It started with a late night phone call to my mother- the two of us were going to Poland for ten days and decided that we needed a vacation within our trip. (Note: a trip and a vacation are very different, and visiting family in Poland is definitely a trip and not a vacation.)
We sat on the phone for over two hours each with our Google Maps and Google Flights tabs open (does this qualify me for sponsorship?) and investigated destinations that were a quick flight from Kraków.
I suppose both of us are spoiled when it comes to travel because it was nearly impossible to pick a place.
“Nice, France?” Pass. I’ve been and I don’t like their beaches- too many pebbles.
“Baltic Sisters?” Sounds chilly.
“Cyprus?” Hard no to driving on the left hand side of the road.
“Sardinia?” Oh..what’s that?
Sardinia caught our eye because it’s a short Ryanair flight away from Kraków, and although I’ve been to Italy a few times I love it enough to explore new parts.
Plus, a getaway to an Italian island sounded nice and sunny.
What really sold us though was a gorgeous five star independent resort on the coast, about an hour away from the city. It was gorgeous, and because it only had 48 rooms and a no children policy- we knew it would be quiet.
We spent three days at the resort being spoiled by their lovely staff of charming Italians. Breakfasts with champagne and full spreads of local cheeses and prosciutto, poolside drinks served with cute little snacks, afternoon tea service with cakes, cookies and scones galore. Then of course dinner- a show worthy production of wines, fresh lobsters or salt baked sea bass, always followed by exquisite desserts and local digestifs.
It was basically a three day bender of wine and indulgent foods, but it’s Italy and I’m on this planet for a good time, not a long time.
This was the kind of place where people ordered a $200 lobster without batting an eye and ladies wore Hermes sandals to the beach (which by the way sounds really impractical and I cannot fathom why you would want a $650 pair of leather shoes anywhere near sand and water.)
I, on the other hand, almost hand an aneurysm ordering lobster, and my beach footwear consisted of knockoff Havaianas sandals that I got for eight dollars at a street market in Thailand years ago.
It’s ritzy, and I’m not 100% there yet- you get the picture.
So, this is where my humble brag comes in.
Instead of paying the $1,500 something that our stay would have come out to- I was able to get it almost entirely off of points. I paid right around $100 in just taxes and fees to stay at this magnificent resort by points accumulated from hotel stays and my credit card.
Realistically, I spent a chunk of those savings back in food and booze at the resort, but I would still consider that a huge win.
My mother and I loved living our extraordinary little Sardinian lifestyle for a few days walking miles of white sand beached and sipping on Aperol Spritzs, and I would go back to the resort in a heartbeat.
But, the main moral of my story is that you can still be bougie on a budget. All you have to do is get a little creative, even if it means awkwardly having to ask the hotel staff to consolidate the multiple nights you booked via separate channels. They’ll get over it.