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Old 12-21-2017, 01:13 PM
 
Location: 2 blocks from bay in L.I, NY
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I'm traveling solo (not by choice) and still over 1,000 miles away from home (within US). I have had a string of things go wrong. I'm determined to look at the bright side although I have moments of full on #rantmode.

There are numerous lessons I'm learning from this experience. I'll list in my next post some of the obstacles and hurdles I've faced. My question is how to budget for travel in today's economy when you're not wealthy?
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:49 PM
 
Location: 2 blocks from bay in L.I, NY
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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.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:59 PM
 
Location: On the road
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The best way to budget is to go to cheap places.
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:29 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
The best way to budget is to go to cheap places.
This is right & also check out the public transportation in advance. If you can;t find the way back to a remote, but cheap motel, when going back after a concert, the hotel is no longer a good deal Research these things better.

For instance when we did a train trip around Switzerland a few years ago, I made reservations at hostels or hotels that were within walking distance of the train station, & carried the directions with me, so we spent no money on taxi.

Safe & happy travels for what is left of your trip.
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: 2 blocks from bay in L.I, NY
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Yes regarding both posts of suggestions and advice. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
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One thing I've learned when it comes to travel.. Count on no one.. People back out all the time.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:17 PM
 
Location: 2 blocks from bay in L.I, NY
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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.
This trip taught me the truth of that. Never again!

However, I've found that solo travel, for recreation, isn't my thing. It's one thing for me to travel solo for work, which I do often but something different for a vacation.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:31 PM
 
9,426 posts, read 7,080,103 times
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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.
Sounds horrible, but is the absolute truth.

The other thing is always over-estimate. I take about 1 vacation a year.. I am always happily surprised when I return home that I didn't spend as much as I anticipated. I anticipate things being far more expensive than I expect.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Ive traveled to 30 countries in the past five years, and never experienced a single problem of the type mentioned above.

The closest was Georgetown, Guyana, where I had a room booked online at a hotel. The taxi driver said no problem, but then it turned out that he didn't know where the hotel was, and I neglected to write down the address. So he drove around aimlessly for a long time looking for it. But finally found it, and then they didn't bother saving a room for me, so the desk clerk walked me across the street to another hotel, which turned out to be nicer and cheaper. So in the end everything was fine.

I don't use plastic when traveling, just a secure moneybelt full of Benjamins, so problems with cards is never an issue. But I often do use a card to pay at the desk for a hotel, if they accept them and the rate is more than about $20.

After reading some travel posts, the lesson I am is learning is that the higher you go on the star rating, the more likely you will be ripped off or left stranded.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:38 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
37,987 posts, read 55,740,290 times
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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.
^^^ THIS!!! 100%
Plan your trip like you are going alone and are responsible for all arrangements. Don't count on friends, family, or get influenced by travel buddies. They all might change their mind, and you will get stuck with problems. Also always have plan B you can afford.
Do your own research, get confirmations, check on travelling times, connections, transportation... that's a proper planning, and it's very important if you have limited resources, or are not flexible.
I guess, you learn as you go, and it's called travel experiences. You already learned that you can depend only on yourself.
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