We all like to splurge a little bit sometimes. Whether your luxury purchase is planned or spontaneous, the higher the price, the more important it is to carefully consider the benefit you expect to derive from the purchase.
Here are some fabulous ideas for breaking out that plastic:
Love that hotel room bed? Buy one on your way out.
Home is where the heart is, but the sweetest dreams may be at your favorite hotel. Have you ever felt giddy upon checking into (or exquisitely relaxed upon waking in) a room that was more comfortable and luxurious than your own home?
You’ll be happy to learn that you can take some of that luxury home with you. Not all leading hotel chains advertise the availability of their beds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t arrange delivery with the concierge. Purchase a great night’s sleep from many of the major luxury hotel chains for a surprisingly affordable price.
Queen-sized beds at the W Hotel, the Hyatt or the Westin are priced under $1,400. The Sheraton Sweet Sleeper sells for $1,450. The Hilton’s Serenity Bed by Serta is $1,700; the Marriott 7-inch foam bed is $1,850. The Cadillac is the Four Seasons Stearns & Foster Ultra Plush Pillowtop. In queen-size, the mattress alone costs $1,575; with box spring and frame, $2,400 (bedding sold separately).
Want some grown-up time on your family vacation? Bring a travel nanny.
Some parents want to schedule adults-only time on their family vacation but aren’t comfortable hiring an unfamiliar sitter on location. The solution: bring a travel nanny and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your child is with someone your family knows and trusts.
Some travel nannies will even teach children to swim or ski while on vacation. Find one through a local service or by word-of-mouth and get familiar with one another during a few babysitting sessions before your trip.
Expect to pay, of course, for 100% of the nanny’s expenses, including airfare, meals and hotel (most families want the nanny to share the kids’ room), plus a daily rate. The rate will depend on many factors and is negotiable in a private arrangement. Agencies charge upwards of $250 per day for up to two children.
Stepping out this weekend? Stop at the makeup bar first.
Most women have an idea of how to apply basic cosmetics but lack the skills to do so as well as a professional makeup artist can. But why wait for a wedding or prom for an opportunity to look your absolute best?
Rather than risk looking like a clown or foregoing that unattainable sexy, sultry look altogether, stop at a makeup bar. You’ll pay between $40 and $55 for a full-face application; slightly less for eyes-only. Most bars offer a menu of services to choose from, ranging from traditional daytime or evening makeup to a look suited for photography (including false eyelashes).
Makeup application services have long been offered at the branded makeup counters inside department stores. Salespeople are professional makeup artists, and they introduce customers to the latest products in the brand’s line. MAC, for example, charges a $50 appointment fee, but 100% of that fee may be applied to a purchase.
Want to arrive fresh after a long flight? Upgrade your seat.
What coach traveler hasn’t had at least a tiny twinge of upgraded-seat envy on a long flight? Business and first class travel is undeniably more comfortable than coach, and the accompanying customer service can make a traveler feel positively royal. But a seat upgrade is no small matter.
A round-trip coach seat from Los Angeles to Hong Kong costs around $1,800; a round-trip business class seat costs $6,300. Is it worth it to you to spend an extra $4,500 to be more comfortable for a few hours? If it is, be sure you’re using the airline’s credit card and loyalty program to maximize the rewards you earn.
Domestically, you can upgrade a $400 round-trip coach-class ticket from San Diego to Chicago to first class for an additional $1,200. If you’re traveling back and forth between business meetings, the extra comfort could make a big difference in your energy level, appearance and mood.
Bottom line: never whip out the plastic for a purchase that you can’t afford. But for those purchases you can safely put into your budget, choose experiences and products that will enrich your life and create lasting memories.