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Old 10-07-2016, 02:51 PM   #3241
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Are you taking a cruise each way ?
They only go one way each season....spring away, fall back.

But this is the second half of a "connected" set of cruises.

After cruising from the Caribbean to Spain in the spring, I got an airline ticket that originated in Barcelona, and I booked the return air in the fall (the ticket I'm about to use).

I never would have even thought of doing this, but the price for a round trip was half the price of a one-way. I was originally going to throw away the other half of the ticket, but then started thinking, why not book a fall return cruise?
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:28 PM   #3242
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That was really smart!!

And a good way to catch the shoulder seasons.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:19 PM   #3243
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Back from my trip to Hawaii (Big Island). Stayed on budget and had a great time! Most food was expensive at the regular grocery store, but we scored a lot of cheap produce at the farmers markets. Costco and Walmart were the lifesavers on grocery shopping....

Most of the fun things we did were cheap or free. The exception being that we went on one Sunset Dinner tour (steak dinner and open bar included) and DS went snorkeling once - we had the $$ for those because we skipped the helicopter tour we originally had planned anyway. We opted instead to hike out and view the lava flow for free!

Eating out was pretty nil as we cooked or had picnics most of the time. We did try out a local burger place that had local grass-fed beef and had L&L BBQ once. Both of those were not expensive places.

I even made $50 (amex prepaid card) and 3000 hotel reward points by going to a timeshare presentation -saying "no" at the end of course. Kind of entertaining in a way to go to those things as I know about buying timeshares cheap on redweek or even ebay - but in every group there is as least one sucker that thinks they are a great deal at full retail. Hence why the resorts keep offering incentives to go to the sales presentations....

Anyway, we found some nice beaches and got to see Volcano Park as planned. We fit in a lot of sightseeing by car and walking. Another fun thing was the stargazing program at Mauna Kea visitor center, which was also free except for the gas to drive there....

Now it is time to gear up for winter and ski season here! I booked all my stays at my own condo thru January on my "weekends" of M,T,W and will get Feb done soon on the reservation system. I noticed that I already have renters for every weekend from Dec 9 and on this year. Thanksgiving week is the only thing that I would like to fill, because I can't go up that week anyway. Christmas the entire week is also already booked so no problem there.....
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:01 PM   #3244
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Thinking about a UK trip in the spring or fall. The falling GBP is making it even more attractive and more affordable. If not an extended visit then at least a stopover.
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:05 PM   #3245
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Thinking about a UK trip in the spring or fall. The falling GBP is making it even more attractive and more affordable. If not an extended visit then at least a stopover.
I wonder if the gain from the GBP drop will be partially grabbed by the hotels. Will tourist crowds make the savings worthwhile?

Right now the Euro is back towards it's low too.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:09 PM   #3246
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I've sworn off any more international travel for awhile. Three trips of a lifetime in 2 years to Europe are enough.

But the wife's hobby is trolling the internet for bargains. Today's bargain is Delta airline flight to Dublin in May, rental car for 6 nights and 7 nights' hotels (with breakfast) in Irish hotels--$1179 each.

That's not too bad. You could also fly to virtually any city in Europe on Ryanair really cheap--and spend another week.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:46 PM   #3247
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I've sworn off any more international travel for awhile. Three trips of a lifetime in 2 years to Europe are enough.

But the wife's hobby is trolling the internet for bargains. Today's bargain is Delta airline flight to Dublin in May, rental car for 6 nights and 7 nights' hotels (with breakfast) in Irish hotels--$1179 each.

That's not too bad. You could also fly to virtually any city in Europe on Ryanair really cheap--and spend another week.
That's a good deal, and May is a lovely time to visit Ireland.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:10 AM   #3248
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I wonder if the gain from the GBP drop will be partially grabbed by the hotels. Will tourist crowds make the savings worthwhile?
I very much doubt it. When I've booked hotels in the UK this year I have not seen any changes.

We have been living in the UK since May and are buying a house here. Since all of our income comes from the USA we have seen a 33% increase over what we used to get ($1.20/ instead of $1.60/). It dropped below $1.30 around March and I thought we were doing great (never expected the Brexit vote to be for "leave") so moved over a bunch for our planned 6 month stay. Since then we have decided to buy a house and had an offer accepted so I've transferred about $200k at ~$1.20.

