Buy nice or cry twice – 15 travel items to buy nice and 15 to get on a budget

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OMG, I just LOVE that title! No one has ever said this to anyone, but hey, if I don’t like my title, who’s going to?

I mean it though. For some things, if you don’t buy nice, you’ll buy (and cry) twice, as you’ll have to replace them more often. As Mammy said in “Gone with the wind”, it doesn’t matter what nice, colored bows you put on a donkey, you won’t make it a stallion. It’s the same with poor-quality items: poor quality is poor quality. It won’t be worth more than you paid for it.

On the other side, you don’t need fancy everything to enjoy a half-decent travel experience. You just have to choose where it’s worth paying more and where it’s a waste of resources. I have a great eBook precisely about this. It contains 160 tips on how to travel on a low budget, and it includes my top ways of spending less while traveling more.

I created this guide of travel items to invest more in and the ones to buy on a budget as a way for you to know where to draw the line. Because there’s an art in choosing what to spend your hard-earned money on, and what to buy from the corner shop. Check these items out below!

Items to invest more in

Even when you’re a budget traveler, buying better quality items will make sense for you. Smart people usually say “I’m too poor to buy poor-quality things.”. This, of course, assumes you can afford the better products. But since these are not daily necessities, by rather something you buy for a hobby of yours, you can maybe wait a bit more until you can afford the better items you have your heart set on. So, let’s dig in!

1. Rolling suitcase

I will forever remember the first time I used my Samsonite B-Lite Icon Spinner. It was a normal 3-week trip to Romania for Christmas and the first with our baby who everyone was just waiting to meet (Corona baby owner here). My husband was carrying our old rolling suitcase and a backpack, and I was using the Samsonite, the Yoyo Babyzen with baby included, and a backpack. Guess who was more tired at the end of the day!

If you bet on me, you’re a smart cookie! Indeed, I was fresh like a flower at the end of the day, and my husband was complaining in the manliest way possible. We ordered our second Samsonite soon after. And as we were doing that, I remembered a famous saying in the aviation world: The only person that’s being nice to your checked luggage is yourself. So buy a quality one to be sure you don’t have to buy one every year, thus spending more over time. You can read my full review about my Samsonite rolling suitcase if you need more info.

2. Backpack

You should apply a similar logic when it comes to your backpack. Especially if you’re backpacking for longer periods at a time, you don’t want to risk getting your backpack destroyed on a flight and having to take your stuff in a bag. Having to show your belongings in such a way because your backpack was destroyed is not on anyone’s bucket list.

If you’re looking for ideas, I have two. For a more distinguished look, and more suitable for business travelers, get a Samsonite. I have a full review of their business line and you can see if it’s worth it. If your needs are mostly functional and you don’t care that much about looks, get an Osprey. I have never heard anyone complain about an Osprey.

3. Technical clothes and gear

Technical gear and clothes are an investment in your comfort, and they last for a long time. Keeping you warm and ensuring a safe sporting experience (be it skiing or diving) should be at the top of your priority list. In the end, your safety and health will always matter more than anything.

Technical gear is not cheap, and it cannot be. The fabrics that keep you dry and warm while being very light require a high amount of research and development, all of this putting the price higher than you’d like. If you want precise recommendations, I will always recommend Mammut and Norrona for their great jackets and ski gear, and Icebreaker for all the layers under the dry, outside shell. I have tested all three of them and I’m incredibly happy about it.

Rolling Suitcase - bird view
Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash

4. Shoes

Storytime! Once, I was checking a rental with a friend of mine. We were discussing with the owner about the various pieces of furniture in the apartment, and he was saying that most of it was not very expensive, except for the mattress which was really top-of-the-line. My friend asked why he decided to get an expensive mattress for a rental, it’s not like he gets any benefit and most people don’t even feel the difference.

His answer? You should always get the best of anything that stands between you and the ground. You spend 8 hours a day sleeping. You spend another 8 on your office chair. Everything else you spend on your feet or driving. So, always invest in good shoes, good tires, and a good office chair.

Especially when traveling, you’re spending a lot of time on your feet. You don’t want to be in pain after a few hours, and you certainly don’t want to get sick while away (yes, you can get long-term issues if you’re using the wrong shoes for a long time). Buying a new pair of shoes can be a hassle in a country half a world away from your home. So always, always have good quality shoes.

