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Question Of The Week

30+ Excursions You Shouldn’t Cheap Out On

One of the more common excursions is parasailing. We were in Key West and wanted to do this since neither of us had ever done parasailing before. So we spent the $55 each and took the ‘plunge’.

Before being hooked up to the parachute, the boat captain asked if we wanted to be ‘dunked’ and we said yes! We had a great time and would easily do it again since the cost met the thrill!” – Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB

“I am pretty diligent about researching excursions ahead of time so I have a pretty good idea of cost and what you get. Yes, there have been a few times we have walked away from things.

That being said, I am a tour guide who has heard the cost compliant more times then I can count in the last twenty years. Most people have no idea of the behind the scenes costs involved, especially if you are dealing with a small business.

The owners are just trying to make a living like everyone else. Complaining to your guide or the ticket seller about the price before you even buy a ticket is like complaining to a gas station attendant about the price of fuel. They can’t do anything about it. If you don’t like it, just walk away.

The best excursion we ever did (and hopefully will do again someday), was a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon for my husbands 50th birthday with Maverick Helicopters in Las Vegas. It was about $400 each, and that was a few years ago. To us it was worth every penny! Try and book one of the flights that land at their fuel station in the canyon as not all of them do.

We stayed at the campground attached to Circus Circus (also not cheap) but we were there over New Year’s and were able to sit outside and watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve light up the strip.” – Jennifer Richardson, 2012 GMC 3500, 2012 Arctic Fox 992

“I do a lot of internet homework long before leaving home. State tourist or National Park information websites will have most, if not all of the things to do in the area and the prices. If we really want to do it, we budget for it. If we’re not excited about it, we don’t do it.

Last summer’s Alaska vacation included the Alaska Marine Highway inland ferry from Bellingham, Washington to Juneau and then on to Haines. It’s a good once in a lifetime trip, but at $4,000 for two people and our truck camper, we’d think twice before doing it again. However, our guided tour through the Kennicot copper mill was a big deal for me because I worked industrial process for 30 years, but not so much for my wife because she doesn’t like heights and didn’t understand the industrial process.

We both thought the $540 we spent on a flight-seeing tour of St. Elias National Park was a bargain. Last summer became a museum trip because we missed the salmon runs by four days. All the museums we visited were worth the money.

The Red Bus trip along the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park was also a good expenditure. I finally got to see something besides the road and drivers crowding the center line because they were afraid. Of course, our pickup is too long to drive on that road.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050

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