How much is too much?

This post is from June, 2014, however it was posted before the blog went live. It still applies to everyday travel, and I know I go through this question every time I step into a hotel or airplane.

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I’ve planned an upcoming trip over the July 4 weekend to Spain, visiting Barcelona, then to Pamplona, and then finally to Madrid.

I’m flying into Barcelona, and then plan on taking a 3 hour train ride to Pamplona to see the infamous running of the bulls. Unfortunately, hotel rates are not cheap in Pamplona during the San Fermin Festival, and average hotel rates run from $500 up, just for an average hotel in an average room.

Upon reading a variety of blogs, reviews and travel sites, I came across one hotel, the Gran Hotel La Perla in the heart of Pamplona. This hotel supposedly is the only hotel where one can view the running of the bulls from (alternatively, you can pay a local for a balcony), and to go along with that privilege is a hefty price tag of about 700 Euros a night, without a balcony. With a balcony, and room rates jump another 400 Euros a night. This hotel doesn’t belong to any loyalty programs, so there’s no way I can bargain my way to a discount or use points (except for using points to pay off the charge on my credit card which I am not keen on doing).

There are other hotels in the area, but they are all not within viewing distance of the bull running, are hard to get to or not very well rated. Funny enough, they pretty much share the same prices. So, I want to see the running of the bulls but I don’t want to pay close to $1,000USD a night for that privilege (nor can I afford that amount). But, on the other hand, the La Perla is the premier hotel for experiencing the festival, and is consistently the “go-to” hotel for everything bulls. So, how  much is too much? Would you consider close to 1K USD a night worth it, considering the popularity of the event, or is that too much? What is your threshold for purchasing something? Do you have a limit? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. says

    I was in Pamploma this year a few weeks before the running of the bulls. It is very nice city with lots of viewing areas. I would recommend finding a nice hotel (on points) on the outskirts of the city or outside the city and take the train to the city the day of the event. Get there early and find a good viewing area. I think the race is maybe 10 minutes long (very short distance, probably not even a mile long), so how much is 10 minutes worth to you?

  2. Joey says

    I normally set a budget and if it’s over the budget, then it’s too much! 😉

    If I were you I would have travelled with friends and divide up the cost of that hotel room for that one day but to each his own.

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