Photo courtesy of Jessica Garro

Welcome to July! School is officially out, and temperatures have risen. This is the month when many folks decide to hit the road.

Whether you’re RVing across country, boarding a plane for a distant land or just heading down to the beach for some R&R, you’ll need to pack some math skills. From budgeting your costs to figuring out exactly when you’ll arrive, a vacation is no time to rest your brain cells completely. Math can help you save some cash, stay on time and even avoid a nasty sunburn.

This month, we’ll look at all of the ins and outs of travel math. We’ll hear from travel agents and other pros who play a role in your vacation plans. I’ll share some ways that math can keep you on track. Heck, we can even take a look at your odds in Vegas. (I promise, no trains leaving from two different stations at the same time — unless you need to that a problem like that solved for you.)

If you have ideas for a post, do drop me a line. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this logic problem:

Three friends are traveling to their high school reunion together. They arrive at their hotel late at night, only to find that their reservations were lost.  There is only one room with three beds available. They have no choice but to share the room, which the hotel has discounted to \$30. Each of them takes out a 10 dollar bill, which the clerk collects.

After the friends are settled into their room, the manager reconsiders the discount. (He feels terrible!) He decides to offer the room at only \$25 and sends a porter upstairs with \$5 for the three friends.

The porter starts thinking about how to divide the \$5 into three equal parts. When he can’t figure it out, he decides to give \$1 to each friend, and pocket the rest. The friends accept the \$3 refund, and the porter heads back to his post, with the remaining \$2.

Given their \$3 refund, each of the three friends paid \$9 for the room (3 • 9 = \$27). The porter has \$2 in his pocket, making the total \$29 (\$27 + \$2 = \$29). But the friends originally paid \$30!

What happened to the \$1?

Think you know the answer? Share it in the comments section. Then come back on Wednesday to see if you’re right!

Where is the \$1? Post your answer in the comments section. Also, feel free to share your vacation math questions. I’ll address as many as I can throughout the month of July!