Why My Travel Style is Similar to Razor Flip Phone and Formica Countertop

Few months ago I finally got a new cell phone. Up untill that point, I had this:

razor flip phone

But after many years of usage, the battery on that thing wouldn’t last for more than a few hours. It was time. The rep at AT& T store said he hadn’t seen a razor flip phone since he started working there. Everyone and their brother has an iPhone these days. But I’m a freak, a cheap freak.

So, what did I buy? I got a $15 model, a basic phone that handles calls and not much else. OK, you can take terrible pictures with it if you want to.  I have a prepaid plan that costs me $8 per month, and I’m quite happy with it. I don’t want to check emails, browse internet or text, aka be a slave to my device. I just want a phone so people can reach me.

I view lodging and flying very much the same way. They are mostly a means to an end, so I can get to places I want to explore. That’s not to say I’m opposed to splurging. Far from it! We’ve stayed in castles and in a few months, we’ll be flying in first-class. I definitely don’t think people are shallow if they insist on luxury when it comes to travel.

But some of our best memories involve dirt cheap lodging. Like this apartment in Kauai, which cost us $65 per night:


As you can see, it’s attached to the main house. For some it would be a deal breaker, but it afforded us an excellent opportunity to get to know the family. The husband was Hawaiian, and  had lots of stories to share. In fact, they insisted on taking us out to dinner and even paid for it! In case you are wondering, I only spent $150 for the whole week (all-in) to rent this convertible. Not too bad, right? Cheap and fancy, the best combination.

This countertop cost you how much?

Few years ago, the friends of my in-laws invited our whole family for dinner. This couple has done very well financially, and have  a beautiful house, cars etc. In the course of conversation, they mentioned that their countertop cost them $40K. Yes, you read that right, not $4K, but $40K. No, it wasn’t made of gold. I told them my formica countertop cost us $300 back in the day, and I thought that was too much.  I wasn’t being passive-aggressive or anything. That said, all I could think of was how many trips  we could do for $40K.

But here is the thing. It was clear that they absolutely loved that countertop. This couple likes to stay home and entertain guests, so they put a lot of  money into their house. And there is nothing wrong with that. Just like there is nothing wrong with spending a ton of money or points on luxurious travel.

Some people like to fly to a resort and stay put, never leaving the premises. If that’s your thing, go for it! Others love fancy airplane seats and live for the thrill of trying out new products. And that’s OK too.

But my travel style definitely resembles formica countertop and razor phone. They both serve a purpose, but looks and features are secondary. Sure, you can say that quality is secondary too, and that’s true. But I could replace my countertop many times over, and the price would never reach $40K. The same principle also applies to my cell phone.


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Author: Leana

Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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4 thoughts on “Why My Travel Style is Similar to Razor Flip Phone and Formica Countertop

  1. Hope you enjoyed your time off with your family!

    We have a lot in common. I had the same type of phone for years with a pre-paid plan and I didn’t want to buy a smart phone. Last year, my in-laws bought me my first smart phone for Christmas–a Samsung Galaxy. I would never have spent that money on it for myself. And of course I’m using a dirt cheap plan from Cricket Wireless. But it works!

    • Nancy, I just think you are a bit more normal than I am, he he! I don’t really like to spend money on myself. Most of my clothes comes from Walmart and Goodwill. It’s funny, I actually thought about repairing that cell phone, as crazy as it sounds.
      But it’s different when it comes to my family. I like seeing them happy, and travel is something my kids really appreciate. Even my husband has come around. I would never pay for a balcony on Alaska cruise if it was just me, but I know it’s something he will enjoy.
      P.S. It was nice to have my parents here. I’m working on a post and trying to tell the story without sounding like I’m mocking them. We are a crazy bunch, and my parents are totally out of their element when they are in America. I hope I can pull it off!

    • @Cheapblackdad Ha! I would never spend that much on a phone. Never ever! I have some cards I’m working on at the moment, but will look into this bonus later on to see if I can resell that phone. Wish me luck! My last few reselling experiments didn’t go over so well.

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