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Travel, economics and friends

Libby

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2008
I started travelling late in life. After years of sticking close to home I promised myself I'd travel more when I turned 34. That year I traveled solo for the first time on a month trip through Scotland and England. In the 4 years since then I've driven most of the US eastern seaboard twice, visited Alberta and explored some of my neighbouring Canadian provinces. I also returned to England for a week in 2006.

Now I'm going again. I have a nearly 4 week trip planned for next April/May and I will be spending 7 days in London (travelling with a friend) then 8 days on my own in Belgium and the Netherlands before meeting up with a friend I made in Germany for another 9 days. I'm excited, but worried.

Maybe I'm suffering from planners remorse. Did I bite off more than I can chew financially? I'm a saver and I like to pre-pay my trips. But with the economy being as bad as it is (and getting worse), how do I justify spending so much money?

I have a good job and one that is, I hope, not likely to dissapear. Our economy here in Canada hasn't been suffering as badly as the US but it's not looking good. And recently friends have started to question my wisdom too.

Anyone else feel like this?

minerguy

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2008
As far as your travels go the only economy that matters is your own.

In America the employment will probably end up doubling from where it was 5% to 10% (very round numbers) that still means that 9/10 will have a job and only 1/20 who are working now will lose their job. A very wide point of view if you are the one losing the job, but still true.

The vast majority of people who keep their job will still be doing the same thing for the same wage with maybe a smaller raise or less commission this year. It sounds like you are in this boat and acting responsibly by saving before hand.

My expenses have not changed because the economy went in the tank. In fact they've probably gone down. Gas is cheaper, food prices may start coming down, there are lots of sales at stores. All that is changed is my retirement account is down and I'm sure my house is as well.

If you know what you want to do and can afford it then now is a great time because less people are in the same boat. You can look for and find bargains on where you stay and especially air fare. Listening to the news tell you how bad off you are (or at least your neighbor is) isn't the best way to figure out what's best for you.
Traveling by motorcycle to Alaska and beyond at BikeandBoots.com
Come along for the ride!

Jeanie99

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2008
Libby,
4 weeks out of a working year is not a lot of time off, don't worry just enjoy your planning and the trip I'm sure you work terribly hard for this time off.
Enjoy life is short.
Stay safe.
Jean

Libby

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  • Added on: December 16th, 2008
No, it's not a lot of time out of the year but with the economy tanking...*sigh*. I guess I'm just suffering from economic anxiety like everyone else seems to be (at least most of the people I know). The last recession hit my profession somewhat. No layoffs, but cut funding and lots of staff were required to take a week off without pay. That's better than losing a job. And it meant extra vacation!

Jeanie99, you are in England? I love it there Smile

krisk

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  • Added on: December 16th, 2008
I think this topic has come up in some form or fashion in the RTW thread recently but I really do think it does come down to your personal situation. You know what they say - a recession is when it's happening to your neighbor, a depression is when it's happening to you.

Well, if you prepay for your trip and you are still working, I'd go as planned. Personally, I have a 10 day trip planned for Israel and Italy next month and hopefully, if all goes well, I will be planning for something else later this year. Take it one day at a time. Good luck! Smile
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  • Added on: December 20th, 2008
Can't tell from your post what you've "pre-paid" for in terms of a level of travel, so that's probably why most of the posts so far have focused on whether or not taking time from the job is an issue. If you've acrued the paid vacation time or have the ability to take it as unpaid leave and return to your job, then that's a no brainer--you get to travel for a few weeks whilst keeping your job.

Plenty of ways to travel on the cheap without living out of a dumpster. And, if you feel like you've cut costs to the point where you fear you'll be doing just that, still plenty of ways to upgrade your trip without breaking your bank (example, stay at a hostel to save $$$ yet book a smaller room and/or one with fewer beds).

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. ---St. Augustine

Libby

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  • Added on: December 20th, 2008
I've got the vacation time saved for my trip, it's only 4 weeks. And it is paid time. I'll have two pays deposited into my account while I am away.

When I say pre-paid I mean have all teh money I need for my trip up front. Most of the hostels paid for, etc. I also like to have as much in local currency as I dare carry. That way I know what I have.

Skyehiker

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  • Added on: December 20th, 2008
Great...you've got a month's PAID vacation! Excellent!
A week in London, a week in Belgium, a week in the Netherlands, give or take a day or two or three for each, & all with friends, all booked in hostels. Sounds like a brilliant plan.

Perhaps subletting yours whilst your gone might yield a little extra cash, if needed.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. ---St. Augustine

Libby

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  • Added on: December 20th, 2008
There is no market for sublet. I'll be paying my $720.month rent while I'm gone. Same with my 100 phone bill. Not much I can do about that.

The trip is 7 days in London, 8 in Belgium and 9 in Germany. Two of those days are really travel days though. Its 6 hours on a train to get from Brussels to Bremen.

I figure the whole month will cost me $5,000 in total. My plane ticket and my London hostel are already paid for. I also have 140 Pounds and 300 Euros saved.

KathrynD

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  • Added on: December 24th, 2008
Libby,

I think you should relax and enjoy the trip. Plus give yourself credit for stimulating the economy around the world by traveling.

I think that if one's personal finances are currently stable and that one can afford to make plans to something worthwhile, then one should just do it and not worry. Yes, the economy is generally bad, but worrying just makes one's health bad too. Anyway, bad things can happen in good econcomic times too. Even in goods times, one can lose a job, get hit by a car, get hit by identity theft, break up a relationship or have a close friend die.

Now that I've cheered everyone up, I say 'don't worry, be happy.' Right? In any case, I always go by the motto "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first."

Have a wonderful trip.

Skyehiker

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  • Added on: December 24th, 2008
As for sublet, maybe nothing formal or offical or advertised everywhere...maybe just as informal or casual as a friend that needs a place to crash for a week or so. If they can't pay you in $$, maybe they can do some project (organzing, upkeep, etc.) around the place.

Beyond that, as others have said, you're set. You've bought your tickets, paid for your accomodations, set your trip. You could spend forever in hindsight-land going thru a list of what-if's, and I-should-have's. The only "list" you need to get thru now is what you're packing.

Just sit back, relax, and enjoy what sounds like an AWESOME vacation!!

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. ---St. Augustine

go girl

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  • Added on: January 25th, 2009
I agree with the others and want to point out that the smartest thing you can do in this economy is to stay out of debt, which it sounds like you are doing. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a plan B either if you do lose your job, but go, travel. I discovered on my RTW trip last year that North Americans have the most amount of guilt over traveling of anyone in the world, and we are more likely to view it as an extravagance than Europeans even if we don't stay in luxury accommodations.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

redleader

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  • Added on: April 27th, 2009
I'd say enjoy yourself to the fullest extent possible. Eversince I started travelling more and appreciating it, I treat travel as an "educational" expense and am therefore, more willing to spend money on it. I could easily drop several thousand dollars on travel because of how it might help me learn and grow and understand the world and cultures around me. But I would cringe at the thought of spending that same amount of money on a new flat screen TV (in fact, I wouldn't). Unlike TV's, cars, boats, or whatever your friends are spending their money on, no one can take your travel experiences away from you. You could lose every photo you took on a trip and every souvenir you bought, but nothing can change the fact that you were there and that you lived and experienced it.

That having been said, keep your other non-travel expenses minimal to offset the cost of your trip. Prioritization and responsibility is the key to fulfilling your travel dreams...not wealth.
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"What the hell is wrong with you C3-PO? We're here to see Europe not some crappy statue" (Eurotrip)



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