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Lower euro rates make vacations in the United States more expensive

Status: 07/24/2022 10:19 AM

One dollar is equal to the euro. What happens when a German family vacations in California, which is the most expensive of all US states?

Von Marcus Schuler, ARD-Studio San Francisco

11-year-old Caroline is especially fascinated by the steep streets of San Francisco and the cable car – a tram pulled by steel cables. “We used to ride a cable car. That was great, because you always went up, then straight, then up and then suddenly down,” she says excitedly. And her 9-year-old sister, Laura, says: “I think it’s beautiful here because there’s a lot of nature here.”

Marcus Schuler

“You die there”

The Schmidt family really wanted to visit the western United States two years ago. But the pandemic ruined the holiday plans at that time. Now a family of four from Berlin must realize that there are many things significantly more expensive than home in the United States.

“We booked most of the tickets for things like the Aquarium or Universal Studios in advance,” says Richard Schmidt. “It’s easy to be dead when you see prices.” Normal tickets for four people will cost $450, so-called express tickets will also cost about $1,000. “I would say it’s a hefty price to pay for admission that doesn’t make you think twice.”

His wife Anna was particularly surprised by the awards in San Francisco. There the family bought coffee, milk chocolate and some croissants near the Fisherman’s Wharf Tourist Mile – the equivalent of over 90 euros. That was probably the most expensive coffee ever, says Anna.

VAT and tip are up to him

What many tourists don’t know: All prices in the United States are displayed without VAT. Depending on the city or district, it is another 20 percent. It is also accompanied by a tip on which the employees of the catering business depend. You should add between 15 and 20 percent here.

“When we were at Stanford, we bought two drinks for the kids at a cafe, a coffee for my wife and a piece of cake for me. That was $36, which is about 36 euros,” says Richard Schmidt and Perseverance Quieter than: “You can get lunch for about half the family or the whole family in Germany.”

$500 for a night at the hotel

But it is not just the euro that has lost significant value. In large California metropolises such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, hotel rooms have also become significantly more expensive due to high domestic demand and staff shortages. Now – in high season – a standard room costs $500 per night.

However, Anna Schmidt has found alternatives: “I have found various glamping sites, some of which are not that expensive – that is, not at hotel prices.” And if you book early, you can even find romantic accommodations like log cabins or tents for much cheaper that you can afford.

landscape makes a lot

Schmidt was positively surprised by petrol prices. Although Californians have been grappling with record prices for weeks, refueling is still comparatively cheaper here than in Germany. One liter of regular petrol pays here the equivalent of about 1.50 euros. All the other prices are insane, Schmidt says—but it will still decide whether to vacation in California:

“The vastness of the country is always impressive and surprising,” he enthuses. “And when we got to the park, we were so blown away that the trip alone was worth it. Such steep mountains, deep valleys, clear rivers – we’ve never seen anywhere else in Europe.”

California Holidays – How Expensive Is It?

Marcus Schuler, ARD Los Angeles, July 18, 2022 11:06 am

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