…things begin to fall apart when what you save in cash is far from commensurate with what you lose in other travel currencies: time, comfort, taste, nutrition, convenience, ethics, health or safety, to name a few.

I see it all the time. People become so obsessed with saving that it becomes the focal point of the trip, the primary topic of conversation and even the subject of competitive one-upmanship. Oh, you drove a hard bargain at the hostel and paid $11 instead of $12? Well, I crashed on the floor of a church for free — unless of course you count the cost of aspirin for the backache and coffee for the lack of actual sleep. (Accounts of these grand victories, by the way, all too often take place over drinks that wipe out any savings many times over.)