As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes almost a thousand years B.C. and The Byrds crooned again in 1965, there is a time for everything. In the case of vacations, there is a time to save and a time to splurge! Book cruise reservations early and take advantage of offers like off-season discounts. That way, when you get wonderful opportunities during the cruise you’ve saved enough to make the trip something truly special and memorable. Here are four times when it really pays off to loosen the purse strings and let go a little.
Upgrade your room
Flickr by roger4336
Your room is where you spend time resting and rejuvenating from the day’s activities and preparing for the next day’s adventures. So why not treat yourself to some luxury or a better view from your veranda by upgrading from a traditional cabin to a more spacious and gratifying stateroom. Enjoying your stay is a major part of your cruise experience and during your vacation it will be well worth it in the end.
Photos of You and Your Adventures
Flickr by roger_mommaerts
Ten years from now, the price you pay for these photos will be meaningless, but the memories the pictures conjure up will be priceless. Don’t let a few dollars keep you from having that precious shot of yourself with that special crew member, during that fabulous dinner or standing in front of the spectacular sunset. Plus, photos taken by professional photographers are higher quality and buying from them frees you from the job of taking your own so you can concentrate on all the fun you’re having.
Souvenirs for You and the Ones Back Home
Flickr by watchsmart
Whether the keepsake is for yourself to cherish or to bring back to a special someone who wasn’t able to travel with you, these little trinkets will mean so much over time. I still hang onto a small coffee mug my buddy brought me from her trip to Australia over a decade ago. Souvenirs for yourself are constant reminders of a fun, happy time and souvenirs for a loved one let them know you were thinking of them while you were away.
Flickr by Gavin Anderson
During your cruise, you’re going to have chances to get hands-on with wildlife and sea creatures, attend local celebrations and other unique opportunities. Many travelers pass up on extras like shore excursions and side trips, only to regret it later. Think of it this way – you’ve traveled a long way and spent a lot of money to get there, make the most out of the time while you can! Will you get back to your day job with all the fond memories possible from the trip or with regrets about what you passed up?
Take time to enjoy the Spa
Flickr by visit-fingerlakes
There are many activities to do on and off the cruise ship, but one amenity that is often not included are the spa services. Spending part of your day at the spa is one of the number one things to do in order to rejuvenate and relax. At the spa, you can choose from a variety of services including massages, facials, acupuncture, salon, and detox treatments and wraps. While a massage is shown that it helps your circulation and release tension, a facial helps to pamper your skin for a refreshing new glow. These are only a couple examples of what the spa can do for you and you to relax and refresh, which is always the point of a vacation.
Duty-Free Shops and Markets
Flickr by Andrea_44
Many cruise destinations offer duty-free shopping for certain merchandise. This is a great chance to take advantage of low prices, too. Many shops and markets, such as those in Bermuda, offer luxury items like housewares, high-end clothing, jewelry, liquor and tobacco at fantastically low prices with no duty tax. Grab up items you would pay more for back home and you’ve got a wonderful keepsake and a steal of a deal all in one.
When well planned and thoughtfully executed, cruises are an affordable and convenient way to see new places, meet new people and experience new things. Shop wisely for a good deal on the cruise and use those savings to make the most out of the trip while you’re on it. A little splurge when the time is right assures a lifetime of treasured memories and valued keepsakes.