Street in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, June 2014. Photo by Tina Trenkner-Meade, (c) 2014.

This street: Totally worth the money, time, patience, tolerance, and everything else in order to hang out here. Photo by author.

How many other resources besides money do travelers really consider when handling a travel budget? Is it worth saving $100 if you have to wake up cranky at 4 a.m. to catch a flight? If you have a couple of days after a business trip to relax, do you stay put (while kicking yourself for not going somewhere new) or try to make the most of those few days (at a frantic pace)?

I wondered about this after relaying an experience I had while connecting through the new Doha (Qatar) airport in June. I had the money and time to take a three-day trip to Istanbul on a separate itinerary from my Doha business trip. I had a 2.5-hour delay leaving Istanbul, resulting in a luggage debacle and stress from an almost-missed flight back to D.C.

I could have just flew in to Doha the day before. But I didn’t want to give up a day in Istanbul, where I was meeting up with a best friend. And I wanted to minimize my connection in Doha. Everything worked out in the end: I got a workout sprinting to the gate; I made the flight; my luggage didn’t make the flight, but Qatar Airways delivered it the next day. But was it worth 18 hours of worry? Ehhh.

If I gave up a day, I would have saved myself some emotional energy, but would have had to spend money… What should have been the right resource allocation here? In order to reverse-engineer this in order to prevent it in the future, it would require a re-evaluation of resources and opportunity costs.

Besides money and time: What other resources need to be considered when making travel plans? Energy: both personal and things like gas, is one. How active do you want to be, how much are you willing to spend in order to fuel that, and how will that affect the intent of your trip? Tolerance is another resource. How much are you (or I) willing to: wait in line to check in or get a table? Spend time on transport? Stay happy when things go wrong?

What other resources are overlooked and need to be considered when traveling?