Splurge vs Steal

i've been in the vacation planning mode for some time - i'm going on a 2 week cruise in January (2011) - and i'm planning either another cruise or all-inclusive vacay for November-ish (2010) or possibly a trip to Costa Rica or something, i'm all over the place for my 2010 vacay - an itty-bitty part of me know's i prob should skip out on 2010 vacation and put the $$$ toward my house and car fund :o) ..
I got some great vacation ideas
splurge vs steal style!
i'm all about #4 !!!

#1. Mountain Retreat. If you love hiking and gorgeous scenery, a vacation in the mountains would be perfect.
Splurge: Gstaad Palace, Switzerland, starting at $507/night / Steal: Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada, starting at $360/night

#2. Wine Country. If you want a leisurely honeymoon with stunning views and even better wine, this vacation is a no-brainer!
Splurge: Relais Vignale, Italy. Starting at $288/night / Steal: Gaia Napa Valley, United States. Starting at $89/night

#3. Ice hotels. For all of you adventurous types who want a truly unique and exotic experience, what about an ice hotel?
Splurge: Ice Hotel, Sweden. $203-888/night / Steal: Hotel de Glace, Canada, starting at $149/night

#4. Over-the-water huts. If you love the water and want a secluded and luxurious vacation, over-the-water huts seem so romantic and special.
Splurge: Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji. $750-1261/night / Steal: Punta Caracol, Panama. $344-518/night

#5. Bavarian Vacation. For a vacation full of good food and fun, what about going to a Bavarian village?
Spurge: Bamberg, Germany. Approximately $170/night / Steal: Leavenworth, United States. Approximately $130/night

#6. Tropical Beach. If you just want to bask in the sun and relax on the beach, this tropical vacation is for you.
Splurge: The Raratongan Beach Resort & Spa, Cook Islands. $200-675/night / Steal: Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club, United States, starting at $169/night

#7. Skiing Resort. For an active couple who enjoys the snow during the day and a hot tub or a fire at night, a skiing vacation would be a great fit!
Splurge: Lech Ski Resort, Austria. $251/night / Steal: Whistler Ski Resort, Canada. $192/night

i'm dreaming about vacationing in huts!
(my brother went to Tahiti and stayed in one *sigh*)


don't forget to get in on the GIVE-AWAY ends Tuesday!!!


  1. I am planning a trip somewhere in Europe for February but the wine country sounds wonderful too:)...I love trips!! hahah

    Ps: I hope you had a chance to enter my Giveaway!

  2. this was insanely brilliant, i loved it!! I can't believe all the great matches you found :)

  3. ugh..now i want to go on vacation!! lol

  4. I love all your picks actually! I so need a vacation too:-). xx

  5. i'm all about #1, #2 and TOTALLY..#7!!

  6. An ice hotel? Sounds like an awesome trip!! Thanks for the awesome finds!

  7. i really want to go on a european vacation thanks to the photos here lol

  8. ok, this is AWESOME!! my friend Panda goes to Leavenworth every year, and she adores it.

    ps - i've got something for you on my blog today. :)

  9. Oooo gorgeous. I would love to go on a nice vacay next summer. Or winter. Or now. ha ha. But I am saving for a house.... yep. Those things cost a pretty penny.


    p.s. It's the last day to enter my Lil Petite Jewelry Giveaway!!!

  10. What a wonderful post! I've never thought about the "Splurge v. Steal" in the context of vacation spots... love it.

    I'm off to Ireland in November, and can't wait!

    Any recs are appreciated for folks reading this!

  11. Amazing post, darling!
    Is it wrong that I want to go to ALL of these destinations?


  12. I'm with CC - I want them all! If you go to #4, we might be on the same side of the world! Sunset drinks!

  13. The ice hotel is so intriguing but I'd rather go somewhere warmer! One of those huts would do nicely...

  14. i like 2, 4, 6!
    my next vacation.. maybe s.africa! :)
    lovely bloggg*

  15. I would love for my next vacation to be a cruise, they're so much fun!

  16. wow they all look like great destinationxxxxx

  17. My parents went to Panama last year and had an amazing time- Their hotel was beautiful and they stayed for three weeks.

  18. I live about 4 hours away from Banff and it's GORGEOUS!

    My next vacay will be somewhere warm for sure. Probably in January or February 2011 and probably to Mexico! I'd love to go to Bora Bora but it's way too ex$pensive.

    You're so lucky to be going on a 2 week cruise!


  20. I've always always always wanted to stay at an ice hotel, just to see how it works! like with the hot shower and all lol. but I hate the cold weather cuz we get enough of that in our city, sooo going somewhere cold for vacation just seems like a waste! hahahahaha

  21. One of each if you please;) Spurge or Steal just take me away!!

    Actually I just found out a friend of the family is having a big celebration in Italy for her 50th, so it looks like my vacation in 2011 has been decided for me.

