Going Places Educational Travel Blog - You Get What You Pay For
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January 11, 2022

You Get What You Pay For

Jane and Tiffany were best friends and both had signed up for a trip to Europe with one of their teachers, Jane with her French teacher, Miss Joubert, and Tiffany with her Spanish teacher, Mrs. Garcia. Both were going on tours that visited France and Spain, and when they were finally enrolled, the girls were eager to discuss their trips.

Jane said that she was sorry they were not traveling together and Tiffany expressed the same feelings as the trips were mirror images of each other, one starting in Paris and ending in Madrid and one doing the reverse of this itinerary and including pretty much the same activities.

Curious, Jane asked Tiffany how much her trip would cost. Tiffany said, "It was about $3500," which created a little embarrassment when Jane revealed her trip was about $4000 and yet both trips looked to be almost identical. Despite the discomfort both felt about the price differences, which upon examining both itineraries, could not be explained, both friends sincerely hoped that the other would have a great trip.

About a week after they got back from Europe, Jane and Tiffany got together for lunch. Jane asked Tiffany, "How was your trip" to which Tiffany replied, "It was fine I guess, but I had to call home twice and ask my Mom to wire me some more money."

"Why," Jane asked. Tiffany said, "Remember when I told you our trip cost much less than yours?" Jane said, "Yes, and I felt a little bad about that; it seemed like our group was paying more money for the same trip. I was a little disappointed then and I mentioned all this to Miss Joubert and asked her why she had picked that company but she told me that we were traveling with a company called Passports and she had traveled with them before and not to worry." "Remember Jane, in life you get what you pay for," Miss Joubert assured her.

"Why did you always need more money?" Jane asked.

Tiffany explained that the hotels they stayed at in Paris and Madrid were nice enough, but really not at all close to the center of the city. Plus, at night, the dinner served in the hotel (often just chicken fingers) was OK but did not include enough food to staunch an American teenager's appetite. Because of the remote location of the hotel, there were virtually no restaurants nearby at which they might "top off" their evening meal. "Plus, Tiffany said, "our hotel was not near any bus lines that would have brought us back into the city in a timely manner, so we usually had to take cabs in each direction, which can add up." And in the evening in cities like Paris or Madrid, "who wants to be stuck in the 'boonies,' Tiffany complained, "and not near the center of these exciting world capitals?"

"So, every night, after the dinner at our hotel, and since we were not near any other restaurants, we had to go back into town to find more to eat. And this cost money, not only for the cab rides in and back, but for the additional meals, usually at McDonalds, we had to buy," Tiffany said. "Oh, I'm so sorry," Jane said.

"So," Tiffany went on, "when you pay for cab rides into the city center for the four nights we stayed in Paris and, by the way, the same thing happened to us in Madrid, and when you pay an extra $7 each day to supplement our meals, just for the extra transportation and food costs alone I had to shell out over $150 in each city just to be where were needed be and to feel satisfied by what we had eaten."

"What about you, Jane, Did you have the same problems?"

"No, we didn't," Jane said. "We traveled with a company called Passports and our hotels in each city were right downtown and the meals we ate at local restaurants were included in the cost and they were great and real examples of local cuisine. All of us were raving about the food. Plus the other meals we had were also authentic and really delicious. Who would have thought any of us would have loved something called "Fondue" but we all did. Plus a dish they call Paella in Madrid was to die for," Jane added.

Then Tiffany added one more point. "Jane, I hate going on like this but it was bad enough paying all the extra money for things that the trip should have included in the first place but what was worse was all the time we spent on buses and subways if we were lucky, getting back and forth to the parts of the city we needed to be in in any case." "Can you imagine, three hours a day on public transportation just to get back and forth to the center of the city? That was the worst part! The time we wasted," Tiffany explained.

Tiffany went on further to say, "If you waste three hours a day, over the course of a 10-day trip we wasted over one whole day just getting back and forth into the city."

But at this point both girls said they could agree with what Miss Joubert had said earlier, "you get what you pay for," and both Jane and Tiffany had gotten what they paid for but only Jane knew ahead of time what her trip would really cost.

Category: For Teachers


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passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.

Passports, Inc., ToursOperators & Promoters, Spencer, MA


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