Travel: a resource war on the wallet

Think you can’t experience travel and stay on a budget? You can, it just takes a little bit of planning.

The best thing about travel, besides the trip itself, is being able to experience it all without breaking the bank. While sometimes we just have to go all out and treat ourselves to elite hospitality, other times it is not only necessary to keep a budget, but doing so can also make a trip more interesting. It’s undoubtedly true that most people enjoy a challenge from time to time, and never will travel fail to provide the opportunity to be given a multitude of challenges. Think about it, when visiting a new city, in a short period of time you’re trying to master navigation of that city, learn the subways or bus system, find the good-off the mainline-restaurants, figure out the currency, memorize a few words and phrases for getting around, and so on. And this can be just over a three-day weekend. Oh, and that doesn’t include the safety aspect of traveling; that alone is a task of its own. We probably underestimate just how great of multi-taskers we actually become when travelling.

“When returning home from a trip, a person should feel rejuvenated and motivated to go again, not feeling like they have to postpone the next one because they just can’t afford it.”

As we all know, traveling can become expensive quick. However, if you’re conscientious about spending and how or where or what money goes to, you’ll also see that you may surprisingly come in under budget by the end of the trip. And while you may have a few ways of your own to save those pennies, here are a couple of options we’ve given you to consider:

  • Food trucks and fruit carts

Think about it, a trip may be a good time to trim down the caloric intake and eat healthy for a change. While there are plenty of possibilities to overdo it on eating, many tourist dense cities will offer plenty of fruit cart options. If you are the kind of person who keeps a bag on you while walking around, its too easy to have a few apples, bananas, or otherwise close to you, so that when you do feel the need to snack, you can do so with a healthy and very inexpensive piece of fruit. And not only are fruit carts handy, but food trucks are also a great way to experience local cuisine (especially if you plan to visit Thailand); they are far less expensive then a restaurant dining, saving you the cost of service and plated food.

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Photo by Héctor Martínez on Unsplash

  •  Public transportation

How great is it to be able to move around a large city for the cost of pennies on the dollar? Even in a large city like Manhattan, a person can literally traverse the city for less than $10, which a strong contrast to what they may pay in taxi or Uber fees. And if for some reason they decide to use their own vehicle, the cost of parking, gas, and time costs far outnumber the public transportation ones. And speaking of time costs, how great is it to be delivered close to the location you are planning to visit, and NOT have to worry about finding a parking space or feed a meter? Nope, instead you can step off the station and just head straight in.

  • Minimize amenity needs

Sites like Airbnb and VRBO have really made the travel experience a much more personal and affordable one for many. It used to be either overpriced and under-quality rooms at a hotel, or cheap and even further under-quality rooms at a different hotel. Or, there was always the option for luxurious, but that’s no money saver. Though today we have the choice to experience a new place from the perspective of a local; at least to some degree. Renting a flat from a local is a great way to weed out those unsavory locations, save money, and even better, have the opportunity to cook your own meals. Sure you won’t have the room service or ice machine down the hall, but you WILL have a unique setup of your own, and for a better price. And if that option is still too expensive, there are always the hostels.

Just remember at the end of the day, there are options for saving money and minimizing costs; you just have to look around. Travel does not have to leave a person feeling broke or anxious about having spent too much on unnecessary things. When returning home from a trip, a person should feel rejuvenated and motivated to go again, not feeling like they have to postpone the next one because they just can’t afford it. Take some time before your next trip and research your options, bring a comfortable bag, research the public transportation day rates, and prepare to experience some amazing food options. And that’s all we have to say about that!

For simple travel planning and building a master itinerary, check out: https://www.planiversity.com

Circumstances get a vote

Whether it is travel, or anything that relies on external variables coming together to help one successfully achieve a desired outcome, there needs to be a certain level of expectation for those things that we ourselves cannot control.

Planning and preparing for your next trip, you think that you’ve got every angle covered. The bags are packed, you’ve double checked to ensure you have all of your documentation, the destination has been researched, online check-in initiated, cash in pocket, and the automatic cat feeder topped off. Things appear to be flowing well, at least for the moment. Three hours until takeoff and your ride should be arriving momentarily. Five minutes pass, then ten, and still no call. Chances can’t be taken, so you immediately contact the driver, who informs you that he’s just gotten a flat and should be there within twenty minutes. However, the time that you’ve already factored accounts for traffic enroute, and you know that you’ll now be cutting it close, and that is if his twenty minute estimate is even accurate; it could be later.

