How To Get Out of Dodge

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,117

Lately I've been reading a lot of posts about early graduation and deferred start dates. Most of the posts relate to what to do with the downtime, and the most popular response is travel.

Travel has always been a passion of mine, and I've done so extensively. As such, I've learned a few tricks to get around this big, blue marble inexpensively and have a great time. I thought it would be a good time to make you guys aware of 3 websites I've used a lot over the past 5 years to put some serious miles under my belt.

1) Go Today -- Go Today started out as a clearinghouse for last minute travel deals. I'm talking about things like $69 flights to Zimbabwe if you could leave 4 hours from now. The site has evolved into a great world travel site and they offer unbelievable deals anywhere in the world.

These guys are so good that, when I have friends coming to stay with us here in Paris, I will usually have my friends check Go Today for a package. More often than not, my friends can find an air and hotel package cheaper than just the airfare they found on Expedia or whatever. Even though they're staying with us, by booking through Go Today they save money.

My wife and I used Go Today to come to Paris in 2004. 10 nights hotel RT airfare included came to $1,200 for both of us! We used them again in 2007 for a 5 day trip to Rome. Sign up for their email alerts and they'll hit you with some unbelievable deals.

2) Cheap Caribbean -- I'll travel just about anywhere, but when I really need to unwind it has to be on island time. White sandy beaches and distant reaches are what I'm all about. Enter Cheap Caribbean. If you are looking to get down island, these are the guys to book through. I just got something in my email box yesterday about an all-inclusive resort deal that included airfare for $299.

Here's a note on Caribbean travel: all inclusive is the only way to go. If you're a hopeless drunk like me, you'll pay for the vacation in rum consumption alone. The all inclusive resorts tend to be the newer resorts, and the hotel staff and waiters have all been fantastic for us.

We've used Cheap Caribbean for all inclusive vacations in Jamaica and Barbados. The cool thing about Barbados is that the resort company had a couple resorts on the island, so it was a "Stay at 1 - Play at all" type deal. There was a shuttle bus that took you from property to property, and each property had a little different vibe and different restaurants.

Again, sign up for their email alerts because some of the deals they put out are just stupid.

3) Vacation Rentals By Owner -- I've only used VRBO for travel inside the U.S., mostly the Redneck Riviera. But they offer properties all around the world and I'm thinking about using them for a Christmas in Provence.

They're not a travel company. They are a consolidator for individually-owned properties that are for rent around the world. In other words, if you'd prefer a condo or house over an extended hotel stay, these are the guys to check with. If you're staying anywhere off the beaten path, these guys will have a deal on a nice place.

I've never had a problem and I've used them several times, but I caution you about sending a bunch of money to an owner you've never met for a property you've never seen. This warning applies more to the copycat sites that are doing what VRBO pioneered.

And just so you can't say your Uncle Eddie never gave you a little something extra, if you're having trouble figuring out where to go, check out Matador Trips. This is a great site for young people to share tips and warnings about the world at large. If you're looking for the best places to party, get laid, or find the icky-sticky north slope quiver bud, Matador will have the info.

One last word of advice. Travel is critical when you're young. Take the time to see the world. It makes you a better person, at least more entertaining at parties. It's fine when you get older, but it's when you're young that you can really experience the world with fresh eyes and an undiluted sense of adventure. Don't cheat yourself.

Happy Trails, guys.

Comments (24)

Oct 29, 2009

Thanks for sharing!

Nov 1, 2009
Kools:

Thanks for sharing!

greenapple:

that's awesome, edmundo. thanks for putting that up.

sanjose04:

Thanks!

Really informative.

PaperTrail:

Great stuff, now if I could only get that signing bonus early...

<span class=keyword_link><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/sac-capital rel=nofollow>SAC</a></span>:

Thanks for the links Edmundo. I'm planning something for this summer.

You guys crack me up. It's not like Edmundo is doing this out of good will; this is a business. You guys are making him money by clicking on these links (spoiler alert: This is how you make money on the internet).

I bet you that Edmundo is sitting at home right now and laughing his ass off, since you guys are making him money and then thanking him for doing so.

Nov 1, 2009

Even if he is making money, why the hell would that bother me? Most people are attracted to Wall St. jobs in part for the cash. Regardless, these sites offer the opportunity for ME to save on travel which is what I'm most worried about at the end of the day. If someone can make 25 cents from me clicking a link, more power to them.

stk123:
Kools:

Thanks for sharing!

greenapple:

that's awesome, edmundo. thanks for putting that up.

sanjose04:

Thanks!

Really informative.

PaperTrail:

Great stuff, now if I could only get that signing bonus early...

<span class=keyword_link><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/sac-capital rel=nofollow>SAC</a></span>:

Thanks for the links Edmundo. I'm planning something for this summer.

You guys crack me up. It's not like Edmundo is doing this out of good will; this is a business. You guys are making him money by clicking on these links (spoiler alert: This is how you make money on the internet).

