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Old 04-05-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,689 posts, read 36,118,702 times
Reputation: 63246

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Just to clarify things you, Botev1912, and KathrynAragon are confusing the European Union (which is just a customs agreement similar to NAFTA) with the Schengen Agreement which eliminates regular border checks. If someone was going from either Ireland or the UK to mainland Europe they would still be subjected to regular border checks even though those countries are a part of the EU. However countries such as Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway are covered as part of the Schengen Agreement despite not being part of the European Union.

Schengen Agreement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the record, I'm not confused at all. I understand what the EU is. My point is that OUTSIDE of the EU, there are many countries in close proximity to the EU which would require an EU citizen to have a passport to enter legally. That's all I was saying.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,689 posts, read 36,118,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkilpat01 View Post
I'll take a stab at this... Aside from not having 2,000 bucks to blow on a plane ticket alone (and don't give me self-righteous nonsense about how I shouldn't have bought the 500" tv instead), I'm ... just not curious about other countries. At all. Hell, I had a hell of a time in Boston just trying to figure out how the subway worked. So... Why would I pay 3000+ to have no idea what's going on around me while I look at old buildings?

And let's be honest. that's all there is to it. I've been abroad, and I can say from first-hand experience that trying to convert currencies in my head in a grocery store or ask where the bathroom is in French did not produce the sort of mystical, cross-cultural experience of transcendence, enlightenment, and universal peace-and-lovegasms that some of the people posting on here seem to think it should.

:-)
To each his own.

My husband and I enjoy traveling overseas and we go to Europe every couple of years or so. You're right about one thing - it's not cheap. We just booked flights to London - $1500 each. Hotel in London - $400 a night. Thank goodness that we're able to stay at a B and B in Yorkshire for considerably less per night! Anyway, rental car (with expensive petrol and taking the chance of driving on the "wrong" side of the road) will run about $500 for the trip, but that's a lot less expensive than the BritRail passes we were considering, which were about $500 EACH.

Then factor in a weak dollar and the fact that each meal will cost about a third or more than it costs in the US - not to mention that a dollar doesn't go as far as a pound when it comes to admission costs either, and wow - not an inexpensive trip.

We're blessed to be able to afford it, but it took us years to get to this point of financial security. We're in our fifties now. We couldn't have afforded a comfortable trip like this twenty years ago.

We took our son and his best friend to Germany two years ago - the total cost for the trip was $12,000. Not many Americans OR Europeans have that sort of cash just laying around. It was a graduation gift/anniversary trip for us so we planned for it for several years.

International travel is a top priority for us, but it's certainly not cheap.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
3,093 posts, read 4,134,076 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
To each his own.

My husband and I enjoy traveling overseas and we go to Europe every couple of years or so. You're right about one thing - it's not cheap. We just booked flights to London - $1500 each. Hotel in London - $400 a night. Thank goodness that we're able to stay at a B and B in Yorkshire for considerably less per night! Anyway, rental car (with expensive petrol and taking the chance of driving on the "wrong" side of the road) will run about $500 for the trip, but that's a lot less expensive than the BritRail passes we were considering, which were about $500 EACH.

Then factor in a weak dollar and the fact that each meal will cost about a third or more than it costs in the US - not to mention that a dollar doesn't go as far as a pound when it comes to admission costs either, and wow - not an inexpensive trip.

We're blessed to be able to afford it, but it took us years to get to this point of financial security. We're in our fifties now. We couldn't have afforded a comfortable trip like this twenty years ago.

We took our son and his best friend to Germany two years ago - the total cost for the trip was $12,000. Not many Americans OR Europeans have that sort of cash just laying around. It was a graduation gift/anniversary trip for us so we planned for it for several years.

International travel is a top priority for us, but it's certainly not cheap.
Perfect example of just how expensive international travel can be. I'm in my mid-20s, so I'm nowhere near close being able to financially handle that kind of trip.

Here's what I CAN do on the other hand:

I just got through playing around on jetblue's website and was able to find a round trip ticket from Austin to NYC for one adult for 271 bucks. I'm also fortunate enough to have tons of family in Brooklyn, so I wouldn't need a hotel. I can very feasibly take a Friday and Monday off or wait til Labor Day weekend and have a fun little weekend jaunt around the city of the world for less than one thousand dollars. And still feel like I'm in a totally different country.

That's why a lot of times Americans don't travel abroad as much. And honestly, at this point in my life even if I somehow could scrape together that type of money, I'd be better served saving it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,689 posts, read 36,118,702 times
Reputation: 63246
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTHORNS96 View Post
Perfect example of just how expensive international travel can be. I'm in my mid-20s, so I'm nowhere near close being able financially handle that kind of trip.

Here's what I CAN do on the other hand:

I just got through playing around on jetblue's website and was able to find a round trip ticket from Austin to NYC for one adult for 271 bucks. I'm also fortunate enough to have tons of family in Brooklyn, so I wouldn't need a hotel. I can very feasibly take a Friday and Monday off or wait til Labor Day weekend and have a fun little weekend jaunt around the city of the world for less than one thousand dollars. And still feel like I'm in a totally different country.
Right on.

Hell, I live in Texas. I can drive six hours southwest in my own state and feel like I'm in another country! I wouldn't even be able to speak the most common language!
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
3,093 posts, read 4,134,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Right on.

Hell, I live in Texas. I can drive six hours southwest in my own state and feel like I'm in another country! I wouldn't even be able to speak the most common language!
Exactly! Lol.

I've been thinking about planning Louisiana road trip because yesterday it occured to me just how short a drive it is from Austin to New Orleans. Around seven hours. Me and another person could leave Austin at midnight, take three hour driving shifts, and be eating bengeits and sipping chicory for breakfast.

