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Old 03-16-2016, 10:34 AM   #21
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Thanks for all these great travel planning tips. There have been several specific contributions from you lately - much appreciated!
Boy, you aren't kidding! Norwegian has some amazingly cheap flights. Thanks a lot for that tip. Spain to Boston for 222 euros in May? Dang!!
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:25 PM   #22
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On the timeshare front. Wyndham has a websie..endlessvacation.com that has unused inventory for the public at blowout prices. They sometime run super specials like 3 nites for 59 bucks (these usually require a timeshare pitch). The weekly rentals do not include the timeshare pitch. I've seen some exceptional values if you are flexible. Signup for their email specials.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:15 PM   #23
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DH and I live in Washington state and he retires this May. We are looking forward to spontaneously picking up and heading to warm spots like Palm Springs, Arizona, San Diego, etcetera during the cold, wet winter months. We love the PNW during late Spring, Summer and Autumn months and probably will stay closer to home.


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Old 03-16-2016, 11:06 PM   #24
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Last November when we were in Maui (another spontaneous trip when we snatched a good deal on a timeshare), we talked with a Canadian woman who was spending a month there to get away. She got 2 weeks of her own, and got another 2 weeks at another timeshare by renting.

Right now, looking on RCI I see some timeshares available in Atlantic Beach, NC in Dec 2016 for $300/week. I have not been there, but its December temperature of 41 low/60 high does not look too bad. Or how about Brownsville or Montgomery, TX for Jan 2017? Or Surfside Beach, SC, also in Jan 2017 for $300/week?

I have not been to these places, but if I happen to plan an RV trip to the area, may use them for a rest stop for a week to keep the missus from going crazy inside the motorhome.

Our own timeshare is rated high enough that I can exchange it for a week in places like Mallorca in Spain. I have not done so because when we go to Europe, we want to move about a bit, and not to stay in one spot for a whole week.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:35 PM   #25
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You are referring to renting timeshares from other people, not buying into them, correct? Do you have a preferred website for researching rental availability if so? Love this idea.
This is one I used, when we rented a 2 bedroom , 2 bathroom for a week for $250. With 1 week notice.

If you rent or plan to rent more than once per year, they have a membership that knocks 25% off the price (it basically paid for itself on the first rental).

Trading Places International - Hot Deals
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:30 PM   #26
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WE have 4 dogs so unless we take the rv all our travel is planned in advance. WE usually book 6 months in advance when I find a deal.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:20 PM   #27
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Timeshare Rentals - Timeshares for Rent By Owner


This is a link to Redweek.com and there are sometimes good deals to be found.


Like someone mentioned, Trading Places has some incredible last minute deals listed. If you have some ability to be flexible in your plans it really does help on costs.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:49 PM   #28
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Most of our travels were booked spontaneously when we, mostly my wife, run across some good deals on airfare, hotels, or timeshares. And it was this way even before we fully retired, because my wife had much seniority and vacation time at her megacorp and I was already semi-retired and worked my own hours.

Occasionally, it may cause a gotcha. Two weeks ago, my wife happened to spot a timeshare in late April not too far from Glacier National Park West Entrance. So, I said to book it, and we would drive our RV up there and visited some places on the way. And spotting another timeshare in Colorado, I said to book it too, for a stop on the way home.

Then, I found out that the Park will not be fully opened until mid-May. Oops! Now, I have to look for something to do to entertain ourselves when up there. I guess lots of hiking in the snow. Can't make another visit to Yellowstone either; the roads will not be fully snowplowed, probably till late May.
Sounds like you may be in Colorado for Mud Season. We've gone to the mountains in May and had some really nice spring like days - and some other yucky weather days (rain, sleet, even snow). It is quiet and peaceful though at that time of year without all the "tourists". Just know that you might find some restaurants and shops closed for the month or having limited hours. If you are within driving distance of any of the hot springs, then that is a great activity for May when there is just a little chill in the air!

