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Old 03-10-2013, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,340,040 times
Reputation: 6670

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I think it largely has to do with distance, vacation time, and spending priorities. The U.S. is a geographically quite isolated country - and both of its neighbors (Canada and Mexico) are popular destinations for Americans. A glance at a map of Europe will prove to you that there are far more countries in a much smaller area than the U.S. occupies. Airfares for international flights are expensive by European standards, often running more than $1500 per person to cross the Atlantic, and even more to cross the Pacific. Furthermore, even though Americans may have the financial resources to travel they do not necessarily have the time. As has been repeated on this thread, American employers are tightfisted with vacation time, and even the 14 or 17 days of vacation time that you do get (if you're lucky) often cannot be used consecutively, if not by formal rule then by informal custom. On a vacation to Europe or Asia, it will take one to three days to just get adjusted to the jet lag: days which many Americans would find better value in visiting family or traveling in their own country (or at a resort in Mexico). In contrast, Europeans can fly the whole family for a relatively low price to Morocco or Egypt or Turkey. This leads to different spending preferences - compared to most Europeans, the average American lives a rather opulent lifestyle. We have bigger and more luxurious cars, much larger houses with more amenities, etc. Although this can partly be explained by Americans earning more money and paying less in taxes (and often, simply raw prices before taxes) than most European nationalities, Americans do prefer to spend their money on different things than Germans.

In addition, does the average trip to Benidorm, Corfu, or Sharm el-Sheikh really provide much in the way of cultural enrichment?
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,340,040 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForYourLungsOnly View Post
Stereotypes are pathetic, yes even targeted to Americans. Many foreigners are ignorant to what America truly is. Maybe they CAN'T understand what it like to live in a country where one of our states is the size to their own entire country. I am as Liberal as they come and as worldy accepting as they come, but I find many country's stereotypes of Americans as ignorant as American's stereotypes of other countries. Lots of Americans don't travel abroad until they are in their 30s. Why should they? They can go from Miami to Seattle and feel like they are in and ENTIRELY different region of the PLANET. That does NOT mean they are ignorant to the world. Some of the smartest and most unbiased people I know are Americans, and I know people from Asia to Jordan to Wessex. Everyone chill the * out.
Really?

Those whom I know in their 30s are usually settled down with children and have a variety of debts (student loans, car payments, mortgage), and not yet making their peak income.

It's in the late teens and early/mid 20's, and perhaps beginning again the 40's and 50's, that Americans really travel internationally (excluding Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean), except if they're wealthy, travel globally for business, DINKs, or immigrants (all of which are categories that would put an individual in the firm minority).
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,340,040 times
Reputation: 6670
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Fair questions. Travel is almost a side issue here, but lets look at it.

First, college is not the only route to a solid income. Have you paid a plumber or auto mechanic lately? There are folks who did not have the intellectual capacity to finish high school, but have the technical intelligence to earn quite lucrative incomes. So let's say Person A graduated from college, married his sweetheart, had 4 kids and leveraged himself to buy a McMansion, leaving him no money for travel. And let's say Person B became a plumber, built her client base, has a boyfriend and doesn't want children because she prefers material things. She has funds to take two trips overseas every year. I am not saying one person has made "better" choices than the other, nor that one is happier than the other. I am simply saying these different outcomes are a result of the choices each person made.

Next, let's look at two high school drop-outs who lost their minimum-wage jobs and receive government assistance of, lets say, $22K/year. Person A smokes, has a live-in girlfriend and has fathered two children under three years of age. Person B moves into a small room in his sister's basement and attends a community-sponsored technical training program during the day. Each has made a choice as to how they allocate their time and money. I am not saying either has money to travel (likely not), but I am saying that their choices have leave them with different options. For example, Person B might actually be able to accompany his sister to the shore for an occasional day trip. More importantly, Person B would seem to have a better chance of improving his income down the road, which will provide more opportunities over time - be they travel or other priorities.

Our choices open some doors and close others.
Is a plumber really likely to take overseas trips? In my experience, a person's formal education and cultural curiosity are strongly correlated.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:27 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,940,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I never thought of that but you can also add to it that many Americans also have to spend their money on health care too. And housing can be less expensive in Europe as well. So maybe we can say that Europeans have a bit more discretionary income to spend on travel than the average American.
Yes, I’m not trying to political, but it is literally a Socialist model, where everyone has access to affordable education, free health care, and generous vacation time. However, those are they good parts of the model—there are downsides as well. It’s harder to get a job, and you don’t have the flexibility to change careers like you do in the US. You live with choices (for good or ill) that you make when you’re 16 for the rest of your life.

Also, many Americans, even comparatively working class families, have second homes/cabins, etc., go hunting and have expensive toys like boats. All of these things would be very upper class, borderline aristocratic in Britain. Same things for weekend leisure activities, like tennis and golf.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:33 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
270 posts, read 491,337 times
Reputation: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post

Some other reasons: It seems as though many people in many other countries hate Americans. Why go someplace to experience hate?
But that's not the case in Europe. I only hear that from Americans and I'm always wondering why they feel like that?

