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Travelling Broke

Old May 14th, 2005, 10:45 AM
  #1  
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Travelling Broke

Hi everyone, I'm off to London in the summer for 4 weeks (finally). My parents are complaining loudly that with the conversion rate, I'm going to be well over budget on this trip. To me this is the trip I've always wanted to take, if I'm a bit over budget is that so bad. It's my trip and my money. Many travellers are broke anyways, aren't they.

My parents are concerned that I worked hard to save my $ and now I'm blowing it all at one time on a trip to London. I mean, are they right? Does anyone have similar experiences or have returned from a holiday totally cash strapped. Please advise.

Merrin
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Old May 14th, 2005, 10:52 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Dear Merrin,

If you are over 21, thank your parents for their concern for your welfare and send them a postcard from London and bring them a gift.

You're doing the full 4 weeks in London?

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Old May 14th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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If you're over 18 you can do what you want...however, be smart about where you eat, what you buy and how much you party. All those things have a nifty way of making money fly out of your wallet.

And don't forget to send your parents a postcard.



Happy travelling -- and get out of London if you can if you're there for 4 weeks. It's cheaper in Paris.

Julie
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Old May 14th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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I don't think most travelers are broke. I'd consider the monetary consequences a bit more. Also consider part of the 4 weeks in cheaper locations.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I'm sure your parents are trying to give you what they consider good advice. However, as you said, you earned the money and it seems to me it's your call where it's spent. Unless you have some obligation you should be paying for instead, I see no reason not to take your trip.

We try to be sensible about our trips, but sometimes we have spent more than we planned. If that means going without something when we get home, so be it. Guess it's a good lesson in the "economics of life."

Enjoy London, but hope you are doing something in addition. We love London but four weeks there would indeed be a wallet buster, and you might wish to visit some other city/cities (perhaps Brussels, Amsterdam or Paris, which are easy to get to from London by train), or at least some of the English countryside.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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We all prioritize our finances differently--and all have different definitions of what "broke" means.

As long as you counter this splurge with a scrimp elsewhere in your budget you should enjoy your trip guilt free! Now, if its a trip that you really can't afford, that is something else entirely.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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I had wanted to go to Paris ever since I could remember. I was fast approaching my 30th year, and without hardly a dime to my name (I was still paying off college debt), I went anyway. How? Easy. Citibank credit card.

It took about a year to pay off the debt. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

I concurr with others, step out of London for a good while, and go to Paris.



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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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merrin,

Go.

You have something right now that you may not have until you retire: 4 WEEKS FREE TIME!!!! Don't waste what could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Yes it's a lot of money, but looking at the big picture it is an infintessimal fraction of mney you will probably blow in the course of your adult life.

Now here, I have to echo what others have already said:

London is about the most expensive place in the world. Your vacation money will stretch a LOT further if you limit your time in London to 7-10 days and then head anywhere else in Europe: Paris, Amsterdam and the smaller towns or villages in the UK are all great ideas.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Berlin is the cheapest place I've gone - but I haven't been further east.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Your parents, and you, are the only people with any knowledge of your financial situation, and they have more experience than you.

No one here knows what your situation is, and considering that a majority of Americans are overspending and undersaving, I would be reluctant to rely on our advice.

Its almost a certainty that you will spend more than you expect, so if you are planning on coming home flat broke you aren't planning very realistically. What do you plan on doing, for example, if you are late for your flight home, and they want thousands of dollars for a seat on a subsequent flight?

If your resources now are tight, keep saving and go next year; London isn't going anywhere.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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Your parents complaints about your trip bring to mind my experience with my in-laws about a trip to europe my wife and I took about 25 years ago.

We had saved for over a year for a three month trip covering Europe from Norway to Italy.All we heard was what a waste of money,while don't you just stay home and give us some granchildren.Or buy a house.Of course all these things did eventualy take place ,just not on their time frame.

We still get grief from my brother in-law about taking holidays outside the good old USA.As he puts it "Why would you leave the country,when all the great things in the world exist right here"

Anyway good for you for standing your'e ground.Have a great trip
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Old May 14th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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I agree with the other posters. Adult responsibilities will soon get in the way of 4 free weeks--what I wouldn't give for that!
Be careful with your spending and I'd recommend putting aside some money at the beginning of the trip that is enough to get you home at the end. Don't touch that money!
If you have to eat sandwiches for the last 2 weeks, oh well-at least you're eating sandwiches in England. (I also think you should explore other places as well while you're over there)
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Old May 14th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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So your parents think you will be "well over budget" and you think it may instead be "a bit over budget." Which will it be? Whoever is more accurate, that you have already projected this shortage doesn't bode well. What happens when the £ run out? What is Plan B?

If you can retool your budget to align it more with your goals, then do that now - before you go. Otherwise shouldn't you pare down the trip to fit with what you can afford, or put it off until you have saved more money to do it the way you want?

For 4 weeks, pre-paying for a studio flat (or letting a room in a house), having your roundtrip airfare purchased and leaving a sum of money (half?) at home for your parents to deposit in your bank account (at the mid-point of your trip -- for atm access) make sense to me.

