30 January 2009

Saving to Travel

In the last twenty or thirty years or so, many people went on holiday using someone else's money. Like so much else of consumer living, it seemed a great idea at the time to take out a loan and set off to explore the world, but what were the consequences?

For a long time, at least in Western societies, it was easy to buy now and pay later. It seemed to be an especially fruitful way to travel, as long as your currency was worth more than the one at your destination and you had an income source on your return home. 

Saving for anything is not a particularly attractive proposition if your currency keeps losing value and inflation is rampant.  Your poor economy may, though, attract tourists to your country. The cost of living for them in your society is possibly lower than they experienced at home.  And they may prefer your weather.

Travel was a good opportunity, especially in the 1980s, for young people who had the chance to save money with high interest rates but no mortgage.  Those people probably had reasonably good health.  They had a relevant education and work experience of interest to many employers.  They therefore had the world at their feet, even if they considered themselves to be budget travellers.

So, who will the future travellers be? How will they find the money for their travels, and how might they travel in an ecologically and socially friendly way?

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