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Who here actually chooses to Budget Travel? (even though your finances are healthy)

Who here actually chooses to Budget Travel? (even though your finances are healthy)

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Old Jan 27, 09, 7:46 am
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Who here actually chooses to Budget Travel? (even though your finances are healthy)

I guess this stems from a conversation I had with my friend last night. I am a consultant, young (23), making fairly good money. I travel around flying business class and staying in nice hotels. However, when I get my vacation time, I generally take off somewhere in the world and explore, either by myself or with a friend(s).

When I am traveling the world for leisure, I love traveling budget. Not because I can't afford it, but because I find I relate to the people more. I find that staying at the cheapest bungalows in Thailand, tenting in Australia, or hosteling in Europe, I have the most fun and meet the most interesting people. After all, I was a poor student not too long ago. I generally try to set my budget similar to the other people traveling (OK, maybe not as low as the life-long world travelers that have been broke as shlt for 5 years) and always love doing it!

This thread is probably more geared towards the younger people who enjoy the full experience of being a young, single traveler (partys, meeting hundreds of ppl etc..).

Anyone else the same as me?

Last edited by CanuckFlyHigh; Jan 27, 09 at 7:52 am
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Old Jan 27, 09, 7:55 am
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Totally agree (although I am neither young nor single
Unless I am travelling for business I prefer guest-houses to big hotels -
I walk wherever possible or take local buses, and enjoy self-catering as I
like going into supermarkets in other countries and looking at what is available.
I enjoy practising different languages at food stalls, markets and in pubs.
The 3 advantages of walking - it is cheaper, you see more, and you use up lots of calories so you can eat more!
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Old Jan 27, 09, 9:32 pm
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I'm roughly at the intersection of being set in my ways, but also being fairly frugal as one of those ways.

Midrange travel can actually be some of the most difficult, because you have just enough money to get a wider range of choice, but much if not most of the choice will be poor value or bad. (Example: $20-30 rooms in KUL or BKK). With the rock-bottomest options you take what comes but don't have to second-guess yourself as much because your options were very limited, anyway.

A lot of difference between midrange and budget travel can also boil down to time vs. money trade-offs, especially when it comes to getting around a region.
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Old Jan 27, 09, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
When I am traveling the world for leisure, I love traveling budget. Not because I can't afford it, but because I find I relate to the people more. I find that staying at the cheapest bungalows in Thailand, tenting in Australia, or hosteling in Europe, I have the most fun and meet the most interesting people. After all, I was a poor student not too long ago. I generally try to set my budget similar to the other people traveling (OK, maybe not as low as the life-long world travelers that have been broke as shlt for 5 years) and always love doing it!
These exact reasons. I've met so many people while staying in hostels around Europe.

That and I can either travel fairly well to one destination a year, or be frugal and hit several destinations in a year. I choose the latter.
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Old Jan 28, 09, 8:16 pm
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I am in your shoes as well. All my friends and I work and earn pretty good money. But, for instance, in our upcoming trip to Australia, we opted to stay in a hostel, because we want to meet other people who are our age (mid 20s) vs. staying in a upmarket hotel, which (while we could afford it easily) would have isolated us from those who we identify with.
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Old Jan 29, 09, 6:59 am
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I'm with you on this one.
I'm lucky to be filthy rich, retired and reasonably young so any budget isn't a problem when it comes to travel.
But nothing beats packing a small rucksack and heading off - be it catching ferries around the Greek islands and staying in simple accommodation or hitch-hiking across Europe to go to a beer festival or a sporting occasion.
Currently planning an RV tour of SouthWest USA with my young family and we'll travel light, eat budget and enjoy it all.
Mind you - Mrs Showbizguru, like all women, does like her occasional pampering and nothing beats the restorative powers of a dirty weekend at the George V in Paris !
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Old Jan 29, 09, 7:40 am
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My wife and I have been exploring SEAsia for several years. We both have great jobs and the kids are grown. We fly transpac business class, although one year we used Thai premium economy. This year's trip is already booked, business class to Singapore, return from Chiang Mai. We can afford it, and don't need to recover from a long trip in economy. We like lounge access and flat bed seats.

But intra-region we take buses and trains and boats and fly regional LCCs. We stay in guesthouses and bungalows and eat local food. We sleep on overnight trains. We trek and do homestays. We only use carry-ons, rolling backpacks. We have our laundry done at guesthouses or do it ourselves in the sink.

We travel independently, although once we used Sinh Cafe in VN for a cheap Mekong Delta tour, and another time hired a 4WD with driver to take the roads less traveled in the mountains of North Vietnam.

Our travel philosophy is, "We don't want to be miserable, but neither do we want to be isolated from the experience by a cocoon of comfort."

