Uncategorized16 Sep 2009 07:35 pm

i think a lot of people perceive international travel as being too far out of their reach for one main reason: they think it’s too expensive. of course there are some places where travel is quite astronomical (yes, i’m looking at you, japan!) but there are many many more countries and cities that - if you plan it right - don’t present insurmountable costs.

we debated for quite a while before finally biting the bullet and investing in our BA trip. we had a lot of things to weigh: although i work on the road, i  end up billing fewer hours when i’m traveling.  ryan’s been bootstrapping his startup which means long hours and less cash flow. and we have the dogs - finding a time when my parents are in town and then getting the beagles there is no easy task. but in the end i view travel as an investment - something i’d much rather do than, say, get a bigger apartment or buy some new furniture (who needs anything more than ikea when you’re just living a glorified college existence anyway?!). i grew up gallivanting across the world but doing without things like cable and video games (and not really missing out at all). so, when given the choice between world travel and, well, pretty much anything else, i’ll likely always choose travel.

that still leaves the little problem of how to pay for it. fortunately right now airfare is lower than i’ve ever seen it before - two tickets to BA ran us about $1600. beyond taking advantage of super cheap flights, researching cost of living at various locations is key. the euro, for example, has flipped in value from when i lived and traveled there (you get much less than a dollar to each euro, whereas a few years ago it was reversed!) but the currency in buenos aires crashed recently meaning a better exchange rate.

but here’s my key to actually making money - though it will probably only work well if you’re coming from somewhere with a high cost of living and going somewhere where the cost of living is much lower: sublet your place and rent a flat in your destination city. avoiding hotels will likely save you money, get you out of the touristy areas and give you a much more authentic experience. subletting your home/apartment/condo while you’re away will not only off-set the cost of your flat at your destination city but will also provide you with quite a bit of walking around money! for example, we rented our place out for about a quarter of the cost of the flat we’re staying in. that’s a LOT of cafes and media lunas!

of course, coordinating this all required a bit of leg-work but i can’t think of many circumstances under which i’d rather be typing from my apartment in SF vs. a funky flat in a new, unique and lively city! (except i DO really miss my puppies …)

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