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Travelling with a friend who makes less than you

Travelling with a friend who makes less than you

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:50 AM
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hi W.S.,

Great subject! And one I feel that I can offer some advice on with experience. I have been in the situation you are speaking about and I was on the less financially able side and I agree with the others, as long as you both are clear about stuff, it will usually work out. A good friend and I travel quite a bit. She is a late 40’s, married woman whose husband is well off (but hates to travel) and she herself works. I am a single 40's woman on a medium income supporting a family member. We have many common interests and one of them is travel. I will warn you, if the person who is more financially able to afford it, always demands the best or more expensive route, you probably should not be traveling together. Part of the enjoyment of our trip is the time we spend together seeing and doing those things that interest us. If one is always worried about money, that kind of takes the fun out of it.

We try to plan a trip together every 2 or 3 years. She could afford much better, such as business class instead of coach and probably 5 star hotels. The reason we continue to travel together is because we established the groundwork before we started. I made it very clear that I could not afford the best nor feel comfortable with her paying for stuff. It's not a pride thing, it's more of a lets keep this on more even terms. I think friendships survive longer when you do this. She is a very kind and generous person by nature, but if I allowed her to constantly pick up the slack, so to speak, eventually it would eat into our friendship on some level. So I am very careful to balance out her generousity with my own during good times.

When we start planning a trip we both come to an agreement on how much we want to spend for hotels, air etc. Since we plan well in advance this gives me time to save for the trip. I try to find us a good deal, because I am a detail person. I can usually find a good deal on a 4 star hotel so it doesn't feel like we're staying "cheap". Like me, she doesn't like to spend alot on “every” meal, so we plan for several really nice dinners out and then look for places that offer a variety on our other meals. If she wants, she could spend more and I am still able to order within my budget. And even the budget traveler can eat well in places like London, Paris, and Rome. It just takes planning.

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:52 AM
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Both of us save the majority of our money for shopping or sites. This is where she enjoys and spends. I am a window shopper by nature and will only buy a few things here or there. she splurges. This works for both of us and gives her the opportunity to spend where she really wants to. It helps that we are both interested in some of the same things and we are also not afraid to solo on others. She is a shopper and I am a museum seeker. So we go our own way several times during the trip.

WS I can't stress enough about sitting down with your friend and planning together. Establish what you both want to get out of the trip. If your friend is smart, or you are, depending on who is better off financially, you will incorporate those things into your trip that you both really want so that you both are satisfied with the results. By doing so ahead of time, you can plan and save.

I will give you one example where I did give in to my friend. A couple of years ago we began planning a trip and very early came across a steal of a deal which involved a great special on a 5 star hotel and air package. I was not financially ready to pay for the trip yet (thinking I had a couple more months to save) and the special had to be paid for by a certain date. It would have been a crime to let that slip out of our hands and she and I both would have suffered for doing so. In this case, she offered to pay for both on her credit card and I would just pay her back. I gave in but we worked a deal that I made the monthly minimum payments on the card until we left for the trip (just a couple of months) and any interest. This way I felt like I was able to contribute and was able to "give back" so to speak on the deal.

Planning goes along way to insure that nothing is assumed and no feelings are hurt later.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 10:30 AM
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I would never tavel with a friend unless I had been out with them at least several times.Too many things can happen without some pretty thorough planning.I have been on cruises with friends but thats a lot different.If I go out or plan to go out with a new friend,where we go is a good indication of how many I would or could go ou with them.Travel involves all kind of sacrfices anywayz.
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 12:44 PM
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Lots of creative tips & suggesions above but I offer up (as others have mentioned) you absolutely *MUST* talk about this in detail to your travel partner before the trip!!!

Many things come up traveling together, not just price-range. For instance I don't like museums or having to rush around (from town to town or within a day, either one).

So my friend goes to a museum while I sit and drink wine in a cafe. I stay put in a town for a week and they join me for a few days and we move on together. Etc. etc. But this is our understanding ahead of time, not being made up as we go along.

As far as picking restaurants, I feel it is perfectly acceptable for you to pick up the tab at a fancy place that you'd like to go to, as long as this is made clear beforehand, AND the other person is comfortable with it.

Site seeing shouldn't be so much of an issue, moneywise, unless you're talking fairly extravagant tours or cruises.

You didn't mention hotels? How are you planning to handle that? It seems like it would be your biggest $$$ issue, much more than meals or sites.
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:04 AM
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Thank you all for your great advice. I am shy about bringing the subject up with him. I wanted to remain easy going but after reading the responses, there is a lot more concern. He is booking the hotel that a friend of his stayed at. What concerned me was his comment on saving money by seeing art in churces in Rome, but seems like I need to find a way to bring everything up in a casual way. I am not rich either but can afford to splurge for this trip on excellent wine and taste real Italian , and maybe pay for him at one or two fine dinings at that special pricey place. Lots of goods advice on handling that from here. Thanks
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:10 AM
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This may sound rude or cruel, but frankly I think your trip is doomed. Traveling together becomes a rather intimate and personal experience. If you are too shy or embarrassed to bring up such sensitive issues now, it will only get worse as you go along. If you do not know this person well enought to bring up such an issue, then I see no way you can successfully travel together. I suggest you cancel this trip -- it really seems doomed to failure and future animosity to me!!!
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:37 AM
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Just to add my 2 pennies..while I don't think the trip will be a disaster (you will be in Italy after all) you will come away feeling like you 'missed out'. You won't have the trip that you've built up in your head.

Are you always going to hang out together everywhere you go? Or will you have a few hours or day(s) to yourself? I agree with the others that you have to discuss with your travel partner the things you'd really like to do and give him the option of opting out on some excursions that you will want to take and vice versa with him.
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