"Everyone has a budget. It might be $20 a day or $200 a day, but everyone has one.
When I travelled in the US and Canada I had a low daily budget (Hello Motel 6!). When I went to visit Niagara Falls though, the admission (I can't remember what it was) would have blown my budget for that day, so I didn't go. That was stupid.
Many years later, in a remote part of Vietnam, I had the opportunity to buy some exquisite hand-made cloth for about $100. My guide said I'd get stuff cheaper in town -- and it turned out I could, except it was cheap Chinese factory-made garbage. That was dumb.
It's easy to look back now and say I was a fool for not doing this or that. If I'd done them all, it may have only shaved a couple of days off my trip, or (shock horror) I could have saved money by not drinking beer.
There are few generally accessible activities in Southeast Asia that are truly going to break the bank. So when you decide not to do something -- be it the Gibbon Experience, learning how to dive, splurging on an excellent food walk or even climbing a volcano -- think carefully about what you're missing out on. When you're back home in London, San Francisco or Melbourne, you may well regret the once-in-a-lifetime experience you passed over to save $100.
Of course, most travellers can't afford to do absolutely everything. But pick and choose your battles. Perhaps consider how else you can save money during your travels to allow you to be extravagant now and then."
Others have examples of occasions where they really wish they had spent the money?
#1somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,062
For me - missing out on the hot air balloon in Bagan (Burma). I'm usually not one to balk at spending money when the occasion calls for it, but for some reason I just didn't do it when I was in Bagan even though it was supposed to be one of the planned highlights of my extended travels.
I did go up in a hot air balloon 6 months later in Cappadocia (Turkey) which is probably one of the (other) best places in the world to go ballooning. But the irony is, I stupidly paid an exorbitant rate because I booked online before I arrived, afraid that I would miss out. Once I got there, I realised that I probably paid 60-70 euro too much by booking directly with the balloon company. However, I had an absolutely perfect balloon flight, and I never once regretted spending the money (even though too much). The money was quickly forgotten and the memories continue on.
And interestingly, I have now made Cappadocia my new home for a few years..... :-)
My only other regret was not diving in the Banda Islands (Indonesia). I was balking for a few days at spending the money, and then got a cold which essentially forced the decision for me. But it's a regret that I never did get under the water there...
#2busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152