Is the Bad Economy Good for Travelers?

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While browsing the Lonely Planet website earlier I came across this discussion regarding the impact of the bad economy on travel plans in the near future. The person who launched the discussion was planning on quitting their job and taking off to explore the world for a year, and is now rethinking that plan, wondering if it would be irresponsible to leave a job at this time.

The original post sparked lots of good comments, with some people weighing in on both sides of the discussion. Some say “go for it”, while others say it’s best to wait, while another group simply offers empathetic support. Most say it’s a tough call, and considering the average forum dweller on Lonely Planet is likely to be an experienced traveler, you know that many of them are in the same predicament.

My thought on the subject is this. If I were in the same boat as the person who posed the question, I’d likely not be taking a year off work at this time. Things are probably going to get worse, economically speaking, before they get better, and I’d hate to get caught without a job down the line just because I wanted to travel now.

On the other hand, if you’re not looking to take a trip of that length and magnitude, this may be a great time to get a deal. Many people are watching their money closely right now while they wait for things to turn around. That means fewer people traveling, and more opportunities to find a deal. After the first of the year, I expect there to be some outstanding travel opportunities available for not a lot of money. This is quickly turning into a global economic meltdown, and few places will remain untouched, allowing your money to go a lot further, provided you have the cash to travel to begin with.

I’m planning my next trip to take place sometime in the spring, but I haven’t decided where to yet. I have a few places in mind, but I’m waiting to see if I can get an excellent deal. Anyone have any suggestion on where I should go? I have one strict criteria. The trip needs to be only about 8-10 days in length, as I need to save some vacation days for a possible future project. But other than that, I’m for just about anything and anywhere. Suggestions? Send ’em my way!

Kraig Becker

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