More Savings on our Transatlantic Cruise
I usually find it valuable after a big expense like our recent transatlantic cruise to reflect on the value of our expenses and if there are areas where we might be able to do slightly better the next time. A couple areas have come to mind for future trip planning:
- Flights: We booked most of our flights with our airline miles without much shopping around. When the final bill was totaled I was surprised at how much cash we still had to outlay for our "free flights". Next time I will definitely need to do further comparison shopping with purchasing flights outright vs using miles rather than assuming using miles would be the cheapest way.
- Other transportation (buses, taxis, subways, etc): We spent approx $340 on other various transportation outside of the flights and cruise. $120 went towards a Panama tour that included transportation from Colon to Panama City. Our global trekking friends we met on the boat took local transportation (bus) from Colon to Panama City at a fraction of the price. While they didn't get the tour we did, I'm not sure we got a good value from it. We tended to utilize taxis on our trip as they were the most convenient and time saving option, but I believe we could have taken local buses to reduce our expenses.
- Hotels: We did pretty good job only spending $75 plus a bunch of hotel points for 5 nights lodging. However the high price we paid in points was still expensive if you translated the points to dollars. After all we ended up staying at major chains - Hilton, Wyndam, and a TRYP (a Wyndham chain) hotel. Looking for guesthouses or even hostels could significantly reduce our housing expenses on a future trip. Another very logical value I learned about from our globe trekking friends was that guesthouses/hostels are generally more adept at pointing travelers to low cost/high value restaurants, transportation, and things to do in the area vs full service hotel chains.
On the plus side the actual transatlantic cruise was an amazing value to us. We would jump on the opportunity to that type of trip again for the cost.
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