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Set Priorities to Limit Travel Spending

The world seems like a small place for young adults, thanks to college internships abroad, the Web, and some boomer parents who took their children to Paris as effortlessly as 1950s parents hit the road in a Chevrolet.

While surveys have predicted that Americans plan to spend more on their 2012 vacations than they did last summer, that may not apply to young globetrotters on a budget.

In this 2010 video, Matt Gross, a free-lance travel writer for The New York Times, provides great advice that never gets stale for young adults with far-flung travel horizons.  Gross’s tips amount to more than money savers – he puts forth a travel-spending philosophy:

1.   Set Priorities. “[M]aybe I don’t need to spend that much on the hotel, I don’t need to spend that much on getting there, I don’t need to eat anywhere besides maybe street food …  focusing what your priorities are, is really the way to save money and to avoid blowing it on things that you don’t actually care about,” Gross said.

2.   Food Matters. “[I]n Galicia, in northwestern Spain, they make this octopus … which is really simple, it’s just long, boiled octopus. They boil it perfectly, they slice it up, they drench it in good olive oil, crunchy salt, and pimenton, this sort of smoked chili powder, not spicy, but very smoky, sweet flavor. And I had it with some dark bread in this little bar, and it was just so totally amazing and perfectly cooked that I couldn’t eat octopus again for months and months after that because nothing could possibly be as good as this one thing at this little bar in this little town near the coast.”

3.   Experience Matters More. “[I]f it’s a street stall with a great bowl of noodles, or if it’s a really great restaurant with two Michelin stars up in the mountains that’s totally inaccessible otherwise, those are the things that are important to me, and the price for them is something that I’m willing to pay wherever I go because I want that experience.”

3 Responses to Set Priorities to Limit Travel Spending

  1. I often recommend paying for things like hotels or intermediate flights or trains in advance, which helps you focus on your ‘fixed’ costs and then lets you know that the money you’re carrying is solely for variable expenses. Don’t skip those extras, because they’re the things that you’ll remember and why you spent all of that money to get overseas to begin with.

  2. I think it is important that [you] find out what your holiday has to look like. Then you can save the money for the things you want to do. But pay the flight and the hotel in advance so you only have to focus on the money you want to spend when you are settled…

  3. martijn says:

    Holidays are to enjoy. The most important thing is that you do the things you like doing. Money is always a difficult point. Be inventive, try to sleep a cheap as possible, order your ticket with a cheap airline, or on the Internet.
    Make sure you have enough money for the fun part of your holiday.