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Ashlee Rawlings

Final Project

There are many advantages to planning a trip or vacation beforehand, it can give
one's perspective on what they can prepare for financially and pan out what will be the
best and most cost efficient options for them. While planning, there are several factors
that must be put into consideration that will assist in determining the best way to get the
most out of your money. Not everything can be anticipated and predicted, but it is
important to be financially prepared in order to avoid the risk of coming up short and
spoiling your vacation. I am going to compile a list of options that one should take into
consideration and combine it with the resources I have in order to convey the positive
impact that financial planning has on getting the most of your money and vacation.
First, it is important to find out what form of transportation is best suited for the
scenario and most cost efficient. This step is one of the biggest factors to consider; it will
determine how much you will spend on gas or airfare and how long it will take to reach
the destination. For example, suppose you and your spouse are planning to depart Salt
Lake City, Utah to visit family in Phoenix, Arizona for the holidays, you then decide to
prolong the vacation and stop in Las Vegas, Nevada to visit friends before heading back
to Salt Lake City. In this scenario you are provided with two transportation options, you
may either drive and pay for gas or fly and pay for airfare. In order to make this decision
based solely on cost efficiency, it may require research and expenditure calculations.
When the option of driving is assessed, one must first consider what vehicle they
will be taking (if options are presented), gas mileage of the vehicle and gas prices. The
two vehicle options I have are a Toyota Fj Cruiser that gets 19 miles/Gallon (highway)

and a Subaru Impreza that gets 29 MPG (highway), it is easy to recognize that the Subaru
Impreza is the reasonable choice. According to Google maps, the drive (round trip) is
1,378 miles with a calculated driving time of 20 hours and 20 minute. Considering the
Subaru Imprezas gas mileage of 29 MPG, we can determine how many gallons of gas
will be used on the trip by dividing (1,378 mi)/(29 MPG)=47.51 gallons of gas. The next
step is to calculate the amount of money that will be spent on gas by determining the
price of gas per gallon. According to, a website designed to provide the
average cost of gas in each state, Utahs average price per gallon is $2.907/gal and
Arizonas is $2.670/gal. In order to get the most accurate gas price estimate, I calculated
the average of the two states gas prices by adding the average of both states and dividing
the total by two, ($2.907/gal+2.670/gal)/2= $2.788/gallon. With an estimated 47.51
gallons of gas needed for the round trip and an average price of gas equaling $2.788/gal,
we can conclude that the estimated cost of gas for this vacation would be roughly
(47.51gal)x($2.788/gal)= $132.49. One may also consider that the estimated total does
not include driving within the destination, so it is smart to over-estimate.
When it comes to exploring the option of traveling via airplane, one should
compare rates through different airlines and be mindful that rates change according to the
time of week and year. If we continue using the stated example, this vacation will require
a flight from Salt Lake to Phoenix, from Phoenix to Las Vegas and then from Las Vegas
back to Salt Lake. Via Expedia, I was able to find the lowest rate of 93.10/ticket to
Phoenix for a December 23 departure with Frontier Airlines. It is important to be aware
of special deals, bundles and packages that come with airline tickets when you purchase
them through different places. For example, if the tickets are purchased on the Expedia

website they come with a 55% off hotel voucher. With two tickets to Phoenix, the total
before tax would be $186.20. Considering the $186.20 does not include the flights to Las
Vegas and back to Salt Lake, the cost has already surpassed the estimated $132.49 in gas
that it would take for the road trip. However, your travel time via airplane may be
reduced significantly. For a more accurate estimate, Google Maps predicts the following
flight times, Salt Lake City to Phoenix: 1hr 30min, Phoenix to Las Vegas: 2hr 35 min and
Las Vegas to Salt Lake: 1hr. 15min which adds up to a round trip estimated time of 5hr
33min, which is a 14hr 47min reduction in the time spent traveling by car.
Of course there are many other factors that must be considered when deciding
which form of transportation will translate into a more cost efficient vacation. For
example, the cost of a vacation is highly dependent on where you are planning on staying
while youre away. Vacation housing possibilities include campsites, hostels, hotels,
condos or the possibility that you may be staying with someone. Ultimately, the place
you stay on a vacation is based off of personal interests, but it is still important to
calculate prices, nights spent at destination and add this expense to your financial plan.
If one is planning to travel abroad, it is important to take currency exchange into
consideration. The country you are visiting may have a currency that is either stronger or
weaker than the US dollar. For example, The US dollar bill is weaker than the Euro, $1 =
.81 (Euro). Meaning that every 1 spent actually translates into $1.23. I am going to put
this concept into a bigger scenario, suppose you plan to stay four days and three nights in
Italy and you need to know how to plan financially. Lets take the following factors into
consideration: you will be eating three meals a day for four days estimating in 10 each,
your housing expense will be 60 per night and activity/recreational costs estimating at

600 for the entire trip. To put these number in perspective, I will put it into the
following equation: (4(days)x(3(meals)x10))+(3(nights housing)x60)+600=900. If
you didnt take into consideration that the Euro > US Dollar and you saved up 900$ for
your vacation expenses in Europe, you would come up $207.75 short for your trip and
this scenario would clearly not pan out in your favor if you did not have an understanding
of currency conversions. Lets take the exact same situation and apply it to a different
country, such as Thailand. Thailand uses Thai Baht as its form of currency, which is
weaker than the US dollar. Assuming the same costs and conditions apply to this
scenario, when you save $900 and convert it into Thai Baht, you really have $29,583.
With quantitative reasoning you can better prepare yourself financially for currency
conversions when traveling to other countries.
We can combine these concepts and methods of traveling and apply them to
certain careers, such as becoming a travel agent for a sports team or an event coordinator
for big corporations. In todays society networking is at its highest demand and by
utilizing the newer, faster and more efficient methods of traveling, having this knowledge
can help you succeed in such careers. Knowing how to find and provide financially sound
options for people looking to travel is a desirable attribute in this workforce. In the past,
traveling recreationally only seemed realistic to those that were financially well-off, but
now there are a variety of ways to reduce the cost significantly that most people arent
aware of. With advances in technology and an expansion in an economic market,
traveling is more accessible and available to everyone. Fortunately, becoming a travel
agent or consultant isnt necessarily a dying field opposed to popular belief.

There was a study conducted by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel
Confederation that focused on where, how and why people traveled. The study included
34,000 surveys taken by young travelers from 137 countries. The data showed that out of
the $1.088 trillion in tourism, youth are responsible for $217 billion of it, which translates
into 20% of international tourism. These numbers signify that youth have become an
important component in the economic force. According to David Chapman, the director
general for the WYSE Travel Confederation claims that young travelers are expanding
their wants in an aspect of cultural experience. Student spending has increased by 40
percent since 2007 despite the global economic climate, with young travelers requesting
more varied services (Mohn). Given the current growing demand for traveling from
young people can later translate into bigger more secured job market.

Works Cited

"USA and Canada Current Average Gas Prices By City/State/Province -" GasBuddy Organization LLC. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

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