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Travelling with a friend who makes less than you

Travelling with a friend who makes less than you

Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:06 PM
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Travelling with a friend who makes less than you

Planning on going to Italy with a friend. Anyone travelled with someone less financially off than you? Any advice on picking restaurants, seeing sites.
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:13 PM
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I'm assuming pride is a problem here, so you can't offer to pay for lots...

I would suggest that you offer them the choice of restaurants, etc., that way you'll know whats in their budget. If you disagree with the choice, at least then you'll know what price range they want.

If you have your heart set on a special place that's too pricey, a one-time offer of helping with the bill might not be too upsetting, depending on the level of their pride
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:27 PM
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W.S. - that is such a tough situation. My husband and I have friends who are less (a lot less) financially stable, but we have never traveled with them.
When I was single and traveled with a friend, if that person didn't have as much $$ I paid if we went to nicer (more expensive) places. It was worth it to me. Then, they would pay when we were at less expensive places.
That worked out well. The more/less arrangement was never spoken of, and that was fine by both of us and gave us both our chance to contribute.
Is it a big difference in the money? If not, your friend should've budgeted for the trip. If so, it depends on you and the level of your friendship.
I would go over the itinerary possibilities with the prices ahead of time. Guage their reaction and the things they are drawn to. Work together to create an itinerary that works for both of you.
That would at least be a start.
Good luck!
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:29 PM
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If you're close enough to travel together you really ought to ask your friend what he/she is expecting to pay for lodging and meals. Seeing sites is usually very inexpensive. I have a very good, long-time friend who wants to travel with me (and I'd love to) but told her I couldn't afford her sort of travel (she flies first class and stays in Ritz type hotels). She said you pay what you normally would and she'll pick up the difference. What the heck, she gets what she wants and I win!! However, I won't pay for first class flights.
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:33 PM
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You are making a big mistake if you don't sit down and talk this out in advance. Let him know what is important to you. If it is going to cause complications, then don't do it.
Friendship is more important than a single trip. Of course, you might offer to pay for a couple of the big splurges, "hey, I didn't do anything for your birthday, a big night in ___ is going to be my treat" or whatever.
And although I often have this same problem, I sometimes solve part of it by saying, "hey you know I really like good wine, so the wine is on me tonight" or something like that.
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Patrick - good lines! What a great way to make nothing out of what could be a sticky situation.
I wish I was that smooth!

Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:19 PM
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I once traveled with an older wealthy woman who was willing to pay for most meals, entertainment, etc. At first I refused, but then relented. She was very gracious, but then as the trip went on, she started asking for a few favors here and there. Next thing I knew I was rubbing her bunions and scrubbing her back. Never again.
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:28 PM
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I say just think of how you would handle this in a relationship.

If a woman earns twice what her husband does, does she have twice the 'allowance' or vica versa?

Do you 'pool' available resources and divide by two?

I believe in going with the flow. Try not to emphasise differences in income especially if differing backgrounds allowed differing levels of education.

I personally enjoy the backpacker 'scrounging' atmosphere I was raised on, even though that is not how I have to live today.

Probably not how I intended this to read but..............
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:02 PM
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I am one of the "lesser income" people of whom you speak. Having been disabled from a high paying profession, pride is a problem. Absolutely...talk about it openly. In this situation, I need to be able to say..."I can't afford this". Then, like was said above, if it is important to the other person, then they can pay. I often take my friends to inexpensive restaurants, and they take me to the more expensive ones.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:13 AM
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You need to work out and say that the two of you don't have to do things together. That way if he sighs about paying $20 to go to the museum, $10 to the Colliseum, etc you can still enjoy it and afterwards grab a gourmet meal for lunch.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:26 AM
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I notice that you have also asked for advice on picking restaurants, seeing sites. You might want to start a separate thread for these questions. Note that Italy is a big place, and you don't mention where, specifically, you are planning to go.

