Saturday, 18 December 2010
We like VALUE FOR MONEY
During our every day travels we try to live within the income from our rental property in England (£800 / $1200) month. Also out of this we pay for annual travel insurance, flights etc.
We dip into savings for special one offs like cruises, expensive tourist attractions or having the family out to visit figuring that when the savings are gone we will not repeat these treats. We also like to think that we all benefit more from having the kids on holiday with us at a stage in their lives when they can't afford such things and we all get to share the pleasure rather than us leaving them money when we die and they probably need it less.
No longer do we check our budget each day, week or month but simply try to do what we want to do for the best price possible. Yes we like value for money but do realise that sometimes you are only going to be in a place once and if there is a price to paid for a tourist attraction that you want to visit you might as well pay it.
A classic example for us was the Galapagos Islands. Normally I look for cruise deals working out at $100 a day or less per person. For the Galapagos we ended up paying $1100 for a week, way more than the price we aim for but a huge reduction on the normal price of $3200 for that particular cruise so I would say we got value for money.
When backpacking we look for the best value double room that is private, with an ensuite in a quiet and safe location and looks reasonable. We don't save money by staying in dorms but if we are visting a place where that is the only accommodation then we take it. I want to enjoy the places I am staying in rather than feel we don't want to spend time in the room.
It is so easy on a trip to say we can't afford to do something right at this moment then later regret it when your funds have built up, far better to dip into savings, do what you want and then if possible pay it back into your piggy bank later. Often we get weeks where we spend way over our income then other weeks when we spend far less. For us it all seems to balance out at the end of the year and so long as we are enjoying what we do and still have a little in our savings account we are happy.
Now I am not saying we have always been smart enough to look at things this way, in the early days we often passed up on opportunites based on we couldn't afford it right now or we would do it on a return trip. A classic regret is the Barry White's concert in Sydney which we opted out of on because of the cost but will now never be able to do.
Much of our opinion has changed due to the fact we know we can live within and well under budget if and when we have to but also having had many friends die over the 14 years we realise it is not worth putting off until tomorrow anything you can do today - you never know how many tomorrows you have left.