16 responses

  1. Amber
    January 21, 2014

    We often, after a really bad travel experience, wonder why we do it to ourselves. Why do we take the $4 transport option instead of the $10 option? Just to save a few bucks that ends up taking longer and providing more than enough hassle and frustration. We are starting to splurge more and more.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      January 23, 2014

      Paying that extra little bit is SO worth it.

      Reply

  2. flipnomad
    August 15, 2013

    Not always the case especially here i Southeast Asia where there’s so many low cost carriers, especially when you get the chance to snag the Zero Fare deals 🙂

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 16, 2013

      Those airfare sales sometimes kill me. Way too tempting and make me have to have plans, which I’m not a fan of. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Toni
    August 10, 2013

    I only did one overland journey through my time in Asia and it put me off so much I didn’t make the same mistake twice! An 8 hour journey for £15 from Phuket to Koh Samui took almost 12 and it was hell on Earth. When I had to make the same journey in reverse I paid £65 for a 50 minute flight and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

    I’d rather spend money on’ luxuries’ like comfort; my sanity isn’t worth the small amount I’d save.

    Some great tips here Talon especially the one about comparing journey prices to see if it *really* is cheaper!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 10, 2013

      I’m with you. Sanity and comfort are worth it, even if it cuts down on a different kind of splurge.

      Reply

  4. Ele
    August 10, 2013

    From this year on I’m moving onto the more comfortable trip. I will be flying to Ukraine in autumn instead of taking a 19-hour bus. But I was lucky to have special offers by budget airline. I also booked a single room for 5 days instead of dorm room and that is going to be 100 EUR-much more than I’d like.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 10, 2013

      Not a fan of spending the money, but definitely a fan of not suffering.

      Reply

  5. Emily
    August 9, 2013

    I completely agree! I have quite often flown rather than taken the bus as the small difference in price rarely makes up for lost time and comfort… And yes sometimes it is even cheaper! If I do take a bus or train I always check out the price of the’fancy’bus – after 14 hours of misery on a chicken bus for less than $10 saving I have decided it’s just not worth it! That said, I recently got an overnight train in Thailand and purposefully bought second class rather than first as it is much for social and I had a great time talking to the locals! Every trip is different…:-)

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 9, 2013

      I don’t think I’ll ever do a chicken bus again. It just isn’t worth the savings to be that miserable.

      I’m the same way on the Thai train. So many locals go 2nd class that you still get a great cultural experience without being miserable.

      Reply

  6. Heidi Wagoner
    August 8, 2013

    Okay, I want to try a VIP bus! That looks great. When I was younger and traveling without the kids, I just wanted to save money and didn’t care much about time and comfort. Now with a family of 4 traveling, we need to balance the scales and make sure we can all handle the choices. Thanks for these tips.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 8, 2013

      Kids definitely add another layer to the whole picture and another consideration.

      The VIP bus was worth the extra fee. If you have to be stuck on a bus for 27 hours, it’s the only way to go IMO.

      Reply

  7. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    August 8, 2013

    Completely agree with all these points, but especially the last one about waiting for another day to catch your flight; I’m always loathe to pay more for a flight when I can see that there are cheaper days to fly, but if it means extending your stay by a few days (or even one) then you do have to factor in the cost of additional lodging, meals etc., and often that negates the savings.

    We’ve also learned that although early morning flights are often the very cheapest, they are rarely worth it for us to take because even in cities where public transport runs, if your flight is at 6:30 am, it’s rare that you can get to the airport by anything other than a taxi at 4:30 am in the morning to check in! We figure that unless the price savings in those scenarios is well over $20-$30, we’d rather pay a bit more and go at a more civilized hour!

    Currently in Indonesia and we’re trying to figure out how to get to Komodo–we can buy $90pp plane tickets and get there in about 2 hours, or we can go overland which will take over 24 hours but only cost about $25pp. In situations like this, the price difference is big enough it’s not an easy choice!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 8, 2013

      For me that’s a small enough difference I’d fly. That could be one long hell ride.

      I’m with you on the early morning flights. I much prefer to avoid them whenever possible.

      Reply

  8. Bethaney – Flashpacker Family
    August 8, 2013

    Great post! Doing the travel math and looking at the complete picture is so important. I don’t think it’s something you think about unless you travel regularly enough. Working out what your time is actually worth is a big one for me – if it will save me a day of travel to spend $100 more on a flight I’m pretty sure it’s worth it as I can utilise that time saved to earn more than $100.

    I love the picture of Tigger on the fancy bus!! Looks pretty comfy.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 8, 2013

      Most definitely! And yes, the bus was surprisingly comfortable. Worth the extra price for the VIP. Wide seats that went back all the way and had foot rests, and they included pillows and blankets. They served food and drinks. Pretty snazzy. Made the 27-hour bus ride a lot more doable.

      Reply

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