By the time you make it to the airport, you are now T-minus ninety-minutes and the security line is long, but not to worry, you’ve cut it close before. You pass through and casually stroll up to your gate, thinking everything is back on track now, just to see that the takeoff time for your flight was just pushed back an hour, due to weather delaying the plane you’re supposed to be on from taking off from their last location. And now your only thought is that the small window of time that you had to catch the connecting flight at your layover location is now gone, and you will have to look into a backup flight. It’s now time to get in line with the other twenty or thirty people in the same situation, just to be able to speak to the agent at the counter, who possibly won’t be able to get you a flight going into your final destination, because many other people are also delayed and being shifted around.

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Photo by Leo Cardelli on Pexels.com

This type of scenario happens daily, and so many people are affected by the constant little setbacks. It’s almost not fair for you to have to experience it, because YOUR only job was to pay for the ticket and get yourself to where you are supposed to be, on time. And as long as you are where you need to be, everything else should be doing it’s part to work for you. But that isn’t how it always goes. The problem is, when putting plans together, we never seem to consider the fact that circumstances have a vote in how things go. And that is just another way of saying that we need to expect the unexpected in planning. Whether it is travel, or anything that relies on external variables coming together to help one successfully achieve a desired outcome, there needs to be a certain level of expectation for those things that we ourselves cannot control.

So, how does one get around this issue? Well, the simple answer is that you cannot always get around it. Like anything in life, when you try to mitigate every potential avenue in something, you begin to work backwards, and the same goes for planning. When we attempt to get ahead of the potential for the unexpected, we begin to create stress in different ways. For example, you maybe plan to get to the airport four hours before the flight, instead of two, but now need to cut into preparation time in the morning. But maybe you prepared the night before, although at the cost of cutting in to work time; those adjustments come at a cost.

The answer to resolving these issues is not necessarily to defeat those variables with time and action every time. But you can minimize potentials by planning, planning, and planning. Try getting an idea and writing down the other flights that arrive at your destination, in the event your flight for any reason gets pushed. With that information, at least you know where to direct your next move, rather than being at the mercy of random selection. If you know weather is rolling in, perhaps gather an idea of hotels at your layover. Or, one can also look into travelers insurance, if they think there is a chance for setbacks. The point is, you have to forecast the obvious, but sometimes its the not so obvious that will get you. The best that you can do each time, is understand that those things that cannot be controlled will always have a vote. Take the time to plan for contingencies and have an idea of what you can resolve, should the moment come where that idea is needed.

Tips along the way:

  • Use a travel planning organizing service to assist you (www.Planiversity.com)
  • Check the weather along your route before leaving the house
  • Check in for your flight as early as you can (be proactive)
  • Have an idea of where you can go or who you need to call in the event plans begin to fall apart
  • Carry a few extra supplies in your bag, should you need them
  • Charge your phone when you have the opportunity; a dying battery is sure to add to your stress
  •  Carry cash, don’t rely on card services when things fall apart

Travel Speed and Efficiency

Value what saves time; those apps, those plans, those services, and those systems, all designed to make yours and everyone’s life just a little bit easier.

Why is it that when you fail to plan, things almost always end up hitting the wall when it comes to travel? Is it because when you fail to plan you actually plan to fail? Is that really a thing? Or is it that travel is one of those things that is incredibly dense in variables; not the least of which includes relying on others to do their part. After all, you’ve paid for the ticket already, you showed up early to the airport or station, you cleared your bags through security, you have the documents that you know they are expecting, and yet, things just can’t seem to go your way. And the worst part of it all is the fact that your precious time is quickly being thrown away or wasted by something or someone who you have little to no chance of compromising with. Welcome to the chaotic world of travel.