    I'll be heading to Castelbrando, so now I'm trying to learn some Italian.


  22. Ohhh I've always wanted to go to Switzerland!

  23. all of these look incredible! i would probably skip austria, switzerland and bavaria since i live super close and it wouldnt really feel like a vacay, but #4 does look super lovely!! I really wanna go to the maledives...basically same thing :)

    xox Vicky
    Bikinis & Passports

  24. We went on a cruise in Jan., I went to San Diego in June & we're going to Disney in December! We haven't got anything planned for 2011 yet.

  25. Hi Erika, I just had to come by and say a great big THANKYOU!!! to you for being such a doll and visiting my blog and leaving me sweet notes. You just make my day.
    I actually have my next vacay planned. 3 days in Rome and then a 2 week cruise on the Mediterranean!!! KATHYSUE

  26. Erika,you can email me at Goodlifeofdesign@yahoo.com!

  27. everything looks nice! But
    I prefer a hot holiday, so my next destination is Aruba!!!

  28. wow those are such great finds!
    thanks for sharing!
    I have always loved the over-the-water huts but those ones in Panama are such a great deal!

    -Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
    Blackbird Fly

  29. I have been dying to stay in some over the water bungalows! My husband and I wanted to go to bora bora for our honeymoon, but we ended up going somewhere else!

  30. AMAZING :) I would lovelovelove to go on a vaca to wine country or even the mountains..somewhere secluded, where cell phone service doesn't work so all you have to worry about is each other :)

  31. I love all these types of places except ski resorts..just because I don't know how! I would love to go on a trip soon but I'm sure that will have to wait with all this planning that needs to be done for the wedding :(

  32. they all sound amazing! i would especially love to go somewhere like #4 as well... but I'll take a trip to the wine country anyday! :)

  33. Don't shy away from the Fairmont in Banff Springs...it is soooooo close to Lake Louise and you will be stricken by how breathtaking it is there!! (I grew up in Alberta and visit both of those places at least once a year)


  34. This post is like a mini trip!:D

    I want to go to Europe!:D

    ***** Marie *****

  35. I would love to go to Bora Bora! :)

    and all the places you suggested. haha


  36. Very cool pics. I would highly recommend Costa Rica. I did a 9 day trip there traveling all over Cosra Rica and staying at different places. My favorite was the Osa Peninsula right at the tip of the country. We stayed at a very remote place that only had 2 huts for guests. Run by an American (lawyer) couple who left everything to be there. It was amazing. As far as where I would want my next vacation: Would love to go back to Africa. BUT, with kids we will probably do a 'disney cruise' instead. :)

  37. Brilliant post!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! What great combos and steals you've found! Always wanted to go to Banff too!

  38. all of these places look AMAZING! I want to check them all out!


  39. Hello, darling!

    Oh my--these are awesome! What a fun post. That cruise sound fantastic! I know you will have a wonderful time.

    And oh goodness--the steal's are a very nice option but sometimes the splurge just cannot be topped!

    I have never been to Europe and would LOVE to! Paris, Rome, London. :) Ah! Oh, and if I want a tropical vacation: the Mediterranean, the Bahamas, certain parts of Mexico along the coast--ah! It seems beautiful. :)


  40. This is AMAZING sweetie! You make me want to hop on a plane right this instant! I've stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel twice before and it's one of my favorite places on earth!

    Happy almost Friday! xoxo

  41. I love the idea of showing the sprulge and steal on fun vacation ideas! Such a great post!

  42. Wow what an incredible and genius post! I so want to go on vacation now!


  43. Great comparisons Erika!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  44. wow id love to stay in an ice hotel! x

  45. Oh man can I go to all????? Great picks and definitely time for vacation now :) xoxo

  46. Have you looked into Maldives or other resorts in Asia... now THOSE would be a steal! :)

  47. I didnt know they had the ice hotel in Canada too! That is great news, I am originally from there although living in Europe but instead of splurging in Sweden i will "steal" in Canada!
    And did you notice how everything in Europe is so much more expensive! Or basically everything outside the " America's" continents!
    Got to love the America's (north and south!).

  48. I have been to the Rarotongan. We lived on the island for about 10 months and they would let us use the pool. It is absolutely beautiful and right on the most amazing beach that is across from a small island that they have BBQ on. Such fun memories.

  49. Raratonga may be more expensive, but BELIEVE ME it is the most untouched, picturesque places on earth! I was there for a family vacay when I was only 12, and it is still the most memorable and gorgeous place I've ever been, and I've been to 17 countries so far . . . .

  50. Such a clever post! Makes me wish i could go to all those places in the USA.Fiona


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