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Old May 14th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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Go Go GO!
Plan as much as you can to take advantage of discounts and free attractions. The more planning, the better savings! Spend wisely and have a blast!!
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Old May 14th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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Agree that:

1) If you've earned this money it just isn't your parents business - as long as you don;t expect them to rescue you if you run out of money

2) Having this much time is rare - and you should take advantage of it

However, suggest you do a reality check on your budget - line by line - everything you will spend - so you actually know where you are - and don;t find yourself flat broke 2 weeks before you're coming home.

(I went the first time when I was 19 - with my boyfirend - and we managed just fine - but then we started out knowing we had considerably more than we needed to cover the basic trip - so the surprise extras weren;t a problem.)

Have a great trip!
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Old May 14th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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hello merrin, a bit stressed out about your parents comments perhaps? If so, I sure understand. Have been through that whole scenerio.

If you are selfsupporting. If you do not ask your parents to help subsidize your lifestyle. If you do not owe your parents money due to former money you have borrowed from them. If you live in your own residence rather then living with your parents.

Well then, if the answers to all of the above are positive answers you do not have to explain or answer to your parents regarding your 4 week journey to Europe. A self supporting adult is entitled do make whatever financial decisions they want to. And of course live with the results if they make wrong decisions.

Your title thread "Travelling Broke" does make me wonder if perhaps this wonderful trip you have planned will put you into a financial bind. I only say that due to the title of your thread. I love to travel, always have, always will. But when I travel I make sure that I can pay off my credit card bill on time, without carrying a balance. I refuse to pay interest to a credit card company. I also have savings and investments etc.

Being prudent with money is important to me. Also living life is important to me. Trying to balance the two sometimes I think is difficult for most of use.

Is there the slightest possibility (assuming you do not look to your parents for any kind of financial help) that you involve your parents with your personal life and finances a bit too much? That can be a mistake IMO. As close as my daughter/stepchildren/grandchildren are with me I really don't need or want to know every personal detail of their life. I like my personal space and like to give everyone else theirs.

You ask "if I'm a bit over budget is that so bad". Only you know the answer to that dear one. If going over budget is going to cause you a financial problem then I would say yes. If you are financially prepared to go over the travel budget and know that you can deal with it then I would say no.

Best wishes to you.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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I don't think anyone can say without knowing really about your circumstances. You haven't even said your age, if you are working fulltime and self-supporting or what.

In general, no, I have never spent every penny I had on a vacation so I was broke coming home. I don't believe in that. I have had to be self-supporting since about the age of 18, so this was not an option. And I mean that literally. If I had no money, I could not buy groceries, go to the doctor if I had to, pay for car insurance, or a car repair, or things like that. If it is your money and that means you will not expect your parents to bail you out in any shape or form if you need money when you come back, I guess it is your business -- only if you are COMPLETELY self-supporting.

I've always wanted a lot of things, but that doesn't mean I should get them if it means being broke and that I can't afford them. That isn't a very mature attitude. You already admit you are "over budget", which means you can't afford the trip.

I think your parents have a point, from what one can tell from the few facts. YOu don't have to blow everything you have on one vacation. There is no reason you have to spend four weeks on vacation in London. I never would have considered doing that when I couldn't afford it because I've had to be more more responsible with money and just don't believe in being in debt or having no savings. Maybe your parents know you better than we do, and know you are going to want things later that you won't have money for.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 07:55 PM
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For one thing, if your parents don't support you financially, they don't get a say.

That being said, it is possible to cut corners on costs during your trip and still have a good time. I noticed that in previous posts, you asked about self-catering apartments. Have you considered a cheaper option, like a youth hostel? This would save you a ton of money. Other threads on this board have mentioned ways to spend on food.

Another thing...I don't know if you're a drinker, but when you go to a pub, ask for half a pint instead of a pint of your beverage, and just nurse it for a while. I used to do that when I was a student over there.

If you do decide to stick with the self-catering apt., cook for yourself in the flat. Back when I was there, veggies were dirt cheap at the vegetable market near Camden Market, and I would stir-fry them. It was a dinner that literally cost pennies, and it was easy to whip up.

You can also visit other parts of the UK besides London. Maybe you could have London as your base and do side trips overnight to other regions. This would save you some cash and give you an idea of what the rest of the UK is about. London is a blast but there are tons of fun things to explore outside of London.

I personally would never travel knowing I was going to come home broke or in debt. It would stress me out the entire trip and make it less fun for me, but that's just me.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck with your decision!
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:02 PM
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Hi Merrin, I just had to reply to you. I am in abit of the same situation. I am going for 29 days to England, France and Italy and I already know that I will not have enough $$$.
My parents were also mad that I am going. You have to live your life the way you want to, you only live once, you don't want to regret not going and blame your parents and if you come back broke then thats a lesson you have to learn.
Have fun in London, I'm sure it will be a blast and worth it. It's the thing memories are made up and life's lessons will be taught along the way.
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Old May 14th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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I never consider travel to be a waste of my money or time - it enriches my life!

Merrin, this is something you've always wanted to do; I don't think you'll regret it.

I'd e-mail Ben Haines to get some good budget eats in London ideas. You can do a search for his name to find his posts with his e-mail address attached. He's very helpful!

Wishing you well on your trip of a lifetime!!
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