I bet you that Edmundo is sitting at home right now and laughing his ass off, since you guys are making him money and then thanking him for doing so.

Oct 29, 2009

that's awesome, edmundo. thanks for putting that up.

another site with ridiculous travel deals is travelzoo.com -- check out their weekly top 20. they're always enticing.

Oct 29, 2009

Great stuff, now if I could only get that signing bonus early...

Oct 29, 2009

The cheapest way to travel (or at least stay):

http://www.couchsurfing.org/

Oct 29, 2009

Obviously I've never done it, but it is becoming a very popular phenomenon here in Europe. With my luck, though, I'd tell everybody to try it and some hapless WSO member would end up in an, "It rubs the lotion on its skin" situation and I'd never hear the end of it.

Oct 29, 2009

Thanks!

Really informative.

Oct 29, 2009

Thanks for the links Edmundo. I'm planning something for this summer.

Oct 29, 2009

http://ryanrunseurope.blogspot.com/
At the suggestion of a Columbia alum co-worker, I followed this blog over the summer - it's a kid who graduated Columbia in May 09 and spent over 4 months running from Amsterdam to Athens. More than anything, it's a testament to human goodness - he rarely ever has to camp/sleep on a bench - most people take him in and feed him by their good nature. Here's a guy who knows the value of travel and becoming an interesting person.

Oct 29, 2009

This guys took all the money he had in the world, bought a boat, and went sailing around the world:

Oct 29, 2009

I've always found that Travelzoo sells out way too quick, but they do have some killer deals.

Oct 29, 2009

So the guy who sails around the world is great, but what's next for him?

Oct 29, 2009
F9 - Update:

So the guy who sails around the world is great, but what's next for him?

When you're not chained to a desk in a cubicle, you make it up as you go along. In the case of this guy, he met a woman when he was in Panama, got married, and now him, his wife, and her kid bought a bigger boat and he's continuing the journey as a husband and father.

If he wrecked the boat, he'd just figure out what to do at that point. I have friends who took a 3-year honeymoon to sail around the world. She pulled up pregnant somewhere in the South Pacific (they were on a 31-foot boat, so kids weren't an option), so when they hit Australia they sold the boat and opened a restaurant.

It's amazing how well you think on your feet when you haven't committed yourself to the school-work-school-work drudgery that the average guy does on Wall Street.

Oct 29, 2009

And by that I means, if he wrecks his boat, he's f'ed.

Oct 29, 2009

And by that I mean, if he wrecks his boat, he's f'ed.

Oct 29, 2009

Props to your post Edmundo, gonna beef up my travel plans with some of this...

Oct 29, 2009

If any of you want to travel a lot rather than just staying in one place, I also recommend Round-the-World tickets.

You pay around $5,000 and can travel to a certain number of hops on a certain number of continents (some are done by mileage, some depend on the number of stops you make) within the span of a year.

It's not as good a value if you have less than a year to travel, but it saves you a ridiculous amount of money if you're constantly hopping between different locations - $5,000 is much cheaper than buying 16 individual one-way tickets.

I'm thinking about a RTW trip next year and I'll definitely be using this if I go. More here:

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/round-the-world-pla...

Oct 30, 2009

Can you recommend a job I can do and travel the world, make money and not be chained to a desk?

Big 4 Accounting Guide to Getting Hired Contains interview questions, exactly how to answer, resume guide, how to make an impact and a guide to the firms and service lines.

Oct 30, 2009

The first thing to do is read this book:

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

The key to finding work all around the world whenever you need money is to have a skill set that is required everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, finance ain't it.

If your goal is the journey and not the destination, money becomes less important. However, you still have to have it, and it's better to have too much than not enough.

Acquire a skill that is in demand everywhere in the world. The one that comes to mind that is the easiest to acquire is bartending. Once you're a bartender, you can get hired off the books almost anywhere and avoid any work permitting issues.

Transportation is another excellent choice, as people always need to get from point A to point B regardless of the location or economy. If you are a mechanic of some sort (car, boat, airplane) or, even better, an operator of some sort (commercial license, pilot's license, boat captain or deck hand), you'll always have work.

Oct 30, 2009

I would like to do something working behind a computer, i my own time. Not some crappy bartending gig. and having to search for employment and being somewhat bound to it.

If you could have a job that doesnt reuqire a fixed location that would be perfect. Internet related I guess.

Big 4 Accounting Guide to Getting Hired Contains interview questions, exactly how to answer, resume guide, how to make an impact and a guide to the firms and service lines.

Oct 30, 2009

You can support yourself on the road with a computer. It's simple enough for beginners to make $100 a day writing for the web, and all you need is a computer and internet connection.

If you're decent with a camera, travel photography pays reasonably well.

Sounds like you need to read this book, too:

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Nov 1, 2009
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