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Old 05-24-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,834,959 times
Reputation: 16632

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Every time we travel, whether cruising or otherwise, I am appalled at the outrageous, 'whatever the traffic will bear' prices, fees, add-on's that travelers 'must' pay. To name a few: 20-30% Hotel room/ bed taxes and fees, stale $14 airport sandwiches, remote airport parking fees, restaurant (in/near hotel area) pricing, 'tourist trap' entry fees, 'where else can they go' cruise ship drink prices, etc.

Yes, I know, (or so my wife tells me), "That's what things cost when you travel ... you can either pay it or stay home!" -- But, for me, this is one of those things where "It really isn't the money, ... it's the principle of the thing!" In many cases, I feel like 'tourist businesses' should simply get a mask and a gun ... and bypass the 'exchange of shoddy products and services!'

Okay, I'm ranting! ... and, "there's nothing I can do about it" ...."I don't have to buy it" ... "tourist season is when a lot of businesses must make all of their (your) money", "I should be glad we can afford to travel in this economy."

But, honestly folks, Do the 'unethical, soak the tourist practices' also take a lot of fun out of traveling for you? How do you avoid the feelings of 'being taken advantage of' ... so it doesn't spoil the travel (and make you sound/feel cheap)?
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,093,039 times
Reputation: 3568
It's simple, I avoid the tourist traps.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:56 AM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,131,529 times
Reputation: 9518
Read Mark Twain's "Tramps Abroad" sometime. It was exactly the same in his time. Nothing new.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,385,558 times
Reputation: 5806
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Every time we travel, whether cruising or otherwise, I am appalled at the outrageous, 'whatever the traffic will bear' prices, fees, add-on's that travelers 'must' pay. To name a few: 20-30% Hotel room/ bed taxes and fees, stale $14 airport sandwiches, remote airport parking fees, restaurant (in/near hotel area) pricing, 'tourist trap' entry fees, 'where else can they go' cruise ship drink prices, etc.

Yes, I know, (or so my wife tells me), "That's what things cost when you travel ... you can either pay it or stay home!" -- But, for me, this is one of those things where "It really isn't the money, ... it's the principle of the thing!" In many cases, I feel like 'tourist businesses' should simply get a mask and a gun ... and bypass the 'exchange of shoddy products and services!'

Okay, I'm ranting! ... and, "there's nothing I can do about it" ...."I don't have to buy it" ... "tourist season is when a lot of businesses must make all of their (your) money", "I should be glad we can afford to travel in this economy."

But, honestly folks, Do the 'unethical, soak the tourist practices' also take a lot of fun out of traveling for you? How do you avoid the feelings of 'being taken advantage of' ... so it doesn't spoil the travel (and make you sound/feel cheap)?
It is always your choice whether to travel, whether to buy their products, whether to eat in their restaurants.

Travel is a luxury. I don't mind if the charges for a luxury event are higher than the charges for every-day living requirements. Kind of makes sense, to me.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:12 AM
 
3,161 posts, read 8,093,499 times
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You don't have to pay these outrageous fees for the most part, unless the activity is "worth it" in your mind. Some prices you are stuck with: airfare, airport parking, etc. It's the cost of travel. However, I think cruises sound like my idea of hell: a floating resort with limited activities, mobility, food and overpriced drinks. So guess what? I don't cruise. Other people feel the value is great and love cruising, so that's what they do.

I can't stand tourist trap restaurants with overpriced mediocre food, so I avoid them. I travel fairly extensively and have been able to research restaurants ahead of time before going to a destination, so I have a running list of places I may try. Rarely do I end up with an overpriced bad meal because I have done my homework. I also can't stand paying top dollar for hotel or resort breakfasts, mainly because I don't eat that much in the morning, so I bring my own food (fruit, nuts, etc.) to eat in my room.

Many times we will rent a house or apartment (full kitchen!) in order to have more control over our trip...you are living like a local, not tied down in the touristy areas.

How many meals are you truly eating in an airport? I always pack lots of snacks (mainly from a calorie and quality standpoint since I try to eat fairly healthy) and sometimes have to grab an $8 sandwich from Wolfgang Puck Express. Not really a huge deal.

Travel for the most part is as expensive as you make it. After transportation fees to get to/from, what you spend is all on you. A bit of research before traveling can save you lots of money.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,607,585 times
Reputation: 3351
I hear ya on this one, you've just earned yourself a rep point.