“This is no substitute for what is efficient; it is vastly underappreciated these days. “

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If you travel by plane (let’s say a minimum of twice a year), you’ve likely had the pleasure of experiencing those times where you do everything right, but the airline just has you by the cojones, and sadly every twenty minutes or so, you see that ‘estimated time of departure’ time climb by another forty-five mins. And it happens not once, and not twice, but maybe three or four times, until you are now taking off closer to or after midnight. And now your bag is in limbo, you’ve likely missed the last connecting flight possible, you have no hotel room booked, and to top it all off, your eyes are blood shot and the headache you’ve been tolerating for two hours is getting stronger. Your clothes are sweaty, your stomach empty, and now you could care less if you spend five dollars on a bag of M&Ms; you need something to snack on after-all. Man, what stress!

When this scenario happens to you, its awful. But never will you appreciate more those times when things were on-time and efficient. I’ve been through airports where I’ve come in on an international flight and just sailed through customs, and onto the next flight. And other times (and other airports) where I’ve waited more than an hour to pass customs, and of course everything from there just followed suit. And many many times I have been the person sitting there watching that departure time drift further from me. This is no substitute for what is efficient; it is vastly underappreciated these days.

Value what saves time; those apps, those plans, those services, and those systems, all designed to make yours and everyone’s life just a little bit easier. When it comes to your travel, Planiversity is a software designed to allow the user to put as much information as possible out in front of them, before they even take the first steps on their journey. Knowing before going, organizing documentation into one single file, locating valuable resources at the destination, building a schedule, and many more features make the user one that handles what they can; those variables that are within their umbrella of control. When travel circumstances get away from us, it isn’t always because the airlines fail to get us out on time, or because TSA is backed up and limited to two checkpoints. Sometimes, just sometimes, it IS because we fail to do our part to help the process. So, control what you can, when you can, and use those tools that will make your life just a little bit easier when underway. At least control what you can control; try Planiversity.

Check us out at https://www.planiversity.com

Time, your only finite resource

“Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough. “

It’s been said before and it can’t be said enough, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Often times, there is this tendency in life to just make things up as we go, never truly knowing and/or fundamentally understanding that in doing so, we become an obvious resource wasting machine. Throwing things together at the last minute, or even just failing to throw things together at all, leads to a number of unnecessary expenditures, such as funds, opportunities, and more. But there is one resource that we all possess, are given for free, and only have a finite amount of, yet many times throw it away for little to absolutely no return, and that is TIME.

Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough. Money is earned and spent, and earned again; the chance to earn and replace what was spent always comes back. Opportunities are missed, but if you miss one, you won’t be denied another for the remainder of your life. Skills atrophied can easily be re-learned. But time, when its gone, its gone. This statement cannot be said enough. While many things in our lives will come and come again, time does not, so it makes sense that we should expand on every bit of it when possible.

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Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

There are all sorts of ways to maximize our efficiency, in order to give ourselves more of that irreplaceable thing, but sometimes in an attempt to save time, we are losing it in the process of learning something that we may never see utility from again. Now take travel into consideration; its something that most are going to do at some point, many doing it more often than others. And when traveling to a new place, somewhere far away and foreign, time is being invested into learning about that place, how to get around, what to do and not do, where the resources are (in the event of emergencies), and so on. Or, there is absolutely no attempt to plan ahead, leaving efficiency to chance. Doesn’t it make sense to find the most efficient and time saving method to consolidate critical information needed, before arriving? I think so.

“Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough.”

Anything in life that fills your calendar demands your attention; anything from a few minutes to days, weeks, and/or months. If its worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and more so, being done in a way that allows you to squeeze every bit of potential from the seconds ticking away. Imagine a trip to Paris, France with no agenda, Rome, Italy with no knowledge of the best sites to see, or New York City with absolutely no plan on how to best traverse the map. While it may feel like more of an adventure having no plan, imagine all the opportunities being missed during the time you are getting lost on the wrong subway, finding yourself on the opposite side of the city from where you wanted to be, or needing to find a doctor during an emergency, only to pass 1, 2, or 3 of them on your way to the only one you know of, because you aren’t aware of what is close by.

