10 Cheap Vacation Splurges

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Vacations can make us feel rich simply because what we're doing for a week or two is what we might actually be doing if we didn't have to work. But there are plenty of ways to feel decadent on vacation without spending a ton of money. Check out our 10 favorite ways to add to the ambiance of splurging. Remember, it's all about the little things.

1. Room service
Ordering room service is akin to having a personal cook deliver food right to your door. You don't have to order a full meal, however. Heather Larson, a frequent traveler and the blogger behind Discover Washington State, simply orders a pot of coffee every morning when she travels.

There are plenty of ways to feel decadent on vacation without spending a ton of money.

"Having coffee delivered to my hotel room makes me feel pampered," she says. "It's something that doesn't happen at home. Of course, I could make the in-room coffee, but it usually tastes terrible and doesn't make very much. I much prefer to indulge myself and get a feel good start to my day."

2. Frivolous trinkets
Baseball caps, key chains, magnets and T-shirts -- we all have something we love to buy to take us back to those fun-filled vacation days. Kathleen Winn, a seasoned traveler, says she prefers to buy holiday trinkets.

"Most touristy areas have at least one Christmas shop, or sometimes we would buy some little trinket that wasn't meant as a Christmas ornament, but we used it as one, like a sparkly prism to hang on the tree," she says. "I love seeing all of those ornaments that remind me of all of the places we took our kids over the years and the fun times we had on vacation."

3. Meals out
We all get tired of eating the same thing at home, and even our favorite hometown restaurants can get boring, so many travelers will splurge on meals out, even if it is only for one nice dinner. It might be lobster in Maine or steak in Kansas City, but at least in our minds it's worth it.

Casey Barber, who writes about food on her blog, Good.Food.Stories., makes sure to splurge on good meals, even if it means giving up something else.

"We specifically choose really low-budget hotels so we can spend more on food and drinks when we're on vacation," she says.

4. Spa treatments
For many, nothing screams indulgent more than a facial, pedicure and manicure and a nice, relaxing massage. The best part of a pedicure and manicure is that it can last for a couple of weeks even when the vacation is over.

"If it's a beach or warm weather vacation, I get a pedicure in a really fun color," says Allie Johnson, a frequent traveler. "Then I feel vacation-y whenever I look at my toes."

5. Pricey libations
Something as simple as an extra mocha latte or a bottle of sparkling water can feel like a splurge when you're on vacation. Many find the alcoholic beverages they don't indulge in at home add an extra "spirit" to their vacation.

"Even if I'm at some place where beer is $15, I'm still going to drink a few ... It's vacation," says Craig Guillot, another frequent traveler.

6. People watching
Watching people go about their daily routine is entertaining, and there's no place better place to do it than at an outdoor cafe or coffee shop.

"Having a pot or two of tea and spending a few hours at a cafe or pub just enjoying the atmosphere feels like a splurge to me," says Kerry Dexter, who travels frequently between the U.S., Scotland and Ireland.

7. Reading material
Vacations might be an escape, but many travelers don't feel their vacation is complete without squeezing in a bit of time to read at the beach or cafe. Facebook pages everywhere are all abuzz this time of the year with people seeking great beach book suggestions. Whether you're buying the actual book or loading up your Kindle, this is a splurge that keeps on giving long after the vacation is over.

8. Ordering dessert
The no-nos of our real lives suddenly have no sugar content or calories when we're on vacation.

"Whenever I'm traveling and out for dinner, I almost always end up ordering creme brulee," traveler Stephanie Auteri says. "It's not something that's typically available at most of the eateries I frequent on a weekly basis, so it always feels like a special treat when I order it on vacation."

9. Web surfing, movies and games
Internet connections at hotels and especially on cruise ships can be a little pricey, depending on the hotel and location, but many people feel it's a splurge just to stay connected at all. In the same light, splurging on movies and games, especially for the kids, may make the time away from home even more special.

10.Having brunch
Let's face it, when we're in our real lives, most of us are doing good to wolf down a bowl of cereal or a granola bar, especially during the week. Enjoying a late, fancy brunch with our loved ones is a treat.

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