I had to stop and think this week, “why do travel agents not understand value vs price?”
Am I just a CHEAP traveler to all the agents who contact ME to to book a trip or more often my transatlantic crossings? Endlessly I explain how I view travel and particularly transportation costs.
OF COURSE I prefer to travel business class, OF COURSE I enjoy a balcony on my 2 or 3 week sailings but I have a yearly travel budget.
I travel to add stories to my blogs and to experience new locations. I don’t want to find a perfect place 15 years from now and say, ‘wish I had been here sooner’!
Therefore I take the yearly budget and divide it between all the trips I want to take each year. If the location is more expensive to travel to or in, then I must devote more funds to that trip.
If I am spending 6 or 8 weeks Home To Italy, I can budget more closely since I rent apartments there or have Monasterystays.com book me into great convent hotels along my travel route. I can live in Italy for less than in Atlanta, GA!
As I plan an additional trip for 2013 there are endless choices where I can spend my money. Planning a 30+ day trip to maximize where I can travel, who I can interview and what special events I can attend is a tedious job. Idea lists, maps and finally a spread sheet summarizing the ‘opportunities’ consume my time and every flat surface in my home:
the spare room has the side trip to Turkey, the dining room is the command center, the den is the sorting and posting room…… is there an easier way?
Of course if I went to one location and experienced one town in one country, this would be far simpler but I have a limited number of years to see it all and do it all.
So travel professionals, I am NOT JUST CHEAP, I am careful and a planner.
Do you spend more than 10k a year on travel?