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Old 04-09-2019, 07:19 AM
 
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Really interesting thread and lots of good thoughts. I think time and money are by far the two biggest factors as to why Americans don't travel overseas more often. Relative to inflation the cost of airfare to Europe is far less expensive today than it was in the 1990's and earlier. That's great for single 20 somethings and young couples, who certainly seem to take foreign vacations way more than their counterparts in earlier generations did. However, it's still VERY expensive for a family of 4 or 5 to take an international vacation. That $600 "deal" you found for airfare to Paris is great for 1 or 2 people, but when you're paying for airfare for 4 or 5 the math becomes very different.


So I really try to never judge people's vacation choices when I know that time and cost are the issue. That said, I don't think it makes me a snob to wish that Americans would show more interest in national parks and historic sites instead of opting for the Disney vacation (which is super expensive by the way). America has an incredible array of landscapes in the lower 48 alone, and lots of history as well. I hesitate to say that one vacation is "better" than another, but to be totally honest I would strongly favor vacations to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc. over Disney, Vegas, etc.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:19 AM
 
13,964 posts, read 7,434,967 times
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Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
I think there is a tendency among some well travelled people to perhaps look down upon less expensive and less exotic vacations. The traveler who has been to Europe and Asia many times over is likely not going to be especially excited about the average middle class family's vacation to Orlando or Branson or to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Dominican Republic.

I don't think you understand how expensive a Kingdom of the Mouse vacation is. Disney and Universal park passes are expensive. $100+ per person and that's a multi-day pass. The cost per day for a family of four with kids age 10+ is staggering. I can go to Europe for a week way cheaper than I can go to Orlando for a week.


We're going to Italy next month doing the cliche Rome/Florence/Venice trip since my girlfriend has somehow never managed to get to Italy. An AirBnB studio a couple blocks from the Ponte Vecchio is $125/night. Venice with a canal view is $145/night. Professionally managed SuperHost properties with top reviews. We eat real Italian for less money than Olive Garden in Orlando and AirBnB studios have kitchens so we're not held hostage to restaurant food. Museums are cheap. I just bought tickets for the things that sell out or have big queues. You can see the Vatican Museum, Colosseum/Forum/Palatine, David, and Uffizi/Pitti Palace/Boboli Gardens for less than a 1 day admission to Disney.


When someone tells me they're doing Disney/Universal for a week with their demon spawn, I think of the huge expense. That's a $750 to $1000/day trip with 2 kids age 10+ by the time you're done with park passes, food, lodging, and transportation. Not that I travel that way but I can stay at the best city hotels in Europe and eat Michelin star restaurant food for that money. Or buy an Epic Pass for Vail/Beaver Creek and rent a condo for a month.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,630 posts, read 17,606,575 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I don't think you understand how expensive a Kingdom of the Mouse vacation is. Disney and Universal park passes are expensive. $100+ per person and that's a multi-day pass. The cost per day for a family of four with kids age 10+ is staggering. I can go to Europe for a week way cheaper than I can go to Orlando for a week.


We're going to Italy next month doing the cliche Rome/Florence/Venice trip since my girlfriend has somehow never managed to get to Italy. An AirBnB studio a couple blocks from the Ponte Vecchio is $125/night. Venice with a canal view is $145/night. Professionally managed SuperHost properties with top reviews. We eat real Italian for less money than Olive Garden in Orlando and AirBnB studios have kitchens so we're not held hostage to restaurant food. Museums are cheap. I just bought tickets for the things that sell out or have big queues. You can see the Vatican Museum, Colosseum/Forum/Palatine, David, and Uffizi/Pitti Palace/Boboli Gardens for less than a 1 day admission to Disney.


When someone tells me they're doing Disney/Universal for a week with their demon spawn, I think of the huge expense. That's a $750 to $1000/day trip with 2 kids age 10+ by the time you're done with park passes, food, lodging, and transportation. Not that I travel that way but I can stay at the best city hotels in Europe and eat Michelin star restaurant food for that money. Or buy an Epic Pass for Vail/Beaver Creek and rent a condo for a month.
It wasn't that long that my uncle took his then-minor girls to Disney World for a week. It came out to well over $10,000 and that was the early part of this decade. I'm sure it's even more now. Maybe it's OK one time for the kids when they're small, but beyond that, I don't understand it.

I really don't understand a lot of the tourist trap heavens. Everyone in this part of Tennessee wants to go to Myrtle Beach in the summer. Personally, I think most of Myrtle is rundown and trashy. I went for four days back in 2011. After several days of traditional beach activities, I've had my fill.

