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Thread: Inflation hits home...

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Inflation hits home...

    It has become an expectation, it seems, that every other year we will run an International Trip.

    We have a format, it works for us. We find accommodation, we drive across in MPVs , we self cater, we have meals out, we do activities and visits. We can cost out a trip in no time, so, having been asked about the 2020 trip by a couple of Navigators, I sat down last night and ran up some costings.

    The trip will be a repeat of our 2015 trip to the Ardennes. Same place, same activities, etc.. only two of the Navs will have been before and we will expect them to take leadership roles.

    Anyway, when I finished the calculations, the initial tally came to 938 per head for ten days. Still a good deal compared t school trips. But, here is the kicker - remember, we did exactly the same trip in 2015, so we have the figures. The cost for that trip was 575 by the time we had settled all the bills. An inflationary increase of 363 over four years. Of course, some of the costs are estimated, but nonetheless it smarts.

    Some of it is in costs rising, some of it will be down to the fall in the value of Sterling - and, I have not included the additional cost of "visas", or insurance increases that would be required in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 09-04-2019 at 07:47 AM.
    Ewan Scott

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Typical REMOANER, making everything look bad as justification for their political leanings, inflating all the costs so Brexit looks a bad idea. (I'm joking! Joking! Awww, come on! Gotta laugh eh?)

    That's quite an increase that. Ouch. I'm vaguely looking at a national jamboree abroad in 2020, not priced it up in the slightest yet though.

    Actually, I mean, that's quite an increase that!

    You're right though, we're basically running the same summer camp as 2011, I've lost any details, but looking at other summer camps around then it was usually about 200, and if we were not subsidising this year's it would be about 270. Maybe it's just that we've got so many more and we can't get hold of three free minibuses, so that's a chunk of money, activities that were 20 are now 25-30, food has gone up, I mean, I'm budgeting on 8 a day p/p now not 7 (don't even think of starting on your "oooh we only budget on thruppence ha'penny a day and we all eat fine" shtick). Fuel seems to be roughly the same price as 2011.

    More whittling and hiking and less white water rafting I guess.
    Last edited by ianw; 09-04-2019 at 08:37 AM.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Along similar lines we are going to Kandersteg this year and we did in 2015 too. The programme is near identical, though the group much bigger. Last time it cost approx 650 per head, this time 900. And the exchange rate hasn't changed that much against the CHF, so the main cause is things going up - most noticeably the cost of travel (we got really cheap flights last time).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Along similar lines we are going to Kandersteg this year and we did in 2015 too. The programme is near identical, though the group much bigger. Last time it cost approx 650 per head, this time 900. And the exchange rate hasn't changed that much against the CHF, so the main cause is things going up - most noticeably the cost of travel (we got really cheap flights last time).
    i'm sitting here in my "hike the dream" kisc t-shirt and would love to go back after 2 successful trips (although the latter was quite stressful for me with a troublemaker who gave me grief) but . to do what I would like to do is just not really possible. It seems pointless to go all the way there and not send kids up on glaciers, down whitewater etc. You could fill their time with the cheap stuff but i can't muster the enthusiasm for that.

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    Based on UK inflation alone, the 575 prove should now be ~632; average ~2.4% annual inflation (LINK). Belgium's average inflation rate is ~2.2%, so no significant difference.

    Plus the Euro-Pound exchange rate has gone from an average of 0.73 Euros to the Pound in 2015 to 0.88 in 2018 (currently 0.86). So even the exchange rate doesn't count for the rest of the ~300 increase - possibly half, at most.

    Therefore, the largest cause of the increase must be due to specific price rises. To properly analyse it, you'd need to compare line to line to see where the increase comes from...
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Chris, Inflation figres are based on a different set of measures. I suspect that real life "inflation" is much higher than is measured by the standard shopping basket...

    I wasn't making a Brexit point, not really. Having done quite a few trips now I can see how the costs are steadily rising but I looked at specifics this morning - Last year the return ferry was 150, this year it is 205, next year it will go up again. Accommodation has gone up by 500 but that is spread across 24 people (estimated). Activity costs have gone up by a Euro or two. My fuel estimate has gone up by 60%.