My husband is from the US, we live in Germany and he's over here for more than 15 years. Not one bad experience with locals for the whole time and he still thinks that "the world hate Americans".

Normally he tries to speak in a low voice, so nobody will recognize him as an American.

One time he forgot and spoke a little louder. Do you know what happend? An older man came to us, patted on his shoulder and asked: "Do you know why I feel safe over here? With all the people from Iran and China, etc.? Because you Americans are still in Germany."

So...at least in Europe you are not hated.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,166,272 times
Reputation: 7738
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
I think it largely has to do with distance, vacation time, and spending priorities. The U.S. is a geographically quite isolated country - and both of its neighbors (Canada and Mexico) are popular destinations for Americans. A glance at a map of Europe will prove to you that there are far more countries in a much smaller area than the U.S. occupies. Airfares for international flights are expensive by European standards, often running more than $1500 per person to cross the Atlantic, and even more to cross the Pacific. Furthermore, even though Americans may have the financial resources to travel they do not necessarily have the time. As has been repeated on this thread, American employers are tightfisted with vacation time, and even the 14 or 17 days of vacation time that you do get (if you're lucky) often cannot be used consecutively, if not by formal rule then by informal custom. On a vacation to Europe or Asia, it will take one to three days to just get adjusted to the jet lag: days which many Americans would find better value in visiting family or traveling in their own country (or at a resort in Mexico). In contrast, Europeans can fly the whole family for a relatively low price to Morocco or Egypt or Turkey. This leads to different spending preferences - compared to most Europeans, the average American lives a rather opulent lifestyle. We have bigger and more luxurious cars, much larger houses with more amenities, etc. Although this can partly be explained by Americans earning more money and paying less in taxes (and often, simply raw prices before taxes) than most European nationalities, Americans do prefer to spend their money on different things than Germans.

In addition, does the average trip to Benidorm, Corfu, or Sharm el-Sheikh really provide much in the way of cultural enrichment?

Not sure I tottaly agree. London is basically 1 hour further for me by flight than is LA. On Jet Lag, its pretty easy, you take off around 9PM sleep on the plane and arrive in Europe in the moring, the first day is a litle sleepy but not so bad. Also many times flights to Europe are as cheap or even cheaper (sometimes more expensive) than a flight to the West coast for me.

I have been traveling abroad most of my life with some regularity (probably average 1 to 2 trips a year though work adds to this as at least one is generally work related or vacation piggybacked on work
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,954 posts, read 9,052,966 times
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Europeans don't hate Americans. Some people in the poorer countries in Europe actually are jealous of Americans because they think Americans are very rich. Also, many restaurant workers love American customers because of the generous tips.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,797 posts, read 36,186,607 times
Reputation: 63463
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Not sure I tottaly agree. London is basically 1 hour further for me by flight than is LA. On Jet Lag, its pretty easy, you take off around 9PM sleep on the plane and arrive in Europe in the moring, the first day is a litle sleepy but not so bad. Also many times flights to Europe are as cheap or even cheaper (sometimes more expensive) than a flight to the West coast for me.

I have been traveling abroad most of my life with some regularity (probably average 1 to 2 trips a year though work adds to this as at least one is generally work related or vacation piggybacked on work
I'm assuming you live on the East Coast. Am I correct?

Anyway, there's a LOT to see between the east coast and LA. If you live on the east coast, you could spend a lifetime exploring just up and down the Atlantic seaboard and never run out of interesting things to do.

Without dealing with jetlag, international customs, passports, three hour check ins at the airport, and $1600 tickets.

Also, you mention that most of your trips overseas coincide with work, which means that either 1) your employer is paying at least part of the cost (airfare, some room and board, etc) or 2) your trip is tax deductible if you are self employed. This is unusual.

My husband and I are planning a trip to the UK in May. The round trip tickets alone are going to be $1600 each. The hotel in London is going to be around $400 a night. BritRail passes for 8 days are over $500 EACH. I haven't even added in subway and bus fares, meals, getting into attractions, etc.

It will be fun but it will also be very expensive. A couple of years ago we went to Europe and took two teens with us, for ten days. Total cost: $14,000. That's expendable income. Our economy isn't strong. Not many people have that much cash just laying around.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 35,205,885 times
Reputation: 4899
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
My husband and I are planning a trip to the UK in May.
You will enjoy yourselfs !!
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:27 PM
 
1,512 posts, read 7,269,051 times
Reputation: 1122
For myself, not traveling internationally boils down to having to take shots (I may sound like a child, but I hate needles), navgating the potentially dangerous motorists and roadways from other countries, lack of funds (as stated previously), and the long flight times (I cannot deal with being confined for long periods of time). Also, the opportunity has not risen for me to visit many places at the current time, whether it's a domestic or international trip.
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