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You Don’t Have to Be Uncomfortable to Have an Authentic Travel Experience

When I went to Burma several years ago I stayed in a nice guest house for about $35 a night. The rate included free Wifi and a large banana pancake for breakfast. Mmmmmm.

After I came home, I talked with someone who had also been there. “How much did you pay?” he asked.

“Oh… about $30-40 a night,” I said. I may also have mentioned the delicious banana pancake. Mmmmmm.

“That’s crazy!” He said. “You got ripped off… there are places you can stay for just $10 or less.”

I didn’t know how to respond. Was I “ripped off?” Well, I guess I could have paid less… but I was happy with the experience, so for me the rate was a great value.

In many parts of the world, it is indeed possible to stay places for $5-10 a night. There are also budget airlines you can fly for $19, depending on the route and the day.

Sometimes these experiences are rewarding. You enjoy the story and the memory. You can brag about the hostel room that cost the same as your speciality coffee back home, even if the room didn’t have a fan and the bathroom down the hall was crawling with bugs.

But you also don’t have to make it so difficult. Traveling on the super-cheap can be fun in its own way. But it’s also okay to enjoy a different kind of travel—even if you stay in nice hotels, or even if you just decide to splurge on the better guesthouse with the banana pancakes. Mmmmmm.

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Image: Dieter

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