What works for me? I absolutely adore Ecco boots and sneakers, I have about 4 pairs of their products and wear one of them every day. They’re great for day-to-day shoes, but I haven’t tried their sports line. My sports sneakers are Saucony, a great option for people with over or under-pronation, and I have loved them for the last 4 years. The latest brand that I have added to my plantar fasciitis friends list is Vionic. I only have house slippers from them (but I stand a lot around the house so they’re getting lots of mileage) but I love, love, love them!

5. Airfare

Now, I won’t tell you that low-cost carriers are the devil. Ha, it would be embarrassing from my side, considering that I saw half of Europe due to WizzAir and RyanAir selling incredibly cheap flight tickets. But I am going to tell you that being cheap when it comes to airfare might cost you a lot more over time if you don’t do it right.

The most important thing to know is that you should use aggregators like Skyscanner or GoogleFlights just to search for options, but always buy your ticket straight from the airline. Those intermediaries like DreamTrips or God knows what’s the latest thing right now all put you at risk in case your flight gets delayed or canceled.

The price might be smaller with the intermediary, but in case something happens, you get absolutely nothing from the airline. They will just tell you that you haven’t bought your ticket from them, so they really cannot help you. Even worse, if the flight is overbooked and they have to kick people out (it happens more often than you’d think), you are the first “victim”, as they know they don’t have to handle it themselves.

This is just one of the budget tips I explain my my eBook with tips on how to travel on a low budget. Check it out if you want to learn more!

Our Yoyo+ Babyzen has seen NYC as well!

6. Sunglasses

This one is honestly from my husband, as he always says he wants to live for at least 1.000 years (and I think the guy will do it, to be honest). He takes care of his health, the two top things being his eyes and his teeth. And while his eyesight is perfect, he owns the same sunglasses since before we got together, and that was 8 years ago. He told me at one point how much they were worth and my reaction was “you paid how much for a colored glass with a wire?”. They’re all the same in the end!

Well, that’s not true. A crappy (thus cheap) pair of sunglasses will damage your eyes more than if you wouldn’t use sunglasses at all. When you’re not wearing sunglasses, your pupils become small to protect your retina from the sun’s rays. When you use a cheap pair of sunglasses, your pupils stay the same, as there is not enough light coming in. Still, dangerous UV light is still able to come in and damage your retina, because your sunglasses are not filtering any of that if it’s just colored glass.

I know everyone likes RayBans, and I have never understood why. My recommendation is to get something polarized, and the brand my husband uses is Oakley, for both sunglasses and snowboard glasses. And yes, 8 years and counting, and his eyesight is still 20/20. If you have eyesight issues like myself, I recommend you get custom-made sunglasses with polarized lenses and get them checked as often as your optician recommends.

7. Mobile phone

I don’t know about you, but half of my life is on my phone. And this goes worse while traveling. I use it to keep my boarding pass, hotel reservations, offline maps, travel itinerary and so much more. I suspect most people are the same, plus most of us use them for photos and getting around as well.

Now, imagine you’re visiting a gorgeous temple in Japan, and your phone just shuts down and fails to restart. I don’t have to imagine, I had to live it. Luckily, I was not alone, but with my husband, who had a way better phone than mine, although 3 years older. But I paid about 50% less than him and was feeling good about my purchasing decision. It was a Huawei if you’re curious.

Now, imagine trying to find your way back to the hotel, by train, in a country where people don’t have a great English level, and you’re in the middle of nowhere so there are not that many people to ask for help from anyway. “Sounds like fun!” says no one, probably. If you don’t want to be in this situation, please, pretty please, get a good quality phone, and always have a spare with you as well.

You may be disappointed about my recommendation, and 4 years ago I would be the same, but life teaches us more than we’re ready to learn somehow. What I looked for in a phone after the episode in Japan was sturdiness and a good camera. I’m not good at photography, as you might easily see yourself, so I need a good camera that does what I cannot do. And the trustworthiness, well, you can probably get why.

I initially planned to get myself a Google Pixel 4, which was just coming out at that point. After waiting for quite a long time for it to become available in Europe, I decided not to buy it due to very bad reviews regarding the battery life. And I was not going to go on that route again. In the end, this is why I was looking for a new phone.

This is how I bought my iPhone 11. It was the best option at that point that was ticking all the checkboxes. I was reluctant at first as I was not a brand fan (I honestly thought it was more marketing than quality), but after using it for 3 years already, I can say that I’m extremely happy with my decision. I don’t intend to buy the rest of the family as I don’t see the use for me, but the phone will probably remain an iPhone forever in my books.

