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Old 12-20-2011, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Ontario
329 posts, read 793,589 times
Reputation: 287

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The average American doesn't really travel out of the country much let alone overseas. I am not really sure the reason, maybe overestimating the cost of traveling or traveling to other countries is not a priority?

I have a theory that because a lot of things can be bought very cheaply in the U.S. for example homes, gas, goods, etc. that most American's money is tied up in these things. In Europe for example, it is dense and home prices are probably very high so many people probably rent. Also, transit is better so the average person doesn't need to spend money on gas or cars.

In America it seems, we are encouraged to purchase the best house or car that we can possibly afford so not much money is left over for travel.

 
Old 12-20-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,587,252 times
Reputation: 2334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidee View Post
I ignored most of your rant about "never" and passports. But you forget:
- Europe is 50 countries.
- EU has 27 member states.
- EU was formed in 1958
- EU was named European Union in 1993
- The Eurozone was created in 1999
- Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 and also includes some non-EU member states.

The words "never" and "passports" are originated from the OP's post. I only repeated them to reply to the OP's statement. The OP said s/he never met an American while travelling. That was a ridiculous statement. Then the OP said, "not as much as I should". What does that mean, not as much as the OP should? The millions of American travellers are all invisible to the OP?

It does not matter when EU was formed or how many countries were in Europe or in the EU, everyone still needed a passport to go from one country to another before 2002.

I lived in Italy from April 2000 to November 2007. Before 2002, to take a bus from Umbria to Nice, a non-French citizen must have a passport to show at the border. I took that trip many times with Italian and German friends who lived in Italy, we all had to show our passports even though Italy, Germany, and France were three of the original 15 EU members. All in the same family, but not when travelling. That was the main reason Europeans have passports. Before 2002, they could not be very far from their homes without it, while, up until recently, Americans could go to Canada, Mexico, and several islands with just a driver license or state issued ID. No passport needed.

My problem is with the statement which most Europeans (and some Americans) use to criticize Americans, "only a small percentage of Americans have passports, meaning Americans are too ignorant and too arrogant to travel to foreign countries."

Yes, there are arrogant Americans who do not care to travel outside of North America. There are also arrogant Europeans who think they are superior to everyone who is not European and anyone who do not care to travel to Europe. Americans are bashed all the time for our "attitude". As if attitude is something only Americans possess? Not. Do the French have attitude? Do the Germans? Do the Italians? Do the English? We all have attitude, that's part of our makeups. Without attitude, we would all be sheep and cows.

Many, many, many threads have existed on this forum on this same subject. How many times can one read the same thing without being stirred up?

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 12-20-2011 at 11:40 AM..
 
Old 12-20-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: New York
1,339 posts, read 2,253,117 times
Reputation: 1506
Loads of reasons......

There are a lot of Americans who have no passport or any desire to travel outside the US just as there are many Europeans, Chinese, Indians who are of the same mindset.
Americans have lots of things stacked against them also. The low dollar against European currencies doesn't help in trying to temp them over to Europe. The small amount of holidays is also a big influence. If I only had 2 weeks holiday I wouldn't want to spend a day getting to a destination and another day getting home again.
Whilst I agree there are many beautiful bits of the US to explore, beaches, mountains different cities I don't agree that this alone is a substitute for not seeing what the rest of the world has to offer.... but thats because I am curious. I wanted to see Ayres Rock myself, I wanted to walk the Wall in China, I wanted to eat curry in India, I travelled to the US and South America before I lived here despite having lots of other places in Europe on my to see list... but that is purely a personality thing. Not everyone has that desire.

As a European I understand why people are bemused by the low passport % as I don't think I know anyone who doesn't own a passport in either the UK or Switzerland I do still need my passport to travel to France and Switzerland. And I see the point made about needing a passport to go to another country that may only be a couple of hundred miles away but I have to say that again all of my family and my husbands (except my Mum who hates flying) have been outside of Europe to Asia or USA.

Its also worth mentioning that from Europe we also get great travel deals and we have more holidays days per year.

To some extent I do see that some Americans might be put off by the language issue. As Europeans it is a regular occurrence to travel to another country not knowing the language and not such a big deal.

Somebody mentioned student loans - they also play a big part in the number of teenagers / twenty somethings that can afford to travel. The majority of Aussies and kiwis are encouraged to 'take a year off study' before working to travel the world, this is something a lot of Brits I know have also been encouraged to do, but those people do not have the huge student debt a lot of Americans have.

I also agree with the poster who said Americans may have different priorities, Most teenagers need to buy a car as public transport isn't good, when I was a teenager and early 20's I worked and saved money to be able to travel, I'd been to India alone at 21 and had been to several European countries and NYC with friends, but I was prepared to eat beans everyday so I could do that. I didn't need a car and didn't desire the sort of products people can't live without nowadays - Big TV's, iPhones etc etc
 
Old 12-21-2011, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,382 posts, read 21,223,392 times
Reputation: 24210
Consistently, when I make a 1-2 week trip in my own country, after I tote up the expenses in the end, I'm right there to say: Sheesh! I could have traveled to South or Central America for less! And I have! That rental car expense alone, with the Loss Waiver Damage, eats up so much of my budget, whereas, in Central/South America that wouldn't have even been part of my expenses, given their exemplary transit system down there. Yes, those chicken buses aren't as comfy as a Greyhound or rental car, but who cares, all I want to do is get from Point A to Point G! And I simply can't find a really decent room in this country for $15-20 like I can down there!

Add it up some time after a 1-2 week trip in the U.S., and compare what it would have cost you to leave the country! Europe? Regrettably, that's out of my income level!

Yes, often enough, it's that rental car expense that does it everytime! Equal to the airfare to some point in Central America.

