I consider myself dirtbag cheap at times. I would save the very pretty dime and I am one of the last people who want to part with their dime. I would fight to negotiate till the last penny.
I have slept on streets, Mcdonald’s or airport at nights. I have crossed countries border to buy food as it was too expensive to eat food in the country I was visiting. When I came to know that Sandwich is going to cost me Rs 710 in Norway, I packed 2 bags of food and threw away my Rs 300 worth t-shirts. T-shirts I can buy in India. Food – what would happen to me? I love 7/11 and departmental stores. I lived in one in Japan.
I couldn’t afford Japan. A decent room in Tokyo was above Rs 7500 per night where my budget was Rs 4000. Even that is too high. I spent Rs 2500 and slept in a library. However, I realized I was victimized more. I got lucky too. One night I was sleeping on Airport floor and luckily my bags didn’t get stolen but there were 3 people around me whose luggage was stolen with the passport. It could have been freaking expensive. I know I am inherently cheap and proud of Rs 50 I saved someway.
I was stuck at Hong Kong Airport (Amazing airport to be stuck at because I acted little cheap.) It looked like I would be on Airport for a couple of nights until I got lucky with amazing Airlines I chose. What if I had chosen bad airlines? I chose Cathay Pacific and they upgraded me to first class because the flight was too full. What if it was Malindo Air? I traveled Malindo Air. They stole entire flight’s bag. Nobody received their bags when they landed in India. How Awesome? I didn’t have food for 3 days.
When I was in Las Vegas, I was too cheap to buy water. I would drink tap water. It can get really dangerous when your cheapness is paramount. It is not fun when you fall sick. I had become so thin that you could touch my ribcage. You tend to become more unlucky when you travel long term. I have seen time and time again that I made myself a victim because I acted cheap. I ended up losing more money than I saved by being cheap. Now when I see my friends do the same mistakes, it makes me chuckle.
The biggest pain for me was shifting from living dirt gypsy to living luxuriously was letting go of my money. Numbers on my card panicked me. I was spending on the larger side. It is a huge migration in mindset and I have not completely evolved. However, I realized that it would be painful short term but it would be a worthwhile long term. I scavenged for a while till I was fitting in comfortably.
From January 2016 to May 2016, I spent 5 months in OYO rooms. Every day I was fighting for towels, breakfast (they provide unhealthy junk.) I let my health suffer. The water was not clean at times. Then I realized what if I had spent those 5 months in luxury hotels that were on edge like Four Points by Sheraton. I would have paid just Rs 10,000 more. Those numbers shocked me. Why did I suffer for so long? I would have saved so much money in so many ways including health bills.
You have very short time to live. Would you rather be a scavenger and earn every pretty penny short term and suffer or would you spend a little extra and really have an experience. I am not asking you to splurge. I am not saying go straight from 1 star to freaking St. Regis/ Marriott. Create a long term plan. If you need help understanding long-term perspective, ask the experienced travelers. You can come up with a plan that would make sense long term. Don’t travel like you have to save every penny now. Relax a little, feel the little pinch if it helping long term. Yes, save your money on Starbucks but don’t save on things like water, safety etc. This advice is not for you if you are a complete adventurer and know the risk and still don’t care about it.
Fly with Airlines that make sense. My friend just found a really cheap fare on this Airline and he booked it as it looked like a steal. However, flight rating was 0.1 out 5 for on-time performance. He missed his connecting flight and was delayed over 14 hours for next flight. He ended up losing money on hotel worth Rs 4000 plus he ended up spending money at the airport for food and other stuff. As it was low-cost airlines with a low-cost airport. There was no wifi, no proper food, no proper toilet and of course very
Please ask right people. Don’t get fucked by your own cheapness. Sometimes saving Rs 10 can end up costing Rs 5000.