8. Cosmetics

I’m far from being a beauty blogger, and the lack of pictures with my face on my blog should tell you just enough of how much I care about it. But I started to care about what touches my skin since I started to be able to afford more, and I can see the difference. Especially if you have sensitive skin, buy fewer products but buy quality ones. Your skin will thank you.

A few brands I use are Ethique, Lush, and Clarins. Ethique has great solid shampoos and conditioners that treat my curly hair with the respect it deserves. Lush has amazing plant-based products and you can get solid cosmetics here as well, plus you can recycle their containers straight in the shops so you have a lower plastic footprint. Clarins is almost everything I use for make-up, as it’s what I have discovered that works for me. Go ahead and find your favorites as well, and keep using them when you do. They will be a good investment in yourself over time.

9. Health items

As my husband said a few paragraphs above, you should never save when it comes to your health. It’s one of the most important things you should care about. This is why you should always use high-quality sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste, first aid kits, and so on. These small items might seem like they’re not important, but over time the damage can become unfixable.

Especially when it comes to sunscreen, I’d rather you use a physical barrier like a shirt or pants than a bad sunscreen solution on your skin. The damage can be so big, it’s not worth risking it. It’s the same for toothpaste. Of course, you can buy the plant-based or cheap stuff you can find in any shop, but ask your dentist first what you should look into when it comes to ingredients. And you should never leave on a trip without a small first aid kit.

Snorkeling in Iceland

10. GoPro

It pains me to tell you this, but there’s nothing like a GoPro. I have so many friends who have tried different other action cameras, and none of them had at least a half-decent experience with any of them. There’s nothing on the market as we speak that even gets into the league of GoPro, even with fancy accessories and cases.

To spare your budget though, I can recommend you to never buy the latest model, especially when it has just been launched. Either wait for at least a year to get the latest one, or wait until a new model is available and buy the second latest. The price for the previous model always goes lower when they launch a new model, and it’s not like it’s so old that you cannot use it anymore.

11. TRTL travel pillow

Remember the mattress thing we were talking about a few paragraphs back? Well, I meant it. Your rest is extremely important, especially in the long run. But a bad sleep for a night won’t kill you, as most new parents will tell you. Still, getting to the destination a bit more rested would improve your first impression of any new place, so try to rest while flying every time you can.

If you can afford a business class ticket every time you fly long haul, I don’t even know who you are and why are you made of money. If you’re like the rest of us, plebeians, you are probably squeezed in coach and regretting your decisions in life every time you need to fly. Well, if a TRTL travel pillow will improve this crappy experience by at least 30%, then you’ve made a great decision to buy it.

12. eReader

As an avid reader, I have always loved the smell of books. Call me weird, but you wouldn’t be the first, or the last, to do so. But you probably know as well as I do that it’s not a good idea to carry physical books all over the world. You have a great chance of paying luggage fees if you do this, you also have to carry all that extra weight around, and there’s not that much use for the book after you finish it (unless you donate it to a library or sell them, in which case, good for you).

This is why an eReader is a great solution for travelers. It’s not only lightweight and easily portable, but you can have as many books as you want on it. Over time, you will spend less on books and the eReader will pay for itself quite quickly. I love my reMarkable as I’m a special kind of geek, but I have also used a Kindle for a long time and was very happy with it (and it has some smaller versions that are easier for most people to use while on the go).

13. A good car and tires

If you drive daily or rent a car for road trips, this part is for you. I’m going to say this very slowly. Get. Good. Tires. Always. It’s between you and the ground, you know? Of course, all safety features of your car should work great, but good tires are essential for the whole thing to keep you safe on the ground.

If you can afford a higher quality car over a better looking one, or if you have to choose between the leather seats and adaptive cruise control, choose the one that keeps you safer. Looks won’t matter if you’re in an accident. And nice interior finishing and lights won’t matter for the paramedics when they come to the rescue. Pay more, but pay for what matters.

14. Travel stroller

This is a niche item as not everyone has (or planning to have) babies, but hear me out. If you EVER intend to have children, think well of the travel stroller you intend to buy. This item is manipulated by you at all times, and it has to sometimes work on different terrain than what you’re used to. Plus, your baby should be at least decently comfortable in it, if you want to enjoy your trip at all.

