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The cost of visiting the Olympics — Curt Yeomans

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.

It's $2,385.60.

That is how much money I have already spent on the trip I am taking to London next month, to attend the Olympics. The tally includes $1,415.70 for airfare, $749.90 for a hotel (which I got at a discount rate that included one free night), and $220 for tickets to early round Olympic tennis and archery.

I thank my lucky stars that I spread those costs out over an extended period of time.

I never expected a visit to London during the Olympics to be cheap, but the running tally so far is a staggering testament to how much it truly costs to be a part of that big of a celebration. Well, it’s not really a staggering cost for the folks who live in, or near, the host city, because all they have to pay for is the event tickets and subway pass.

For those of us who don’t call the Queen our neighbor, however, you get my point.

If I didn’t want to say I’ve been to an Olympics (OK, I’ll cop to it, I want to say I’ve been to an Olympics held in EUROPE), I would not be going to Europe during its peak travel season. Travel is a costly venture. It takes a lot of money to take a trip, even within the U.S., so it makes sense to do it when it is likely to cost you the least amount of money.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still much left for me to see in Europe.

I have a long list of European cities I want to visit before I die, such as Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the United Kingdom; Bayeux, Caen, and Marseilles in France; Antwerp and Brussels in Belgium; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin and Hamburg in Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; Salzburg and Vienna in Austria; the nation-state of San Marino; Milan, Pisa and Venice in Italy; the nation-state of Monaco and Barcelona, Bunol, Madrid, and Pamplona in Spain.

I just don’t want to visit them in peak travel seasons. It is much cheaper to fly to Europe in the late fall, winter or spring. In fact, for example, it could be as much as one-quarter lower to fly to Amsterdam on Delta in late December than it is to fly there in early August. I did the math, so I’m sure of that. It costs $1,561 to fly there in early August. It costs $1,181 to fly there the day after Christmas.

Both trips are round-trip, and last a week. The difference in airfare costs between the two time periods is $380, which means the Christmas time trip is 24.3 percent cheaper than the trip in August (based on airfare alone).

So when would you rather take that trip?

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.