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seb146
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Posts: 22794
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:31 am

I have looked on different travel web sites and see the price of tickets SFO-HEL and wonder how in the world I am going to accomplish the only three things on my bucket list. Yes, only three, but those three things make me go to every country in the world. My question: How do people do it? How do people with nothing in their bank accounts just pick up and go all over the world? I am more than happy to help around a farm or home for shelter and a little food, but getting from one place to another would be impossible!
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2270
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:13 am

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
I have looked on different travel web sites and see the price of tickets SFO-HEL and wonder how in the world I am going to accomplish the only three things on my bucket list. Yes, only three, but those three things make me go to every country in the world. My question: How do people do it? How do people with nothing in their bank accounts just pick up and go all over the world? I am more than happy to help around a farm or home for shelter and a little food, but getting from one place to another would be impossible!

Well, you can't do it with nothing in your bank account, but you can save money... I mean, travel in developing countries can be insanely cheap. Then again, it might be different for foreigners than locals in some cases.

If you spend 2 weeks a year travelling, say you have 40-50 productive years... that's "only" 4 countries a year... which you can probably do under 3000$/yr... maybe 4000$/yr if you choose it right (cheapest fares, etc). That's not a lot of money IMO. But of course, it's different visiting Canada and Mexico than visiting Tuvalu or Nauru.

I was thinking of setting aside 5000$ for travel each year and hope to accomplish my travel goals (visiting every country). Still, places that I mentioned above (Tuvalu with its 2 flights a week, e.g.) will put a dent in everyone's plans...

That said, the people who *just* travel... I have no idea how they do it.
 
FingerLakerAv8r
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 12:30 pm

RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:23 am

I work for a major US carrier and while it does help it is still pricy. For example I went to DUB two weeks ago (trip report coming) and my cost breakdown was as follows:

Industry standby ticket on Aer Lingus - 192.00
Hotel - 108.00
Spending money 200.00

Total was 500.00 which is pretty cheap you might say. However it was only 2 days. If you can, a part time job with a airline can be a bonus but if you have a mortgage and bills like myself it's not "work 5 days, travel for two" every week.
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:35 am

If you're not making tons of money then it's a simple matter of budgeting.

It helps now that I work for an airline and get staff travel perks, but I started traveling long before that. I put travel pretty high on my priority list in my budget, that means I go without some of the things that the average person my age doesn't.

I drive an old car that's economical (no car payment, a rarity it seems this day and age).

I own a condo, but it's modest (not struggling to make mortgage payments)

I almost never go out to bars etc

I have a nice TV, but I bought it used off my brother, and don't subscribe to hundreds of HD channels etc

I rarely buy consumer crap like electronics etc. The odd thing I have for example an iPad I bought used.

Before a trip I usually try to work extra shifts as much as I can to bank some $$$ before leaving.


Sometimes my friends say to me "you're so lucky man, going on these trips". I remind them it isn't "luck" it's planning and budgeting. If they didn't have a $450/month car payment they could save for a sweet trip every year.
 
airtrainer
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RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:59 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
Sometimes my friends say to me "you're so lucky man, going on these trips". I remind them it isn't "luck" it's planning and budgeting. If they didn't have a $450/month car payment they could save for a sweet trip every year.

Exactly ! I often hear the same comments from my colleagues, I just answer that it's all about priorities  

Saving AND looking for cheap deals certainly help a lot in our case. Many people are just envious because they only dream about all-inclusive 5 stars hotels for any exotic destination, sure it must be nice but there are cheaper alternatives...

Also I don't smoke and just drink very lightly. A few weeks ago I had a discussion with a colleague who is a heavy smoker, we found out that his cigarettes cost him around 2500€ each year. I've hardly spent so much money on a single trip...
Life is short : eat dessert first !
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
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RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:23 pm

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
Sometimes my friends say to me "you're so lucky man, going on these trips". I remind them it isn't "luck" it's planning and budgeting. If they didn't have a $450/month car payment they could save for a sweet trip every year.

I think this is the key.

My colleagues always ask how I can afford to go on the amount of trips I do, and for me it is a simple case of priorities:

I don't have a car - they spend a fortune on car payments, tax, fuel and insurance.

I tend to only replace things when they break - they get a new phone every year, mine is now 4 years old.

I don't spend £3 on a coffee every morning - they do...that's £15 per week on morning coffee!

I tend to take packed lunch to work - they buy food at a takeaway / McDonald's.

I tend to go out to cheap pubs when I have a choice - they go to expensive bars and spend £8 per cocktail...they could quite easily get through £50 on a Friday night out.


I go on 4 or 5 long-haul trips per year (between 1-3 weeks each - I have quite a good holiday allowance with my employer) and I can do this because I am careful with money elsewhere. It is surprising how much people spend without even thinking about it (a pound here and a pound there...it soon adds up).
 