Like you said, you can have a truly awesome vacation for far less than that.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:43 AM
 
629 posts, read 493,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I don't think you understand how expensive a Kingdom of the Mouse vacation is. Disney and Universal park passes are expensive. $100+ per person and that's a multi-day pass. The cost per day for a family of four with kids age 10+ is staggering. I can go to Europe for a week way cheaper than I can go to Orlando for a week.

I am keenly aware of how expensive a Disney vacation is. 2 years ago we took our then 4-year-old daughter on an awesome 8 night vacation to the fjords region of Norway, and we spent LESS than our neighbors who took their daughter to Disney in Orlando during the exact same break from school. I just happen to think that if you can swing it, a visit to a far more authentic and interesting place than Disney is well worth the price of travel, especially when the cost is lower. My daughter had a blast in Norway and loved the waterfalls and glaciers and general freedom to run around outside to her heart's content. Yes, she also wants to visit Disney and we will inevitably oblige, but I consider a trip to Norway way better than a trip to Disney.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:35 AM
 
1,838 posts, read 791,821 times
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Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
I recently returned from a 6 week adventure travel trip to Laos and Cambodia. I traveled by bus, boat and motorcycle. It was the experience of a lifetime. I was very struck by how few Americans I encountered - practically none! The tourists/travelers were overwhelmingly Euros, Aussies, Kiwis and Canadians. These were not wealthy people, just regular working folks with the curiosity and will to see the world, eat new food and push outside their comfort zone. Americans, it seems, are interested mostly in inclusive resorts and Disneyland.



Why is this? Please don't respond that you've personally been where ever. That may well be. But I'm speaking of the extreme scarcity of Americans getting out and seeing something different and exotic. It's undeniable. What's wrong with us? Fear? Lack of education? Lack of curiosity? Spending money on fancy cars, houses, whatever, and that's it?
I am going to echo others here

1. Time off, in the US we don't get large amounts of time off and even when we have 3 weeks vacation you can't take it all at the same time. You can sometimes get away with taking 2 weeks but rarely more. Plus many companies now roll time off into one thing and it is used both for sick time and vacation. Get sick and you lose days, don't get sick and you get more time off

2. Cost to travel Flying overseas isn't cheap. Flying to Laos is over $1500

3. Travel time Flying to Laos is a minimum of 26+ hours for that $1500+ rate. You can fly cheaper out of LA but travel time extends to 46+ hours and if you don't live in any of the major cities like Chicago, LA, Atlanta, Boston, NY then you have to add travel time to those cities as well. There goes your vacation days.

4. Laos and Cambodia are probably the last places on my bucket list and I am sure they are for others as well.

5. Disneyworld/Land is now becoming a once in a lifetime for most people unless Florida or California residents. It is quickly becoming cost prohibitive for families.

6. All inclusive resorts are appealing as when you have a budget you know what the cost is and it is all paid in advance. Also, being we only get a short amount of time off work, it is basically a relaxing vacation.


7. By the time we have both time and money and no child commitments we are retired and perhaps not physically able to do exotic vacations. I love traveling to Italy, but the stairs are beginning to kill me so now instead of traveling around with our suitcases from train to city to train again we opt to take cruises that take us to various cities and countries in Europe.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Land of the Great Bears
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I for one feel that enough Americans travel overseas as it is. Any major city on the east or west coast of the country provides a multitude of international flight options. No need to add further crowding to airports or tourism burdens elsewhere in the world.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:57 AM
 
13,964 posts, read 7,434,967 times
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Originally Posted by NorthofHere View Post
7. By the time we have both time and money and no child commitments we are retired and perhaps not physically able to do exotic vacations. I love traveling to Italy, but the stairs are beginning to kill me so now instead of traveling around with our suitcases from train to city to train again we opt to take cruises that take us to various cities and countries in Europe.

For Europe trips in good weather, we just travel light with soft carry-on luggage that has backpack straps.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:45 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,613 posts, read 3,682,460 times
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Originally Posted by NorthofHere View Post
4. Laos and Cambodia are probably the last places on my bucket list and I am sure they are for others as well.
.
Yes, same here. Zero interest in those places. If I'm going to spend my hard-earned tourist dollars, I'd rather spend them elsewhere.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:51 PM
 
1,838 posts, read 791,821 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
For Europe trips in good weather, we just travel light with soft carry-on luggage that has backpack straps.
Travel light? What's that? Yeah it is probably one fault I have, I take so much stuff. With no laundry available or the willingness to waste time finding one I need clothes for every day. I do pack such that I haven't taken anything I didn't wear so there is that.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:06 PM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,213,244 times
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Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
Yes, same here. Zero interest in those places. If I'm going to spend my hard-earned tourist dollars, I'd rather spend them elsewhere.


Missing out, IMO. I've not been to Laos, but Cambodia has incredible archeological resources, a fascinating turbulent recent history, and some truly wild spaces all for a very affordable price.
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