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Is it cheaper to travel than to stay home?

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For some of you, do you actually spend less while traveling versus staying in your own country?
4 years ago, September 25th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #87337  
B Posts: 836
Cost of living in places like Europe or USA may be too high that it may actually come out cheaper to travel around places like Asia or South America. True? Like I read some of you budgeting US$1,000 or less a month while traveling around Asia. I think such a budget won't last if you were living in a place like London or Paris. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 25th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #87346  
Lili,
Sure. And it's more fun too! Wish I could have that kind of a life. By the way, living in India is quite cheap as compared to the Western countries. At 1000 dollars a month you are almost a prince.
Prakash Reply to this

4 years ago, September 25th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #87362  
Probably, yes - you can spend less being away than at home, if you choose well and are careful.

But - you usually forfeit the ability to earn an income when you are away, so the bank balance normally diminishes as you're away.
And what about the cost of the flights/transport to get you to the cheap destination?
Plus, knowing your home area can make a huge difference. London is regulary said to be unbelievably expensive, but i know places to buy excellent coffee for less than a pound, to eat well for five pounds and i know how to enjoy the free and best things in this city - which i dont know when i visit foreign cities. And being on a travel trail, the prices are inflated from the local prices.

The trick is to find a way of earning an income, even a small one, while having the freedom to roam the world. When you find it, please PM me! Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #87387  
B Posts: 836
i have traveled around Europe and always had to remind myself to stop thinking in pesos (our Philippine currency) lest i stop spending for good meals and other treats. In Europe, a 10 euro meal means as much as 700 pesos back home. Now, I can have a decent meal here in Manila for as little as 250 pesos. If I scrimp, I can even bring it down to 100 pesos or less. A Mcdonald's burger here costs 50-70 pesos, and that comes with a drink. Coffee in London, even at 1 pound a cup, costs more than a McDonald's burger and a cup of coffee here.

I know of some who actually get to keep within the annualized budget of US$12,000 or about $1,000 a month including flights/transport. I have no idea how much it costs to live in London or elsewhere in Europe, but I am betting it is more than US$1,000 (about 600 pounds?) a month. So perhaps, it does make sense to work for a couple of years , save enough to travel for the next 12 months in Asia or elsewhere cheap? Unfortunately for us Asians, we do not have the same option. Hmmm, life is not fair. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #87394  
You're totally right, liliram. Of course London is more expensive than Manilla, but there are ways and means of spending less. A lot of people survive on 600dollars a month in London.

Do people always go to somewhere cheaper than home for a holiday? Some people's penny-pinching sometimes feels like poverty tourism sometimes - they only think about the price of things and want move on to the next, even cheaper place.
So good on you for saving and visiting the places that fascinate you, rather than being obsessed with money. i'll buy you a coffee if you come to London! Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #87414  
I think it is certainly cheaper to travel, so long as you give up your house and other expenses at home. Our energy bills per month alone for our 2 bedroom appartment in Germany cost almost enough to travel for a month in Thailand.

But, if travelling means giving up the incomes we can earn in places like the EU, travel is expensive. The good thing about earning in Europe is that the money goes a long way in less expensive countries. And if we manage to buy a house here in Europe it is worth a lot if sold, and if not sold it makes living in Europe not so expensive. Buying the house in the first place or renting it is a big part of what makes living here so expensive. Financially, it is well worth staying put and just travelling sometimes in order to be able to buy a house and earn EU wages. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #87415  

London is regulary said to be unbelievably expensive, but i know places to buy excellent coffee for less than a pound, to eat well for five pounds and i know how to enjoy the free and best things in this city -


Yeah, that was my experience of living in London too. There are plenty of students and backpackers living there, so there is housing and services to cater for them. Living there wasnt at all expensive for me. As well as that, my job was like being a tourist with plenty of time to explore the city. I worked for a travel agent, and delivered plane tickets to business people in hotels and offices around the city. I spent all day every day discovering every nook and cranny of London while I was working. I knew every cool alley cafe and every market etc etc. And I could shop while I was working, so picked up all kinds of bargains to cook and wear while getting around. And there was the bus and tube pass and telephone card that I got free with work that covered all areas of London, for the weekends as well as work time. Did I score with that job, or is that London life. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #87416  

So perhaps, it does make sense to work for a couple of years , save enough to travel for the next 12 months in Asia or elsewhere cheap? Unfortunately for us Asians, we do not have the same option. Hmmm, life is not fair.


