Return on travel Investment

27 Dec

Traveling to gain money

Having forked out about 750 € for all my flights (Brussels-Bangkok-Manila-Boracay-Phnom Penh and back), I would need to play things clever financially, to get most out of that initial investment. So in order to break even I’d have to buy things that would be at least 750€ cheaper than back home…

  • With success (of course ;-)
  • I earned 2500€ by going one month on holidays!

A roof above my head – Accommodation

Indulge in luxury cheaply

  • It’s incredible that you can get a lovely 4 star hotel in Bangkok for 40€ (read here). I haven’t ever even dared to ask the prices of a 4 star in Belgium, but it surely is more than 100€ more expensive.
  • The other accommodation I had at the beach or in Cambodia was around 20€/night. A regular night in a Belgian hotel would be around 60/70€, which makes a gain of 1000€ on lodging.
  • But of course I’d have to deduct the rent I’d pay for my apartment in Brussels, so that’s 500€ left over.

Filling my stomach – Food & drink

Yummy yummy Filipino Halo Halo

  • A nice meal for two in a Boracay restaurant would be around 10€ and probably 3 or 4 times that price in ‘civilised’ (read overly expensive) countries, so I must have saved over 300€ by filling my tummy in the Philippines instead of back home.
  • A cocktail on the paradise beach would set you back 1,5 or max 2,5€, and you get the breathtaking sunset for free. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any cocktails under a fiver in B, so that’s another 100€ in the pocket for getting tipsy.
  • Street food costs about 1 or 2€ for a full meal, drink included. Street food simply doesn’t exist in Belgium – you wouldn’t even be able to cook at home for that price – so that makes 100€ benefit spread over the month.

Filling my suitcase(s) – Shopping

Part of my new wardrobe

  • I got at least 5 of those funky boy shorts (knee length, hugging, fashion) for 7€ on average. Back home that would be at least 17€ – so that’s 10€ benefit per pair of shorts (now we only need some decent weather in B so that I can wear them – maybe climate change can help?)
  • I just stocked up on V-neck simple but stylish mini-T-shirts for 2€/piece compared to probably 10€/piece in Belgium – so that’s another 70€ in the pocket.
  • Undies, oh my kingdom for some nice undies. I found this wholesale shop at the Chatuchak weekend market. Only 3€ for Thai-style mini-briefs and 5€ per swimwear (even more skimpy, lol). There’s few non-sleep-inducing swimming trunks available in Brussels for less than 50€. I won’t reveal how many pairs I bought (but they will do me for a few years, providing gravity doesn’t takes it toll on my body) but it pushes the balance a couple of 100€ further.
  • I got some Filipino brand trousers for 20€ a piece, whereas back home it would cost probably around 75-100€ (if they’re not ‘too’ design). Ring up 300€ more I say

A little luxury & service

A bright white xmas present to myself

  • I decided to treat myself for Christmas to white teeth – so I could enjoy a white Christmas after all (in my mouth at least ;-). It only sets you back 200€ here whereas it’s prohibitively expensive in Belgium e.g. 450€ = another 250€ won.
  • And I brought my little baby computer into computer hospital for repair. In third world Belgium they wouldn’t even give me a quote (unless I pay 20€ just for the quote) and probably the repair would be triple the price I paid in Bangkok – Here I just walked in and out of the Acer Service Centre and I had a new screen for 100€.

Retail therapy – Junk you don’t need

I just loooove those hammocks

Of course there are lots of things you do or buy when on holidays that you wouldn’t ever dream of back home. So I probably got the odd things that I definitely don’t need:

  • like a hammock – I don’t even have a garden or balcony, maybe I should hang it between my TV and sofa?
  • some good luck statues: of an Apsara dancer from Siem Reap and a Linga fertility god… I just neeeeeed fertility, in my business (soon)
  • tourist clothes: such as T-shirts, fisherman’s pants, etc which I’d probably only ear for badminton or sleeping…

So you can take 100€ off the savings above ;-)

The total Return on Investment

  • That makes a total ROI of appr. 2500€ – that recoups the 750€ plane ticket all right ;-)
  • So when do we go again?

3 Responses to “Return on travel Investment”

  1. Ana 30 December 2009 at 15:51 #

    Indeed, Asia has charm. Just back in Singapore from outstanding Burma.

  2. chris 5 January 2010 at 22:29 #

    i think teeth whitening in belgium would cost you more than 1000 euro.

    your flights were really cheap! how did u do that?!

  3. Tony Geudens 6 January 2010 at 00:49 #

    Etihad seems to be the cheap way to go (also to/from Philippines) – if you agree with stopping over in Abu Dhabi and potentially get life imprisonment ;-) See

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