    There are some variables that, at the moment, we can only guess at. I do a German trip every year and prices step up every year by about 10%.

    I guess there is a certain argument for going with Jeka or Venture Abroad, but we found that we lost control of catering and by the time the extras were dialled in, we were just as well doing our own thing.

    I guess that ultimtely, people will support what offers them value - adults are aware that costs inflate they understand and the initial shock at the ticket price fades when reality bites - I hope. I sispect that this will be our final International trip, unless we do a Scotland trip - but the costs of an equivalent week in Scotland make the Ardennes look cheap!
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Chris, Inflation figres are based on a different set of measures. I suspect that real life "inflation" is much higher than is measured by the standard shopping basket...

    I wasn't making a Brexit point, not really. Having done quite a few trips now I can see how the costs are steadily rising but I looked at specifics this morning - Last year the return ferry was 150, this year it is 205, next year it will go up again. Accommodation has gone up by 500 but that is spread across 24 people (estimated). Activity costs have gone up by a Euro or two. My fuel estimate has gone up by 60%.

    There are some variables that, at the moment, we can only guess at. I do a German trip every year and prices step up every year by about 10%.

    I guess there is a certain argument for going with Jeka or Venture Abroad, but we found that we lost control of catering and by the time the extras were dialled in, we were just as well doing our own thing.

    I guess that ultimtely, people will support what offers them value - adults are aware that costs inflate they understand and the initial shock at the ticket price fades when reality bites - I hope. I sispect that this will be our final International trip, unless we do a Scotland trip - but the costs of an equivalent week in Scotland make the Ardennes look cheap!
    My point is that it's not inflation (which is by definition general), but SPECIFIC increases for your activities.
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    I've run several intl trips, including Ksteg, Poland and Slovakia, Luxembourg and Belgium and France. Our biggest was a 21 day exchange trip to Denver and LA.

    They were all great although 1 or 2 hiccups. However right up there with the best of them was a 10 day trip to the Lake District. Activities were brilliant, could do a lot from the site, two engaging and challenging hikes, one from the site. Many very adventurous activities in the area. And of course, much cheaper than the foreign trips. So I'm less convinced nowadays that we achieve masses more by going abroad with Scouts, and certainly not convinced it's worth the pain and costs for the parents.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    ........I wasn't making a Brexit point........
    Family trip to the US cost approx 600 more owing to the collapse in the pound after the vote. And not just us, I suspect many leavers would have had their foreign holidays to the Sun increase significantly in price as a result of the sterling drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I've run several intl trips, including Ksteg, Poland and Slovakia, Luxembourg and Belgium and France. Our biggest was a 21 day exchange trip to Denver and LA.

    They were all great although 1 or 2 hiccups. However right up there with the best of them was a 10 day trip to the Lake District. Activities were brilliant, could do a lot from the site, two engaging and challenging hikes, one from the site. Many very adventurous activities in the area. And of course, much cheaper than the foreign trips. So I'm less convinced nowadays that we achieve masses more by going abroad with Scouts, and certainly not convinced it's worth the pain and costs for the parents..
    I reckon i did austria for about the same as a trip to the lake district... and that includes flights, car hire etc for 63 of us!

    The activities in 2016 were such good value compared to UK prices that it was worth going abroad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    My point is that it's not inflation (which is by definition general), but SPECIFIC increases for your activities.
    Something costs more than it use to. Its price has inflated.

    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    So I'm less convinced nowadays that we achieve masses more by going abroad with Scouts, and certainly not convinced it's worth the pain and costs for the parents.
    Last year's summer camp was possibly the best I've ever been involved with. A field, a tap, Dorset, glorious weather. But I've also organised a couple of internationals. I think if you're going to go abroad and just do what you would have done in the UK, what's the point? The key for me is some sort of cultural thing and meeting scouts from abroad and mingling with them. There's a social aspect of making new friends and meeting new people. That seems to be a key thing for my Explorers. So going to the Ardenne say and doing some decent white water rafting that probably isn't possible in the UK (or at least, not as warm anyway), waffles in the town square, WWI cemeteries etc etc. Kandersteg, blummin great mountains loads of scouts from loads of places etc etc. When we went to Portugal, one Explorer described it as basically a holiday with their mates. Fine, but not really what we're in it for. While the Canary Isles were a cluster fluff in many many aspects, the cultural differences, making new friends, meeting new people, the camaraderie, that was all absolutely spot on, and just what I wanted the Explorers to have in an international experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Something costs more than it use to. Its price has inflated.
    Its price has increased.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    Its price has increased.
    Yes it has. It has inflated. We are both correct. The price has gone up, so the purchasing value of money has gone down.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    Its price has increased.
    Inflation is a measure of price increases. There are many such measures, not just the RPI, CPI etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I've run several intl trips, including Ksteg, Poland and Slovakia, Luxembourg and Belgium and France. Our biggest was a 21 day exchange trip to Denver and LA.

