While I was reading the newspaper today I came across this article, called Travel Deals of the week.
Here’s what it says:
“We bring you some of the best travel deals going – both in New Zealand and abroad. Bookmark this new page for 2014 and check back each week for all the latest specials.”
Of course, this is right down my alley, so I browse through it and by the end of it I’m rolling my eyes. In fact, I’m a little bit angry. It’s articles like this that make people think travelling is so impossible.
7 nights in Bali for $2,399 NZD? ($2,050 USD)
Hotels in Tokyo for $351 NZD a night? ($300 USD)
What a crock. The biggest newspaper in New Zealand is trying to make people believe that these are the “best travel deals” of the week, and that annoys me. Most people I know, including myself, would take one look at those prices and think, “Wow, travelling must be expensive. I’ll never be able to travel to those places! I guess I’ll just wait until I win the lottery.”
And it’s also why I get so many people asking me, “How do you afford to travel so much?”
I’ll tell you right now – I’ve travelled quite a bit, and I would really struggle to spend $2,050 in 7 days (especially in Bali!) and I’ve never paid anywhere near $300 for a hotel room.
Take a look at this bargain:
The Our Golfing in Bali package from Our Asia includes three rounds of golf including caddy and cart, or two two-hour spa treatments. It also includes airfares from Auckland, seven nights’ accommodation at the Pan Pacific Bali Nirwana and more. It’s priced from $2,050 USD pp, twin share and must be booked by March 28.
Let’s bust this myth right now.
7 nights in Bali for $2,050?
You could have 7 weeks in Bali for $2,050.
In fact, I’ll prove it right now:
Return flights from Auckland to Bali for 7 weeks (at around the same time as our “deal”):
$693 USD per person (found using Skyscanner)
7 weeks (49 nights) in a private room with en-suite, A/C, TV + DVD player, free wifi, hot shower, parking, complimentary breakfast, 24 hour reception, and security:
$588 USD per person (found using Agoda)
Proof? It’s for the Warung Coco Hotel, at $12 per person per night.
In case you’re wondering, it looks likes this:
$2,050 for 7 days in Bali?
Just a few simple internet searches, and you’ll get yourself 7 weeks in Bali, including flights and a private hotel room, for $1,281 USD.
What makes it even worse is I put all this together in about 10 minutes. Actually, it was more like 5 minutes and then another 5 to take screenshots and upload the pics for you. If I was planning this trip for real, I’d browse a few more accommodation websites, do some of my cheap flying tricks and I’m 100% sure I could knock another few hundred dollars off that price.
Oh, I almost forgot. Your “travel deal” included two 2-hour spa treatments. They were going to put you up at the Pan Pacific Nirwana, so I checked out their spa menu. Their 2-hour spas are $70 each.
But since you’ve saved around $800, I guess you can now have 11 spas instead of just 2. Which is good, because you also have an extra 6 weeks of vacation to enjoy them all.
Anyway, I’m sure you get the point. Not to be smug, but this irks me. It’s a common misconception about travelling that I really want to break, because it makes people give up. It stops people from travelling. It makes people think you need thousands of dollars to see the world, and you don’t.
So why do we think like this?
It’s pretty simple. The reason you only hear about fancy 5-star resorts and super expensive holiday packages is because they are the only ones who can afford to advertise. B&B’s and guesthouses can’t afford a newspaper advert. They can’t afford a billboard. Not only that, no one wants to promote them because there’s no money in it. If you were an agent, would you prefer to collect commission on a $500 room or a $5 room? It’s lame, I know, but that’s just the way it is.
This is exactly why I built this site in the first place. I wanted to show you that travel is not expensive and impossible. There’s a good chance it’s even cheaper than your life at home right now.
Take a look at this place in Bali, for example. Its dorm rooms are $6 per night, with free breakfast and wifi.
If you stay here, you can forget about 7 weeks.
$2,050 would pay your flights and accommodation for 7 months.
Wouldn’t that be nice? Paying for a 7 month holiday with one paycheck?
You’ll also notice it has a 79% rating on Hostelworld, which is pretty good (anything above 80% has been excellent, in my experience). If I were heading to Bali, this is probably where I’d stay.
This is how people travel for so long – if you look in the right places, be smart with your money and stop yourself from being too fussy, long term travel is not a mystery at all.
So, I hope I’ve changed your mind at least a little bit. If you’re planning on travelling somewhere this year, use my searching for flights guide to get a super cheap flight. Use my accommodations guide to find a cheap place to stay. Be your own travel agent and book it all yourself. And if you have any questions, just ask.
Hopefully you’ll be able to do more travelling this year than ever before!
Oh, and please don’t bookmark that travel deals page. Unless of course, you’re a millionaire.
Happy travels amigos, enjoy your 7 months in Bali.
See you out there!
Photo: [email protected]