Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cost of Vacationing and Traveling Abroad

While in Ireland, we paid about €1.20 per liter of gasoline. (One liter equals 0.264 gallons.) So a gallon of gas is around €4.60 or $7.35. Obviously, taxes on a liter of gas are much greater there than in the U.S. but the cost of travel is over twice what it costs in the U.S.

A typical B&B is priced at €35-40 per person, €70-80 for a couple...around $130 for a room in some one's house coupled with a good Irish breakfast. A hotel room is higher, in the $150-200 per night for an average room. The Irish breakfast (lower in carbs) helps because you do not feel the need to eat lunch; so you can save there, perhaps have a drink and some biscuits or crisps.

A meal at a restaurant; i.e., a pub, is in the €15-20 per person, not including drink...around $25-30 per person. This is for a nice sandwich and chips. It is obviously higher for a more substantial meal...steak, etc. A can of coke is about €1 ($1.60), €2-3 in a restaurant. A pint of Guinness is around €6.

The same ratio exists in the U.K. with the pound. The price for goods and services are about the same in Britain as they are in Ireland.

Traveling abroad it painfully expensive right now. The dollar is extremely weak. As a general rule, and for budgeting purposes, double the price of what you'd spend in the U.S. if you are traveling to Europe, Ireland or Britain.

Buying American is certainly in vogue now. You'd have to be an idiot if you cannot see the value of purchasing goods and services in and from America.

So despite the higher cost of living we are all experiencing in America, everything is more expensive in other modern countries.

Personally, I have never experienced a greater increase in goods and services in such a short period of time. It is tied to the price of energy. As long as this is allowed to spiral out of control, inflation will be high.

We don't need idiotic pandering by politicians like economic stimulus packages or McCain's stupid idea of suspending the federal tax on gasoline for three+ months. Our government is too big. You cannot cut taxes without cutting spending. Where is the political sanity?

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