If your goal is to make the best possible glass of lemonade, you wouldn’t buy a lemon, squeeze half, and throw the rest away. There is more to gain from squeezing every drop from a piece of fruit (fruit being opportunity or potential, of course). The point is, don’t waste you time. If you want the highest level of value in any moment, you need to have a plan before you are ready to execute. That’s the true merit. Just remember to always consider the one resource that you’ll never see again, once it is gone. And as I wrap up, I’ll leave you with this quote from famous entrepreneur, motivation speaker, and self-development coach, Brian Tracey, “Every minute spent planning, saves as many as ten minutes in execution.”

Check us out at https://www.planiversity.com

Like anything, experience has to be earned.

It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with survival and comfort, I want to know more.”

Experience changes an individual, often for the better and in permanent ways. So why should it not be fought for, sweat for, bank breaking for, and earned? Many believe that the best things in life are free; that’s true if those things are air, sun, and a view of the stars at night. But in reality, most things today are not free. Not the water we drink, nor the resources we depend on, the grass that we walk on, and even falling in love; it all has a cost. And with the exception of love, those things just sustain, not change us.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~ Helen Keller

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Photo by Tobi on Pexels.com

If a picture is worth a thousand words, where are we with experiences? Stagnation is a sad reality, but growth through learning about more than we are, seeing more than we know, and pondering more than we commonly conceive is priceless…I’d say. Therefore, the best way to learn, see, and conceive more is through experience, and that is what travelling is best for. To be clear, a person does not have to jump on a plane and fly halfway around the world in order to feel like they are legitimately traveling; a neighboring state will do just fine. Although, an opportunity to experience the way a foreign culture lives can promote tremendous perspective in all of us.

Logically speaking, its not the actual experience that brings anyone change. Instead, it is the result of an experience that yields the high returns. The actions–our experiences– those are just the means; the vehicle, if you will. But the result, the facilitator of change in all of us, that must be earned. And the cost…not always a financial dilemma. Rather, the cost of change (of experience) is fortitude; its facing a fear of the unknown, stepping outside the comfort zone, and taking away the most comfortable aspect in our lives, and that is control. Without control a person is powerless, and vulnerability is the absence of control, something travel presents an abundance of.

According to multiple sources, common reasons for avoiding traveling include the following: no one to travel with, can’t afford it, the element of danger out there, a lack of time and vacation days, language barrier, logistical nightmares, and germs (LOL). What these reasons all boil down to is a lack of resourcefulness and/or fear. Overcoming a fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of leaving the comfort zone, it’s not what we are designed to endure. Our brains are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; keep us alive. A desire…that goes beyond survival. It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with familiarity and comfort, I want to know and see more.”

Like most things in life that aren’t handed to us, we need to earn it. We need to put in, in order to be able to take out something in return. Experiences make a person grow. They formulate differing perspectives, intelligence, understanding, and debate. If you want the experience, you aren’t going to have it given to you. To learn about the world you don’t know, you will have to take yourself from the one you do. And it will cost. It will make you nervous, intimidated, and timid, until you return home a different person than the one who left. OF COURSE it comes with a cost, but almost anything worthwhile does, so you have to make the effort to be someone other than the person in you who refuses to change. You have to actually try, and want to be and know more. Jim Rohn once said, “if you think trying is hard, wait until you get the bill for not trying.”

So, if you want to know what the cost of experience is, it’s life as you know it. And whether a person chooses to experience all that life has to offer or not, they should know that they will pay in any case. Pay for the experiences now, or pay for the regret later. It’s something to think about.

The travel destination represents you as a person?

Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general.

There’s a reason why we choose the destinations that we do, and it’s not a simple as basing it on the aesthetically pleasing photos that Google has just revealed in your search for trip ideas.

“Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are.”

In a 2017 article posted by the Huffington Post, travelers were identified as representing one of multiple identifiable personality traits in choosing the type of vacation that they want to have. People could range from being the classic or posh traveler, to the chill or offbeat, to the artsy or daydreaming traveler. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that where a person decides to spend their time has something to do with their individual likes or dislikes; obvious, right? But the decision to go somewhere you’ve never been comes not from a place of curiosity, but rather from a place within the brain that represents who a person is as an individual; it’s a clue which reveals their inner most personal design.

