Don’t be pound foolish

pennywiseThis old English saying comes from the early 17th Century. It describes a person who is thrifty (or miserly) with small amounts of their money, but wasteful with larger amounts. Travelling I see plenty of people guilty of this!

I used to work with a very wise man called Tom. He taught me the value of valuing my time and money.  He noted that his predecessor used to drive across town two hours and back to save the $10 delivery fee on a particular supply. Tom noted it was costing the company $35 to save that $10.

Tom noted that if something costs you an extra hour but saves you $10 or less to do it, then just pay the money! I believe same principle applies in travel!

penniesExamples of penny wise/pound foolish in travel:

  1. Staying longer to save airfare: One guy boasted to me that he had saved $90 on his airfare by staying an extra night. I neglected to point out to him, that the extra night had cost him at least $200 for meals and accommodation
  2. Cheap airfares with crazy stopovers: A friend of mine flew to Europe from Australia with a 23 hour stopover in Shanghai. Both ways. He realised his mistake going but it was too late to change anything. To take a hotel room would have cost more than the flight saving so he wandered the airport corridors for almost two days of his life!pudong-sh-ap
  3. Arriving too early or too late for your hotel You may save a few dollars but if your flight arrives at a time when you cannot check into your hotel for several hours? What are you going to do with your luggage ? Likewise, taking a late night flight can mean you may be stuck for multiple hours wandering a city until check in time.
  4. Flying overnight and being too exhausted to go to work losing you a day’s salary or valuable vacation day
  5. Missing out on delicious food because you have a budget that is too tight for decent meals
  6. Booking a hotel without air-conditioning in a place that you know you will need it

What are your penny wise pound foolish examples?

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  1. Arriving too early doesn’t seem like a problem at all. Most big hotels will gladly hold your luggage for you if your room isn’t ready.

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