I know Yoyo Babyzen is more expensive than other options. But I can tell you I know at least two people who have spent two times a Yoyo’s price on lower quality strollers before they finally said it’s not worth the stress to buy a new stroller every 6 months. Buying cheaper and needing a replacement very often will lead you to spend more over time, and you’ll also hate the experience you’ll get.

15. Lightweight items

I don’t know if you have ever gone camping with a very old tent, the type that has heavy metal bars and needs a Ph.D. to build. I have, and it sucked. Carrying that thing was awful, my backpack was bigger than me (I think that if I had fallen on my back, I wouldn’t have been able to get back on my feet and I would have stayed there, wiggling my arms and legs like a cockroach) and my back hurt for a good week after.

I have also carried way too many cosmetics when in Indonesia for our honeymoon (obviously shower gel is something exquisite and needs to be transported, I cannot just buy it at the destination) and god knows how many clothes that I never got to wear. So if you value your comfort and wallet at least a little bit, always buy lightweight items, even if they cost more than bulky ones.

Over time, you get to spend less on luggage fees and enjoy all of their other benefits, like easy transfers between transportation types and fewer chances of throwing your back while away. Now, don’t throw away your stuff to replace them with new stuff, that’s just wasteful. But if you need to replace any gear, try to replace it with a lightweight option that does the job. Over time, your backpack will become lighter.

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Items you don’t need to spend a lot on

I’m happy to have shown you the value of good quality items. But really, you don’t need to spend a lot on all of your travel gear. In the end, some things are not worth the high price tag, and buying a more expensive item when you don’t need to is not a good budgeting decision overall. So check out these budget travel items that will improve your experience without draining your bank account.

1. Small electronics

I know I’ve said you have to buy a good phone and GoPro, but hear me out. For the big ticket items yes, I fully support buying better quality ones, as it makes sense in that case. But small items like a universal plug adapter or a tripod can be sturdy enough even if they’re not the name brand.

Instead of looking at the brand for these items, look at convenience. How many ports does the plug adapter have? How sturdy are the tripod’s legs? How long and mobile are the cables you buy? If you look at it this way, and you use them decently, almost any brand of small electronics will be OK for all your needs.

A Chilly bottle is a must have travel item you need to add to your ultimate Maldives packing list

2. Water bottle

You might know by now that hydration is one of the best things to do for your body. And I’m talking water, not beer, OK? I mean, I’m not judging, but alcohol dehydrates you so it’s really against the whole point of this paragraph. Keeping yourself hydrated is important, but you shouldn’t buy bottled water, especially in countries where tap water is safe to drink. For the other countries, there are filters you can use to clean in, but I haven’t tried any yet so cannot recommend anything.

But I can recommend to you my decently priced and favorite water bottle: the Chilly’s. It is quite affordable if you don’t want a fancy color or finish, and it does the job well: keeps your water cold for up to 3 days and hot for up to a day. Who even needs this much anyway? It’s not like you’re going to survive on less than a liter a day.

The only disadvantages this bottle might have are that it’s not collapsible when empty and it doesn’t have a straw. I hate straw bottles as they are so hard to clean, but I understand their usefulness when cycling or jogging. And the collapsible bottles are really from soft plastic and they seem very flimsy to me. I might reconsider this at one point though so circle back to this post every once in a while.

3. Travel containers

You are probably aware of the 3.4 oz (100 ml) rule when it comes to liquids and gels in your hand luggage. And I’m sure you heard of the miracle of packing cubes and already using toiletry bags all the time. The cool thing about this is that you don’t need expensive ones, as the cheaper ones are doing the job anyway.

The 3.4 oz containers you can usually buy in stores, but of course, you can order them on Amazon as well. Packing cubes are great as long as they’re transparent and enough for all your needs. And toiletry bags really should be waterproof and with a hook to easily hang them by the towel rack. That’s it! You don’t need a fancy bottle set or a leather toiletry bag. Just a $5 set and you’re good to go.

4. Travel insurance

Ha ha, you’ll love this one! You need travel insurance for sure. Never ever leave home without it, as we all need to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. And travel insurance is what keeps you prepared for the worst, in almost all cases out there. And you might be tempted to think that you need an expensive one to have you covered, as cheap insurance cannot be good.

Well, I beg to differ. SafetyWing is both affordable, at 1/3 of the price of similar travel insurance providers, and good value for money. You get more covered than budget insurers, but less than the premium offers on the market. It’s the best of both worlds, and there’s nothing on the market similar to it. You can check my detailed review below if you want to learn more about it.