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Photo by Aksonsat Uanthoeng on Pexels.com

Lovers of romance and traditional or classic aesthetics are more likely to find themselves wandering the streets of Paris, while the thrill-seeking adventurer type, who prefers the offbeat style, would more often find themselves in an area where they can participate in a more active lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that there is no mental flexibility, as all of us have taken trips to destinations that we just want to see, even though we lack a sense of true excitement while there. For example, historical sites are often an interesting find, but without having that true passion for history, with all the appreciation for what it represents, energy will be lower.

Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are. A vacation to an area that is less aligned with a person’s personality is likely going to be met with less enthusiasm, a.k.a. low energy. However, in getting to visit those places that we’ve longed to see, we become charged, excited, and more inclined to get out of the hotel room and soak in as much of it as we can while the opportunity is present. Even if the trip is to just chill and soak up some sun on the beach or horseback riding at a ranch in the mountains, a person will feel that sense of being in the right place, rather than just experiencing something for the sake of experience.

When people go to where they feel more aligned with their interests, energy in them is higher, and the sense of being in the right place more in focus. An understanding of this concept can shed light on who we are deep down. Are we more romantic and traditional, or do we need a rush and sense of non-stop adventure? Or maybe does nothing more than falling off the grid completely recharge us? Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general. Having said that, have you ever thought about what your travel choices say about you?

What type of person does your destination reveal? It’s something to think about.

Why traveling says more about you than you think

A departure flight from Nuremberg, Germany to Istanbul, and then on to Tel Aviv, with an arrival of 5:30 a.m. Hit the ground, collect the baggage, head to customs, and then onto a taxi, hopefully getting to a bed sooner than later. Sleep sounds more than ideal, but the sun is already up and the body is fading towards shutdown mode, while the mind is becoming active with every passing minute into the day. Wanting desperately to get some shuteye, the Airbnb flat can’t be checked into for another five hours, so then the choice to grab a hotel room–just to be able to nap–is what happens.

There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with.

This was the introduction into one of my travel experiences, in the not so distant past. It was a stressful trip initially, but the thought to avoid travelling again never once came to mind.

Christmas time, 2017, hit the road later in the day, bound for Quebec City (QC), Canada. Traffic thins, temperatures are dropping, the roads of upstate New York are becoming more saturated in snow and ice; something virtually non-existent in the Philadelphia area at that point. Close to crossing the Canadian border and still no word from the Airbnb host, and knowing that cellular service will soon be lost, a decision is demanded in that situation, and once again–just to be able to sleep–a hotel room gets booked. An overnight stay on the outskirts of Montreal, then onto QC to haggle over the first day’s booking cost for a flat unoccupied the night before. Again, the thought of travelling does not become discouraged.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Travelling is–and always will be–an addiction for many. It’s a sensory experience that rarely goes as planned. Unless you are on a business trip and following a schedule, your time is yours and its subject to the extensive list of experiences that one can add to their individualistic bag. The things that stun and thrill travelers equally–an inability to speak the language, no knowledge of and discovering the hot (less touristy) spots, authentic cuisine, and getting to talk to people from a completely different walk of life–are what keeps them coming back for more.

Like many things in this world, the experience offers a number of stressors, likely to question the less adventurous why travelers do it as often as they do. But the simple, and yet strangely complex, answer…they don’t know. Travelers are special breed; a specific type of individual wired for and geared towards a love for the unknown. They love being out of their element and know that every experience gained in a far away place is just another notch in their adventured personalities. There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with. Being a traveler means being adaptive; someone who makes necessary split second decisions, has a sharp sense for independence, and a heightened posture of survivability.

Every traveler knows and can identify many people in and around their circle, who are less than willing to put themselves out of the comfort zone, and yet the traveler cannot seem to mentally identify with that concept. I alone know more than ten people who have never traveled farther than the neighboring state or set foot on an airplane. The traveler, he or she isn’t wired for limitations, for permanence in the comfort zone, or for letting a fear of the unknown trump the feeling of experiences. Being a traveler says a lot about a person, more so than it does to speak against them. They may be a lot of other things in their lives, and in some areas they may be much less. But one thing they will not be in the end is a person who regrets not living to learn and to experience the unknown.

All this is the reason why a traveler is much more than they appear to be on the surface; it’s just not something for everyone.