Cost of travel

People often ask me, “Isn’t all this traveling, especially to ‘exotic’ places, expensive?”  That travel to far-off places is expensive is a myth fostered upon us by the travel industry, which wants you to spend lots!  It’s not necessarily true.  Yes, plane fare can be expensive.  But if you avoid the busiest seasons (which you should do in any case) and are somewhat flexible, there are few places in the world that you can’t get to for $1000-1500 round trip.  Most are less.  I’ve gotten to Europe and back for around $500 a few times in the off-off season (like February). And that’s from Buffalo.  New York or Los Angeles would be less. 

But once you’ve gotten to where you’re going, the more “exotic”, i.e. third world, the cheaper it will be.  As long as you’re willing to eat, sleep, and travel like the local people (that’s the catch) you can travel very cheaply. For example, I spent one year in Africa and spent $3000.  For everything. Travel, food, lodging, souvenirs. Granted, that was 1980-81, but it still shouldn’t cost the hundreds of dollars per day the travel industry wants you to pay.  If you want to live like you do at home, that can be expensive, but why do that?  If you want fancy hotels and lavish spreads of western foods, go to Las Vegas.  But if you are okay with clean but simple accommodations, local foods, and whatever transportation the local people take, you will spend less (often much, much less) than you spend living at home.  Especially if you get out of the capital cities.  Try it!