Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Penny WIse & Pound Foolish

We usually put a lot of effort into our trips: hours of research into destinations, flights, hotels, etc. Packing tons of stuff to make the most of the trip: kitesurfing gear, board games, musical instruments, computers, books, movies, clothing... Then of course there is the expense. We try to save money where we can, and spend it where we have to. Yet sometimes we screw up and miss something important - or spend a lot on something that turns out not to be worthwhile. I was thinking about this over the Thanksgiving weekend because I put a lot of effort into having all the gear I might need in the event that the wind cooperated and we could kite. I ended up packing seven kites and two boards (not counting the two kites and board we took for my brother in law). Excesive? Maybe, but imagine going through all the trouble of this trip to Florida (hours on planes, hours in the car, etc., etc) and not be able to kite because the wind is light and I didn't bring a large kite? Sometime the little things can get you. For example, not bothering to pack the wetsuit (who needs one in Florida anyway) but then there is a cold front and you are miserable.

I realize this topic is only tangentially related to the title, but the pennies and pounds refer not just to money, but to effort as well. Besides, I almost left the boards behind to eliminate the risk of having to pay for excess luggage (I didn't). But that would have been penny wise and pound foolish: save a hundred bucks on what might deliver tons of pleasure while spending thousands the rest of the trip (air, hotel).

So kids, remember to look at the big picture: don't skip on the little things that might end up making a big difference. Don't sweat the larger expenses if they are necessary, e.g., airfares, but don't go crazy on the stuff that is unlikely to matter much...

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