Originally, I started writing a post about choosing accommodation in Waikiki and how the moral of the story is to look at the prices of accommodation relative to the area you are in. And, Waikiki is an area of expensive taste… well, expensive cost of living (I am told the 2nd highest in the US now after surpassing San Francisco)… so you really have to keep that in mind when wanting a quality hotel.
The price of a decent budget hotel in your neck of the woods might be the bottom of the barrel in Waikiki. In other words: Be prepared to splurge a bit on your accommodation budget when in Hawaii so you’re comfortable.
But, then I realized when writing that post that there was a bigger picture post I could be creating. I mean, because a post that talks just about my accommodation (the Queen Kapiolani Hotel to be specific), even when talking about Penthouse suites with wrap-around balconies and sweeping views of the beach, is a bit on the… boring side. Seriously.
Instead, let’s talk about how living in Australia has killed the budget traveler in me.
Yes, it is one thing to evaluate prices for accommodation and travel in general relative to the area you are traveling in, but it is another to evaluate those in relation to the cost of living at home.
Now, the problem here is that I used to be a hardcore budget traveler, especially when I used to evaluate those prices to the cost of living back in Illinois — where food, travel, and the like is quite reasonable.
However, now I live in Australia — the land of expensive things (even bottled water) and my whole perception of what is budget has been shaken around in a box and tossed out on its head.
A $10 acai bowl? An $8 beer? A $100 tour?
They all seem quite reasonable to me now, and I wouldn’t bat and eye in many cases as they are simply close to what we would pay for things here in Sydney.
This is also why those $3 pitchers of beer back in Peoria were mind-blowing for Pat and I. How? HOW is that possible?!
And, yes, we’ll have 5 more of those.
Tour costs, dinner costs, going out costs – where I used to play back in my head how much I could mentally afford to spend, I now tend to roll with it. An extra taxi ride here or there… not a big deal.
It’s all relative now to the cost of living life in Australia, and that, my friends, might be the death of uber-budget-traveling Brooke. Even though I still hate getting ripped off in the cheap countries, and I will tighten the belt when staying under a certain amount is absolutely necessary, I will say that I no longer feel *sticker shock* quite the same.
And that is a big part of what I discovered when traveling in Hawaii. Even though I knew the prices were higher than what you would get in most parts of the US, I simply shrugged my shoulders and told myself that this is the price you pay to live/travel in a placed called Paradise. Geesh… I’ve totally lost my hardcore budget travel edge.
Anyone out there with a similar story to share? Anyone with changed perceptions of budget travel after living in an expensive city for a period of time?
**I was put up in the Queen Kapiolani Hotel free of charge by Hawaii Tourism.