I will probably get up to my condo at least a couple of times in May/early June to enjoy the quiet before all the kids are outta school for the summer. (Since my resort pretty much predicts zero rental occupancy for about 6 weeks between ski and summer season, it is a great time for owner use!)
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:23 AM   #29
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The main thing I'm looking forward to in ER is the travel. We're lucky that in our current jobs we are allotted a fair bit of vacation time but it's still not enough for us.
While I'm not sure if we are adventurous enough like the OP to jump on a one way flight the next day, I'd love to have the flexibility of a last minute weekend trip or just the ability to adjust our itinerary without needing to manage to a defined end date.
And there are too many flight and cruise deals that we'd love to take advantage of.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:29 AM   #30
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Sounds like you may be in Colorado for Mud Season. We've gone to the mountains in May and had some really nice spring like days - and some other yucky weather days (rain, sleet, even snow). It is quiet and peaceful though at that time of year without all the "tourists". Just know that you might find some restaurants and shops closed for the month or having limited hours. If you are within driving distance of any of the hot springs, then that is a great activity for May when there is just a little chill in the air!

I will probably get up to my condo at least a couple of times in May/early June to enjoy the quiet before all the kids are outta school for the summer. (Since my resort pretty much predicts zero rental occupancy for about 6 weeks between ski and summer season, it is a great time for owner use!)
Ugh, mud! Does not sound like fun. We have been to Colorado once in the summer and another time in fall, and the weather was perfect. Will see how it goes this time.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:51 AM   #31
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The main thing I'm looking forward to in ER is the travel. We're lucky that in our current jobs we are allotted a fair bit of vacation time but it's still not enough for us.
While I'm not sure if we are adventurous enough like the OP to jump on a one way flight the next day, I'd love to have the flexibility of a last minute weekend trip or just the ability to adjust our itinerary without needing to manage to a defined end date.
And there are too many flight and cruise deals that we'd love to take advantage of.
Travel is actually one thing I'm doing more of now that I'm in my 30s and getting decent pay. While vacation time and funds are pretty limited, I'm still relatively healthy now so even if forgoing travel might shave 5 years from work (50 vs 55), I'd rather spend the money on vacations now. Besides, it's nice being able to spend time with my nieces and nephews while they're still young. Another thing, my friends are starting to get married so before they start popping kids and are tied by baby sitting, school schedules, etc, we could still have our "adventures".
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:06 AM   #32
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HNZ, that is very wise, and not something you'll regret if you are anything like us. We traveled a lot in our 30s and it made all the difference to our quality of life.
And definitely on the buddies having kids--they'll be scarce for a long time once the kiddos start rolling in, so go run with them now!
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:02 AM   #33
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HNZ, that is very wise, and not something you'll regret if you are anything like us. We traveled a lot in our 30s and it made all the difference to our quality of life.
+1
As someone who DIDN'T take the time to do that in their 30s (focusing instead on making the money pile higher) and whos DW now can't because of ill health, I highly recommend to every young person I drink with speak with that they do it.

Lots of time to make money later. When you're old and wrinkly and have nothing funner to do...
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:16 AM   #34
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Travel is actually one thing I'm doing more of now that I'm in my 30s and getting decent pay. While vacation time and funds are pretty limited, I'm still relatively healthy now so even if forgoing travel might shave 5 years from work (50 vs 55), I'd rather spend the money on vacations now. Besides, it's nice being able to spend time with my nieces and nephews while they're still young. Another thing, my friends are starting to get married so before they start popping kids and are tied by baby sitting, school schedules, etc, we could still have our "adventures".
Like everything, it is a trade off, and will vary with individual circumstances. Our jobs were/are very demanding and not very vacation friendly. Add in having three kids in four years beginning in our late 20s..... We managed to handle the babysitting logistics to do a week-long dive trip most every year, but not much opportunity for extensive travel by the time we did the trips to/with family and the occasional road trip with the kids.

