By: Peter Mate, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver Campus, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team.
Traveling on a budget requires sacrificing privacy, in exchange for economical transport and housing. This sacrifice is necessary to ensure harmony and good sentiment between you – the traveller and your peers during your experience abroad. Accordingly, finding the optimal balance between privacy and your finances is essential in maximizing satisfaction abroad.
Sacrificing privacy in exchange for optimizing travel experience is a delicate balance between finances and personal desire. Hence, privacy during travel is relative to the resources spent to ensure an enjoyable trip. In order to striking a balance between economical transport and privacy, I urge fellow travelers to research their travel routs to their destinations. Upon discovering preferred routes to your destination, research the ridership and price fluctuations of these travel routs. This research should focus on the time periods with highest ridership, and price changes relative to those periods. Through finding the relation between ridership and price, the highest quality transport can be guaranteed relative to personal desire and finances.
This relation is evidenced during my backpacking trip throughout Europe following my Hungarian studies. During my trip, I had to plan according to my limited resources. These limited resources influenced me to decide to ride coach busses throughout my backpacking trip to save money. My intention was to use the money I saved to explore each city I stopped in until I arrived in London. Initially, I was excited about saving money, but worried about my experience on the busses. More specifically, I worried about riding coaches due to my poor experiences with coach busses in Canada and the United States. Whenever I took a coach to Portland or Seattle I could never find a comfortable seat or enjoy my ride in peace. To satiate this worry, I would board coach busses during non-peak hours, to guarantee myself a comfortable seat during my travels. Using this scheme, I was able to enjoy entire rows of seats all by myself, enabling me to use them as a bed when I decided to sleep.
Through traveling in comfort during my bus trips between European cities, I was able to arrive at each destination full of energy. As such, by researching optimal times to travel between European cities I traveled cheaply and good spirits.