Whether you are ready to take a vacation or just considering a night out, the decision of how much to spend on entertainment is never easy. Entertainment costs are, by definition, discretionary expenses, but they can add tremendous value to your life. When deciding how and when to spend, it makes sense to keep a few things in mind.
You Don’t Need to Pay Upfront
While it’s always a good idea to have a general budget in mind when you plan an outing, there is no reason to set it in stone. If you have the opportunity to take in a show or participate in a class that you hadn’t planned on, don’t be so rigid in your budgeting that you can’t take advantage of the opportunity. There are many options available for handling these expenses. You can look into short-term loans or personal loans as an option before heading out on your trip. This gives you the funds you need to ease the reins on your spending. If you decide to put the unexpected costs on your credit card, taking out a personal loan when you get home to pay off those cards can save money in interest and keep you from regretting your purchases.
Think About What Matters
Regardless of what the popular entertainment options are where you are traveling, if it isn’t something you are interested in, it’s not worth the expense. Instead, consider activities that you find compelling, something not available to you regularly, or that offers a new historical or cultural experience. You want to direct your spending toward activities that will provide you with memories and experiences that stay with you.
If you are traveling with family, it is important to consider everyone’s interests. Decide before you leave how you will handle different interests. While it is nice to do things together as a family, some excursions are pricey, and it doesn’t make sense to include everyone if they aren’t interested. Have alternative plans for those who don’t wish to participate, and be sure that everyone gets to have input on some part of the trip.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
While there is no reason to pay money for experiences you or your family aren’t interested in, don’t be afraid to spring for options that sound intriguing, even if you aren’t sure they are something you’ll love. Trying new experiences is a great way to find new passions. Some experiences are always worth paying a little extra. Guided walking tours of an area allow you to get a better feel for the history and significance of an area than what you would learn wandering around on your own. Guided hikes, kayaking tours, and open water charters allow you to benefit from the experience of locals.
Taking the time to seek out local restaurants allows you to taste authentic food from the region. This can be a challenge for some, particularly those with young children, but it is worth the effort. Some of your fondest memories of your trips may be time spent sampling each other’s foods in an out of the way spot.