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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Road trips

If you live in London, the Washington Post reports that it may be cheaper to travel to Central Europe than to spend a night out on the town. Especially if you drink:
"Cheap flights have opened up all these places to us," [Londoner Marc] Burridge said. "The prices are so low that it can be more expensive to stay home." He noted that a pint of beer in Bratislava costs $1, compared with $5 in England, so the weekend's savings on beer alone could maybe pay for his airline ticket....

Edd Claringbold, a zoology student at Nottingham University, said he could easily spend $180 on a night out in London, and that was his total budget for the long weekend in Bratislava -- flights, $1 beers and $10-a-night hostel included.

"It's cheaper to fly out of London than to stay in London," agreed [British student Louise] Ashford, settling into a seat -- there are no seat assignments -- in Row 27. "We are saving money by going abroad."
It's also apparently cheaper to fly to Hungary to go to the dentist, travel costs included, than it is to visit the dentist in Britain. This may or may not be significant.

The Post story mentions "flights as cheap as bus fares," which are changing travel patterns throughout Europe (for German tourists too, for example). Imagine these fares, disgrunted travelers of middle America, and the implications:
$25 on popular routes such as London to Salzburg, Glasgow to Paris and Dublin to Valencia....

"It has democratized flying," said Stephen Hogan, spokesman for the Brussels-based Airports Council International, who said a flight from Dublin to Paris in the mid-1990s cost about $600 if booked in advance. It now costs as little as about $50. "It makes the dream of Europe possible -- the free movement of people within countries."
Motivated by this story, I just booked my tickets for San Diego later this month. For some reason, the price dropped $60 since Friday, though they are about $30-40 more than they were two weeks ago.

Why am I going to San Diego?

Spring break? Nope, that is before I leave.

No, not for that new baseball event, though I wish it was. The WBC final is two days before I arrive.

I'll be off to the International Studies Association Annual Meeting.

Oops. Better finish that paper.

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