Eco (nomic) Travel

by Beth Whitman (October 8th, 2008)

Flower

Looking on the bright side

I read a post the other day from jodycakes at Where’s My Damn Answer about what she was doing to ease the financial stresses that she’s been feeling due to the “media-created recession”, as she says.

Though I’m generally the look-on-the-bright-side gal, I have to admit that I’ve been fretting these last couple of days myself and reading blogs and downloading podcasts from programs I’d like to learn more from. Of course, this isn’t doing anything to decrease my fretting :-)

The reality is that my IRA and stocks are barely down from the beginning of the year. Last I checked it was 5% but I haven’t looked in the last few days. Why bother when it’s so volatile? I think that I’m diversified enough that I’m not hit as hard as some.

But that doesn’t mean that I, a person steeped in the travel industry, isn’t effected. A friend in the publishing industry told me yesterday that purchases of books to European destinations is down 50% over last year for one book retail chain. And people are now actually considering travels to South America and Asia as a real possibility (remember when these regions were SO exotic?). While the flights might be slightly more expensive than traveling domestically or to Europe, once you arrive, your dollar can actually buy something.

I’ll have to wait and see about the long-term effect on my book sales and the tours I’m leading next year.

I don’t have big travel plans this fall so I’m not curbing my vacation plans. And, while I’m not really feeling the “stress” personally, I did choose not to do a West Coast book tour like the one I did last year after the release of my first book, The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo. Gas prices are just way too high for me to justify driving up and down the coast. Instead, I’m promoting For Women Traveling to India through my social network, on my website and by relying on fabulous travel bloggers to review it (hopefully they’ll like it, too!).

As for domestic savings. Jon and I aren’t eating out as much but that has more to do with wanting to stay healthy and my new found interest in learning to cook (I figured it was about time!)  than trying to keep my IRA intact.

Has the financial downturn effected you and your travels? How so? And what are you doing about it?

Travel Well!

Beth

Related links:
4 Money Tips for Travelers
5 Destinations Where Your Money is Still Good

Photo courtesy of vali o at Creative Commons

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6 comments
 
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Comments
1.
On October 8th, 2008 at 9:09 am, Lisa said:

Our family is laying low until this whole thing blows over.

We do have retired friends whose IRAs have been dramatically effected and they have canceled travel plans and gone back to work.

2.
On October 8th, 2008 at 9:14 am, Victor said:

The economic downturn is real. The market has taken a huge hit in “the last few days.” It would be unwise to carry on under the financial assumptions of last year. That said, one can choose how to feel about things. No need to slip into depression just because it seems like the thing to do. Keep traveling and you just might find yourself happier and no less broke than you were before.

3.
On October 8th, 2008 at 9:24 am, Americas Traveler said:

The solution is, as you said, picking the right destination. Skip Europe, head to where your money is still worth a lot. Flights to Mexico and Central America aren’t much more than a coast-to-coast flight in the U.S., especially this time of year. Once you get there–if you avoid the Americanized resort areas—you can get as much or more for your money as you could three or four years ago.

4.
On October 8th, 2008 at 10:17 am, jodycakes said:

I love the fact that you are cooking at home!!! Loads o’ recipes to be done and at a great price! :)

I looked at my 2nd Quarter IRA stuff the other day…yeah, it had taken a bit of a dive, but all in all – like I had mentioned, I am not retiring tomorrow, so I’m trying hard to not fret – Keep smiling, that ALWAYS HELPS! Oh, that and a piece of caramel always helps me.

I am DEFINITELY going to check out your Women Traveling Through India – this is a dream of mine…and I have a girlfriend in LA that is looking to do it in beginning of 2009! I will also steer her your way.

As a travelling junkie, I am excited to know more about your book! My best friend and i went to Indonesia in 2000/2001 and boy what a relief it was to come back home WITH MONEY – after so many years doing the European thing and not having an extra dough at all!

Awesome BLOG POST!!!

5.
On October 8th, 2008 at 7:24 pm, Brona said:

It’s tough times in the travel industry since it is a luxury for some, but for me it is something that I will make sacrifices for. I am taking steps on spending less – starting small, cutting down on coffee and lunches. There’s an old saying-watch your pennies and your pounds will watch themselves!
Also keeping up with various travel newsletters and special offers so I can catch some good deals. I did a similar blog post last month, check it out

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