5. Compression socks

This is the least sexy thing on this list, but one of the very few I hope you’ll keep in mind all the time. Compression socks or stockings are so affordable, and yet the benefits are so important, I cannot believe there are people still not using them. Especially for frequent fliers, this small item is a must that can prevent such big health issues just by wearing them.

And I know the older models used to look so ugly you might be tempted to skip them, but nowadays there are so many great options, you cannot have any excuse for not using them. If you get some medical grade ones recommended by your physician then great, use those. But otherwise, an inexpensive pair can go a long way.

6. Accommodation

Of course, if you’re going somewhere to pamper yourself, invest as much as you want in the accommodation. But if you’re going to explore the place and only use the room to shower and sleep, don’t spend a lot of money on it. Choose a few things you care about, like cleanliness and the presence of a roof above your head, and skip the other amenities you don’t even get to enjoy.

Some hotels have a pool, gym, and conference center. Will you use them when visiting NYC? If yes, then, by all means, book the room. But if you’re just going to pass out when you enter the room in the evening, just book something that is decently located and doesn’t have rats inside. You won’t remember the room you stayed in, you’ll remember the experience you had in the city.

7. Safety items

You should never be cheap when it comes to safety, right? Well, of course, as I said, get good tires and great safety gear when rock climbing. But when it comes to small items like a thief-proof scarf, a door stopper, or a whistle, do you need a fancy thing? I mean, a door stopper is a piece of wood in a triangle shape, I can probably make one myself with a Swiss army knife and enough time to kill.

And when it comes to TSA-approved locks, I can tell you for sure it doesn’t matter that much which one you use, as long as you have one. People steal in airports all the time, and a lock won’t stop them (if it’s a padlock they can open the zipper with a ballpoint pen, look it up on YouTube). Street pickpocketing is usually an opportunistic thing, and if you have a padlock, any padlock, they won’t even try. They’re looking for an easy win, not to spend 20 minutes trying to pick your lock.

If you’re staying in a hostel and want to protect your belongings, the best option is to just keep them with you. And for small items like your passport, phone, and keys, any acceptable-looking protective scarf will do the job. Just check the size of the pocket to be sure it fits all your belongings and that it has a zipper. This is all you need from that piece of cloth.

8. Software

You are probably doing this anyway, but I had to say it out loud: you most probably don’t need a fancy piece of software for your trips. Most apps you need are either free, or there’s a free version you could use anyway. Boarding passes apps, airline apps, taxi apps – all of them are free of charge.

I even have a post with free apps to use as a traveler, but some other useful ones are TimeShifter (helps you fight the jet lag), PackPoint (helps you create packing lists), Trello (for itinerary planning), and Google Translate and Maps (you know what these do). And if you don’t find a free one for what you need, see if you can use a simple note on your phone with it, or a printable PDF that you can just have around.

9. Coffee cup

If Starbucks is your guilty pleasure, this is for you, but be advised that some truth bombs are coming your way. It’s expensive, man! It’s more of a status statement to get coffee at Starbucks than it is a matter of taste. You can for sure find better coffee blends and mixes at any professional coffee house around. Especially in Europe, there’s a great coffee to be had at almost every corner.

Having a coffee on a black sand beach in Iceland thanks to my insulated coffee mug

So get yourself an insulated coffee cup and either fill it with coffee from the hotel breakfast or go to the nearest coffee house and get their best Mocha-frappa-caramel thing (literally made that up, I have no idea what those are, I like my coffee as I like my jokes: dark and bitter). It will cost you less over time and you’ll enjoy it for most of your day, plus it will be better than that soulless thing they call coffee at you-know-where.

10. ANR headphones

Active Noise Cancelation headphones are the best thing since sliced bread! There, I said it. It’s the single best thing you can do to improve your flying experience by a lot. No one likes flying, yet most of us have to do it, so we might as well improve our misery a bit. And ANR headphones are an easy way to do this.

You don’t need the fancy Beats or Sennheiser for this though. If you’re looking for sound quality then yes, nothing beats a Sennheiser (see what I did there?). But if you’re just wanting to block the humming the aircraft does when it sends you across the world, then a mPow can be just enough for your needs.

11. Professional camera

Have you ever seen that person with a huge camera, and known by the angles they’re taking that they have NO idea what they’re doing? Don’t be that person! Not only because it’s silly, but also because it’s expensive as hell. Those professional cameras are not cheap, and they’re useless without the knowledge and/or passion a photographer needs to invest.

