Travel Math Word Problem 1


Two parents and their two children are in Scotland.  They wish to travel and experience the world for the next few months.  However, if they spend less on travel, they can see and experience more and for a longer time.
Through some friends they have free lodging available in Lyon through Jan 29.
The family also wants to go visit friends in Melbourne, Australia, with potential free lodging and transportation there for a limited time.
In short, they have more time than money but want to maximize the travel dollar.  They need your help!!!


  • All four must travel together
  • Travel must be reasonable and must not involve more than 8 hours on a land travel day and no more than 31 hours to Australia.
  • The family can spend only 16 more days in the Schengen countries until March 7, 2017.
  • For calculation purposes, assume $85/night in the UK and Paris and $75 in Lyon and other European locations.
  • Flights, buses, taxis, ferries, and trains are all allowed.
  • The family can walk at most 40 minutes with backpacks (the rail station to/from their lodging, for example).
  • The family can walk 90 minutes one-way without backpacks (to navigate cities and see sights).
  • For sanity and safety purposes, no travel should begin before 8am or end after 9pm.
  • Currency fluctuations over time can be ignored.  Convert all answers to USD.


  • Some flights from Paris are cheaper than from Lyon, but travel and extra lodging may negate the air savings. Apply similar logic for travel to Sydney vs. Melbourne.
  • Flights from the UK to mainland Europe can be cheap, but ferries and the Eurostar may be cheaper AND take less time than airport transport, security, and check-in lines.
  • Friends and family discount rail card applies to most UK trains.
  • Child discount card works on most French rail trips.
  • Some airlines give child discounts, some do not.
  • The SUPER cheap airlines charge for seat reservations and even for carry-on luggage, so they are not always a deal.

Given this info, what should the family do?

Part A (20 points): State your itinerary with dates, times, modes of transport, prices, and locations. Minimize costs (for lodging and travel) while also minimizing travel time and meeting the desired points of interest.
Part B (20 points): Explain, in a grammatically-correct paragraph of 200 words or less, how you calculated this itinerary and why you perceive this as “the best” option.
Part C (10 bonus points): Discuss in 100 words or less what Mike could spend his 2-3 hours per night doing OTHER than logistics exercises to save time and money and enhance these travel experiences.
Part D (1 bazillion bonus points): Find a well-paying job Mike will love and can do remotely on his own schedule to help reduce the need for such careful planning and saving.  State this any way you’d like.  Even an employment contract waiting to be signed will be accepted.
Answer to follow in another post…

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2 Replies to “Travel Math Word Problem 1

  1. Easy. You go to Australia. You go because it will never happen again. Because none of this makes sense, and because it has all been worth every minute. Because let’s face it, everyone knows going to Australia is cool as shit and it’s really hard to get there no matter what your circumstances. Here’s how this honor student who is also a creative professional resolved the math:

    – my heart sort of went “pitter patter gasp!” when it read Australia. And…since it’s all a little dicey, go with awesome. This probably isn’t for Jody, or maybe either of you, but it’s also part of my math: if you died next year, wouldn’t it be nice to do so with tan lines from Australian sunshine? Final math: you owe it to your Aussie friends to balance the visit equation by going to their country for a change. Sheesh. Duh!

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