Friday, November 4, 2011

Budget Shmudget

I'm taking part in BootsnAll's 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, in which they are inviting bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging effort reflecting on our past travel experiences.
Today is Day 4 and the prompt is: MISTAKES - Everyone makes mistakes. We forget to ask for Coke without ice in Mexico and spend the rest of the trip in the bathroom. Or we arrive at the airport for a 7pm flight only to realize the flight left at 7am. Tell us the story of your worst travel mistake.

I don't think I've made any major travel mistakes. Sure, I've made some errors or misjudgments here and there, but they just add to the adventure. Most of my small mistakes have had to do with money. Not bringing enough of it, not budgeting properly, etc.

Like the time I didn't think to bring any cash with me to Jamaica. I just brought my debit card, thinking this was a touristy place full of resorts, there will be an ATM somewhere to get cash out. Having travelled all over the world to places with dodgy or nonexistent ATMs, I really should have known better. I was staying in the small town of Negril (not in a resort), where there were actually a few ATMs....but they were all for local banks not on the Visa Plus or Cirrus network. There was one Scotiabank or some other big bank in town and when I found it there was a lineup ten people deep. When I finally got inside the building I was going to put my card in the machine when I heard a big boom and a crash and the lights went out. I went back outside and there was a power line down in the middle of the road. Awesome. Some locals told me that this had happened before and it would probably be a few days before they got it fixed. Luckily I was there with friends who were smart enough to bring cash and were happy to lend me money. It worked out okay I guess because I spent less money and it gave me an excuse to walk down the beach to town every couple days to check on the ATM, meeting interesting locals along the way.

When I was in Peru I again had to borrow money from a friend. This was more of a budgeting mistake though. I probably drank too much beer and had altogether too many good times in the months leading up to this, spending my money on things I had not budgeted for. But that's not a bad mistake is it? It just means I was enjoying myself. When I arrived in Cusco I went to pay for my Inca Trail trek, for which I was leaving the next morning, but I was over $100 short and the bank wouldn't let me take out any more. I gave them what I had and went in search of the guy I'd been travelling with. He was nice enough to lend me the money to cover it and then I had to make a phone call to my mom, asking her to send me some money. Damn, I hate doing that. By the end of my trip I had to get my mom to pay for my flight home too. But in the end I paid everybody back and I don't regret going over budget at all. Why travel all that way just to spend all your time worrying about money? Enjoy it, you never know when you'll be back again.


  1. Hahaha, this post sounds exactly like me. I never bring cash, and always end up borrowing from a friend or my mother. Maybe one day I'll learn.

  2. Good thing your Mom knows you.... lol .... and wanted you back! :)


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