September travel ruminations

While my biggest trip has yet to take place (less than a month to go, woot woot!), I am forever thinking ahead for future trips. D and I both really enjoyed our time in Kentucky and are considering returning next year to see some of the sights we missed our first go-round and more importantly for him, to get the remaining stamps in his Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport (he’s big on having finished “sets”).

I’m also happy that this year I was able to visit two new states and would like to keep the tradition alive by visiting at least one new one next year. This is somewhat harder to do since I’ve long since traveled to all of the states that border my home state of Pennsylvania, so now this means going further afield. But Massachusetts (specifically Boston) has been debated about since that would be an easy long weekend trip, along with Seattle, although since that’s on the other side of the country from me, it would require slightly more than a long weekend to make it enjoyable.

Since being an “adult” in the real world, I’ve visited Europe on three occasions (to Ireland, Belgium and France, and most recently, Portugal). There is so much of Europe I would love to see, specifically making it east of Italy (yes, Italy is the furthest “east” I’ve been in Europe). Not to mention a Scandinavian/Baltic cruise has also always appealed to me. However, when doing some “dream planning” recently I was dismayed to see the ridiculously high cost of flights to Europe next winter. Now granted, Pittsburgh is not a major airport, but when it costs $1000 to fly round trip between there and Edinburgh, Scotland…in February…it’s highly discouraging to put it lightly. There used to be a thing called “off season” fares. And while hotels and other areas in the tourism sector seem to still honor this, airlines do not. I can only shudder to think what the same route would cost in the thick of summer.

I know that it’s a more expensive world that we live in today compared to when I was growing up, or even seven years ago as a college student when I was able to do so much of my traveling. However, I am a big proponent of getting the “most bang for my buck” as the popular American idiom goes, so when you pair a very steep cost of airfare with a country whose exchange rate is terrible for the American wallet (the British pound), a lot of bang doesn’t seem to be taking place there.

I’ve also returned home from my European trips wanting to have seen and done more. I am always up against a time frame, never having the time to just flit about the continent for as long as I would like. But I’m hoping one day the future will bring me an opportunity to do just that. Maybe not travel in Europe for an indefinite period, but at least have two weeks at my disposal versus the often less than a week I am forced to work with lest I don’t get to take off any other time the rest of the year.

I’d love to throw in a European “quickie” trip in 2014 since I hate going years between visits and let’s face it, it’s hard to find as much incredible culture anywhere else. However, the cost and distance don’t always seem worth it for a short period of time. Ideally, the airlines would realize what they’re doing and make it “slightly” more affordable to go to Europe, but this is as likely to happen as the North Korean people overthrowing Kim Jung-un; I’m not holding my breath.  So I might just be content to stay on this side of the ocean next year. It’s not like there aren’t numerous new countries just waiting to be explored…

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  • Reply
    September 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    You should consider booking a deal flight, especially if you are looking for cheaper flights. Book a cheap flight first to get to Europe than use RyanAir if you want to explore other destinations.

    P.S. I vote you visit Seattle for your next U.S. adventure 🙂

  • Reply
    September 20, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I’ll trade you the $1K airfares (and travel times) to Europe for the $1K airfares (and travel times) to Asia or NZ 🙂

    We also have a big trip coming up, and that’s prompted me to narrow down our list for 2014…

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    September 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    @Angela-The problem is nothing is ever “cheap” in my opinion anymore 🙁 Not to mention, I’m always up against those dang time constraints. But I would always want to explore other destinations, that’s a given! Seattle would be VERY cool I’m sure! The scenes of the skyline with the mountains in the background, looks incredible. So different from here!

    @Rebecca-$1k to go all the way to Asia or NZ, I’ll take it! Airfares stink all around, that’s for sure! I’ve been meaning to ask when your big 2013 adventure is happening, I knew it was more in the fall (well, opposite for you :). Do you have any contenders for 2014 yet?

  • Reply
    September 23, 2013 at 9:57 am

    2014 could be interesting….if we get our act into gear and make some decisions, Tokyo might be on the list, as is Kona (for the half or full marathon) and then finally maybe a white Christmas…the thing is with us who knows!

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    September 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Your plans for the coming year sound terrific! I have wanted to visit Japan ever since my freshman year of college as my roommate was Japanese. And if you make it to the Big Island, I will eagerly await your pictures and posts!

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