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Old 09-11-2012, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,937 posts, read 83,597,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcee squared View Post
I am an airline employee and still young, I couldn't afford it otherwise. I travel with equally frugal friends and go very light on hotel accommodations and stay away from many unnecessary luxuries. To give you an example: I spent three days in Tokyo and spent only $90, including hotel.

I know my answer isn't the answer you're looking for, but it works for me.
That is what really got us started on travel: our daughter went to work for an airline while still in college; we took advantage of all the perks we got as parents: then my husband had a job where he traveled so much the fflyer miles piled up, then second daughter went to work for an airline. Now oldest daughter doesn't work for one anymore, hubby is retired and the perks we get from younger daughter just aren't what they used to be, but the travel is in our blood. We do a lot less today, partly because of age and partly the budget (which is related to the age) but we still do travel as much as we can.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:52 AM
 
5,091 posts, read 8,065,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Today, traveling across the pond can be very expensive. I think that is why we seem to be seeing and hearing less about it. The best way to afford international travel is: 1-yes, set a little aside every month or a year or so: 2-watch closely for specials, even if this means traveling with others on an organized tour (not always as much fun for some) and talking to a good travel agent. They often know secrets we, in the public, are not aware of. Believe me, if you pay close attention you can enjoy a few weeks in another country and not end up head over heals in debt. I will admit, the one time we do not always pay off our CCards is when we travel extensively. We will not go overboard, but sometimes do get stuck with interest payments for a few months or we have to hit the investment account.
You make an excellent point about travel agents. We actually develop friendships with travel agents. I think the relationship a lot of people have with travel agents is often brief and impersonal, like shopping at the supermarket for groceries. We network and develop friendships with several agents that we feel comfortable with. I'll either drop by once in a while or call them. We all know each other by name.

The only destination we travel to is Thailand because we have family and friends there. A number of travel agents we've met with specialize with travel to Asia, and some are actually Thai. The advantage for us is that the agents keep us up to date on any special airfare bargains. You're absolutely right. They have quicker access to special discounts than most of us do.

For example, years ago, an agent I knew was able to pass on a special airfare bargain with Thai Airways International. The bargain was a promotion by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways International. The purpose was to stimulate and encourage tourism. The promo was only offered for a very short time, and departure dates had to be within a month long period. Interestingly, the month being promoted was December, which normally is the high season for travel to Thailand and airfare rates are higher. Round-trip airfare from PDX to LAX and onward to BKK, was $550. Exit date from Thailand could be any time you wanted, you just had to leave the US within the month of December.

That time of year may not always work for everyone because airfare and accommodation rates can be higher. A lot of people want to get away from the winter chill and head for the warm tropics. This kind of bargain was something I would never have heard about any other way. The agent already knew my interests and got ahold of me as soon as she discovered the promotion.

Another example. we now often use an independent agent who happens to be Thai. A year or so ago, my wife was going to be heading over to Thailand for 2 or 3 months, so we booked a flight for her. A couple of days later, our agent friend sent an email saying she found a special discounted rate on the same flight for the same period of time with the same airline. Needless to say, we cancelled the original booking and rescheduled at the discounted rate.

The point is that for people who like to or need to travel internationally from time to time like we do, it can pay off getting to know travel agents. That kind of relationship pays off for the agents as well because they know if you're satisfied with their efforts, you're more likely to recommend them to other people you know.

Everyone's circumstances and interests are different. For us, it's a matter of traveling to Thailand once or twice a year. Like anyone, we want to keep the overall expense as low as possible and it enables you to have more money for other things. We do set aside money to be used for travel, and (in our case) we'd look for items that we knew we could sell back in the US, so that too helped reduce our overall travel costs. There are a lot of different ways to bring the expense down with a bit of creative planning well ahead of time.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
11,230 posts, read 7,505,508 times
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I just don't go.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:15 AM
 
5,091 posts, read 8,065,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BECLAZONE View Post
I just don't go.
Because you can't afford to go? Or just don't want to go?
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
11,230 posts, read 7,505,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Because you can't afford to go? Or just don't want to go?
Can't afford it, would love to go. Sadly, that's what life has come to, for some of us.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:10 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 8,065,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BECLAZONE View Post
Can't afford it, would love to go. Sadly, that's what life has come to, for some of us.
I hear ya. I don't know what your circumstances are, but in our case, all our kids are grown and have long flown from the nest to make nests of their own. When they were at home, travel wasn't all that practical or affordable for us to do. Plus we have no major expenses. Our car and houses are paid for, so we're in a position that we can choose to go or not. We have a house in Thailand, which is also paid for, and we plan to retire in the coutry perhaps in the next year or two. Although the cost of living is going up there, like anywhere else, it's far more affordable than to retire in the US, and there's always a good time to be had. For me, the climate is also a lot more agreeable for my old bones.

Even now, it could be unaffordable except that I've been fortunate to find ways to greatly cut the expense to travel. I think I mentioned it earlier, but most of the time we were able to recoop the costs to the point that the overall expense usually ended up being free and we made a small profit to boot. But that's just how it worked out for us. Regardless, it is indeed very possible for people on a tight budget to do such travel, maybe not as often as we do. but as had been mentioned by others, it requires setting aside money and, searching for the best bargains and, in my opinion, planning things out ahead of time. We set goals for ourselves as something to look forward to. It has to be something you really want to do and work at it to make it happen. As one guy I know often says, there's always an option.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: In the sticks, SC
1,642 posts, read 4,521,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BECLAZONE View Post
Can't afford it, would love to go. Sadly, that's what life has come to, for some of us.
I find it hard to believe you can't cut back SOMEWHERE and save enough for a trip at least once every couple of years if you really want to travel.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
271 posts, read 459,769 times
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I tend to go on vacation every four months or so. I'm lucky. There's some saving involved, but we've worked it into our budget, forgoing other luxuries. No car, older electronics, no going out for dinner or drinks, no gifts, clothes bought on sale, shoes bought on sale... come to think of it, I even buy meat and veggies at 30% off.

We both have jobs that are extremely easy to plan around, we're not picky travelers, and we're low-key people, so that's always an advantage when it comes to working things like vacations into budgets and schedules.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:55 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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If you want to travel internationally and are able, skip vacation one year and roll over the days so you can take a longer vacation the following year. We did that last year and this year, only took sporadic long weekends last year and then three weeks in Europe this year. Cheaper than two 10 day trips because we only needed airfare for one trip instead of two.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:01 PM
 
2,095 posts, read 3,417,990 times
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And then there are those of us, like my animal rescue colleagues, who live modestly, have worked hard all of our lives, don't buy clothes much or eat out often, drive old cars........but, we use every spare penny that we have to pay for the care of foster animals, to provide veterinary care for cats and/or dogs when there are no free places that will help them...and we will never be able to travel to the places we dream about.

But we have made OUR priorities and can live with them.

My siblings have been all over the world, often stayed in wonderful and interesting places for months at a time. A brother is on his 70th trip to Europe, has friends there, etc.

I have been to Europe once, and stayed there for free (Italian friend, oh, I loved Italy).

But for what we spend, year in and year out, to pay for the vet care and the feeding of many animals, as well as associated costs, we could take a major trip every year, but we cannot afford to.

Many people will never understand our priorities but fortunately I have my rescue colleagues who do as we do, and we are friends and support one another.
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