- Skip the long line checking into the airport
- Skip the long line going through security in the airport
- Stay at the airport lounge and save around $30 on food a drink
- Skip the long lines at US Immigration (this time due to Global Entry not airline privileges).
We're again staying overnight in Chicago to acclimate body clock wise before heading on to Albuquerque in the morning. And once again the sticker shock of eating in a US restaurant hit us straight between the eyes. Our European readers have complained about how much I was writing over the many weeks about what eating out cost on our trip. Let me give this example to show why it that was so fixed in my mind.
When looking at this example keep in mind this is an airport hotel so it has a somewhat captive audience and the prices are somewhat inflated by say 15 to 20%. We had two hamburgers, a drink each before dinner and and drink each after dinner. The total bill before tip was $75 - $28 before taxes for the food and the balance for the drinks. With a full 20% tip the bill was close to $90. This was more than any meal we had on our entire trip with the exception of one splurge meal with our kids - more than any meal we had and we ate some great meals with plenty to drink - for a couple of burgers and a couple of drinks.
That's why I write about the incredible value (quality compared to price) that exists now when you travel in Europe (if you are willing to get away from the major tourist central areas).