The land of additional charges

Day 10 in the United States of America. Land of the Free. The country of opportunities and great business. But above all : The land of additional charges 🙂

After 10 days we experienced alot already and everything so far has been great. But by now we have discovered the secret of the success of American businesses.. charge more than you advertise and make EVERYTHING optional!

Wether you rent a car, go for dinner, buy a prepaid simcard, … it all has some secret hidden costs. It’s not outrageous and sometimes it’s even understandable, we even think you get used to it after a while, but its frustrating when you plan a budget on a holiday..

Our first experience with it was our rental car. Priced as one of the cheapest by Thrifty on the internet, so we booked a car some time in advance. $999 for everything, sounds like an amazing deal!

But at the airport we got a big surprise : $2.400 ! Ofcourse the advertised price was without any services ( insurance, second driver, premium roadservice, … ). Perhaps it was our own fault for not reading up or contacting them to make sure the $999 was indeed $999 ALL-IN. But we read everything we got and made the assumption that most businesses in the US are honest. Wrong.

Its kind of infuriating sometimes. Every price in the supermarket should be the real price right? Wrong, its without any taxes. Atleast the price on the menu in the restaurant is correct though? Nope everything has options and sizes. You can call it smart business, but it sometimes feels like they cheat you.

Not all businesses operate like this though, for example the restaurant we’ve been to today. They were upfront about it and explained the menu in great detail. However, you soon come to realise that there still are alot of additionals. Supersize this for $2.99 , add chicken for $4.99, choose a premium sauce for $1.99..

After 10 days it is starting to become a habit to look for all signs of additional costs whenever we do something. In our head the question comes instantly : Is this included, do they mean for 1 person or for 2 ? , .. It is in our experience the American way.

Speaking of true Americans.. We took an Uber to a restaurant today and the driver was hilarious. He ensured us that San Diego was the most beautiful location in the whole of America and we should just cancel the rest of our trip to stay there. La Jolla San Diego. He repeated it over and over. We told him we would look it up 🙂

As we said, the restaurant today was great. Good food and a cool atmosphere / location. They even had a live band that walked around the restaurant to the tables to play requests. We talked with them in the smoking area and they were really awesome. They played our song by Ed Sheeran and it was amazing. Here is the video of part of it :


After the restaurant we took another Uber back to the appartments.. Tomorrow we’ll visit the World War II era ship The Queen Mary !

Here are some pics from Day 10 ( We promise to make more tomorrow ) :


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