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Define expensive vacation

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  • Avatar Tim 
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    Although isolated, does anyone hesitate international travel due to safety concerns? Some places I am familiar with wouldn’t be ideal for a family vacation. Even people I know say, “It’s perfectly fine”. But someone else says “Stay off this highway”. It doesn’t take much to scare me.
    But, it does.

    #194479 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    does anyone hesitate international travel due to safety concerns? Some places I am familiar with wouldn’t be ideal for a family vacation.

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    As a single person I would have taken risks that as a primary breadwinner to my family I cannot.

    Countries I would not visit are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Congo, Sudan and some of the African countries where kidnappings can occur. Some parts of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Venezuela and Nicaragua. I would like to visit Iran and would have no problem with traveling in that country. The problem with North Korea would be there is nothing to see in there and vegetarian food might be a problem.

    #194485 Reply
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    Avatar Tim 
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    So Syria and Lebanon would be OK for a family trip?
    Sorry, the Middle East is fascinating, but not sure taking a family is worth it. It’s irrational to some, but I would be nervous every day. Not my idea of fun.

    #194493 Reply
    Avatar orthodds 
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    In terms of safety it’s not just entire countries you need to be aware of, but certain locations within countries or within certain cities.  There are parts of Chicago and St Louis I wouldn’t feel safe walking the streets at night and which are more dangerous than many countries we perceive as being dangerous.  I have visited some places most people would put on their “danger” list (including quite a few Kamban listed), but if you do your research ahead of time you can navigate these areas with reasonable safety.  However, when I have the whole family with me I just stay away from scary places altogether.  It’s not worth the risk or the anxiety and there are so many options out there, why pick a location where safety is a concern?  It’s one thing to be held up at gun point by yourself (which I have) but it’s another to have the same type of thing happen with the whole family there to witness the ugly side of humanity.

    It cracks me up when someone visits a “scary” place and then emphatically explains how it’s really not that scary or dangerous, that they had no problem at all so you shouldn’t worry.  Duh.  Most people aren’t going to get kidnapped, mugged or murdered even in the most dangerous places.  One person’s experience counts for a N=1, anecdotal experience that means nothing. It’s just smart to know what the risks are and how to best mitigate them.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to visit N Korea.  There are close to 194 other countries that would be worthy of consideration ahead of N Korea.

    #194503 Reply
    Avatar orthodds 
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    I think learning the language of a country before you visit–at least to the point at which you can understand and make some basic conversation–really enhances the experience.  It becomes so much more fun and interactive rather than just a passive, observational type of experience.

    #194525 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    So Syria and Lebanon would be OK for a family trip? Sorry, the Middle East is fascinating, but not sure taking a family is worth it. It’s irrational to some, but I would be nervous every day. Not my idea of fun.

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    Syria -No. But Lebanon – Yes, I would go.

    I almost booked a trip to Jordan for this Spring break but some factors beyond our control has made us postpone it. Definitely within the next 2 years. Israel – definite yes.

    Saudi Arabia – Unless you are a Muslim coming for the Haj, Saudis don’t give tourist visas.

    I routinely go though Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha on my flights to India but have not gotten out of the airport due to time constraints. The next time I will stop for a day or two and see each place. Dubai is said to be fascinating.

    Oman – Heard it is beautiful and safe. Yemen and Somalia – No.

     

     

    #194529 Reply
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    Avatar Tim 
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    “I think learning the language of a country before you visit–at least to the point at which you can understand and make some basic conversation–really enhances the experience. ”

    I has to chuckle at this one. Had the opportunity to make a swing through eight European countries. Almost everyone could fluently speak native language plus two.
    Two places were really really tough to communicate.
    Glasgow and London! “Aye” and “mate” seem to used to end every sentence. Of course the “King’s English” isn’t taught in different dialects either. Conversation is sort of easy. Learned “aye mate” is acceptable. “Eh?”

    #194646 Reply
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    Avatar afan 
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    Fascinating to see dollar figures attached to vacations. I knew that many people spend more than I do but I had no idea how much.
    I could not imagine spending $5,000 on a vacation.
    Beyond comprehension.

    It would require me to travel farther and stay longer in someplace I had no desire to go in the first place.

    For me, a great vacation involves no out of town travel at all. I sleep every night in my, paid for, home. Eat the same food. Get extra sleep, longer workouts and more reading. Spend a couple of days at my local library, take some walks or hikes, for free. Net cost is very close to zero.