While I was working for a company in Ireland, it was easy to keep working and afford the time off to travel for a couple of weeks every 3 months. For those couple of weeks, I could afford to fly to Africa, S. America, Asia..... I did overtime with my job a lot which earned me the time off. Paying for the plane tickets did mean that I couldnt afford go out 3 times per week and drink 10 pints of beer like the typical Irish professionals I worked with, but that lifestyle is something I have never been interested in anyway. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #87418  

i have traveled around Europe and always had to remind myself to stop thinking in pesos (our Philippine currency) lest i stop spending for good meals and other treats. In Europe, a 10 euro meal means as much as 700 pesos back home. Now, I can have a decent meal here in Manila for as little as 250 pesos. If I scrimp, I can even bring it down to 100 pesos or less. A Mcdonald's burger here costs 50-70 pesos, and that comes with a drink. Coffee in London, even at 1 pound a cup, costs more than a McDonald's burger and a cup of coffee here.


Thing about living here, is that we can have a coffee in our garden, or on our balcony and it doesnt cost much at all. Same with meals. We can cook things at home, most of the time. That certainly makes it a lot cheaper to have treats. It can cost as little as drinks and food in cafes in inexpensive countries.
Reply to this

4 years ago, September 26th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #87428  

Did I score with that job, or is that London life.


You did well, but i think it takes a savvy person who knows how to spot a bargain - not everyone in London takes advantage of the cheap side of it, and many don't enjoy it as much.
There is a lot of free stuff to enjoy in London, and i find the USA more expensive as the culture revolves around spending money...i'd rather try to travel europe on a shoestring than do the same in the states Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 11 Msg: #87433  
B Posts: 836
I learned a lot from this thread.

There is a lot of free stuff to enjoy in London, and i find the USA more expensive



I have always enjoyed London, but I guess I did not know where to get the good and free stuff (British Museum, I love! and it is free, right?). I never realized that USA can be more expensive than London. That is news to me, perhaps because I knew lots of people in America than in London, and I have been "guided" where to go and not spend too much. What it tells me now, is that it pays to know someone in your destination for some wonderful tips like you guys just gave.

i'd rather try to travel europe on a shoestring than do the same in the states



I have only been to the big cities in USA, and have yet to discover the off-the-beaten paths. My only problem there is the train system all across the country is not as good as it is in Europe. Perhaps the small towns and cities can offer lots of surprises . Come to think of it, I have yet to read blogs about the small towns and cities in America!

Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 12 Msg: #87436  
I would say it depends on where you are from and where you are going to. If it is Asia you are staying, then i guess stay at home might be a better saving plan.

~ The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 13 Msg: #87440  
B Posts: 836
It's not all about saving. We share the same mantra about reading more than just a page, and savoring every minute traveling. I was just curious how others can travel and still manage to spend less than if they were to stay home. Part of the answer of course lies in the strength of one's country's currency and careful planning ;)
Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 14 Msg: #87467  

as the culture revolves around spending money...


That is one of the things I dislike most about the US. You are your money, and the more you are spending, the more you are worth. I think even if I had plenty to spend, I would still choose to spend it in Europe or just about anyplace except the US. I just dont like the idea of buying respect. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 15 Msg: #87469  

I have always enjoyed London, but I guess I did not know where to get the good and free stuff ....


What I discovered about London is that it is easy to walk around all the central parts of it to save money and get some exercise in at the same time. The distances seem so big, when you take the underground all the time, but they are not. Sometimes, when I was working, I used to walk rather than go to the trouble of getting in to the Underground station and waiting for a train. And you get to see so much more if you walk. You would need a good set of maps though, which would probably cost as much as a week pass for public transport, so if you are only in London for a week or 2 maybe not worth it. I recommend the A-Z guide for maps(another freebee I got with work), for those who want to try walking around London. But maybe the maps in guide books are good enough, if you stick to the main routes to get around, since you wouldnt need to find some office tucked away in a basement in some side street or minor square in London like I did. You can cycle too, but the traffic is too maniac for that in my opinion.