I have just cashed another $90k of bonds that will be in my US bank account tomorrow and if the current rate stays below $1.20 I'll move that over as well. (today I can get $1.18)
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:57 AM   #3249
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Yes, we were in London last week and I was amazed to get $1.20 to the pound. Bought more than needed so I'd have starter cash for the next trip.

Incidentally, funny story.
DW wanted to go to High Tea at Fortnum & Mason, something I would equate with two hours in a torture chamber. But we went and I was amused to find that F&M are quite able to deal with the "husband problem." They had a nice IPA on the menu that eased my discomfort nicely. The scones were fantastic, too!
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:10 AM   #3250
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I very much doubt it. When I've booked hotels in the UK this year I have not seen any changes.
...
I did not say it but was thinking of the summer of 2017. I would imagine there would be a lag affect as advertising and tourists' plans take time to develop. Just a theory.

We were thinking about starting a trip next year in Amsterdam. Could perhaps add a bit of the UK to that. We would probably go in September to get decent weather and hopefully avoid peak summer crowds.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:18 AM   #3251
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Yeah a lot of businesses may think they could raise prices and tourists wouldn't notice.

But if they have local clientele, of course it would affect them.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:19 AM   #3252
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Yes, we were in London last week and I was amazed to get $1.20 to the pound. Bought more than needed so I'd have starter cash for the next trip.

Incidentally, funny story.
DW wanted to go to High Tea at Fortnum & Mason, something I would equate with two hours in a torture chamber. But we went and I was amused to find that F&M are quite able to deal with the "husband problem." They had a nice IPA on the menu that eased my discomfort nicely. The scones were fantastic, too!
Scones and IPA, not a combo you see too often.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #3253
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Looking forward to our return trip to PV Nov 15. We are already too late for the Halloween (Day of The Dead) and Election parties but will be there for Thanksgiving.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:04 AM   #3254
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So I think it was Nemo that posted a great discount site for cruises and we have been exploring it. Then RC sent me an email about the Dec cruises they want to fill and we got a 8 day cruise to Mexico (2 ports) Belize, and Honduras for $278.00 each as long as we can sail in early Dec. It was better then the cheap cruise site. We can leave right now on short notice although DH has some interviews coming up for a project that will last 2 years so that all may change soon.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:15 PM   #3255
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Teacher Terry: The best cruise bargains are really short term--when the ships are trying to sell completely out.

Those living in South Florida often get sick of cruising--they've taken care of so many bargains.
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:28 PM   #3256
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Headed for Big Island of Hawaii in November since the spouse is now through in the garden for this year. We like the shoulder season between the summer families and those snow birds that look just as old as we do. The return flight from there, late on Thanksgiving Day, was cheap.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:04 PM   #3257
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We are planning on a February visit to Death Valley National Park, California. The reviews seem to favor Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel. It is maybe a 0.5 to 1 hour drive to some of the day hikes in the National Park. There are also some closer hikes from the hotel. We plan on staying 4 nights.

Haven't yet scoped out the day hikes we might take. Should be some wildflowers there in early spring and the temperatures are likely to be nice with average highs of 73F.

We'll couple this with a visit to the Getty Center north of LA. Staying in Santa Clarita for that.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:29 PM   #3258
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Just letting everyone know that in 2017, to celebrate Canada's 150th year, ALL National Parks are free admission for the ENTIRE year.

This is a fantastic deal, and the Canadian Dollar is worth ~25% less, so you get a bonus savings on the exchange rate for things that aren't free

Parks Canada - Plan your visit - 2017 free admission
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:44 AM   #3259
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Just letting everyone know that in 2017, to celebrate Canada's 150th year, ALL National Parks are free admission for the ENTIRE year.

This is a fantastic deal, and the Canadian Dollar is worth ~25% less, so you get a bonus savings on the exchange rate for things that aren't free

Parks Canada - Plan your visit - 2017 free admission
Good information. We spent a lot of time last year in Canada's National Parks.

We set sail on the QM2 to NYC on Saturday.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:44 AM   #3260
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I hope this doesn't bring much larger crowds to the parks. We have a trip already planned and even have a few reservations lined up. Hopefully the day hike trails will not be jammed. Going to be in Banff, Jasper, and Waterton in late July.
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