So much fun stuff to see in our own back yard.

Like I said before. There's so many places I want to see around the world, but if you don't have the money at the moment then you make do with what you do have.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,689 posts, read 36,118,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTHORNS96 View Post
Exactly! Lol.

I've been thinking about planning Louisiana road trip because yesterday it occured to me just how short a drive it is from Austin to New Orleans. Around seven hours. Me and another person could leave Austin at midnight, take three hour driving shifts, and be eating bengeits and sipping chicory for breakfast.

So much fun stuff to see in our own back yard.

Like I said before. There's so many places I want to see around the world, but if you don't have the money at the moment then you make do with what you do have.
Oh my gosh, I love New Orleans. I'm a native. You have GOT to go to New Orleans - it really is like visiting a different country, especially coming from Austin, but basically coming from anywhere. It's so exotic!

I don't care if it's a tourist trap - I love going to Cafe du Monde in the early morning and having some beignets and chicory coffee and people watching. I love the French Market. Don't forget to drive a few minutes out to Metairie and enjoy the art museum and City Park. If you want some restaurant suggestions, let me know!

But I can honestly say I've never eaten one bite of less-than-delicious food in Nawlins. And the night life is, of course, amazing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
3,093 posts, read 4,134,076 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Oh my gosh, I love New Orleans. I'm a native. You have GOT to go to New Orleans - it really is like visiting a different country, especially coming from Austin, but basically coming from anywhere. It's so exotic!

I don't care if it's a tourist trap - I love going to Cafe du Monde in the early morning and having some beignets and chicory coffee and people watching. I love the French Market. Don't forget to drive a few minutes out to Metairie and enjoy the art museum and City Park. If you want some restaurant suggestions, let me know!

But I can honestly say I've never eaten one bite of less-than-delicious food in Nawlins. And the night life is, of course, amazing.
Restaurant suggestions would be great! There's so much to choose from it can be overwhelming, LOL.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,689 posts, read 36,118,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTHORNS96 View Post
Restaurant suggestions would be great! There's so much to choose from it can be overwhelming, LOL.
OK - in "the quahtah" (the French Quarter) you MUST have a po boy at Johnny's.

Johnny's Po-Boys - French Quarter - New Orleans, LA

In the Garden District, take the cable car to the Camellia Grill. Their open faced roast beef sandwich, and their chocolate shakes, are to DIE FOR!!!!!!!!

The Camellia Grill - French Quarter - New Orleans, LA

Of course, have breakfast, every day, at Cafe Du Monde.

Another good restaurant in the quahtah is Acme Oyster House.

Acme Oyster House - French Quarter - New Orleans, LA

Court of the Two Sisters is a very expensive breakfast option (brunch really) - brunch for two will set you back about sixty dollars - but my, it is a luscious experience, with live music and some of the best food, and a beautiful patio area. It's a real treat.

The Court of Two Sisters - French Quarter - New Orleans, LA

In Metairie, Galley Seafood is a local dive that has FANTASTIC seafood and local dishes.

Galley Seafood - Old Metairie - Metairie | Urbanspoon

Oh and for long cool drinks on a hot afternoon or evening, another great local dive in Metairie is Oscars.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/57/15165...t-Bar-Metairie

Very friendly staff, great drinks, and lots of local flavor - not a tourist spot.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Nashua
528 posts, read 1,088,246 times
Reputation: 481
I personally believe that few U.S. citizens travel overseas has to do with the relatively small amount of vacation time we have; compared to Europeans for example. In a given year the average working American has(had) two weeks of vacation. For an overseas vacation in which the air travel cost can be $1000 round trip per person a family vacation with the kids doesn't look as appealing as a trip to a campground here in the U.S.
Add in all the hotel rooms, travel within the country costs and the meals and a first-time trip planner might be intimidated.
After working all year, Dad wants to relax and take it easy not endure the stress of sheperding his flock through unknown territory.
Plus, If you're going to spent that much on air fare you might want more time actually on vacation, like maybe take three or four weeks.
I was only able to take a overseas vacation every three years, for four weeks at a time (visiting relatives) but did not take a summer vacation in the in-between years.
Contrast with the German tourists we met who had over a month off each year. They were looking for things to do to make their vacation interesting since after 15 or twenty years, you can run out of things to do on a month vacation each summer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yinduffy View Post
I personally believe that few U.S. citizens travel overseas has to do with the relatively small amount of vacation time we have; compared to Europeans for example. In a given year the average working American has(had) two weeks of vacation. For an overseas vacation in which the air travel cost can be $1000 round trip per person a family vacation with the kids doesn't look as appealing as a trip to a campground here in the U.S.
Add in all the hotel rooms, travel within the country costs and the meals and a first-time trip planner might be intimidated.
After working all year, Dad wants to relax and take it easy not endure the stress of sheperding his flock through unknown territory.
Plus, If you're going to spent that much on air fare you might want more time actually on vacation, like maybe take three or four weeks.
I was only able to take a overseas vacation every three years, for four weeks at a time (visiting relatives) but did not take a summer vacation in the in-between years.
Contrast with the German tourists we met who had over a month off each year. They were looking for things to do to make their vacation interesting since after 15 or twenty years, you can run out of things to do on a month vacation each summer.
I think these are the main reasons adding to it that don't forget usually mom works too and vacation time has to be coordinated. Mom also "wants to relax and take it easy not endure the stress of sheperding her flock through unkown territory." In other words, this can put a strain on both parents.

I think that is why if you see many Americans at all traveling oversees, it will be retirees because they will have the time and often have the money from a lifetime of saving and the discounts often offered to seniors for senior tours. They don't have to worry about toting kids along either.
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