Barbell Strategy

Two possibilities for spending the night in Japan on a budget:

A. Two nights in a business hotel
B. One night in a capsule hotel in the city center + one night in a five-star hotel with a harbor-view

The two choices are similarly priced. Having done both, B is more interesting – positively hilarious. The capsule hotel is hilariously cheap: 25USD with online reservation, conveniently located, with amenities like cheap coin laundry and luxury sauna. The five-star hotel is not bad, either.

This is one incarnation of the barbell strategy: benefitting from both extremes while leaving out the mediocre middle.

Another barbell strategy, advocated by a friend of mine, is to stay in a budget hotel, but have meals and hang out at the bar at a beachfront resort because “you meet some cool cats there.” He is open to all the interesting encounters with people at a fraction of the cost. He also manages to be the best-dressed guy there because saving money with other barbell strategies leaves him money for his wardrobe, in which he has some cheap functional stuff, and some fashionable stuff that he buys with a “1/3 as many items, but at three times the cost” rule. (Itself a barbell strategy.)

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