Thursday, April 23, 2009

Post Under Frugal Traveler Website...

I don't know how many people get to check out links, so I thought I would post my comment on the Frugal Traveler's page in the New York Times Blog.  The post was in response to a bunch of his readers being annoyed that the Frugal Traveler's budget of 100 USD a day in his article wasn't very "frugal."  I didn't think there was anything wrong with it.  

I appreciate this post and I have linked your blog with mine after recommendations from some friends who are regular readers. My family and I are embarking on an around the world trip in 2011. The catch? We are traveling with our two kids who are going to be two and three. Our budget for a family of four is going to be about 250 USD a day. This is an exorbetant amount, but I have aimed high for inflation and other costs. My kids already have a few stamps on their passports (acquired when they were weeks old) with Emily being 3 months old and Myla being 20 months old. We have traveled on a cross country road trip, a three week jaunt to the UK, and most recently a trip to Taipei and the Philippines. We do not make more than the lower average middle class family, but we live a simple life so we can save for this trip. We have a 1998 Honda Civic (complete with two carseats in the back), sack lunches for two years, I don't have a babysitter, And literally keep a water jug full of change in our living room. I can see what the frugal traveler is doing. Frugal traveling doesn't necessarily mean not spending any money at all. And to a general audience, not everyone is a backpacker. There is a fine line between a backpacker and an independent budget traveler. Which is where I like to categorize good 'ole Frugal. I am a travel concierge, and people are always surprised that stuff that claims to be cheap isn't cheap. The public is always looking for more, more more and are surprised at what they get when they pay nothing for something. (ie. "a flight to London, at a fraction of the cost, but has 4 stops? WHY??") I think the biggest misunderstanding for people who travel is that there is a lot of give and take for travel budgets. If someone really wants to travel, everyone has the means to do it, it's just a question of how badly you want to do it. how much you can sacrifice (if you don't want to pay a lot) and how much time is worth to you more than money is.  
-Melissa Keith,


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