    They were all great although 1 or 2 hiccups. However right up there with the best of them was a 10 day trip to the Lake District. Activities were brilliant, could do a lot from the site, two engaging and challenging hikes, one from the site. Many very adventurous activities in the area. And of course, much cheaper than the foreign trips. So I'm less convinced nowadays that we achieve masses more by going abroad with Scouts, and certainly not convinced it's worth the pain and costs for the parents.

    A like for like costing, as close as we could make it, in 2017 for a trip to Aslace, a trip to the Peak District, or a trip to Scotand, put Scorland as the most expensive ( which really made me sad), The Peak District a close second (and we were only about an hour and a half from home), and Alsace was cheaper by about 200 per head.

    I did look at the Lakes, but as soon as we got the prices for accommodation we dropped that idea.

    Accommodation in the UK is expensive - they would rather leave it empty than reduce the price to fill it. Vehicle hire was cheaper, but activities costs were much more expensive ( as I said, on a like for like basis). For Scotland I looked at Bonaly - which wasn't where we wanted to be, really, was more expensive than the Scout Hostel in Alsace.

    I'm going to add that the reason for the International is to introduce young people to a different culture, a different slice of history, different food, places, and perhaps people. Many of the young people who come with us have either not been abroad before, or, their experience has been with a load of other Brits on a British enclave on a package tour - where the only thing continental may well have been the breakfast and possibly the temperature...

    I'm not sure about Scouts mixing, my experience is that they don't (either at home or abroad). In Scouting terms we had a very negative reception from Dutch, German and French Scouts who were at Merkenvelde at the same time as us. At the Leaders meeting with the Warden, none of them spoke to the other. We actually went round to introduce ourselves. We were invisible to the Germans, the French shrugged, and the Dutch said "HI" and walked away... On the other hand, going independent people actually stopped us in the street and spoke to the kids, asked them what we were and what we were doing? I think the lack of Scout uniform, but the branded tee shirts created the Interest - Fools Tour, Navs Go Nutz, Tour de Hansi, Navs go Nutz Again and the next one if we go ahead will be Nutz III - Back to the Bulge. ( not all trips have had names - but we get a better reaction from the named trips).
    Last edited by Bushfella; 09-04-2019 at 04:00 PM.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I'm not sure about Scouts mixing, my experience is that they don't (either at home or abroad).
    Is this back to you getting the scouts that suit your personality? What with your group being so insular then going indie.

    But maybe it's a little bit of maturity of Explorers, or maybe a lot of our lot are just a bit more social, or enough are privileged and go on foreign jaunts or are in the party set so are used to meeting new people and starting up random conversations. Maybe going to things like Gilwell24 helps, where it's normal to lose your mates and tag along with some randoms you've just met.

    I mean, I have little data to support my hypothesis.

    When we hosted some Portuguese Explorers, some of our clique actively discouraged others in the clique from mixing, we stamped on that pretty quick, and those who made the effort to mix got some value from it definitely, while those not in the clique and making friends from the start were a few steps ahead. When we've been on sites with other Explorers, and invited them for some ultra violent game on the last evening, they then sit around chatting late into the night and wishing they'd done it sooner. In the Canaries the Explorers mostly coped with the attention of being the only British group there, and being constantly harassed for badges and neckers and so on, made some new friends, while one night the Scouts we took the leaders hid them in a tent to play cards just so they weren't constantly being put upon.
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