I just blew $325+ for a car rental (+ gas + ungodly car rental taxes) to Tucson & back for 5 days, and for that I could have almost flown to San Salvador or Guatemala City for that!

Last edited by tijlover; 12-21-2011 at 12:54 AM.. Reason: add words
 
Old 12-21-2011, 04:09 AM
 
Location: Sweden
28 posts, read 29,060 times
Reputation: 40
Some very interesting info, thanks.. Some of you mention "money" as an issue. Well i guess spending a week in ie Malaysia would be much cheaper than a week in Florida. Money is one reason that Swedes leaves our (expensive) home country for vacation, you´ll get so much more for the money.

The main reason is of course that you have such big country yourself.

Also sorry for those who was offended, i didnt mean to critisise, i was just curios.
Also i didnt know this was a common subject in other threads, sorry.
 
Old 12-21-2011, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Sweden
28 posts, read 29,060 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
I'd agree with the above. We live on the west coast, so we can drive to the beach, the mountains, the desert - all in one weekend if we wished. Plus we go to Hawaii at least once a year.
This is interesting, i think. You obviously have the money and the time. But you choose to go to Hawaii twice or more per year.

Wouldnt you find it interesting to see any other culture or any other country rather than revisit Hawaii and meeting other americans time after time?

The prices in ie Thailand or Bali is way below the Hawaii prices, so its not about the money. Travel time isnt a big issue either. Why, Hawaii over and over?

I´ve nothing against american ppl, actually i find u often being the nicest. I just find it sad that you wont travel outside your own borders more than you do. Also its not a Europe-US thing, you dont see French ppl outside france either.

Visiting a beach in Hawaii or a beach in Malaysia is a totally different thing.
Visiting mountains in Colorado or mountains in Nepal isnt the same thing at all. Travelling is just as much about the ppl and the culture.
 
Old 12-21-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,888 times
Reputation: 1624
Quote:
Originally Posted by silfwer View Post
This is interesting, i think. You obviously have the money and the time. But you choose to go to Hawaii twice or more per year.

Wouldnt you find it interesting to see any other culture or any other country rather than revisit Hawaii and meeting other americans time after time?

The prices in ie Thailand or Bali is way below the Hawaii prices, so its not about the money. Travel time isnt a big issue either. Why, Hawaii over and over?

I´ve nothing against american ppl, actually i find u often being the nicest. I just find it sad that you wont travel outside your own borders more than you do. Also its not a Europe-US thing, you dont see French ppl outside france either.

Visiting a beach in Hawaii or a beach in Malaysia is a totally different thing.
Visiting mountains in Colorado or mountains in Nepal isnt the same thing at all. Travelling is just as much about the ppl and the culture.
I can't speak for Bakeneko, but I can say that Los Angeles to Hawaii is about a six hour flight with only a couple of hours in time zone change. Los Angeles to Bangkok is about 17 hours with closer to 10 hours in time zone change. The flights to Hawaii would almost certainly be cheaper, but certainly other expenses would be lower in Thailand/Malaysia/etc...

Consider also that Hawaii is comprised of multiple islands each with a unique topography/climate/etc... and that Hawaii offers a unique Polynesian cultural experience, even if much of the area has been largely westernized. It also has almost perfect weather year-round. If I lived only a "short" flight from Hawaii, I'd be hard pressed not to go there repeatedly to experience the different islands or even different parts of the same islands I'd previously visitied. For example, Hilo and Kona on the Big Island are vastly different.

I should add that I'm a huge fan of international travel and cultural immersion, but even so Hawaii is tough to beat if one lives on the west coast of the US.
 
Old 12-21-2011, 07:34 AM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,417,796 times
Reputation: 3085
Quote:
Originally Posted by silfwer View Post
Some very interesting info, thanks.. Some of you mention "money" as an issue. Well i guess spending a week in ie Malaysia would be much cheaper than a week in Florida. Money is one reason that Swedes leaves our (expensive) home country for vacation, you´ll get so much more for the money.

The main reason is of course that you have such big country yourself.

Also sorry for those who was offended, i didnt mean to critisise, i was just curios.
Also i didnt know this was a common subject in other threads, sorry.
Somewhat related topic, I remember when I first moved to California I remember thinking it was amazing how many cars I saw from all over the United States. I was kind of stunned at how many Americans traveled to visit California.
 
Old 12-21-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,224,622 times
Reputation: 16496
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Consistently, when I make a 1-2 week trip in my own country, after I tote up the expenses in the end, I'm right there to say: Sheesh! I could have traveled to South or Central America for less! And I have! That rental car expense alone, with the Loss Waiver Damage, eats up so much of my budget, whereas, in Central/South America that wouldn't have even been part of my expenses, given their exemplary transit system down there. Yes, those chicken buses aren't as comfy as a Greyhound or rental car, but who cares, all I want to do is get from Point A to Point G! And I simply can't find a really decent room in this country for $15-20 like I can down there!

Add it up some time after a 1-2 week trip in the U.S., and compare what it would have cost you to leave the country! Europe? Regrettably, that's out of my income level!

Yes, often enough, it's that rental car expense that does it everytime! Equal to the airfare to some point in Central America.

I just blew $325+ for a car rental (+ gas + ungodly car rental taxes) to Tucson & back for 5 days, and for that I could have almost flown to San Salvador or Guatemala City for that!

Most of those countries are pretty dangerous, and I'd say most people with families wouldn't want to risk anything knowing they have children at home.
 
Old 12-21-2011, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,122,888 times
Reputation: 1624
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Most of those countries are pretty dangerous,
I disagree with this statement. While most of these countries might have dangerous areas, it does not mean that most of these countries are dangerous. Of course, the exact same thing could be said of the United States.
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