Being ripped off by the "tourist trap" scam artists has always been a pet peeve of mine, especially in places like Key West - you never heard the end of my b*tching the whole time I was there...lol. And the way they raise hotel rates just because there's a stock car race a 100 miles away, good bejeebus, why should I have to pay double for something that's a 100 frickin' miles away.

Cruises, forget it, I refuse to go on one of those giant mouse traps - I can't imagine how much getting a simple Coke must cost, let alone a poolside libation. Same thing with the theme parks - I've done the Disney thing, but no longer, you couldn't pay me enough to go there - to stand in line in the broiling sun and have the joy of paying $5 for a watered-down Coke. And if the "wildlife" gets hold of your hotdog before you sink your teeth in it, well, that's too bad, you ain't getting another one (yes, that sort of thing really does happen at Disney. )

And parking, don't even get me started on that.

How to fight back? Don't go. Stay with friends. Camp. Go in the off season. Go where no tourist dare tread. Don't fly. Don't do cruises. And when you do get ripped off, complain as if your life depend on it - gotta give those cretins a hard time, and then some. And then complain some more...lol.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,607,585 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by mels View Post

Many times we will rent a house or apartment (full kitchen!) in order to have more control over our trip...you are living like a local, not tied down in the touristy areas.

How many meals are you truly eating in an airport? I always pack lots of snacks (mainly from a calorie and quality standpoint since I try to eat fairly healthy) and sometimes have to grab an $8 sandwich from Wolfgang Puck Express. Not really a huge deal.

Travel for the most part is as expensive as you make it. After transportation fees to get to/from, what you spend is all on you. A bit of research before traveling can save you lots of money.
Some very good points you've made there - that's what I strive to do when I go someplace where I don't get to stay with friends / relatives, rent a place that at least has a kitchen - that's an excellent way to control food costs. And grab the local rags as soon as you reach your destination - oftentimes you'll see great deals in there, like 2 for 1 specials, etc. Packing snacks is another great money-saving tool, as well as health protection (nothing's worse than getting heartburn on a plane after eating that greasy burger and fries...lol.)

Another thing to do is to use public transport when possible, especially in places like Washington, DC and NYC - amazing how much you can save using a Metro pass instead of driving, getting lost and paying murderous parking fees.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Northglenn, CO
521 posts, read 720,999 times
Reputation: 1160
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStarDelight View Post
How to fight back? Don't go. Stay with friends. Camp. Go in the off season. Go where no tourist dare tread. Don't fly. Don't do cruises. And when you do get ripped off, complain as if your life depend on it - gotta give those cretins a hard time, and then some. And then complain some more...lol.

Who's the cretin, the person pricing the item knowing there's someone who complains about the prices but still buys it, or the person who pays for it, complains about it, then repeats the cycle over and over?

I think the business person is the smart one for offering a product you need but couldn't bring for one reason or another. Don't like it? Drive on by.

Or, like someone else said, avoid tourist traps. That's harder to do for some people though because they're tourists themselves even though they hate to admit it.

Here, in Colorado, we call them tourons. Morons who think they're professional tourists or something. So funny.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,417,796 times
Reputation: 3085
Bring snacks to the airport
Hotel with a kitchenette can save many trips to restaurants
Taxes, you are screwed with those, can't escape that unless you camp/stay with friends/don't get car
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
4,444 posts, read 4,607,585 times
Reputation: 3351
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiScree View Post
Who's the cretin, the person pricing the item knowing there's someone who complains about the prices but still buys it, or the person who pays for it, complains about it, then repeats the cycle over and over?

I think the business person is the smart one for offering a product you need but couldn't bring for one reason or another. Don't like it? Drive on by.

Or, like someone else said, avoid tourist traps. That's harder to do for some people though because they're tourists themselves even though they hate to admit it.

Here, in Colorado, we call them tourons. Morons who think they're professional tourists or something. So funny.
That's the thing, after a dozen years of living in South Florida, I've developed a passionate dislike for the tourism industry. The thing about going someplace, you often don't know about it beforehand, you're probably not going back there again, so they've got no qualms about taking the hapless tourist for a ride - they don't need that repeat business to stay alive. And besides, complaing about prices and/or service is an All-American Pastime, and should be encouraged as much as possible - thank god for internet reviews...lol.

I'm gonna pop a cork of champagne and choke that vile stuff down if and when gas prices spike to $10 and the tourist "industry" dies. It'd be good riddance as far as I'm concerned.
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