Monday, October 26, 2015

Hapsburg - Renaissance Trip - Heading Home And The Usual Sticker Shock

Our lovely time in Europe is over. It was sad goodbyes with the family this morning as we Ubered out to the airport. Absolutely no problems. Thank you all my hard won airline privileges which allowed us to:
  • 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).
Once again we opted to skip an upgrade back home and had a 3 seat row in Economy Plus to ourselves - more than enough room if one is not sleeping. Plus United has changed their policy and now has free wine and beer in Economy - even less economic incentive to pay the up charge for Business Class.

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).


alexis said...

90 USD for 4 drinks and 2 hamburgers at a hotel. Crazy. Although.... I had a look at a hotel resto near Schiphol. Very much depended on what you drank. The burgers would have cost you 33 EUR, and the wines were from 7.50 for the cheapest glass.

de-I said...

Yes I thought the burger price was not too bad. Of course EVERYTHING ELSE on the menu was like a minimum of $20+ per entree. And the minimum wine per glass was $10.00. It was the drinks that took the bill over the top. But if we had eaten anything other than the burgers our food bill would have been much more.