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