U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,349,406 times
Reputation: 6670

Advertisements

I can't remember if I've posted here or not, but I would say a big reason, perhaps the main reason Americans don't travel abroad is time constraints. Few jobs worked by people in their 20s and 30s offer more than 2 weeks of vacation time; many don't offer it at all, or offer it minimally. Americans tend to be mobile, so what precious vacation time there is likely to be spent visiting family members 1,000 miles away. Taking a unpaid sabbatical is an option for some people, but in this rough economy you are more likely to be forced to just quit, and most bosses do not like the idea of one of their workers, whom they invested in, to just not show up for work for 4 or 6 weeks. Quitting and then trying to find work again after your trip is not an option either; this usually entails losing health coverage or having to pay ridiculous COBRA premiums (I don't know if this even an option when your voluntarily quit), having to make car payments (because for most Americans, the only socially accepted and efficient method of transportation is driving yourself), etc., etc.

All the while, residents of some European countries can take vacations of 2 or 3 weeks or more and maintain employment. A guy in his late 20's or early 30's from Germany whom I met at a hostel in Merida told me his boss surprised him with a "forced" vacation, and he was on the second week.

Many Americans may not have the money to travel at any point in their life, but for a very large segment of the population, I would say that travel could be financially viable (if it weren't for the time constraints) if intelligent decisions were made about consumption in other areas, and travel was not up to "home" standards (e.g. cheap hotels, hostels, non-gourmet restaurants, etc.). Due to the time constraints, however, most Americans spend their surplus money on other things than travel. Around here, they spend their discretionary income on eating out (Americans, at least until recently, ate out an average of like 4 times a week), home entertainment (you would not believe the proportion of people in their 20's that have big-screen TVs), hunting and fishing (guns, boats, etc.), and motorized equipment that would not suit the incomes or land use policies of most of the countries where people travel avidly (ATVs, dirt bikes, boats - it would not be highly unusual for a 30-year-old single man here to have an ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile, fishing boat, or Jet Ski, or any combination thereof).

One thing that seems to becoming more common, though, are semesters abroad or at least trips abroad while in university. I know people who have done study abroad trips in England, China, Chile, Australia, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Ecuador, Mexico, France, Russia, Morocco, India, and Germany, to name a few countries. A good percentage of college students in recent years (at least who graduated from my school) have either studied abroad or traveled in a university-affiliated program.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:22 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,179,975 times
Reputation: 35922
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
I can't remember if I've posted here or not, but I would say a big reason, perhaps the main reason Americans don't travel abroad is time constraints. Few jobs worked by people in their 20s and 30s offer more than 2 weeks of vacation time; many don't offer it at all, or offer it minimally. Americans tend to be mobile, so what precious vacation time there is likely to be spent visiting family members 1,000 miles away. Taking a unpaid sabbatical is an option for some people, but in this rough economy you are more likely to be forced to just quit, and most bosses do not like the idea of one of their workers, whom they invested in, to just not show up for work for 4 or 6 weeks. Quitting and then trying to find work again after your trip is not an option either; this usually entails losing health coverage or having to pay ridiculous COBRA premiums (I don't know if this even an option when your voluntarily quit), having to make car payments (because for most Americans, the only socially accepted and efficient method of transportation is driving yourself), etc., etc.

All the while, residents of some European countries can take vacations of 2 or 3 weeks or more and maintain employment.

Some Americans may not have the money to travel, but for a very large segment of the population, I would say that travel could be financially viable (if it weren't for the time constraints) if intelligent decisions were made about consumption in other areas, and travel was not up to "home" standards (e.g. cheap hotels, hostels, non-gourmet restaurants, etc.). Due to the time constraints, however, most Americans spend their surplus money on other things than travel. Around here, they spend their discretionary income on eating out (Americans, at least until recently, ate out an average of like 4 times a week), home entertainment (you would not believe the proportion of people in their 20's that have big-screen TVs), hunting and fishing (guns, boats, etc.), and motorized equipment that would not suit the incomes or land use policies of most of the countries where people travel avidly (ATVs, dirt bikes, boats - it would not be highly unusual for a 30-year-old single man here to have an ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile, fishing boat, or Jet Ski, or any combination thereof).

One thing that seems to becoming more common, though, are semesters abroad or at least trips abroad while in university. I know people who have done study abroad trips in England, China, Chile, Australia, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Ecuador, Mexico, France, Russia, Morocco, India, and Germany, to name a few countries. A good percentage of college students in recent years (at least who graduated from my school) have either studied abroad or traveled in a university-affiliated program.
Some folks work in fields such as education where they cannot get time off except during peak travel seasons (summer, Christmas/New Years) so the cost of travel tends to be higher during those times. I have very few "toys" and don't even own a car so there's not much for me to cut out of my budget. Since my employment situation is unstable, I have to ensure that I have some savings so my travel expenditures need to be modest, which is why I stay within the US at least at this point in my life. Besides, I am a single female with a hearing impairment who doesn't know any foreign languages so I'm reluctant to travel overseas solo ... Canada is about as foreign as I'm willing to do solo.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: England
24,852 posts, read 6,184,468 times
Reputation: 30438
Chatteress - if your financial situation changes in the future, don't hesitate to travel to
europe, language is no problem if you travel to tourist areas, english is spoken all over.
My wife and I have been to Spain, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Tunisia and
the Canary Isles - no problem, english speakers everywhere. Spain and Greece are awash
with English tourists most of the year, it's where we go on holiday, and we love
Americans, you'll be just fine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 10:11 AM
 
3,111 posts, read 7,023,864 times
Reputation: 4251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
Some folks work in fields such as education where they cannot get time off except during peak travel seasons (summer, Christmas/New Years) so the cost of travel tends to be higher during those times. I have very few "toys" and don't even own a car so there's not much for me to cut out of my budget. Since my employment situation is unstable, I have to ensure that I have some savings so my travel expenditures need to be modest, which is why I stay within the US at least at this point in my life. Besides, I am a single female with a hearing impairment who doesn't know any foreign languages so I'm reluctant to travel overseas solo ... Canada is about as foreign as I'm willing to do solo.
You don't have to defend your choice. I've met many people in different countries who had no desire to travel outside of their city.

