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Pasanda

US plans

32 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, MTGMTB said:

Glad to hear you enjoyed America for the most part! 

Next time, go to a Chick-fil-A; we still have damn good coffee, and we'll do about whatever you want. 

Also, when you come back, consider exploring the Mid-West. Maybe even Colorado? 

The only thing I'd recommend is making sure that you have a day or 2 to do nothing in Colorado, especially the first days. Because if you don't, the altitude will mess with you, especially in the mountains. 

Thanks for the all tips.

We tried to avoid the fast food places as much as possible. Just from a health perspective as much as anything. We go to McD's about once, maybe twice per year in the UK, and we've actually never been to a chicken-based fast food place as a family. I did go once to a KFC about 20 years ago. It was hard to avoid them in the States. I did see a Chick-fil-A a few times, but never felt the draw.

I've spent a fair bit of time already all over the west, from Vancouver down to Tijuana, Skirted Colorado, but i don't think we actually went into the state. Too much to see between Utah & Arizona. 

Thinking about east to west one day. 

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On 8/6/2018 at 8:59 AM, Pasanda said:

Other observations:

Points to note on affordability. 

Pretty much everything is more expensive in the US, than in the UK. Except petrol (Gas), which is about one third the price. In NYC we tried to buy Fin a standard size snickers, for which the chap wanted $5 - about £3.50. In the UK, you can get a pack of 4 standard snickers routinely for £1.00, around $1.40. So literally 10 times the price. Bottled water is 50% more. A bottle of Soda, was a real surprise, costing typically $2.99, twice what we'd pay in the UK. While eating out was more expensive, it is relatively less expensive than the UK - where shop ingredients might cost you 10% the cost of eating out. In the US, it might be 40% the cost of eating out, if you catch my drift.

One thing that was good value was the clothing outlets in Orlando. We're not really the sort of folks to make that most of that, as none of us are fashion conscious (as i'm sure you can see), and we don't care about labels. 

Vacation accommodation varied loads. As you might expect, the cost for the 2 bed 3 bathroom resort townhouse, with hot tub and pool, was around £94 per night. The cost of the single room with 2 beds and one bathroom for 8 nights was £175 per night. This would be a similar case in the UK.

So, if you want to visit the UK, as long as you don't drive loads, and plan to eat in a bit more, you should find the country very inexpensive.

 

Culture of waste:

Both of us noticed, really quickly, that the US has a culture of disposability. It seems that everywhere you go to eat or drink, you are given it in am abundance of things designed to be single use and thrown away. When you buy anything, it is always super-wrapped, then put in a bag, which goes in another bag. We saw very little recycling, except the occasional token gesture at segregated bins that everyone seemed to ignore. The people on checkout who do the packing put zero effort into minimising bag use, usually half the bags would have done, as they were packed so lightly, and double bagging anything resembling glass. We counted the carry-bags we threw out after 17 nights, and there were over 50.  Buy some fries in restaurant? Get the fries on some tissue paper, in a cardboard boat, with a full complement of knives, forks and spoons made of black plastic, in a plastic bag, all on a sheet of paper, on a tray. The tray in reused. considering your culture of eating out, and how many of you there are, there has to be a change. 

I think the UK, as with most of the West is still terrible at this too, but even before the whole waste thing became an issue 20 years ago, we were never like you guys are now. If nothing else it must add a lot to the cost of food.

 

 

When we went to the UK, we found the opposite (Canadian here). Almost everything was more expensive, especially after conversion. Restaurants, especially, seemed to be higher...and even with our high gas prices, petrol prices in the UK are awful. It could be that you were in a very expensive city, so that was part of the problem. 

Disposability - True, and here in Canada, as well. My wife's English relatives were very careful to recycle our trash. We do some recycling here, but it's not always mandatory, and it's not nearly as well done. Many products have way too much plastic packaging, especially single-serving food items. The US and Canada have a very Consumerist culture, and people here buy way more stuff than they need to, replace cars more than they have to, etc..

