Years ago, I was looking for lodging for a family ski trip to Whistler. As always, for me, there are various value questions to be answered:
- How big a rental unit?
- What amenities are the included?
- How close are we to ski-in/ski-out?
Two locations rose to become top candidates. First was the slopeside ski-in/ski-out Residence Inn, which has since changed names.
Aside from location, it was a nice 2 bedroom unit with a full breakfast and a nightly manager reception. This would cut down on how much we would need to go out for food and/or make our own in the kitchen in the room.
The second possible choice was a condo rental, 100 yards down the road. It had more room and a full kitchen and it was also 30% cheaper than the Residence Inn. My first inclination was (and frequently is) to save the money, a few hundred dollars, and go with the cheaper condo.
Thankfully, Diana explained that our primary purpose for going was to ski. Given that our sons were 5 years old, the 100 yards slogging them and all of our equipment would make the vacation much less enjoyable for everyone. That slog would make it less likely for us to get out and really enjoy the snow.
For me, this crystalized to the following thought: It would be a shame to travel 1000 miles and miss the slopes by 100 yards. In essence, there are times when spending extra money for something (vacation, car, phone, etc.) will likely make that item worth much more to you than the additional cost. It was definitely true for that vacation and many since. The additional “few hundred dollars” didn’t change the cost of the overall trip by a lot. But that 100 yards certainly could have.
I still don’t blindly go for the more expensive choice, being Cheap and Good, by nature. That is not me and it probably never will be. However, the saying “100 Yards from the Slopes” has become a shorthand between us.
We frequently consider it when choosing places to visit to help us get the most value from the experience.
How do you go about making such decisions?