Run All Over the world on $500 a day

a not so practical quide

Run All Over The World On $500 A Day
A Not So Practical Guide

You can always find a guide-book on how travel the world or a particular city on $50-$100 dollars a day but this book was written from a totally different perspective. There are certain assumptions made while writing this book. I will point them out as we go along.

First I would like to give you some background on myself. I spent 37 years flying airplanes all over the world with the last 26 at United Parcel Service. There I held 16 different jobs and was in the management 25 out of the 26 years. I also looked at being a pilot as a means to an end. Most pilots do so because they have a deep love for it whereas I saw it as a great way to see the world, make a descent living with a great deal of thrill. Managing people, money and assets was more of my cup of tea so many would say I had the best of both worlds. Not only was I a kid in a candy store but in many aspects I also had the key.

I realize that world travel can be made at all levels and cost. Those that routinely travel first class don’t really need a book to reference they just have their associates make the necessary arrangements for them and off they go. The ones at the $50-$100 are usually looking for all the bargains and hostels and relatives are where they usually stay. I have read many of these books and found them not in practical for my taste.

The reason I used $500 a day was mostly because that is what we routinely spend. This is the first assumption made. This figure is for a couple and will include everything from soup to nuts. There will be days where you will spend $2000 a day and others where you $100 is the norm. The high-end is when you splurge to take your grown adults with you and the low-end is when you have chosen to fast for 24 hours.

In this book I will give you some actual example of what we have done but in most cases you can switch out one hotel chain for another with the same results. Over the years while working we were loyal Marriott snobs and have been able to accumulate many points over the years. Now we only use Marriott unless we are on a tour and the package includes another hotel chain. There are many reasons why we chose Marriott. We have found them to be very consistent in quality and they have different levels of hotel types depending on our particular desire at the time. We mostly stay in the Fairfield or Marriott courtyard arena but have been known to  splurge for the JW on occasion but have not yet saw the value added to go for the Ritz Carlton. In some cases when staying in one location for a week or more we have gotten great value from the Marriott Executive Apartments.

We also use the Chase Marriott rewards card while staying there and with a life time Platinum status the upgrades and special attention has proven to be invaluable. I am a true believer in Customer Service and found the entire company to be on the same page in that regard. Small things are important to them. Coming from behind the counter to hand you your room key goes a long way to make that personal connection with each customer. There are no surprises with Marriott and even when you have to call them they are prompt and responsive.

From a technological aspect they seem to be right there with other companies. One small hick up is their app and the roll out of there mobile check-in. I am sure it seemed like a good idea at the time but for me I prefer the personal connection that is made when assigning a room. Something about looking into someone eyes when they are deciding what room to give you. Besides that it did not work on my phone when they first rolled it out. I only mention Marriott because that is who we have been using but I am sure there are many hotel chains out there that will fit the bill but the bottom line is be loyal to which ever you choose. I can’t speak to others but as you transition from your work life to retiree I am sure you have already established a relationship to one of the big ones. No sense in picking one if they are not world-wide. Even with Marriott you will find yourself somewhere where there is simply not one there. That is where we use apartments.

Another assumption made is that you are retired and have sold you house. That is what we did and put every thing in storage. We sometimes refer to ourselves as homeless but prefer the term nomad. I must admit this is a pretty drastic step but for us the stars aligned and it also is our preference. Much easier to make budget when you don’t have a mortgage payment and all that goes along with that.

Our circumstance were pretty unique and not recommended for the faint of heart. Our house had been on the market for six months and then a lady that had recently lost her husband was looking to downsize like our townhouse, had cash and wanted to move in, in a week. Not sure where we wanted to retire we called Allied Moving and Storage and told them to come get it all.

Next up is to pick and Airline. We chose Delta for obvious reasons.

I remember many years ago going through Atlanta, Ga airport and seeing all the departure screens lined up and reviewing all the places Delta was going that day. I thought to myself that I would love to come out to the airport and look at the screen and just picking a destination. I have not done that so far but time will tell when that might happen.

Right now I plan all our trips but I am sure one day while in Atlanta we will go to the airport and do what I dreamt of back then. With that being said there are other airlines and cities around the country where you could do the same. I however was looking for warmer climate so Atlanta and Miami were in the running.

Delta in Atlanta, American for Miami and American for Dallas. I had worked in Miami for the last three years and there are several reasons why I did not particularly like it. I really don’t like Dallas so that was not an option. The Delta, Atlanta Ga choice has worked out well for us. No since coming back from some far-flung destination and then have to wait for another flight to our final destination.

Also it would be easier for us to catch up with our kids since they are all nonstop from Atlanta right now. Just like with a hotel you also need to pick an airline that meets your needs. Delta does a great job and their level of service is very consistent. I would say their counter parts do not seem to do the job as well as they do.

I am not in love with their partners of Air France and KLM but nothing that would prevent me from traveling on them. We both have achieved Delta’s Diamond status and also have their American Express card. We use American Express for all our Air Fare purchases and get plenty of miles from their use. We also get plenty of upgrades to Business Class and always able to travel in the Economy Comfort seats which are pretty good.

I will be working on this from time to time and will update.

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