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  • Writer's pictureVinny Viaje

Why You Can't Afford to Travel

The average American who travels abroad for two weeks out of the year spends a whopping $3,000 while away. Read on to see how Karen wasted over $1,500 on her trip. Spoiler alert, don't be like Karen.

Karen recently took a two-week trip to Italy and visited four cities. She spent money so quickly she called countless managers to speak to them about where her money went. She thought she was robbed. Listen, Karen, you weren’t robbed. You were just foolish with your money.

Karen bought her flight for specific dates; direct flights that were during peak season. On this premium flight was a mediocre baggage policy, and since she packed a bag the size of a small sea lion, she needed to pay extra, both ways.

As if Y2K were about to happen, Karen wanted cash immediately upon arrival, so she exchanged $2,000 cash at the airport, losing about 10% to commissions, fees, and worse-than-horrible exchange rates.

With the behemoth of a bag, she couldn’t take it comfortable on a bus or down the street, and opted for a premium taxi from the airport to the hotel.

Being in Rome, Karen wanted to immediately post her first Instagram pic of the day and decided to spend $10 for 24 hours worth of data from her American Cell Phone Service Provider, which she thought was a good deal at the time and opted for the full two week commitment.

The hotel she booked was an international hole in the wall; it didn’t have a kitchen, kettle, or any amenities but a bed, a roof and a “Get the Fuck out of here” sign posted near the pillow for an 11am checkout.

So, Karen's daily coffee was not included, and she needed to eat out all three meals a day for the next three days while in Rome. All of which, she paid a premium at tourist traps found on Trip Advisor. On a conservative level, that's still a lot of pasta and meatballs for both her belly and wallet.

Leaving Rome, she needed to take yet another taxi because of the meat sack suitcase, costing another $30, while also wasting a few hours precious time in the morning because checkout was so damn early.

At the bus station, that butterball luggage cost an additional $10 for storage on the bus, and another $30 taxi to the hotel in the next city, which was yet another hole in the wall with a lack of amenities.

This is all repetitive for the next city visited: taxis, food, and coffee. But on the last day Karen realized that she needed souvenirs for her friends, family, and pets. To save money, she bought the knockoffs in the center of the 7th wonder of the world. She payed $10 for each of the ten shitty souvenirs. When she got back to the hotel, she realized that "Made in China" was stamped permanently on the bottom.

To make matters worse, Karen booked her flight without a proper insurance on the trip, and her airlines went bankrupt the day before she flew home.

At the end of the day, what did that monstrosity of a bag, the inadequate hotels, international data charges, and Trip Advisor cost Karen?

If she packed a lighter bag that could be comfortably carried, she would've not been inclined to hail a premium taxi to/from the airport. If that bag was lighter, she could've visited a few places from the airport to the hotel, getting the most out of her time abroad. She could've also checked out of her hotel comfortably and visited a cafe, museum, or anything else before she needed to move on to the next city. That bag wasted travel time and a few hundred bucks, at the very least.

If her accommodation came with a kitchen, coffee machine, or at the bare minimum, a free breakfast, Karen would've have felt less inclined to eat out all of the meals, gaining vacation weight and losing vacation money in the process. Furthermore, if Karen trusted the reviews of locals, and not tourists on Trip Adviser, she would've found more affordable, flavorful, and authentic food that is not a tourist trap.

That was only the beginning of her potential savings. What do you think Susan could have done better to save a few dollars? Leave your comments below.

I feel like a Geico commercial, but seriously, you could save $1,500 or more on your next vacation by emailing me at

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