You also need to be a bit more specific about what you mean by 'makes less than you." Are you a three-star budget person and they, a two-star budget person? If so, then I don't see a big problem. But if you are a four/five star budget person, and they can only afford a hostel and a sandwich every day, I foresee problems ahead.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:51 AM
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I wouldn't be seriously planning a trip like this unless I had ALREADY discussed this issue!!
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:27 AM
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I think the issue is less about salary and more about spending style. What one makes is not necessarily correlated with money habits, especially when on vacation. Do one of you take taxis while the other prefers walking or public transport? Does one consider spending money to visit the top of a tower or monument a waste? Does one live to eat while the other eats to live? As recommended above, these issues really need to be discussed up front. Good luck!
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:17 AM
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Well said, Nutella.
Some "finacially well off" people are a lot tighter than those with less income;
As my granddad used to say: "Being rich is not having a lot of money, but spending it".
He was never "rich", but a very happy man.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:25 AM
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nutella: Good point. Where I work, the secretaries often drive nicer cars than some of the principals, despite a huge difference in salary. Priorities differ.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:33 AM
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Nutella - EXCELLENT points! I used to travel with a good friend who is a multi-millionaire. I am NOT. When it came time to pay a tab, a taxi driver, a hotel bill, she always seemed to be somewhere else. I, being the wimp I am, never really called her on it.

Now I travel alone, which I found I actually prefer but it's my own fault for getting stiffed. Travel partners need to come to clear agreements on this stuff.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:19 AM
al Godon
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Excellent points listed above.
I think it will work if you don't "rub it in" and leave the door open for reciprocity in ways that are not financially expensive.

I have paid for a friend who has gone with us to a few places in Europe. What seemed to be a compromise for expensive outings, such as the opera, was that I ordered tickets in advance, and then asked our friend to join us.

Once I said, lets drive a rented car rather than taking the train, and then I paid for it. She paid a couple of parking fees and did most of the driving.

The full reciprocity came when our friend, who is a gourmet cook when she has time, went out of her way to prepare a delicious dinner for us in her apartment.

There are ways to make a bargain, particularly if you like the other person's company.

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:33 AM
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I have seen so many cases on Judge Judy, etc. where the one with more money ended up paying for almost everthing and was not payed back later.

Don't dish out money ESPECIALLY for the air fare. If they can't come up with the money at the time of the plane ticket purchase, forget about the trip. And don't start lending money when you get to Italy. If the other person can't afford an expensive restaurant then go to a cheap place or a grocery store.

I have sooooo had personal experience with this subject.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:46 AM
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By all means talk it over thoroughly before you go. But be sure that you are willing to go with more inexpensive options and that you are comfortable with them.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:17 AM
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I've traveled with people who spend more, and with those who spend less. It has worked out fine, but we've had very frank discussions about expenses in the early planning stages of the trip.

My one friend usually goes on very high-end group tours, and stays in nothing less than 4 star hotels. When she asked to come along on a trip I was already planning to London, I said fine. I explained that I'd planned to stay at a small, B&B type hotel, and that my budget would not allow for anything fancier. I gave her the option of paying the difference in cost if she wanted to stay in a 4 star hotel. She agreed to abide by my choice, and I explained that there would be no porter, no concierge, no lounge, and no elevator. We arrived and departed at different times, so she used a car service, and I took the tube. She did lots more shopping than I. She is rather indifferent about food and wine, which was a source of frustration - even on my more limited budget, I was much more interested in dining than she, which put a bit of a damper on my experience.

A different friend who has a tighter budget than my own has been great fun to travel with. We end up staying in accommodations a little less nice than what I'd probably choose, but I can't justify picking up the tab for the difference, and in the end the savings is nice. We spend more on wine and dining, since she enjoys both as much as I do. And she is fine with going our separate ways should one of us want to do something that the other isn't interested in or doesn't care to pay for.

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