    The list of foreign countries to which I would agree to travel is short. Canada, yes, if there were a good reason, such as an important professional meeting. Would never go there without an important work reason.

    ANYWHERE else outside the country would be “probably not but we’ll see.” Would have to be among the small number of pluralistic secular democracies with human rights at least as well protected as in the US.
    Other than Canada, would have to be somewhere in Western Europe.
    Nowhere in Asia.
    Hawaii is part of the US, but too far away. Never going there.

    A vacation trip outside certain places in the US is not going to happen.

    I have been to beaches. Lots of sand and water. Sometimes rocks. Often sunny. No need to go anywhere or spend anything to see another beach.
    Same for mountains.

    I can learn more of what I might want to know about foreign countries by reading about them than by going there.

    #194655 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Fascinating to see dollar figures attached to vacations. I knew that many people spend more than I do but I had no idea how much.
    I could not imagine spending $5,000 on a vacation.
    Beyond comprehension.

    It would require me to travel farther and stay longer in someplace I had no desire to go in the first place.

    For me, a great vacation involves no out of town travel at all. I sleep every night in my, paid for, home. Eat the same food. Get extra sleep, longer workouts and more reading. Spend a couple of days at my local library, take some walks or hikes, for free. Net cost is very close to zero.

    The list of foreign countries to which I would agree to travel is short. Canada, yes, if there were a good reason, such as an important professional meeting. Would never go there without an important work reason.

    ANYWHERE else outside the country would be “probably not but we’ll see.” Would have to be among the small number of pluralistic secular democracies with human rights at least as well protected as in the US.
    Other than Canada, would have to be somewhere in Western Europe.
    Nowhere in Asia.
    Hawaii is part of the US, but too far away. Never going there.

    A vacation trip outside certain places in the US is not going to happen.

    I have been to beaches. Lots of sand and water. Sometimes rocks. Often sunny. No need to go anywhere or spend anything to see another beach.
    Same for mountains.

    I can learn more of what I might want to know about foreign countries by reading about them than by going there.

    Click to expand…

    That is an interesting perspective that is the 180 degree opposite of my own. While I do agree that we have resources in the U.S. (and Canada) especially mountains and parks, that are as magnificent as anywhere, for history, culture, and art, we are very limited because we are a new nation.

    I was literally thinking the other day how some famous attractions, like the Mona Lisa, are unimpressive in person. For the Mona Lisa, the viewing experience is quite chaotic, too. Others, like Michelangelo’s David and Da Vinci’s The Last Supper must be experienced in person, to appreciate the essence of the work. I am glad that I did not just read about these masterpieces and look at photos in a book.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #194656 Reply
    Avatar Dilaudidopenia 
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    Fascinating to see dollar figures attached to vacations. I knew that many people spend more than I do but I had no idea how much.
    I could not imagine spending $5,000 on a vacation.
    Beyond comprehension.

    It would require me to travel farther and stay longer in someplace I had no desire to go in the first place.

    For me, a great vacation involves no out of town travel at all. I sleep every night in my, paid for, home. Eat the same food. Get extra sleep, longer workouts and more reading. Spend a couple of days at my local library, take some walks or hikes, for free. Net cost is very close to zero.

    The list of foreign countries to which I would agree to travel is short. Canada, yes, if there were a good reason, such as an important professional meeting. Would never go there without an important work reason.

    ANYWHERE else outside the country would be “probably not but we’ll see.” Would have to be among the small number of pluralistic secular democracies with human rights at least as well protected as in the US.
    Other than Canada, would have to be somewhere in Western Europe.
    Nowhere in Asia.
    Hawaii is part of the US, but too far away. Never going there.

    A vacation trip outside certain places in the US is not going to happen.

    I have been to beaches. Lots of sand and water. Sometimes rocks. Often sunny. No need to go anywhere or spend anything to see another beach.
    Same for mountains.

    I can learn more of what I might want to know about foreign countries by reading about them than by going there.

    Click to expand…

    So you don’t like to take vacations. Cool.

