There are two types of people in this world: the bargain shoppers and the other people.
Let’s say you need to buy a new black dress for a special occasion. Could either:
a) Go to Express and buy a cute, pricey dress. Your shopping trip would take roughly 1.5 hours.
b) Go to the local Ross Dress For Less, TJ MAXX, and Gabriel Brother’s (insert your favorite discount store here), sort through upwards of 100 dresses, some with an accidental tear or stain, some that are so outrageous that you can’t imagine someone approved that design, and a very small minority that you would actually wear. After roughly 5 hours of shopping, it’s possible (but not certain) that you have found just wanted you wanted. And it was cheap.
So which requires more effort? Clearly, the bargain shopper has spent significantly more time in this single pursuit. Which is the better option? It’s tough to say…but as a girl currently draining her bank account for her travel addiction it’s cheap all the way. And for me, the way I attack bargain shopping for a new dress is also how I attack my travel plans. “How can I get to _____ for the least amount of money?”
I’ve recently been calculating my last few months of travel plans while in Europe, and the website Skyscanner (incredibly user-friendly if you’ve never experienced its glory) has become my best friend. In my pursuit of my Easter break trip to Eastern Europe (Prague, Vienna, Budapest), I was getting frustrated at the outrageous cost of flights. I started to look at this dilemma as a puzzle. Maybe I could flip the trip around and arrive in Budapest first? Maybe I could fly to Poland? Maybe I could go a day earlier or a day later? Eventually I whipped out my trusty map of Europe and discovered that: Slovakia + RyanAir + An overnight in the airport + A train to Prague =cheap. Mission accomplished.
It’s sort of exhilarating…finding good deals…but it requires a great deal of effort and is much more time sensitive in regard in travel than it would be for the purchase of a black dress. I have found cheap flights, and once I started booking, the flights doubled in price. It’s insanely frustrating. My latest mission is to get my friend a flight to Greece to meet me and back to the U.S. for under a thousand dollars. I’ll leave no stone unturned…planes, trains, cars, boats, teletransport… So far I’ve spent approximately 1 hour researching to no avail. I’ll either do it, or my brain (and hard drive) will explode in the process. Let’s all hope for the former.