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Old 12-22-2017, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,799,244 times
Reputation: 20547

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Sounds like you were relying on a whole bunch of people. That's a recipe for disaster. You're setting yourself up for trouble. Either you can afford a trip or you can't. Sounds like you had some poor planning on financing this trip as well. Most hotels have a sign that tells you that the debit card will stay for up to 14 days. It's normally on the receipt as well. You do have the option of telling them that there will be no incidentals. Who uses the hotel phone to call someone anyway? We all have cell phones today.

Before traveling ALWAYS check out transportation options. That's 100% on you for not checking in advance. If you're going to rely on buses and subways, then part of planning the trip includes getting schedules. There's also cabs, Uber, and Lyft.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,535 posts, read 8,795,843 times
Reputation: 12243
Travel during the two "shoulder" seasons (late Spring, fall), as plane tickets usually cost less. Look for tourist places where there is always "one more room". Don't book ahead. Give yourself time after you reach your destination to search for available rooms or apartments. Greek islands are good place to use this tactic, except for the gaudy high-end islands, like Mykonos (which is actually a expensive, dirty dump". Try Simi.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:17 AM
 
9,235 posts, read 9,305,514 times
Reputation: 28953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klassyhk View Post
Things I've had go wrong or unexpected for a three city visit on the west coast:

-Travel buddy not do any of the planning they agreed to do. A few days before trip, back out citing numerous unexpected personal problems wirh family come up.

- A relative I'd planned to visit at her home for 3 days cxl 3 weeks ago saying she'd like me to reschedule for another time although she & I had made these plans during the summer. I'd already purchased the flight. Now, I'd have to get a hotel for those 3 nights, which I did.

- A friend who lives in the bay area was purchasing concert tickets for us, their idea. When I asked how would I get back to my hotel in a suburb afterwards, the friend had no idea as they don't drive & use public transportation. After midnight in the Bay area, public transportation is very limited and extremely desolate.

- A family who'd planned to go to Vegas the same dates as I was, cxl'd their trip due to finances. Luckily, I didn't give in when they asked me to stay with them in their suite on the strip. I reserved my own hotel in advance.

- Reserved a hotel using hotwire where they choose the hotel. I chose a medium star hotel according to their advertisements. After paying, I discovered it was a -star. No refunds or exchanges with hotwire. Never again.

- My next hotel was a solid 4-star. Great service! The issue is my budget was topping off. Room was paid for weeks ago but I had to use my debit card to hold for incidental charges. No problems, check out 2 days later. Three business days later, there is still a few hundred dollars holdon my bank acct effectively making me broke on the trip. I'd never used debit cards for hotels before so I had no idea this would happen. I refused to get a credit card limit increase or charge to travel which is why I careful planned this trip using money specifically set aside for it.

Over a month ago, I worked a small consulting job and earned money with that. The pay was to be direct-deposited into my bank two days into my trip. That never happened & the contact person hasn't bothered to update at all on the reasons why.

I paid for 75% of this trip upfront even months now, for a travel buddy to split costs, and when it's all said & done, broken agreements by at least four different people, which is why I'm traveling solo-not-by-choice, and an upscale hotel (thx Priceline, you rock!) holding debit card funds days after I've checked out leaves me broke while traveling. Thankfully, I'm with family as of today. It was scary having little money while traveling solo.
Sounds like a tough experience. My wife and I make a point of never trying to travel with anyone else. In our younger years, we tried it once or twice and always ran into people who would cancel at the very last minute.Travel is something many people would like to do, but the rest of the priorities of their life constantly intrude upon it. My first rule of thumb is never plan on traveling with anyone, but your spouse or significant other. My second rule of thumb is never plan on couch surfing. Maybe there is someone you can stay with on a trip, but always be prepared to pay for a hotel. My third rule of thumb is always have more money available to you than you ever need. I keep a lot of money in my bank account and when in Europe I use my debit card often. I also carry cash and credit cards. People write books about traveling on a shoe string. However, I would never do it. If you can't afford some back up financing than just don't go.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:31 AM
 
5,500 posts, read 2,374,821 times
Reputation: 15180
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Sounds like you were relying on a whole bunch of people. That's a recipe for disaster. You're setting yourself up for trouble. Either you can afford a trip or you can't. Sounds like you had some poor planning on financing this trip as well. Most hotels have a sign that tells you that the debit card will stay for up to 14 days. It's normally on the receipt as well. You do have the option of telling them that there will be no incidentals. Who uses the hotel phone to call someone anyway? We all have cell phones today.

Before traveling ALWAYS check out transportation options. That's 100% on you for not checking in advance. If you're going to rely on buses and subways, then part of planning the trip includes getting schedules. There's also cabs, Uber, and Lyft.
Was just typing this! Amen. When an hotel deposit will break you...you can't afford it.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,792 posts, read 4,784,395 times
Reputation: 28527
Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
One thing I've learned when it comes to travel.. Count on no one.. People back out all the time.
Roger that.

I've been on the road since Nov 15. I know people in the areas I'm visiting -- one has invited me a half-dozen times to come stay with her -- but I would rather not set myself up to be dependent on them. I'm not saying the OP was wrong to do what she did but it's disappointing to learn that people often back out with lame excuses. Of course this is a crazy time of year anyway and people are rushing around trying to be ready for Christmas.

OP, I hope you are well now and your next trip goes smoothly. Feel free to ask us about budget accommodations wherever your journeys take you to next.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:08 AM
 
3,749 posts, read 2,215,709 times
Reputation: 4203
So I've never had any of these issues simply because I've always traveled alone and in my own car.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:56 PM
 
9,539 posts, read 13,487,367 times
Reputation: 5738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
Hostel will probably be nicer and safer than a dirtbag motel. Odd as that may sound.

I watch some Youtube videos of a few people who travel, and they often stay in hostels. One guy was at one in vegas for like $25 a night. North end of the strip.. It looked halfway decent for what it was.. Far better than Circus Circus, honestly.
Hostels are horrible. Then again I am 36 and high maintenance lol but if you're young and don't care about the luxuries I suppose hostels are fine.
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