 

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2 hours ago, JesGolbez said:

When we went to the UK, we found the opposite (Canadian here).

When were you in the UK? I suspect Sterling is diving on a week by week basis, especially since brexit was announced. Last time i was in the US, it was around 56p to the pound. Today it's nearly 80p. The real rate is worse, once the banks have had their pound of flesh (no pun intended). In NYC we were paying between $42 and $55 for breakfast for 2 adults and an 8YO (with a good appetite). We always had bfast in the house in Orlando. Over here £40 would be an evening meal at a chinese or indian restaurant for the 3 of us.

As mentioned earlier, the cost difference to eating in and out in the US seemed much smaller than the UK. Your groceries are closer to eating out costs than here. We rarely eat out and I believe eating in, in the UK is especially cheap. 

We were spending around $170 per week in Walmart, for food and beer ($5 on food and $165 on beer, of course). We ate lunch out most days. Here, we spend about £100 per week on groceries, including lunch fo-r two of us (Fin eats lunch at school). We were buying food in the US that was easier to cook, as we didn't have access to the same kitchen facilities or store-cupboard ingredients.

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13 minutes ago, Pasanda said:

When were you in the UK? I suspect Sterling is diving on a week by week basis, especially since brexit was announced. Last time i was in the US, it was around 56p to the pound. Today it's nearly 80p. The real rate is worse, once the banks have had their pound of flesh (no pun intended). In NYC we were paying between $42 and $55 for breakfast for 2 adults and an 8YO (with a good appetite). We always had bfast in the house in Orlando. Over here £40 would be an evening meal at a chinese or indian restaurant for the 3 of us.

As mentioned earlier, the cost difference to eating in and out in the US seemed much smaller than the UK. Your groceries are closer to eating out costs than here. We rarely eat out and I believe eating in, in the UK is especially cheap. 

We were spending around $170 per week in Walmart, for food and beer ($5 on food and $165 on beer, of course). We ate lunch out most days. Here, we spend about £100 per week on groceries, including lunch fo-r two of us (Fin eats lunch at school). We were buying food in the US that was easier to cook, as we didn't have access to the same kitchen facilities or store-cupboard ingredients.

We went in 2010, the year of our marriage. We stayed with my wife's family in Hertfordshire, Chester, and Alfriston. The pound wasn't nearly as strong at it used to be, but it was about $1.30CDN for every 1 pound. 

New York is one of the more expensive places to go, especially in the big city... much of the US and Canada is quite cheap... Vancouver, where we live, is also expensive... 

Maybe there is a large discrepancy between English pubs and gasoline and grocery shopping. 

One thing I notice about the US is how LARGE the food portion sizes are. I can eat a lot, but American portions are just too much. 

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Yes, to be fair Pas you went to 2 of the most expensive places to go in the US.  Orlando is custom built to eat your tourist dollars and New York is just nucking futs.

New York.

Cost of living rank 12th out of 533 cities in the world.

Orlando

Cost of living rank 139th out of 533 cities in the world

 

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8 hours ago, Jag said:

Yes, to be fair Pas you went to 2 of the most expensive places to go in the US.  Orlando is custom built to eat your tourist dollars and New York is just nucking futs.

New York.

Cost of living rank 12th out of 533 cities in the world.

Orlando

Cost of living rank 139th out of 533 cities in the world

 

Fair points all. I'll retract my opinion as a generalisation, and hang fire until i've seen more.

Accommodation in Orlando (outside the parks) seemed fairly reasonable. You get a huge choice, so i suspect it's led by supply and demand.

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13 hours ago, JesGolbez said:

Vancouver, where we live, is also expensive... 

I had talked to another IT worker from there.  Guess the housing prices have gone completely nuts there ... like off the chart nuts.

I am at the opposite end of the spectrum in NE Ohio ... routinely topping the list of most affordable housing.

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