Although we should be in good physical condition still next year, it definitely won't be the same as our 20s. I wish we could have easily done what our eldest is doing with nice adventure travel in his 20s; but he finished schooling with a BS, which helps.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:16 AM   #35
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Ended up buying a truck while traveling and am now driving it back to the opposite coast. Other than a bit of a scare trying to avoid getting trapped in the recent Louisiana floods, a pretty cool impromptu road trip.
I have always wanted to just that. Buy yet another car on my bucket list out in rust free mecca of California, hit the road and if it breaks, fix it on the road. No timetable, no hurry...

I could do it now, except I have too many cars now.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:01 PM   #36
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Like everything, it is a trade off, and will vary with individual circumstances. Our jobs were/are very demanding and not very vacation friendly. Add in having three kids in four years beginning in our late 20s..... We managed to handle the babysitting logistics to do a week-long dive trip most every year, but not much opportunity for extensive travel by the time we did the trips to/with family and the occasional road trip with the kids.
One reason I tried to get a job with good work-life balance. Strictly 40 hours in a workweek. If I work longer, I get overtime pay (either as 1.5x cash or 1.5x time off). No calls on weekends or days off unless it's really, really urgent. I've been with my current employer for 8 years now so I'm also earning more vacation time.

Oh, and yeah, no kids.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:07 PM   #37
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One reason I tried to get a job with good work-life balance. Strictly 40 hours in a workweek. If I work longer, I get overtime pay (either as 1.5x cash or 1.5x time off). No calls on weekends or days off unless it's really, really urgent. I've been with my current employer for 8 years now so I'm also earning more vacation time.

Oh, and yeah, no kids.
Yep. Not that's not a bad work/life tradeoff (dunno on the kids--talk about YMMV!).

(Technically, we are each entitled to whatever vacation we wish to take; practically, three weeks a year is difficult enough to arrange schedules for.)

As I said way up thread, spontaneous travel is going to be GREAT.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:26 PM   #38
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Ugh, mud! Does not sound like fun. We have been to Colorado once in the summer and another time in fall, and the weather was perfect. Will see how it goes this time.

I think they call it "Mud Season" because of the snow melting. I am wondering this year how it is gonna be though as there was just another 3 foot of snow on the mountain last week......

I am thinking (or maybe just wishing) A-basin might go into June for skiing - unless it gets mighty warm!

The rivers should be running pretty high this year too with the big snowpack. Makes for a thrilling rafting season, for those so inclined.....
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:39 AM   #39
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Last November when we were in Maui (another spontaneous trip when we snatched a good deal on a timeshare), we talked with a Canadian woman who was spending a month there to get away. She got 2 weeks of her own, and got another 2 weeks at another timeshare by renting.

Right now, looking on RCI I see some timeshares available in Atlantic Beach, NC in Dec 2016 for $300/week. I have not been there, but its December temperature of 41 low/60 high does not look too bad. Or how about Brownsville or Montgomery, TX for Jan 2017? Or Surfside Beach, SC, also in Jan 2017 for $300/week?

I have not been to these places, but if I happen to plan an RV trip to the area, may use them for a rest stop for a week to keep the missus from going crazy inside the motorhome.

Our own timeshare is rated high enough that I can exchange it for a week in places like Mallorca in Spain. I have not done so because when we go to Europe, we want to move about a bit, and not to stay in one spot for a whole week.
I was going to add Virginia Beach to this list, it is a terrific city. I noticed your comment about the RV and I wonder how difficult it is to find RV parking at these timeshares. Most of the ones I have seen are restricted to passenger vehicles. The parking areas are usually pretty tight.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:36 AM   #40
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We do a great deal of spontaneous travel when we are travelling. For the past month we have had a general plan but only make solid plans for two or three days in advance. We booked yesterday for tomorrow and the next day. Not sure about after that. Just over two weeks to go and The only firm plan is where we need to be on an end date to fly home.

It can be a little work sometimes, and cause some stress however we enjoy the flexibility that this affords us.
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