‘Money’s too tight (to mention)’ was pop group Simply Red’s entry into the world of future chart toppers; even back then in the year 1985 my young generation just about entering or already graduating from high school or college, respectively, expressed solidarity with the band’s lyrics whilst happily dancing away to its catchy tunes.

You might recall, we were that kind of ‘solidarity’ type of youngsters and rightly so! There was this famous saying at a university I attended that it is not cool to look cool with brand new clothes when you cannot afford a pint anymore, so budgeting became the A-Z of survival kit so to speak – and as featured in this pop song the main characters did not even have the luxury of dreaming of any brand-new clothes…

Hence and on the one hand and contrary to popular belief my baby boomer generation did not grow up with silver spoons in ones’ mouth, far from it. In particular in continental Europe going to university meant finding a part-time job more or less by default as our parents had to make ends meet, too. Simply Red’s song introduced a young man and his family whilst asking for hard cash to sustain his family so indeed a kind of social issue hit track.

Then on the other hand, and as my generation wanted to explore first neighbouring, then countries further afar going on holiday to the Mediterranean often involved extended train or coach trips as it was just about the moment in traveling history when cheap flights to the sun became more widely available.

Result: you searched for affordable spots under the sun and off we went. But making a precise budget including keeping just a little of funds for your return journey was an absolute necessity.

Fast forward to the soon to be starting peak summer season of the year 2023; and fast forward to the Republic of Türkiye and our fine resort of Kuşadası.

Surprisingly or perhaps rather not, today’s travelers regardless of being single or with family in tow are not any different from how we were almost four to five decades ago. What’s more, we live in a post-pandemic world and are faced with skyrocketing food price increases, in some European nations reaching almost 20 (!) per cent on top when compared with last year 2022.

Thus said, we compare; if booking everything ourselves we would check restaurant menus even before reaching our final destinations, or alternatively ask our travel agents for the best package deal.

Which brings me to the gist of today’s contribution: why is it still possible to go on a top quality vacation here in Türkiye – and especially in our shared resort of Kuşadası – whilst anywhere and everywhere else in the world hospitality prices have gone through the roof? And why should we employ a certain amount of fairness when arguing that even around here some expenses are much dearer than let us say five years ago? Please let me explain.

Inflation was not invented in Türkiye

Out and about in our great town, or shall we rather say city as this is what Kuşadası has become by now and written in the most positive sense of the word, your friendly columnist of course takes a close look at prices as displayed at supermarkets, restaurants, clothes shops and so on and so forth. Last week our fishmongers became the focus of my attention as my family loves preparing a seafood dish at home.

Granted, think enjoying a three-course meal with beverage of choice five years ago or doing the same today – nowhere on the planet would we expect to pay exactly the same amount as we did previously. And here comes my concern – so why would we expect to pay 2018 prices – some even argue 2013 prices – in 2023 in Kuşadası?

And here is the trick: even if we come to the conclusion and we most naturally will that prices have gone up in town too – same as where we originally hail from – we must engage in a second value for money comparison exercise. How much would a similar item or service set us back right there? I regularly do the same with my focus on the United Kingdom and more recently Austria and Sweden and my verdict: if we ask for the same quality, the same type of service Türkiye comes out in pole position and is ready to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Local wages have gone up which is a very positive development for the friendly staff serving us day in, night out. Of course, rents have increased, too. The cost of raising a family is more expensive and buying white goods is as well. That is the reason why hospitality entrepreneurs regardless of operating in Penzance, Stockholm, Vienna or Kuşadası indeed had to readjust their business plans and profit margins as without any profit margin there would be no tourism sector industry left!

So: when we next time flash our pocket calculators in front of puzzled staff at our favourite restaurant in town, please pause a moment and realize that for what we pay over here and what we would pay elsewhere we are blessed to vacationing or indeed residing in town. Perfect quality of food and beverage, fine hotels around every corner, made to measure local transportation, branded shops, or our corner grocery store – a list which would fill another page if not two or more once fully written up.

A number of social media comments which are currently making their rounds had me sit down and putting pen to paper for this contribution as I would consider some of them were not really reflecting on the truth.

Think you visit London and step into a posh eatery in central London or dine along the waterfront in Stockholm – by definition would we expect to pay for the additional luxury or shall we say, the prime location. In a seaside resort it is not any different – regardless of in fab Türkiye or someplace else. You must check the menu, you must decide what is your budget for the day or night, you must reflect on whether you want a snack or an extended meal with international cuisine. But then declaring our resort has turned into an overly expensive destination is simply incorrect.

Compared to and with anywhere else I had the pleasure to travel to for work or leisure pursuits in the past few years Türkiye, and our town come out on top with regards to sourcing top quality at very affordable prices. May I wish you a wonderful start of the summer season, enjoy!

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