Avoiding the $5.75 Coffee in Hawaii
By John Di Rienzo
July 1, 2015
When we go on vacation, something happens to our Rational Selves. Things that we would deem exorbitant at home suddenly, and easily, work their way into our routines. As soon as the wheels are up, it’s as if critical thinking stops and the Rational Self kicks back and picks up a Mai Tai.
However, even in the haze of vacation bliss, where everything is somehow “okay,” certain things stick out as such egregious economic offences, that the relaxing Rational Self stops sipping the Mai Tai and says, “Hold it, not so fast, this is over the top!”
This happened to me on a recent trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui. While at a popular Kaanapali resort, I purchased a coffee at a kiosk selling Starbucks. I ordered my usual: a Venti (large) coffee. There was no latte or mocha in the order, just a large, hot coffee, which typically runs me about $2.35 with tax.
There I stood, gazing out at gorgeous, well-manicured lawns running down to the beach, palms swaying, waiting for my coffee. Rational and Emotional Selves were both at ease and taking in the view. But the peaceful balance was shattered when the women behind the kiosk smiled graciously and asked me for $5.75.
“No,” I said smiling,” I just got the coffee,” thinking that she must have confused my order with another.
“Yes,” she replied with the sweetest Hawaiian smile, “It’s $5.75. Would you like anything else?”
There were witnesses around so I could not have the proper melt-down that the situation deserved. I hesitantly handed over $10, my Rational Self raging at me for being such a chump. Even the Emotional, vacation-oriented Self was taken aback.
Therein lies the secret economics of vacationing. Resorts and vendors in touristic places rely on our Rational Selves being in vacation mode and just going with the flow. Perhaps there are no other options and thus prices are high due to a lack of competition. More often, prices are high because they know that we’ll pay to avoid a hassle and want immediate gratification; after all, we’re on vacation and we’ve earned it. Resorts also rely on the fact that few of us stop to calculate the true cost of staying with them, once all the little add-ons, e.g. $5.75 coffees, are figured into the equation.
This is why Vacation Rentals are such a great option. To our Rational Selves, being able to save our precious resources on things that really matter makes sense. To our Emotional Selves, being in a private place, where you are able to relax with friends and family and live on your own schedule, is wonderfully appealing.
(Rational and Emotional Selves enjoying hammock time)
With vacation homes, you can make a supermarket run (or pay someone to do it for you) and pick up all of the day-to-day treats you desire. Sodas, chips, sweets, beer and wine, and even the makings of a gourmet meal, are yours at Rational Self prices.
If you are thinking about spending your holiday in a first-class resort, in Hawaii or elsewhere, consider the costs of day-to-day items when doing your math. The gorgeous vacation property that seems pricey at first glance, often works out to not only be less expensive on a per-person basis, but more enjoyable experientially.
So, appease your Rational Self and avoid the $5.75 coffees on your next holiday, and give your Emotional Self something to cheer about. Contact our Vacation Estate Specialists today to see what amazing properties are waiting to host you...both yous!