Are Vacations a Ripoff?

Every year Americans, rich and not-so-rich, spend thousands of dollars on vacations. The affluent spend just over $13,000 a year taking trips, and Americans in general shell out close to $500 billion a year on trips to other locations.   Before you book that next flight, and plan to stay at a resort, paying hundreds in taxes and resort fees, you should seriously ask yourself whether it’s worth it.  Probably not.  Vacations are a scam, and you’re probably better off staying home.  Here’s why.

90%Of The Things You Do On Vacation You Can Do At Home

Think about your last vacation. Did you watch television? Did you eat? Did you sleep? These are all things you can do at home. Sure you might have slept in a slightly more comfortable bed, but studies of shown that at least for the first night you won’t sleep as restfully as you would on your own bed. Maybe the food tasted better.  But chances are it also was worse for you. It contained more salt and sugar and fat, which is why it may have tasted so delicious. What about television? How many times have you ordered up a movie for $20 to watch in your hotel room? That’s something you could do at home too, or at least at the local hotel. Did you pay extra for a window view? How long did you actually spend looking out the window at that view? Probably no more than five minutes.  Was it worth the extra $500 per week?  Doubtful.  You can see the same view on Google Images, or listen to the sound of waves on youtube.  Don’t be silly.

The Ocean is Nasty

If you look at photographs of the ocean on a vacation brochure it always looks so lovely.   But what you’re really looking at is a reflection of the blue sky. The sky is just as beautiful at home. If you fill up your kid’s pool with water and walk far enough away that water will also look blue. It also helps if you have a blue liner on the pool.

Although the ocean may look beautiful, it’s actually poisonous and disgusting. The vast majority of countries near the equator do not have proper or effective sewage lines installed in their residential and industrial plumbing systems. That means that you’re actually swimming in fecal matter and bacteria. If you’ve ever noticed that most Norovirus infections peek in late spring it’s because of all the vacationers coming back from tropical locales who have gone swimming in the native’s poo. But it’s not just feces that they are swimming in, it’s industrial pollutants as well. Many landfills are no longer compliant with international or national regulations. That means that they leech chemicals into the watershed, and the ocean, every time that it rains.  This is the sad truth that haunts many native inhabitants of tropical coastal communities. The water they swim in and drink from is contaminated with lead mercury and cadmium. Same holds true for you.

The Beach Is Nasty Too

Unless you happen to be staying at a cutthroat campground most of the hotels and resorts do a great job every day of hiding the disgusting truth about sand, some of which is trucked-in or dredged from the nearby ocean floor, killing ocean life. They do this by raking and combing the top layer of the sandy beach with tractors to remove cigarette butts and garbage. But even the best machines can’t remove the fecal bacteria and toxins that hide beneath. The next time your child is digging a hole in the sand take a look at the small pieces of plastic metal and cigarette butts. Additionally in many tropical countries including in the Caribbean there are parasitic worms that can lay eggs in you and your children’s feet. Additionally there are small biting flies that can in the least cause I don’t knowing rash and at worst cause a parasitic infection. If you should happen to go hiking down any beach whether it be Florida or Hawaii that is outside of the resort grounds you will soon be confronted with everything from washed up dirty diapers to car batteries. Many countries still dump the garbage at sea. And it winds up on beaches near  your favorite vacation destination. It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that the chemicals and bacteria from that garbage end up in the water nearby. So that $1000 a week resort vacation you paid for is essentially located next to an open Third World waste pit.

Your Airplane, Hotel Room and Rental Car Are Nasty

You’ve probably already read all the articles about how the services of airplane trays, hotel remote controls, and automobile steering wheels are full of fecal bacteria, so I won’t get into the details. Suffice to say that if you must go on vacation you should be sure to clean your hands before you touch your eyes ears nose and mouth.

Vacations Pollute

Traveling by air increases your carbon footprint, contributing to global warming. What about those awesome crew ships? They are some of the highest polluters of the high seas. Because there’s very little regulation outside of 5 miles from the US coast line crew ships are free to dump all kinds of garbage into the ocean including photograph chemicals and raw sewage. That can’t be good for your fishy friends!

Cruise ships are also the unwitting crime scenes of unsolved murders and sexual assaults.  You don’t want to be the person that gets thrown off the bow of a cruise ship only to become shark bait! Even if you survive on the crew ship you’re still likely to catch an intestinal virus if one is going around because of the close quarters.

Work Sucks Before, After and During Vacation

Vacations are terrific in terms of not doing any work. In fact studies have shown that people do need downtime. need downtime. But what about the impact of having to come back from vacation to find your desk full of paperwork and your email box full of unread messages? Does your heart rate and blood pressure spike? Do you get a headache just thinking about it? If that’s not bad enough then what about if you decide to work during vacation? That’s absolutely wonderful but then it’s not technically a vacation. Then it’s work. So if you’re going to work, why spend all that money and time going on vacation? Maybe you could just work less and not go on vacation to begin with?

