Dear Broke Traveler,

We’ve all experienced it in some form or fashion after returning from our travels. We exit baggage claim on our way to ground transportation, take a look around, inhale that same stale air we left behind to travel, and exhale sadness—missing a trip that ended all too quickly. We arrive home, cringe internally as the door to our mailbox screeches open and we pull from it our student loans, credit card, utility, mobile phone, car and property tax bill—all due next week. Adding insult to your financially fatal injury—the mortgage and the car loan were just debited from your account(s). Are children in the picture? Okay. Point delivered. You watch as a plume of imaginary smoke coils up and away from your wallet.

Perhaps I should have stayed home is probably a thought that came to mind. I wish I could just run away and never come back is probably another thought that surfaced—this is usually the follow up. This (expletive) sucks!—now you’re at the lowest point of what I like to call Traveler’s Remorse. If you love to travel, had a great time and yet you experience traveler’s remorse, then you’re either broke or you’re just flat out cheap. Booking that trip seemed like a good idea at the time, didn’t it? After my first all-out trip, I fielded these thoughts—albeit with more swearing.

I had a similar experience while living in Boston, where the income inequailty gap is outside Evel Knievel’s reach. It was right after a 14-day, three-country holiday in Europe. I got smarter and found ways to not just book cheaper flights but also cut my traveling expenses because I was not about the broke traveler life!

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