    #194663 Reply
    Avatar Dilaudidopenia 
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    With vacations, we are usually of the mindset that “you get what you pay for.”  I would guess we spend 5-7k on our big trips that we go on together (1-2 / yr)  We like to be comfortable, and eat good food.  Flights are usually booked on points, leaving us more budget to spend more on hotels/food.  Been flying coach, however really getting tired of this.  When I ski, I have to stay in a ski on-ski off location; when I was a medical student we stayed off mountain and drove to the shuttle bus – no more.

    2018 was a fantastic travel year:

    -Breckenridge: love that place

    -Maui: My wife was pushing for Hawaii for awhile.  I was lukewarm on it at first.  Was under the incorrect assumption that it would be a more expensive Caribbean.  Boy was I wrong.  Maui blew me away.  Such a cool place.

    -Greece: Santorini, Naxos, Nafplio, Athens.  Amazing vacation.  Naxos is an amazing destination for families: great beaches, history, culture.  I would go back here for a week when we have kids.

    -Iceland: Went with some residency buddies for a quick jaunt.  Airfare cheap.  Food expensive.  Really fun.

     

    2019 has:

    -Park City / Snowbird: super excited

    -Kauai:  Loved Hawaii so much, have to go back

    -Week long domestic beach vacation after our first child arrives

     

    Already have machinations for 2020 when baby girl is ~1 yr old….

    #194667 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 08/01/2016

    Fascinating to see dollar figures attached to vacations. I knew that many people spend more than I do but I had no idea how much. I could not imagine spending $5,000 on a vacation. Beyond comprehension.

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    You don’t take a vacation but rather a staycation. So I can understand a budget far less than $5000. In fact it will be close to zero, as you pointed out

    The list of foreign countries to which I would agree to travel is short. Canada, yes, if there were a good reason, such as an important professional meeting. Would never go there without an important work reason. ANYWHERE else outside the country would be “probably not but we’ll see.” Would have to be among the small number of pluralistic secular democracies with human rights at least as well protected as in the US. Other than Canada, would have to be somewhere in Western Europe. Nowhere in Asia. Hawaii is part of the US, but too far away. Never going there. A vacation trip outside certain places in the US is not going to happen.

    Click to expand…

    Canada is a beautiful country but in my mind it is not really a foreign country. More like a beautiful extension of USA with slightly different culture.

    I am so much in agreement with Vagabond’s post. There is nothing like seeing it in person. Running on the same Olympic track as the ancient Olympians in Olympia or imagining sitting with the oracles of Delphi. Seeing the absolute masterpiece of Guernica in person at Madrid. Standing at Charlie’s checkpoint. Seeing the ancient temples in South Asia. Gazing in amazement at the miles long file of zebra, wildebeest and gazelles in the great migration waiting to cross the rivers filled with crocodiles waiting for the first meal in almost a year.

    Some of the greatest sights of the world are seen by you when you decide to leave USA with an open mind. And unlike other professions in USA we are well paid that we can easily afford such vacations.

     

     

    Avatar Tim 
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    Status: Accountant
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    Joined: 09/18/2018

    A few physicians find a way to each year donate a week or two in a place that never could afford their services and never will if they doctor doesn’t return.

    Priceless but most likely the housing will be really crappy.

    #194670 Reply
    Avatar afan 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 05/07/2017

    I have seen the Mona Lisa, when it was brought to the US. The problem is not the conditions of viewing. I don’t know (nearly) enough about art to understand why it is so revered. Seeing it as much as they will permit a know-nothing member of the public to do does not enhance my experience. If I knew a lot about art, at least bachelor’s level in art history, then seeing great art in person might be meaningful. As it stands I don’t know enough to appreciate what I am looking at.

    I like music but I don’t know anything about it. I cannot tell the greatest string quartet in the world from a decent student group at a good conservatory. That means I do not need to travel or buy expensive tickets to see the peerless professionals. I can get the same experience from the free student concert. And it is free.

    Same would apply to seeing the Pryamids- no degree in archeology or ancient history- or visiting other great European museums.

    If I knew much more about art and history then maybe I would get to the point where I could pick up something meaningful about a work that has not been noted by experts. I consider it highly unlikely I will ever reach that level of expertise.

    #194788 Reply
    Avatar afan 
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    So you don’t like to take vacations. Cool.

    Not exactly. I take vacations.

    I don’t like TRAVEL or SPENDING MONEY.

    But I take time off work every year. I just don’t willingly go away and I don’t blow much money on it.

    #194789 Reply
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