When people travel, they usually want to get the most bang for their buck. I mean, they worked hard for the money they’re spending, so they want to spend wisely and get the most value, right? So they ask around and try to get other peoples’ opinions. In fact, in my reading of a whole lot of message groups and boards about travel, one of the most often asked questions I see is, “Is it worth it?” “It” being a certain restaurant, vacation spot, hotel, experience, you name it.
The thing is, there is no way for one person to adequately tell another person if something – anything – is “worth it” or not because the “worth” of anything is a value judgment.
noun: value judgement
an assessment of something as good or bad in terms of one’s standards or priorities.
Thank you, Oxford Languages.
So yeah, a value judgement is based on an individual’s standards and priorities. And what I prioritize as, let’s say, super important may or may not be anything like what you consider to be a priority.
Age, financial status, childhood experiences, marital status, religious background, whether or not you have kids (and how old they are), personal preferences, and just about anything and everything else that makes you YOU, all go into what kind of value judgements you make.
A few cases in point:
Paying for a certain “view” out of your hotel room
If we’re staying at a hotel, Joe and I rarely pay extra for an “ocean view,” “mountain view,” etc. I think the number of times we’ve done it could be counted on one hand and it was usually for special reasons such as our honeymoon. But for us, a view out of our window just isn’t that important.
For other people, it’s ALLLLL about the view and of course they’ll pay extra per night so they can look out their window and see whatever it is.
Whenever Joe or I have a “birthday that ends with a zero,” we do a big (for us) vacation to celebrate it. When Joe turned “a certain age,” he wanted to go to the Northern California area, where we visited San Francisco and Yosemite and ate at the French Laundry.
If you ask each of us if we thought the cost of The French Laundry was “worth it,” we’ll have 2 entirely different answers. He will say it was 100% worth it. I will say I’m glad my husband enjoyed his birthday dinner, but the value of it was SO NOT how much that one meal cost and I would have been just as happy at an Outback Steakhouse.
Our trip to Cuba
My dad had the opportunity to go to Cuba in the mid-1950s, before Castro took over, and always said how beautiful it was. So when it turned out that Cuba was open to U.S. visitors during the year I celebrated “a birthday that ended with a zero,” that’s where I chose to go.
I wanted to go to Cuba because it had been a “forbidden fruit” for so long, but mainly because I had a LONG history of wishing I could go there because my dad said it was so nice.
Joe’s dad never went to Cuba and didn’t have stories of a visit there. Joe also got REALLY sick with GI issues while we were in Cuba.
If you ask us now if we think our visit to Cuba was “worth it” and if we’d like to go back, based on our last trip, I always say yes. Joe always says he’d have to think about it.
Going to Walt Disney World
- For some people, Walt Disney World is the equivalent of Mecca.
- On the other hand, I used to have a boss who hated WDW because he didn’t like how it was all “fake.”
- I know more than one person who went to Disney as kids, but nowadays would rather take trips to National Parks. Or Key West. Or NYC. Or the rest of the world. No reason; they just like other places better.
- I know several people who simply would not be able to afford to go to WDW.
- And I have other friends who think going to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, would be loads better.
If you ask each of those people if Walt Disney World was “worth it,” how many of them do you think would say it was? And each one of them would have a different reason for their response.
So again, whether or not something is “worth it” is about as much of a Your Mileage May Vary situation as one can get. Do your research. Make your decision. Ask others what they experienced. Ask them what they liked and didn’t like. But really, don’t bother asking if it was “worth it.” As closed-ended of a question as it appears, it’s really as open-ended as could be.
Feature Image: Pixabay
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary