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Cheap travel is awesome no doubt, it allows us to travel for further and for longer, that’s pretty cool. Asking a hotel for a discount, or seeing if the bus company will sell you 3 tickets for the price of 2 is fine, haggling with a Bangladeshi street pauper for the equivalent of $0.20 is not.

Poor person

This really wrangles with me folks, to hear a brash backpacker bragging about how cheap he got his new bracelet from the poor lady on the street. She didn’t want to discount it that much but he was so good at bartering that he got her down, it only took him 20 minutes. Well done mate, you get to fulfill your backpacking uniform with another bracelet while she, and her family, eat less tonight. You’re a real hero.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of bartering, but let’s not be cruel, we can afford that extra dollar better than they can. So next time you find yourself in that situation, take a step back and remember you’re probably going to be paying $6+ a drink in a month or two when you get home, let’s not deny poorer people a dollar or two here or there for the sake of extra bragging rights in your dorm room eh. Happy travels (and be nice)!.

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0 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Rant: People arguing over $0.20 with poor locals

  1. Some people say it’s the principle. But I say as long as you are not getting ripped off by more than $5 a day. I am cool with it. They need that $5 more than I do.

  2. right! and considering the fact their trip is costing thousands i don think that $0.50 is gonna make too much of a difference

  3. Oh man, in Vietnam I argued with a lady taking money to use the toilets because I thought she was charging me the wrong price. I was a beligerant, stuck up backpacker.
    Later I realised I had been arguing over 10 fricken cents.
    And she was right anyway!

  4. Good post. Another thing which really annoys me is when people start to get angry with the sellers. What’s so hard about saying “no thank you” with a smile and walking away? Chances are they’ll chase after you with a lower price anyway.

    It’s unfortunate, but a lot of people seem to lose their manners and perspective when bartering.

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