Considerations of a budget traveller

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
Trip End Jan 22, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Mae Hong Son,
Saturday, March 9, 2013

When you are a long-term traveller and no longer a tourist, where and what you spend money on becomes a daily self-debate.
I often find myself asking "is this worth it?"
Even over a bottle of water! Today I stopped by a small street store for a small bottle of water. The lady wanted 15baht ($.50). I knew that if I walk to a 7-11, I can get a liter bottle for 13baht. So I left.
Even a bigger issue involves activities that cost a lot of money.
If you know me or have been following my blog you know that I LOVE scuba diving and it is my passion. I know that it is an expensive sport/hobby but I came on this trip prepared to spend $ on diving when I am on an island.

But everywhere else in between, there are infinite other activities like rock climbing, zip lining, white water rafting, kayaking, cooking classes, tour packages, spa treatments, etc!
I am struggling to prioritize my spending.
Tao, for example, broke my budget for the Philippines but was a priceless experience that I would do all over again. There are some things that are worth spending money on.

There are 3 things I really really really want to do in Thailand before I leave here in 8 days: Spending a day with an elephant ($150), a Thai cooking class ($30), and another trekking in the jungle and visiting the local villages ($100). While all 3 of these activities will break my budget again, my thought is that I will likely never experience these things again. Wouldn't these experiences be worth it, even if it meant that I would have to shorten my journey due to a fund shortage?

I like to think so.
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johnfarrant on

Not much point being there if you cannot experience the place, although I think you will return one day.

Oli on

Absolutely go for it. The point is to enjoy the travel and do things that will make you happy. Money comes and goes. Last night I read in a book that regret is the saddest emotion human can feel an I agree. Don't miss the stuff you'll regret not doing later.

Shana on

I think the most important on that list is the Thai cooking class- I have a feeling that the rest of us could benefit as well :)

Shana on

Seriously-- is the elephant thing really worth it? Just do your research and make sure that it isn't one of those touristy activities that will make you sad about the treatment of animals...

oshioshi on

John, you might be right ;)
Thanks Oli!
Shane, c'mon you know I'm a research queen!! There are other elephant programs for $60-80, but I'm going with the one that costs $150 because it seems like the most reputable, it has great customer reviews and their philosophy on caring for the elephants and helping the environment was appealing.

Janel on

My vote is if you have to pick skip the cooking class. My reasoning is you can always find out how on the internet or the likelihood of finding a thai cooking class is was higher (especially in NYC) than the other experiences. Definitely spend the money on the other two.... but really.. DO ALL, send an S.O.S. if you run out of funds I am sure some of your friends (self included) can make a deposit of funds for you :D

tak on

i agree. imo, cooking class would be least priority. there are prolly people in ny who can teach you that. but spend a day w/ an elephant?!! whaaaaat.

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