We are not single, not "young" either, but budget travel suits us. We both did a lot of it when we were younger, before we got together, and it's what we like.

(We do try to spend the last night of a trip very comfortably )
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Old Jan 30, 09, 9:31 am
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I'm a single 26 year old and make decent money working in accounting.
I'm not "rich" by all means, but I make enough to afford to travel overseas 2-3 x year for leisure.
I usually choose cheap flights and cheap accommodations so that I have more money to splurge when I'm there.
I'd rather pay 40bucks to crash in cheap lodging, and then spend $200 on dinner.
Since I'm an out and about social person I save the spending for being out on the town rather than on a room I'm never going to see.
When I finally find someone that wants go go somewhere tropical with me (Bali/Tahiti) then I'll splurge on that overwater bungalow.
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Old Jan 31, 09, 1:09 pm
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I would like to take a Greyhound from coast to coast one day (and fly back)
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Old Jan 31, 09, 1:34 pm
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I'm in my 30's and am reasonably comfortable in terms of earning - but even still, I've tended to be a lot more budget orientated of late when it comes to travel.

I've got the point that if I see a *really* good deal for business class etc, I might be tempted - but for the most part, I'm taking the cheapest fares and using LCC's etc. I almost always Priceline/Hotwire my hotels (not brand loyal - if I know the area and the class than I'm generally happy - especially for the PL/HW prices!) if not choosing a cheaper brand directly. When I hit the UK, I quite often stay in budget chains such as Travelodge etc.

For example my next vacation has me travelling transatlantic for €250/$300 dollars return all in and 5 nights at a top rated hotel for €550/$700. Now that's perfectly fine for me. I'd rather have better hotel for the time I'm there, than 8 hours in a bigger seat with some food I don't overly care about for triple the price of my entire trip (at least!). I don't care for fine dining, so will happily scour the local areas for a good deli/store and spend on stuff I want to spend on.

I prefer to pay less and travel more frequently

Last edited by colmc; Jan 31, 09 at 1:40 pm
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Old Feb 2, 09, 1:47 pm
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I'm fairly comfortable financially and always look for the best deal wherever I go. My friends think I'm obsessive about it but they're always the first ones to ask me to get them good deals whenever they plan trips.
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Old Feb 2, 09, 11:35 pm
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Well, I'm sure that noone meant it this way but this thread sure sounds elitist.

I am basically hearing, "While I will point out that I COULD AFFORD to stay at luxe and upscale properties, I generally prefer to stay with the poor folks." I mean, regardless of the reason, that IS what you are saying, correct? Why make a point that you could afford it? The question in the title of this thread does not ask if you can afford it. Just if you budget travel.

I am a lower wage earner than most on FlyerTalk. I am grateful for the Budget Travel Forum so that I get to go places and do things that most folks would never think of doing. And before you flame me, know that I moved back to a rural area a few years ago to care for aging parents and the family farm. I commute a few hours to work in a big city a couple days a week. MY CHOICE.

I think the term for lower class travel by choice us "slumming". Oh and for the person who wants to ride a Greyhound across the USA, you are in for a big surprise. Been there, down that. Once was enough.
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Old Feb 3, 09, 3:10 am
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that IS what you are saying, correct?
No, I don't think it is.

The thread is about choosing to budget travel. The key word in the title is "choose". In order to have a choice, one must be reasonably able to afford/obtain an alternative. I suspect that is why people are pointing it out. I think your perception of the peoples motives is skewed on this occasion.

Also - being "comfortable" doesn't always equate to being rich, or being able to afford luxury. I too would hazard a guess that I make a *lot* less than many people on FT. While there is a large contingent of high-earners on FT, it would be wrong to make the assumption that the people on this forum are here to just make a point about being *able* to afford something and not choosing it.

Sometimes it's just about having enough. Personally, I see budget travel as a more thrifty choice, or maximising the experience out of the resources that I have.
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Old Feb 4, 09, 3:11 am
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What is budget?

Hotels are used perhaps ten hours / day - clean sheets a hot shower, air conditioning / heating where needed. Do you need a US$200/night room for that? decent BKK rooms are US$50 - cheapish $US30 but normally a bit out of the way. HKG and SIN are more challenging but doable under US$100. True budget is staying with friends and family......

Air fares. Yes finding reasonably priced biz or PE seats is a challenge - but again doable. Sri Lanka comes to mind as do RTW fares. And the additional miles earned with the better seat yields more in the way of freeish flights and service when flight difficulties occur.

In the end traveling regularly opens options for the better deals.

YMMV

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Old Feb 10, 09, 3:58 pm
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"I prefer to pay less and travel more frequently "

This is my mindset as well. It's often not a matter of affordability but of the thought that I might be able to have two comfortable vacations instead of one more expensive one.
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