Author: Sean Keener

Where Does My Money Go? #indie30

This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate!

“It’s clearly a budget. It’s got a lot of numbers in it.” –George W. Bush

Everyone has slightly different priorities when it comes to travel budgets and expenses. Personally, I like to save on accommodation, and I’m willing to pay more for food or splurging on a cool experience. I’m also a notorious cheapskate when it comes to things I feel should be cheap or free.
Other than your initial flight, the largest expense while traveling is usually accommodation, but when the purpose of traveling is to explore and experience a new place, the last thing I want to spend a ton of money on is where I’ll be sleeping.

Cheapskate confessions:

  • I made my own fresh-squeezed orange juice on my transatlantic cruise from Barcelona back to the states (with a knife, spoon, bowl, cup, and a mountain of free oranges they provide on the boat).
  • On the same boat, I did my own laundry in the tiny little sink and hung my clothesline criss-crossed across my tiny little cabin.
  • I’ve slept in several airports to save $ on an extra hostel night (this strategy usually leaves me quite cranky upon arrival at my next destination).
  • I carried around a food bag in New Zealand, that I toted from hostel to hostel. Saved a ton on breakfast and lunch while there by having muesli/fruit, sandwich fixings, snacks (cheese, wine). This was pretty easy (and standard practice) in NZ.

Things that were worth the splurge:

  • sushi in Tokyo
  • skydiving in Hawaii
  • taking surf lessons in Australia
  • taking myself out to a nice dinner in Madrid (when everyone at the hostel was eating McD)
  • seeing Air live at the Sydney Opera House
  • bread, cheese, wine… pretty much everywhere
  • canyoning in Costa Rica
  • taking a week sailing trip on the Med
  • buying a jewelry and leather goods in Morocco

So for me, most of my best memories associated with a bigger cost while traveling are about experience and food. However, as I get older (yes, even in the last three years since my round the world trip), I’ve noticed a shift in wanting more mid-range lodging instead of bottom of the barrel (“just give me the cheapest price!”) hostels.
Where does your money go on a trip?

30 Days of Indie Travel Project: How to Participate
We’re inviting bloggers from around the world (that means you, too!) to join us in a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.
We’ll share some of our favorites via Twitter and Facebook throughout November, as well as a round-up article at the end of the month, so if you’re playing along make sure to let us know – use the #indie30 hashtag on Twitter, and link to the 30 Days of Indie Travel page in your post so we’ll be able to find it.
Find out all of the 30 Days of Indie Travel blogging prompts so far – it’s never too late to join in the fun!

Prompt #18: BUDGET

Every traveler has a budget; for some it just might be higher of lower than for others What’s your style? What do you spend very little on and what are you always willing to pay more for?
Tools and inspiration: See how others travel in our budget traveler interview series