Yep. This is one of the most critical things in our opinion. You see, there are many folks out there who have traversed the world on a shoestring and lived to write about it, share about it etc… Great stuff. Some of them will tell you that they did all that without inasmuch with much money. You know, the best things in life are free?
And at the other hand of the ring, we introduce the luxury boxer traveler who seems to live it up very well, all the time running an online business and maintaining a blog to tempt teach you how to emulate their lives… easy right? Sell some stuff, get paid and live a privileged life…
Now if you are like us born with wooden spoons in our mouths (if there was even wood for it) plus not being awfully smart, then obviously we need to work and budget for almost anything we wish – if it includes a monetary exchange in order to obtain it. Otherwise, life sucks right? Heheh… no today it’s not a rant. And no we are not talking about getting into debt either…
It’s about pulling the wool away from your eyes and remind yourself what it really is. Someone told us that the amount we’ve spent on our travel handprints would have gotten us another piece of real estate… or that it would be a good chunk of retirement change available during our old age. Frittered away… oh imagine the dollars flying away…
So the question being posed today is this: do you budget to travel? Or do you travel because you budget? If you have already set aside something for say retirement, do you not ‘budget’ the rest to live you life? Just a thought.
Heheh… This post can either be extremely very short, or it could be a windy one. As in a long and winding road, nothing to do with the wind that might ruffle your hair. Wow. Making money from just spinning content onto blogosphere. A dream perhaps?
Anyhow. Can you?
Can one write blog posts and strike it rich? We mean rich from the sense of being remunerated for the words that one strikes on the keyboard. It all sounds so simple isn’t it? And there will be no shortage of bloggers out in the world wide web that purports to be that person. Yep, the one who is successfully making a good living out of bluffing blogging… and/or running an online business… where have you read about this before?
We on the other hand have been paying to blog.
You see, we opted for the “premium” plan with wordpress because we extremely dislike (politically correct form for ‘hate’) ads that appear on web pages. So to save you dear reader from being distracted by that ad, tempting you to look for a boyfriend or girlfriend online we pay a price for it… how gracious of us right? Heheh. But as you would have noticed a few months back, we stopped doing so… hence those pesky ads might have started…
Back to blogging for money.
With the “clutter” of blogs and websites out in the web these days. Is it that easy to capture an audience beholden to the words of a false prophet social influencer? Have you secretly wished that you are that blogger that earns a nice living from just writing?
Important question indeed. How? Now we are not insurance agents, so no worries about us being the ‘barbers’ who will recommend you run out there and start buying all the policies available. But this is truly a critical consideration when one makes frequent journeys.
Here in our little red dot as in most developed countries, the concept of buying insurance for your travel plan is not new. What piqued our interest in this topic was after reading this article some months back. While the story was one of how claims can go awry and the tips seeming valid, what went through our heads was this question: how do you insure yourself for your travel.
And we are not referring to insurance policies alone. Because that’s only for you to claim monetary compensation. And money isn’t everything. Ok, it is – and we take it back. Gulp. We’ve eaten our words, heard that?
Contingencies. That’s what we are referring to. Are there backup plans that you may have in the event a flight delays and you miss a tour? Remember we almost had the same in the Caymans (here)? To be honest, we would have been deers in the headlights had the operator not pro-offered a later time slot. We did not have a mitigation plan as we were smooth operators expecting nothing to go wrong. But Mr Murphy struck us unsuspecting. So how?
What kind of ‘insurances’ do you take for yourself when you embark on a journey?
Vacations. Trips. Journeys. Today we take them for granted. Be it sea, air or land, travel has never been easier or better worded – accessible. We recall as young kids going to the then Paya Lebar airport (yeah it’s an airbase now) to send off loved ones. It was such a big event that entire families turn up. Wow.
Over the years, flying and indeed cruising came to be common-place. It used to be folks who went on vacations often would buy lots of souvenirs and food as gifts for friends and family. Today, some folks can actually count the airport as their second home. Talk about owning a large piece of real estate (dream of many red dotters) heheh…
No. Not the fact that low cost airlines have brought fares down. That’s a given. Our perspective is drawn back to the issue of how sustainable this all can be. You might know of our rants (here, hereand here) about how crowded it is getting to be. Many cities are simply reeling from too many visitors that their infrastructure were not geared up for.
Thus competition is great. Wonderful in fact. But it seems to have spawned ‘side effects’ no? Like the leader of our little red dot inferred last year, too much a good thing might be bad (referencing sugary drinks and the link to diabetes). Just like the cost of sugar-laden products have come down, so has the cost of air travel. Too many folks circulating in sightseeing cities like the sugar level in blood might cause a host of problems.
Ever wish you had an endless stream of income that would finance your traipsing around the world? Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about how to pay for making the journey? Well we’ve read quite a fair bit of bloggers writing about getting around the world in the cheapest way, seeking out activities that are free to do etc. There have been quite a few who journeyed around the world on bike or foot or public transport too (here and here)!
To us that is all well and good.
But would the journey to Pisa be the same without paying for the climb up the tower that leans? Would one really climb all the way to the Great Wall instead of taking the cable car? Hmmm….. Some things in life are indeed free to enjoy, but many of the experiences would probably not.
Today though our post is not just on the boon and bane of traveling on the cheap.
It’s about financial preparedness. And it is applicable not just for paying one’s travel journeys, but also the journey we call life. When we were young (and your heart was an open book), you might say live and let live…. heheh… sorry cannot help it because it was ringing in Mel’s head (for those G&R fans out there!). Before one get carried away by the travel bug and “squander” one’s youth away, would it not be wise to look a little ahead? For we have said repeatedly; time is but the only thing one cannot claw back or keep in store for later use. You do only live once, but you are also only young and energetic once.
Having a portfolio of assets that repeatedly produce income would be wonderful don’t you think? Like the proverbial goose laying a golden egg everyday. We call our finance independence theory the “Golden egg Goose” concept. You heard about it here first. What do you think?
Does booking from an overseas website get you a better deal? This article suggests it may well be possible to get prices that one might not get from sites in your own home country. Ok the article actually referred to a ‘foreign agent’. No. Not the James Bond kind, but the travel agents in the countries you intend to travel to.
Because the article seems to suggest some online portal will be able to bring together the “best” agents in these destinations around the world and facilitate your engagement with them. Seems like we still can’t cut out the middleman! LOL.
Hah! We hear you. This is nothing new!
What we have found though from our own experience is that there are price “discrimination” in the way your bookings are handled, particularly airlines. No we are not referring to bias. It simply means the pricing is tailored to a particular market conditions such as the relative average price of tickets, consumer preference and willingness to pay, market share etc.
And as for local agents to book directly with, we do spend a little more effort in sussing out the ones to use. In the most recent example, we took to Tripadvisor (no bias here) to search out reviews of day trip tours from Bangkok Ayutthaya. With thousands of reviews, the ratings did helped us zoom in to Pary Happy Tour. It helped us fulfill the intent of using local guides rather than local corporates too! And we have to admit it was a great choice (patting ourselves on the back now).
Do you book through a local agent in your homebase? Or is it all DIY for you? What do you think about booking direct with agents in the destinations? Have you done so?