It's a personal choice. Some people want to travel to foreign destinations, and others do not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,179,975 times
Reputation: 35922
Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
Chatteress - if your financial situation changes in the future, don't hesitate to travel to
europe, language is no problem if you travel to tourist areas, english is spoken all over.
My wife and I have been to Spain, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Tunisia and
the Canary Isles - no problem, english speakers everywhere. Spain and Greece are awash
with English tourists most of the year, it's where we go on holiday, and we love
Americans, you'll be just fine.
If that's the case, then I feel better then. I'm very bad with picking up languages due to my hearing impairment ... I can learn it but hearing it spoken to me is challenging as I often cannot make out the words. I just felt that it was presumptuous of me to visit foreign countries and not be able to speak their language but due to my hearing challenge, I don't have much choice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:25 AM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,590,128 times
Reputation: 2334
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrEarth View Post
You don't have to defend your choice. I've met many people in different countries who had no desire to travel outside of their city.

It's a personal choice. Some people want to travel to foreign destinations, and others do not.

Ditto.

It's the hardhead who insists that his travel to Mexico, Canada, and a few South/Central American countries is the epitome way of traveling. It's very obnoxious that he continues to put down anyone who doesn't have the same desire with him. It's also offensive that he uses the only way to feel important: attacking other people's choices and life goals.

We chose travel as our #1 priority so we minimize other expenses in our life to fulfill our desire. That decision makes sense to us, but other people are horrified (some even criticized us on these forums) at our pathetic/almost non-existent nest egg. We don't care to defend ourselves; we also understand other people's need to create an amply-stuffed cushion for their rainy days. We all fumble our ways through life, and no one's path or method is better than the other person's is.

If you love to explore your own country through its smallest towns and tiniest farms, follow your own desire and feel good about it. If you like metro cities with neon lights and varieties of performing arts, jump in with both feet. If you don't wish to deal with foreign travel, do not bother with passport and currency exchange. Do what makes sense to you and follow what makes you happy, as long as it's not illegal, immoral, or fattening.

Oh, and just tell anyone who expresses his over-inflated ego via his big mouth to put a sock in it.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 08-13-2011 at 12:04 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 11:47 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,627,330 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miaiam View Post
I don't think traveling within one's country and traveling overseas have to be incompatible ideas. One might have a great time in one's home country and also enjoy traveling to other countries.
That would be me. That said, I've been to the 48 continental states, I think there are only a couple I haven't been to more than once. My bucket list of places I haven't visited yet in the continental US can be counted on a single hand.

I plan on visiting both Alaska and Hawaii in the next five years.

I also plan on visiting Italy, Greece, Croatia, the UK, and either Australia or Russia (haven't decided which yet) over the next five years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: England
24,852 posts, read 6,184,468 times
Reputation: 30438
The best trip I ever had was my first trip to America in 1988. I had wanted to visit
the USA since I was a kid reading my superman comics in the early 60s. One day, I
just decided I was going, bought a plane ticket to New York, and a greyhound pass
for two weeks. I got a bus out, and after a few days ended up in Zanesville, Ohio!! I
cn tell you, they thought I was real unusual! I had a great time that two weeks, sometimes
you've just got to do things on impulse, best when you're young. I fell in love with America
that trip, which has lasted to this day. All I can say to people thinking of travelling, maybe a
little nervous, you only live once.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,417 posts, read 21,263,654 times
Reputation: 24246
I live in Las Vegas, heavily dependent on foreign travelers, more so than ever. The locals, here, particularly those who have never made a foreign trip, can't comprehend why more foreign travelers don't come here, which is this city's bread and butter.

If any of these locals realized how painful a 21 hour trip from India was, or a similarly long painful trip from China, Japan, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, or Brazil (more and more tourists are coming from prosperous Brazil) they might be surprised that any of them takes the effort to travel here.

And how many of these locals would reciprocate the favor and stimulate the tourist economy in the above-mentioned countries?

It's incomprehensible to me, when any of them, will say: I'd rather travel in my country and stimulate the tourist economy in my own country.

And if the foreign travelers did likewise, this city would go dark, we'd starve!

Last edited by tijlover; 08-13-2011 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: edit
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2011, 08:38 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,179,975 times
Reputation: 35922
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I live in Las Vegas, heavily dependent on foreign travelers, more so than ever. The locals, here, particularly those who have never made a foreign trip, can't comprehend why more foreign travelers don't come here, which is this city's bread and butter.

If any of these locals realized how painful a 21 hour trip from India was, or a similarly long painful trip from China, Japan, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, or Brazil (more and more tourists are coming from prosperous Brazil) they might be surprised that any of them takes the effort to travel here.

And how many of these locals would reciprocate the favor and stimulate the tourist economy in the above-mentioned countries?

It's incomprehensible to me, when any of them, will say: I'd rather travel in my country and stimulate the tourist economy in my own country.

And if the foreign travelers did likewise, this city would go dark, we'd starve!


Honey ... As often as my friends and family visit Vegas, the casinos and tourism should be in excellent shape.

By the way, Americans ARE visiting foreign nations but it isn't a priority for everyone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top