You Will Probably Die or Get Injured

Every summer you see it in the newspapers. Man dies on fishing trip. Man drowns in rip current.  Woman dies from Zika virus.  Even without the pollution and shards of glass the beach can be a dangerous place! Maybe after reading about how terrible the ocean and beach are in warmer climes you have decided not to go to a polluted coastal town after all. You thought ‘maybe I will not contribute to the crew ship bilge pump disaster that unfolds every day near The Bahamas’.  Let’s suppose decide to go skiing. Unfortunately skiing is the site of many disasters involving bruises broken bones concussions and yes, deaths.

Every year thousands of people are injured on the slopes either from their own negligence or another’s. In almost all of those cases the ski resort is not liable because of the damage waiver one must sign to ski there. Some of the worst ways to die skiing don’t even involve head on collisions with the tree while throwing a makeshift football after the last trail has closed. Imagine skiing in the forest and accidentally falling upside down into a tree well, a snow pit in and around a pine tree. If you should fall upside down in one of these, getting out is almost impossible. Most people suffocate. Imagine the regret of booking that online ticket while snow caves in around you and you run out of oxygen. The panic overwhelms you as you make a futile attempt to lift your heavy boots and skis out of the hole you have just fallen into. Meanwhile, blood pools in your brain pushing you closer to unconsciousness.

The same thing can happen in an open field after several feet of snow have fallen. If you should fall backwards or forwards and you’re by yourself it will be ‘goodbye ski trip, hello death’. If you decide to opt for something less dangerous than skiing, perhaps you could go hiking. But mountain hiking can be notoriously dangerous with rockfall, hypothermia and wild animals to contend with. So maybe your best bet is to just hike something easy and flat. But you can do that from home, right?

Your Smartphone Will Prevent You From Enjoying Your Vacation

Taking pictures on vacation is awesome right? Posting them on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat is even better! That’ll teacher friends not to brag about their vacations! Here you are at the dirty beach with contaminants you can find at your local landfill! Here you are drinking alcohol that cost five times as much as it would it home! Check out that sunset. Wow! Nobody’s ever seen a sunset before! In fact they don’t have sunsets at home, do they? Oh wait, they actually do have sunsets at home. You can go on top of your local parking ramp and take a good sunset picture. But for some reason you feel the expensive desire to take one on your vacation so that all your friends are jealous.  Wait to see how jealous they are by actually looking at the Facebook feeds. Oh wow, better check the Instagram feeds too. While we’re at it let’s read the news. Let’s look at this website or that website. Suddenly five hours have gone by. What a vacation!  The bottom line is that you’re spending a lot of time on your smart phones while on vacation and you could be doing that from anywhere. You’ve just paid all that money to keep your face in your screen. And if you think sitting in front of the waves for five minutes contemplating life is boring, then you’re right.  There are much more interesting things happening on Politico or The Hill. What you’ll figure out is that you’ve spent too much of your time working in order to spend time thinking about the things that involve work and home.

Theme Parks Are A Waste of Time And Money

But what about Disney World or Disneyland? What about Six Flags? What about Cedar point? What about any place with a roller coaster, rides and over-sized cartoon characters walking around, charging you to take dumb pictures? That’s fun, right? Actually no. Most theme parks involve brainwashing your children into convincing you to buy things that you don’t want and don’t need like stuffed animals, colorful corn syrup solids and garbage experiences that you will not remember in a week much less next year. Meanwhile, unless you are cunning enough to obtain a fast pass, you will be stuck waiting in line for hours listening to kids scream and fight (including your own) while you wait for a two minute ride that could kill you, cause brain damage or at least give you a headache. Do I need to get into the bacteria count on these rides after so many sick passengers ride them every day? Probably not. You understand by now.

Vacations Cause Fights

Can’t decide among your family members where to eat dinner? What about which ride you should go on? How about whether your hotel room is sufficiently large enough with a decent and expensive window view? All of these issues can come up during a family or friend vacation pitting people against each other and causing an enormous amount of stress, heartache, and suicidal thoughts.  What if dad wants to go hiking but the kids want to go to the movie theater? You can go to the movie theater at home! You can’t go hiking at home but nobody wants to go hiking with dad. It’s a good thing you paid thousands of dollars for this family trip just so you could go to a movie theater to watch a third rate remake of your favorite childhood cartoon. What about going to Applebee’s on vacation? That must be worth it. Applebee’s in a tropical location is awesome compared to the Applebee’s back home. They must use different ingredients, right? No. They don’t. You’re a sucker.

Vacations , You Blew It!

Some people will think I’m  just looking for things to complain about when it comes to vacations. But when you really whittle it all down you’ve only had fun for about 1% of your vacation. The rest of it was spent doing mediocre things that could be done anywhere else under much safer and cleaner conditions.  So the next time your Facebook friends post awesome photos of their family trip, send your sympathies. They will probably be puking their guts out within days, suffering from alcohol withdrawal, and be about $5000 less wealthy.  Meanwhile, you just went to the local movie theater and sat in the best seats in the house!

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