Traveling? Be Frugal, NOT Cheap

If you’re traveling the concept of money will always be an issue. Sometimes people don’t pay attention but they are still subconsciously at some budget level. If they weren’t the entire event would be with private chauffeur and masseuse complete with Learjet and leisure suit. When traveling it’s better to be frugal, not cheap.

Cut corners where you can and cut out what doesn’t matter to you while indulging in what does. It’s your vacation or trip… Whether it lasts 3 weeks or 3 years, make it memorable times and get out there and enjoy the scene. Eventually the trip will end and it’s the peaks you remember as the experiences fade into your rear view the whole affair becomes a distant yet fond memory.

Be frugal, find the most efficient way you can to navigate wherever it is your going but don’t be cheap. Being cheap not only cheats the fine vendors you meet on the streets selling shakes and meat but cheapens your experience while limiting potential acquaintances or friends made. Spend a little on what makes you happy, live a little as there is no better time or place to let the universe work its magic in favor of that who decided to do something well in a most uncommon a location.

You’ll never get that potential night in Bucharest back or that chance to sky dive over Seattle or go on safari in the Serengeti¬† but you’ll always have the opportunity to have a quiet night in upon your return or skip something you may have realized you don’t even want while you’re away.

Can’t remember how much it cost but the private tour of the Mekong Delta was considerably more expensive than the common trips offered through booking agents and life in Vietnam. We decided to go for it as the opportunity arose, we were in Vietnam and it was one of most memorable parts with crazy moto traffic, a Mekong Delta tour, eating rats and eating a still beating king cobra heart

Anything can happen when jet fuel is added to the right foreign fires…


  1. James Shannon

    September 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Well said man … glad I splurged on snorkeling at Mabul/Sipadan Island in Eastern Borneo, the most biodiverse, beautiful coral reefs on Earth. Wasn’t cheap, but it was one of the highlights of my SE Asian journey last winter!

  2. Rob

    September 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Exactly, I always think if I wanted to do this another time, what costs would be required to revisit? Time and cash to get to location for starters is usually a big one.

  3. Michelle

    September 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Yea, never pass up an opportunity if you have the funds to do it! Totally regret not skydiving in Australia…

    • Rob

      September 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Agreed, not only for traveling but especially for traveling.

  4. Candice

    September 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    “…cheapens your experience while limiting potential acquaintances or friends made”

    totally agree with this.

  5. Jade Johnston

    September 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I totally agree! It’s easy to lose sight of this when you are penny pinching though!

  6. Moira Gallaga

    September 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

    “Be frugal, not cheap” – That’s the proper attitude and philosophy to adopt when travelling. Totally agree with you on this. It is all about savoring an experience, unique ones, and building memories to last a lifetime. The stuff with which we regale our friends and family over some drinks and good food as we get on in our years and hit the latter stages of our life.

  7. Matty Lynch

    September 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    If you have money left you haven’t gone hard enough bro

  8. Ali Siddiqui

    September 12, 2011 at 1:05 am

    I can’t agree more, that is what travelling is all about, experiences to cherish throughout your life!

  9. Anthony

    September 14, 2011 at 3:03 am

    Nicely wrote Rob,
    I always find that if I get “budgetitis” too bad, I always end up spending like mad to compensate anyway! Everyone likes to save money, but it’s important to not lose the bigger picture – the joy of the moment.

  10. Denis

    September 23, 2011 at 7:10 am

    well written rob. every backpacker abides to some form of budget on their travels, or like you so beautifully put it, the world would be full of lear jets and leisure suits!!

    a budgetpacker travels within the means of their own self possession. traveling wisely, using the funds they have to create the best possible experience out of the circumstances.
    its not about being a tight cheapo, you dont need to skimp on yourself or others. choice exists.

    like you said, indulge in what matters to you…

    also bang on anthony. its the bigger picture, its the joy of the moment

  11. Jamaica My Way

    October 2, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    This is a great post! I’m always on a tight budget when I travel….so tight that there’s not much room for error (like getting robbed LOL) but it still happens. For me those ARE the memorable parts about travel because then I have to be resourceful. I don’t recommend traveling the way I do!!

  12. Mike

    October 5, 2011 at 4:39 am

    YES!! What an amazing post! I always thought I was crazy for traveling incessantly and blowing all of my money in the process. I am a sucker for adventure and would much rather splurge on one more crazy journey and just let my wallet suffer.

    It’s good to know I’m not alone!

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