If you are a professional or want to become one, by all means, follow your passion. But if you’re not talented and find no use for it, just use your phone and move along. Most phones nowadays have more options than we know how to use anyway, and you’ll get gorgeous photos with little work from you.

12. Tours and activities

Sometimes the cheaper things are the best ways to start knowing a place. While I recommend trying at least one specific activity in any place you go, like a Mario Kart experience in Tokyo or snorkeling at Silfra in Iceland, you can always learn a lot about a place with a free or almost free activity. Especially when you have just arrived, try to get a feel for the place by going on a free walking tour.

I know they’re not exactly free, as you pay a tip at the end. But you choose how much to pay, and the guides are locals who offer a great view of the place. They can recommend you restaurants, and cheap places to grab a drink, give you insider tips and advise you better than any paid tour. You can also get an inexpensive scavenger hunt on your phone, they usually cost less than $10, and you get to know a city while doing a fun activity. Be your own guide, so to say!

13. Paper travel guides

Our parents, if they traveled at all, used to buy those conversation guides or travel guides that were 500 pages long and covered EVERYTHING about a country. Did they read all of it? I highly doubt it. Did they need all of it? I’m sure they didn’t. They just didn’t have options back then and thought this was the way to go.

Now, we have options. We can buy a short and snappy PDF version of a travel guide. It has all the information you need in one simple file, and you can have it on multiple devices. Hell, you can even print it, if that’s your thing. But you can use interactive resources like maps and links, and they cost a fraction of the price of a guidebook. You can even check a few of them out in my shop.

Black Friday deals for travelers

14. Credit cards

Credit cards are a big no-no on my side of the world, as we’re being taught from a young age that we shouldn’t spend more than we earn. But a multicurrency card is a necessity when you’re surrounded by as many currency options as you have in Europe. I use 3 of them on a nearly daily basis, and even more when I’m traveling.

A great solution has proven to be Revolut. It’s free until a certain amount per month and very affordable after that, and it covers the needs of most people that travel once a month. I have had it for 4 years now and only once I have used my allowed transaction amounts when we were shopping intensively across the border. But for most situations, it’s everything you need, for free.

15. AirHelp subscription

Being prepared for the worst is such a good idea y’all! Even if no one wants to have their flight canceled or delayed, it happens more often nowadays. Hey, I even have a short and sweet guide to help you with this, which you can download right now. But you can do everything in your power to prevent this, and it can still happen.

This is where an AirHelp subscription comes into play. It’s incredibly inexpensive, but so useful if you get even one delayed or canceled flight a year. You could benefit from their services without a subscription as well, so you pay nothing upfront and they only get a success commission, but you’re most probably better off having a subscription and keeping all the money to yourself.

One pro tip that I can tell you right off the bat is to get a subscription to AirHelp Plus if you have a lot of flying planned for this year. If you have even one flight delay this year, it will pay for itself. And we all know that’s most probably going to happen.

And I don’t know about you, if you believe in karma or not, but I guess you should start thinking about it. AirHelp has just notified us, affiliates, that they’re having a promotion right about now. Snag 7% off with the codes below:

AHPLUSE7 — 7% off AirHelp Plus Essential
AHPLUSC7 — 7% off AirHelp Plus Complete

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Bonus item: Food

But, but … I have to eat, said someone in a corner. Of course, you do, we all have to eat! But do you HAVE to eat at the tourist traps that are right next to the Colosseum, offer subpar food and service, and ask for 5X the usual price? I’m going to guess no… And I will never tell you to eat at McDonald’s or similar places, as I consider that garbage and not food.

But I am going to tell you to go further away from major tourist spots if you want to enjoy high-quality food at decent prices. US Americans can call this the rule of 5 blocks: go at least this much in any direction from any tourist hotspot and you’ll start finding better value-for-money restaurants. For everyone else, that’s around 500 meters. It’s all it takes.

The takeaway – travel items to buy nice and the ones to buy cheap

Wow, this turned out huge! When I started thinking about it and writing it, I didn’t expect it to get to 5.000 words, but here we are. I hope you got some great ideas on travel gear to help you plan your next trip, and that now you know where to invest more and which items you can safely buy on a budget. To help you even further, check out my short guide on avoiding delayed and missed flights, and you’ll feel even more empowered to travel more this year.

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4 thoughts on “Buy nice or cry twice – 15 travel items to buy nice and 15 to get on a budget”

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