Mr. Money Mustache once did a post on how he “wasted” $1,ooo and what it made him feel like on a trip to some Ski Town out west. While he might not be able to relate to “wasting” money, I just came from that world and miss it. We have spent a little over a month in this new “frugal lifestyle” and a little bit of me misses spending money on ridiculous items.
However, we got to revisit our old ways of spending and then some when we flew all expenses paid and first class to Brussels, Belgium last week.
Traveling with a 1 year old isn’t exactly fun, but it is made exceptionally easier with seats that lie flat and a button you can press to summon a stewardess carrying as many rolls of bread as you can stuff into a 21 pound monster who is trying to steal your steak. Of course, you can’t forget about the nice warm towel they bring you to wash your hands or the shrimp appetizer and champagne as you enjoy watching one of over 50 newly released movies.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? If that wasn’t enough to brighten your day, it’s only made better when you’re eating an ice cream sundae and they read off the menu to the poor schmucks back in coach. Some sort of vegetarian pasta or gril…I don’t remember, I put my free noise canceling head phones back on and stopped listening. All I know is ice cream and unlimited alcohol wasn’t being had a few rows behind me.
After stuffing my face and polishing off a few more adult beverages, I hit the recline button and enjoyed a few hours of alcohol/food induced slumber. Similar to that evening nap you take on Thanksgiving after too much turkey. Not the best sleep but still pretty good. At some point you are awakened to enjoy a nice bowl of cereal and fresh fruit with a drink of your choice. Mimosa anyone?
This ridiculous story doesn’t even include the part about free drinks in the VIP lounge in the airport or the lunch we had at Outback Steakhouse. All courtesy of Mrs. Grump’s employer.
You might be wondering; Is Outback Steakhouse any good in the airport? Yes. Do the lay flat seats, really lay flat? Yes. Am I grateful I got to experience this? Yes. Would I pay for it myself? NO.
It was all amazing and I think everyone should do it once. But this adventure cost in excess of $13,000 for less than 36 hours. Did I have such a good enough time to validate spending $360/hour on luxary? No, but the “trip sponsor” wouldn’t allow us to fly coach and pocket the difference.
The same trip with a frugal mindset would have cost maybe 25% of what MG’s employer spent, possibly less. The old Grump’s may have booked this trip for themselves in the future had we kept up with life inflation. However, I can rest assured knowing we will not be swindled by an airline anytime soon. The Grump’s hard earned money will not be spent on a few more inches of leg room and some cheap cut of steak.
^Gates of Versailles. Versailles, France - February 2014