Same with Dublin, where I lived for several years. Dont go on any of those bus tours. Dont even bother with public transport, a lot of the time. You can walk around the central and near central parts. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 27th 2009 No: 16 Msg: #87470  

Part of the answer of course lies in the strength of one's country's currency and careful planning ;)


A lot also depends on knowing what price range things cost. Here in Germany you can pay very little for things if you know where to shop and if you are not snooty about brand names and it is even cheaper if you shop in an opportunist way. ie. Buy things when the shops are wanting to get rid of them. Those items are generally not less good at that time. I suppose this is the sort of thing one only discovers after living in a place for some time. Tourists likely would not be able to sweep in for a week and live cheaply, as Crash Packer explained in some previous threads.

Also, I think many tourists could get around Europe more cheaply, if they knew how and where to score bargain train, plane and boat tickets in advance, instead of paying full price. Maybe getting around at bargain prices, would make travel cheaper than staying at home for some.
Reply to this

4 years ago, September 28th 2009 No: 17 Msg: #87595  

I think even if I had plenty to spend, I would still choose to spend it in Europe or just about anyplace except the US.



I have to say I am always highly disappointed when people make unfair generalizations...of course it is natural and only human to make some generalizations, but to let them make you close-minded is sad.

How many countries in Europe can you buy a $800 car or van and drive for 10,000km on $15-20 per day for fuel? Yes, it has a different culture than Europe, or Asia, or anywhere else. But the population of the US is huge and that means lots of diversity. And the scenery and open spaces are fantastic. The United States is a beautiful country and it saddens me that one lets stereotypes get in the way of discovering its beauty and charm.

We cannot afford to travel around Europe on a budget of $50 per day; not even Canada is that cheap. The US is easy to travel around once you invest in a car, which is cheaper than many other countries. Canada and Australia, are similar in the car-culture mentality, but once you accept that, go on a ROAD TRIP! That is our traveling style. Sure the US is expensive compared to traveling in Asia, but everything is relative, eh?

Like many have said, it's knowing how to score bargains and how to travel cheaply. If you have the ability to buy and cook your own food (we did with our camping stove), you will save heaps, which applies to many travel destinations. Reply to this

4 years ago, September 28th 2009 No: 18 Msg: #87598  
I dont think it is closed minded to perfer to travel someplace other than in the US. It is just a preference.

And, it is not the expensiveness that puts me off the US. It is the total money culture, where you are your money that I find off putting.
Reply to this

4 years ago, September 28th 2009 No: 19 Msg: #87630  
With certain countries (such as parts of Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East) I would spend about the same amount of money per week on living expenses in Australia (after taking out the fixed costs of rent, telephone and the like) as I would travelling (including accommodation, food and sightseeing). Thus, my weekly spending allocation on such things as food, movies, small shopping excursions and incidentals back home would equate to my weekly expenses when travelling.

This allows me to travel to longer periods to these countries, and hence the reason I will usually travel for 6-8 weeks at a time instead of 3-4. The only extra expense is the airfare to get to my destination, and the longer I'm away, the lower the cost of my flight when factored into my weekly expenses. Thus a $1000 flight for a four-week holiday costs $250 per week, but the same flight for a eight-week holiday costs $125 per week.

I remember staying in Luxor for 7 days back in 2002 and the total cost for the week's accommodation was the grand total of 10 Australian dollars! It was a very, very basic place - but it was quiet and safe. In this case, it was cheaper for me to stay in Egypt than to live in Australia - even when I factored in that I was still paying rent on my Australian apartment when travelling! Reply to this

4 years ago, September 28th 2009 No: 20 Msg: #87635  
B Posts: 836
I guess my best bet really is to travel around Asia and grab all the deals I can find. Europe, Canada, even Australia can be quite expensive for me. Most travel tips I find here are for trips around Asia. Not much budget tips around the more affluent countries. Though I am not the backpacker tourist, I do not travel in luxury and would always look for tips to stretch my budget. And like most Asians, my traveling expenses are definitely way more than my living expenses. Reply to this

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