Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next trip - saving

The rationale for still visiting Europe is being questioned every day, not by me. Well, I was there in March, why am I going again in September? With the exorbitant airfares and the value of the US dollar in the toilet, it would seem going to South America or Asia would make more sense. Well, not for me, I just have to save more, I just have to find more drastic ways to cut back and save more. I don't want to work more. I'm getting there, I'm 'feeding the pig' big time!
The Europeans and the English are visiting the US in droves. Their currencies are so strong, they're buying up everything. Good for them. This September is going to be interesting, I'm bracing myself, I'm telling myself not to skimp on experiences. Things are not going to get better and turn in our favor any time soon, if ever. So I'll have to bite the bullet and just go and enjoy myself.
The first shock - I've already felt, was the price of the airfare. I decided to buy it now (I should have bought it 3 month's ago and saved $300). It will only go up closer to September. Yesterday I received an email from Cheapo Air where I bought my ticket, they warned me to check before I leave because even as we speak, some airlines have cancelled certain flights and cut back on services. I hope they don't slap on another fuel surcharge. We've never seen a time such as this. I've travelled soon after 911 but this is something different.
Now I have to find some dirt cheap accommodations. Even Let's Go is not cheap enough anymore. I used to use Rick Steves' recommendations but they've become too rich for my pocketbook. Maybe I can write a new guidebook with dirt cheap accommodations. That's an idea! I can find some cute and small villages to visit, have the same fun for much less than the cost of visiting the big cities like Rome, London, Paris or Madrid. This trip will include a lot of tiny and less known places.
Do I have to enumerate the many ways to save again? I will.
- sack lunches, I'm a leftover queen, never throw away good food, I save even the food left over on my guests' plates.
- no shopping (except for food) I'm lucky that I don't need to custom for work, I wear a white smock over T-shirts.
- no sodas, candy or bottled water, it's tap water all the way even in Europe.
- no CD's or DVD's.
- no eating out
- no movies
- no gym membership
- use the old car less, walk more and take the bus
- save water, use less water, take baths instead of showers, turn off sprinkler system, water lawn with hose once a week.
- turn off lights
- do laundry every 10 days instead of every week!
I still buy books and foreign magazines, more for inspiration, to encourage myself to continue in this ultra frugal life. I need that and also to get inspiration for the upkeep of this blog.

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