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seb146
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Posts: 22794
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:57 pm

The closest major airport I could work at is OAK or SFO. Those are each about 2 hours' drive. QX does serve STS about 5 miles from my home. I have applied with them many times, but they are only looking for flight attendants or ground crew in ANC or SEA. Once in a country, I would take the train or bus. Probably the train is more reliable, especially in developing nations.

As far as places to stay, I already know I would stay in accredited hostels. I have a Hosteling International card and have stayed at some around the United States and Canada. My biggest issue is the flight there and back. I have been cutting out everything non-essential but it still does not seem to be saving me anything. I don't smoke, don't drink often or much, don't order the fancy coffees and so on.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
photopilot
Posts: 3101
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:31 pm

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 3):
Sometimes my friends say to me "you're so lucky man, going on these trips". I remind them it isn't "luck" it's planning and budgeting.

Absolutely correct. Many of my co-workers say the exact same thing to me.

- I brown bag my lunch every single day. Sure, it takes an extra 5 minutes to make lunch in the morning and a bit of thought when I'm grocery shopping but lunches alone likely save me $30 per week ($1300 per year)

- I don't go out every Friday/Saturday blowing money in bars.

- I only eat dinner out twice per month (each payday) and cook for myself the other times.

- I drive a smaller 6-year-old car that's cheap on gas, and in the warmer months it's a moto-scooter that gets about 75mpg so my commuting costs are minimal.

- I'm fortunate in one thing in that my employer provides all my work clothes. That is a benefit that saves quite a bit of money each year. Heck, nice dress shirts and slacks are pretty expensive.

I could go on and on, but it's all the little things that add up over a year that build a travel budget. You might not think that $2 or $3 bucks is a lot, or that the $5 you blow without thinking means much, but over a full year they really do add up to a nice vacation every year. There really is no secret to it.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: Paying For Travel

Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 5):

Great posting!


I have studied on a modest budget - if I had requested social welfare, I would have gotten more money.

Being hearing-disabled helps quite a lot, because discoes and other loud and bustling places are off limits to me. And being social in the evenings is what costs a lot of $$$.

I've learned to cut costs when travelling. I book tickets that are tied to a specific train. And when I travel during the night, I can save a night in the hostel. And stay with friends if possible. An average day in Germany or in the Netherlands is cheaper than a single day of hiking in my own Alps.

I come from a family that almost never booked a hotel room. We always rented an apartment for a week or two, and we cleaned it by ourselves and cooked for ourselves.

Finally, Lonely Planet has some travel guides like "Europe on a Shoestring".



David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Paying For Travel

Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:34 am

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
My question: How do people do it? How do people with nothing in their bank accounts just pick up and go all over the world? I

we don't... We set limits to our travels unless we can land a job that takes us all over the place (which jobs usually are ones where you won't have an empty bank account for much longer, but that aside).

Of course quite a few kids here have daddies who don't have empty bank accounts YET and let them have free access to their credit cards.
I wish I were flying
 
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seb146
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Paying For Travel

Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:59 am

Quoting jwenting (Reply 9):
We set limits to our travels

I don't plan on my first trip to Europe to be months and months there. My first time, I just want to see Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn. I do not expect to stay at 5-star hotels, either. I am actually thinking I will stay at hostles and ride buses.

I have taken many road trips and weekend get-aways so I know there are limits. I plan for that when I spend two days in Reno or when I used to go to Seattle.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
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falstaff
Posts: 5744
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RE: Paying For Travel

Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:17 pm

I don't have any kids and I'm not married, that saves a lot of money right there. I would not have the money to travel if I had to spend money on a family.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Paying For Travel

Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:16 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 11):
I don't have any kids and I'm not married, that saves a lot of money right there. I would not have the money to travel if I had to spend money on a family.

Amen brother. I don't go anywhere anymore but it's a fair trade  
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2573
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: Paying For Travel

Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:28 pm

Quoting seb146 (Thread starter):
My question: How do people do it? How do people with nothing in their bank accounts just pick up and go all over the world?

To put it in perspective I traveled for 5 months across western Canada and Alaska on unemployment, which figured out to around $225/week 10 years ago. It can be done. I'm a firm believer that half the population of Australia is living abroad doing exactly what you would like to do. They have to be part gypsy.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 5):
My colleagues always ask how I can afford to go on the amount of trips I do, and for me it is a simple case of priorities:

Great post. It depends on how much money you want to spend in those countries and what you want to do, but saving a few dollars here and there can add up over a year and allow you to buy a plane/train/bus ticket to somewhere you haven't been.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 6):
As far as places to stay, I already know I would stay in accredited hostels.

There have been a few threads on hosteling on a-net. Personally, I've been pretty lucky traveling in Canada staying at youth hostels. The cheapest I've stayed at was a "rustic" hostel in Jasper for $8 CDN/night. I checked just now and it's $20/night now during the off season. But, you meet a ton of people you can split costs with for cars or accommodations. I'd research some last minute travel sites for the airfare part and keep your travel options open when you get there.
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