29 April 2015

Travelling | The Truth About Sacrafices

All too often I see posts about how so-and-so saved $13,000 in one year, or how to earn £15,000 in one year to fund your travels. These posts are all well and good and I have admittedly found them to be a great source of information about how to save (and how to find the motivation to do so)...
...BUT there is just no way of sugar-coating it travelling=sacrifices. 

There's a law of business that says that you can only have two out of the following: good, fast & cheap. The more I think about it the more this is true of travelling. You have to make the decision about what is most important to you and which factor you are willing to sacrifice.

Good & Fast
You want to see all the highlights & you want to see them fast? Well then you'll have to pay that bit extra. I think the best example of travelling good and fast is going on a tour. I went on a G Adventures tour in Vietnam and I saw so much in my short 11 days, but surprisingly didn't feel rushed. Admittedly it was more expensive than planning it all myself, but the trade-off was just how much I managed to see in a relatively short space of time.

 It's worth pointing out that what everyone sees as 'good' is bound to vary. In this case I'm trying to look at 'good' objectively as in seeing and experiencing the positive things that your chosen location has to offer in an efficient manner, not feeling rushed and not feeling ripped off.
Going on the tour offered the benefit of having all optional activities without the need to spend hours researching it and without all the lengthly mistakes - think, missing a bus that only leaves twice a week, waking up to find that the last trip to the national park has left for the day or navigating public transport to the airport.
All the small things take time and although mastering the small things is one of the pleasures of travelling, sometimes you just time have time to make as many mistakes! Don't be ashamed to choose a well-recommended tour - there is a time and a place for it.

Recommended for: those who are working, or time restricted.

Good & Cheap
Again I'm hasty to point out that everyone's view of 'good' is different, but I like to think that having a 'good' trip is all about the quality of your experiences - seeing what you want to see at YOUR pace.
Long bus journeys > Expensive flights
 So good and cheap may mean taking the slow coaches over the much [much] quicker flights or staying just outside major cities or tourist areas and allowing extra time to travel in to the centre.
Overnight Buses save on accommodation costs.
Surprisingly saying in one place longer can also result in cheaper travelling. Hostelworld frequently emails round with free nights e.g. perhaps four nights for the price of three. There is also the possibility of getting work if you stay put for a while - Australia & New Zealand offer working visas. Alternatively, some hostels across Europe, Asia, Oz & NZ let you stay for free if you clean in the mornings or man reception for a few hours. It may mean staying a few days to wait until a member of staff leaves.
Local trains in Thailand are cheap as chips.
Arguably bloggers may fall in to this category, choosing to stay in locations longer where possible to allow for both exploration and squeezing in time to blog, work and freelance to support their travels.
Recommended for: those without a looming end date such as grads who don't have a career plan and people in-between jobs.

Fast & Cheap
And so the last section is the least desirable of the lot, reserved only for visits to the in-laws. If you're spending any money on traveling at all you don't want to be left in the situation of scrimping and not enjoying it.

Realistically there are times when you have bad days, but the most important thing is that you don't miss opportunities or feel so stressed at the hurry you're counting down the days til you can sleep properly again.
No-one wants those sad faces.
You've been warned - find the extra time or find the extra money, but don't hurry through a holiday and sacrifice the 'good'.

Recommended for: ... really? Nobody.

What do you think? Does this make sense when you think about the times you've traveled?

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