STUDENT 1: Donald
If I were Mike or Josh I would ultimately compromise and take which ever trip is cheaper at the time. Yes, the cheaper trip may be the one I am not as invested in but the key thing is it is cheaper. Cheaper is better on a college level salary. There can always be another chance to travel to one of these locations with a friend or significant other later.
If I am making a decision on cost and cost alone I think I would take the cheaper trip being France or Spain and try to make it cheaper travel wise. France is a big bicycle friendly area so if neither of them mind sightseeing during the day on a bike that could dramatically cut cost. They could travel via car at night if and when they do go out.
If cost is not a factor it comes down to what each of us like. As we can see Mike wants to go to South Africa to see history and culture. Opposed to Josh who wants to sight see as well but in a more modern setting and cultural location. If both cannot decide, then I feel they should choose a third location based on the needs and wants of both. The point of a trip like this is to enjoy the time spent abroad and learn what you can, if not $3,500 is a large chunk of money to not enjoy a two-week trip.
My research from Kayak is that a flight from Dallas Fort-Worth airport will cost about $1486 nonstop into Paris. This leaves $2014 leftover which is a healthy budget to live on for a two-week time. A flight into Madrid cost $1768 which leaves $1732 leftover, again this is a healthy budget to love off for two weeks but it may prove a little difficult at times opposed to traveling to France.
To start out this decision making process, it is important for Josh and Mike to use the bottom-up method estimate because it deals with the smallest elements of the project (plane trip, hotels and etc.) to gain the most accurate picture of the total costs and scope of the trip. Of course, like our reading has explained, it will be impossible to know exact costs because many external factors can change such as the local economy in the countries they visit or fluctuations of tourism. However, Mike has a bit of advantage because his opinion is backed up by the template method because he has traveled to Europe before and argues that based on his previous experience, the cost of traveling within the continent is costly and therefore, they should go to South Africa. To begin, both Mike and Josh need to do some basic information gathering using the consensus method which means they need to research online blogs, articles and sources online from experienced travelers to see what they post about costs of travel in each of these countries will be. From researching flight costs on Kayak, it appears that the median cost quote going from St. Paul Minnesota to South Africa costs $650 if planned 6 weeks ahead of time. Going from St. Paul Minnesota to France costs an average of $600 if planned 6 weeks in advance. Because flights are so easy to find and price compare now, I would predict that these prices could fluctuate $100 more or less each depending on costs of luggage fees. And honestly, it is very difficult to know based purely on cost, which destination they should choose! If they decide to stay in hostels in Europe, they could get lodging for as low as $30 a night. Likewise, in South Africa there are many of group lodging options and affordable, hotels. And depending on what the friends decide to do, forms of entertainment are going to widely differ as well! If they want to really do “tourist attraction” activities, this will cost a good amount of money in each location. They should both be able to search online using sites like “Groupon” for example to purchase group discounted coupons on local dining, attractions and activities. If they are savvy shoppers, I would argue that each trip could cost potentially the same. I think this issue comes down to Mike and Josh having a disagreement on which area they really want to see. Clearly, Mike has already traveled to Europe so he is not as willing to spend his money going to France. To him, his money is better spent in a country that will give him an entirely new experience. In project management terms, this is focusing on “benefits realization management, which provides organizations means of measuring how projects add value to the business” (Murphy, 2017) or in this case, experience. Josh and Mike need to come together and truly discuss how each of them are measuring the “value” of the trip. Both of them need to have a “heart to heart” about how each trip would provide different experiences and if there can be a compromise.
Murphy, N. (n.d.). Five keys to win at project management. Retrieved August 23, 2017, from http://businessandfinance.com/blog/guest-blog-five…