a prime example. From the moment you walk up to the ticket counter the nickel and diming begins. Want to check your bag? There’s a charge for that. Daydreaming about upgrading to a seat that might actually somewhat comfortable? There’s an extra fee for that as well.

Would you like to have a nice drink on the plane or watch something special to pass the time? Be prepared to shell out still more of your hard-earned money. And when you get to your resort or hotel, chances are you’ll be paying a daily resort fee as well.

The planet’s high net worth millionaires and billionaires aside, sorting through the endless vacation add-ons and costs can be tricky.

From choosing a flight to choosing your dinner spot, there are plenty of ways to save and splurge when taking a trip. But what purchases are actually worth their costs? And which will make your vacation one to remember versus just being a waste of money?

A new report from Bayut.com aims to break down all of those critical questions for travelers. To get to the bottom of these issues, travelers from both the United States and the United Kingdom were surveyed for the report titled “Splurging on Travel Extras: Examining the Best Travel-Related Purchases and Upgrades.”

Overwhelmingly travelers found one travel expense, in particular, to be totally worth the added cost. That expense is the upcharge associated with booking a direct flight versus a flight that includes one or more stops. A whopping 65.3 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom and 62 percent in the United States found the cost associated with direct flights to be well worth it.

Yet another charge that travelers seem happy to pay is the cost to buy passes that allow for skipping lines at amusement parks or cultural attractions (because who wants to spend hours on vacation in a line right?) About 63.6 percent of UK respondents and 50 percent of US respondents said paying for this privilege is totally worth it.

US respondents also said the added costs associated with outdoor activities like snorkeling and kayaking are worthwhile (52.9 percent).

Other add-ons that US travelers value include Uber rides (47.6 percent); event tickets (44.7 percent) and Wi-Fi at hotels (43.1 percent). Wine tastings were also a top choice, with 42.9 percent of travelers willing to pay extra for this experience. Sightseeing tours (42.5 percent) and spa treatments (40.4 percent) are also popular options that travelers don’t mind splurging on.

Among American travelers, 57 percent said that museum tickets are completely worth the price when traveling, while in the United Kingdom, museum tickets didn’t even make the top 10.

When it comes to flying specifically, and the many, many add-ons associated with the experience, a few items top travelers’ list of worthwhile expenditures.

In addition to the cost of a direct flight, 45 percent of respondents shockingly said the fee associated with checking a bag is totally worth it.

As for coveted seat upgrades, about 38 percent of travelers say the premium prices paid for a first or business class ticket is money well spent. The average U.S. respondent spent about $800 on such tickets, while UK respondents paid $826.

“Surprisingly, millennials were the generation with the most interest in paying for first class service, despite the fact that their average income is less than older generations,” states the report. “Though some may see this as indicative of reckless spending, it could also be that many millennials tend to value experiences more than money.”

Airport lounge access came in next on the list of perks travelers don’t mind paying for, with 36.2 percent saying it’s totally worth the cost.

In a not so shocking discovery, in-flight snacks are the cost travelers find least worth it when flying. Only 14.1 percent of respondents said snacks are worth the cost charged for them.

Because really, who wants to pay extra for airline food?

Read more from Travel Pulse here.

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