This week, the MyBankTracker team dished about our travel styles and how we like to spend while vacationing.


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Kat: Okay, I’ll go first. My parents, who are very frugal, raised me never to take taxi cabs. Ever. Basically, my dad, who is 52, says to my sister, “I’m young enough to walk anywhere!” So we’re expected to use our MetroCards or walk. Meanwhile, my cousin, who indulges much more financially, despite not being incredibly rich, rides cabs all the time, even when she could take a train literally a few stops.

Simon: Well, wait. Let’s define travel. Do we mean travel as in, around the city? Or travel on a plane?

Claire: I was kind of thinking more like traveling across the country or abroad.

Amy: Okay, well in my family, hotels are not considered to be a priority on my dad’s checklist. The way he sees it, since you should be outside most of the time anyway, it doesn’t matter what kind of hotel you stay in. For me, however, I am typically very lured by nice places.

Claire: So would you say like, 3-star hotels and up?

Amy: Yeah, I would say so.

Claire: Well, when I got out of college I took a one month backpacking trip across Europe. It was lots of fun but I stayed at a few hostels and they were disgusting. So gross, and after that I just couldn’t do it. So we would stay at like 2-star hotels and stuff. We also traveled by train a lot.

Kat: Ooh, interesting! How about now? What are your preferences today being much more successful, having grown professionally and being married now?

Claire: Now I kind of have to stay somewhere nice. And my husband is even more snobby about it than me! He likes the spa and saunas and stuff… I personally don’t need it, but that gives you a picture of our travel lifestyle.

Amy: Simon, how about you?

Simon: I don’t really vacation a lot, truthfully. A lot of the time, I’ll travel to visit relatives. When I do travel by choice, I mostly stick to the Northeast, so I don’t stray too far from New York.

Kat: Can you give us examples of places you’ve been?

Simon: Philly, Boston. I like going on road trips with my friends once in a while, and I prefer to pay for experience vs. pay for accommodations like hotels. I splurge when I’m on a trip, especially if I want to do a fun activity, like exploring mineral caves.

Kat: How about spending money overseas?

Claire: For me, spending is a balancing act — we might eat cheaply, but splurge to stay somewhere nice. Also, I use my credit card mostly when I’m traveling abroad.

Amy: Really? My family’s the opposite, it’s a bit of a pain. We’ll budget how much money we have to spend while on vacation, and then withdraw all of it from the bank, and then split it all up between us, so each of us is holding a portion of the money. Let’s just say there were a lot of pouches.

Simon: What was the reason for that?

Amy: Well, we wanted to avoid transaction fees, and none of the places we ever went accepted our credit cards.

Simon: A debit card might solve that problem, no?

Amy: Yeah, but I guess it’s somewhat dangerous, I mean, using your card in foreign places…

Claire: It would be a pain to have to find a phone and get a calling card just to call back home and communicate to the bank if there was ever an issue.

Simon: Well, even if someone knew your debit card info, they still wouldn’t have the pin number.

Kat: True! I guess we’ll all agree to disagree. Last question: what are your airplane preferences?

Amy: Honestly, I hate sitting in the back in planes.

Claire: Yeah, and did you know it’s actually smaller in the back?


Amy: Yeah, it is because of the plane’s shape. I’d rather pay extra to sit by the emergency exits, just because of the legroom. Especially because I’m so tall.

Kat: Ah, that is true. I like sitting in the back to be near the bathroom. I’m assuming none of us ever typically flies first class?

Claire: Nope, not regularly.

Simon: I rarely travel via planes.

Amy: No, but I can’t wait for my first “adult” vacation where I call the shots and I fund the trip. It’s going to be really nice!

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MyBankTracker readers, do you travel in style or go the frugal route? Tweet us @mybanktracker!


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