If there is one thing blogs, bloggers and the internet have taught us is that everyone has an opinion these days. Nothing wrong with opinions, right? But what IS wrong is when we let someone else's opinion completely effect our own decisions. That is especially true when it comes to travel.
Someone goes on a trip one time and comes back home now as "the expert" for wherever it was they were. Then this new expert decides to tell everyone what they should and should not do at that destination. We often find that this expert decided to stay in a cheap hotel because "they only needed a bed and were not planning on spending anytime in the room." Or they opted for the 2 connection flight in "basic economy" because they were only taking a carry on bag and they wanted to save the extra $150. And they decided taking a taxi in Paris was way better than having a private driver meet them at baggage claim.
Here is what that expert didn't tell you after they gave their opinion and convinced you to do the same. They didn't tell you that their cheap hotel was way outside city center and it took an extra 30 minutes to get to things like restaurants and museums and shops etc. They forgot to tell you that the cheap hotel room smelled like smoke and felt a tad unsafe after dark. They also forgot to tell you that they missed their 2nd connection (because the layover was too short) on their flight which put them at their destination 6 hours late or the next day. They also failed to mention that there basic economy seat was not able to be selected until check in at the airport which meant that they flew for 8 hours in a middle seat next to someone who thought bathing was optional. Oh...and that decision they made to forego the private transportation from airport to hotel in Paris came back to haunt them because the taxis were on strike and they had to walk 10 miles with their carry on to get to their non-upgraded hotel in that not so great part of the city.
So do you see why letting someone else's opinion about what is worth it and what is not may NOT be the best decision?
So many travel decisions are very very personal. What may be important to you may not be important to others. Is that upgrade to business class on your flight worth it? It very well may be if you are one that does not like to fly for hours sitting elbow to elbow with someone you do not know. It may be worth it if you need to get some sleep in order to function when you arrive at your destination. But only you can answer that question and only you know if it works with your budget.
That upgrade to a private E-class Mercedes may be worth it if you are flying to a place where public transportation tends to go on strike for a day or two or three. You may think its worth it to have the comfort of a nice ride and air conditioning and a driver who speaks your language. That same driver also becomes your personal tour guide on the way from airport to hotel and that alone may be worth the upgrade.
The upgrade to a nice 4 or 5 star hotel may very well be worth it if you like to be in a place you feel welcome and safe and have staff readily available to make your stay extra special. You may think paying the extra is worth being across the street from the very things you flew there to see. That extra large suite very well could have been worth every cent on a day when you just wanted to enjoy a nice quiet breakfast in your room followed by a late afternoon cocktail on your private terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican etc.
Its our job as travel professionals to help our clients understand what perks come with certain upgrades so they can make the best travel decision that fits their very individual travel style. And then the decision is theirs and theirs alone. So before you listen to that new "expert" who is not a travel professional...reach out to a real travel consultant for guidance. It can only help make your next trip that much better.