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Old 09-28-2016, 12:45 PM   #61
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Anyone spent time in Ecuador?

Looking at a low cost Jet Blue flight during the winter. Maybe spend a few weeks there and then move on.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:08 PM   #62
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I like that Ecuador uses the US dollar for currency. Quito is a culturally rich city, with a vibrant population.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:22 PM   #63
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WE just took a 10 day cruise to alaska and the price was 5800 which included all our tips, side trips, transportation there, etc. However, we did not do the land portion. Do not take Princess cruises-they really suck.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:22 PM   #64
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Anyone spent time in Ecuador?

Looking at a low cost Jet Blue flight during the winter. Maybe spend a few weeks there and then move on.
I did a three week vacation there and loved it. I stayed on each side of the Andes in eco lodges, then did one week in the Amazon, also at an eco lodge. It is very diverse, geographically, for such a small country.
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Old 09-28-2016, 01:27 PM   #65
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It can be a little stressful, but mostly I find it challenging and fun. I like to try to learn a few words in different languages, like to learn about different cultures - it helps me grow as a person, and therefore, I think of it as a learning experience. If you learn basic travel words and basic phrases in different languages, it can take you far. Learn how to buy a train ticket, ask for a bathroom, ask for directions, food words, how to say hello and goodbye and please and thank you....it gets you farther than you may think!
That's pretty much what we aim to do. With modern technology it's incredibly simple to pick up a few words and phrases (duolingo, youtube, etc). To me, learning a new language is a fun and culturally enriching part of travel. I could see how those looking for a purely luxury travel experience wouldn't appreciate this aspect of foreign travel. Heck, after 6-8 weeks of it I'm happy to come back home and hear the majority of people around me speaking English (except when I go to the fiestas! but rum helps translate everything I find...).
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:59 PM   #66
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Having only been FIRED since 1/1, I'm not sure how much the travel budget will work out, but certainly I won't be staying at the King George. Plan to use airbnb or equivalent, motels, camping, etc., depending on which is appropriate.

Some possibles on the bucket list:

Have yet to see much of the desert southwest, northern Rockies/Plains, or the northeast;
South Carolina (so Sarah won't feel left out!)
National Parks;
Europe (yeah, I know, big place);
Alaska;

Also, just roadtrips to scenic/historic places.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:55 PM   #67
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A little bit of everything. I try to travel internationally every 2 years (10-15 days). Then we visit family and friends for week long trips 3 times a year as the kids are still young and in the midwest so still driveable. Then we do tons of weekend/day trips as NC is fairly central to lots...when we seen everything here, we will move and do it all over again someplace else.

Basically we figure 5 years in NC, cover the Eastern Coast and Europe. Then a few years in Colorado to spend time with his family and see that area.. then move on to Oregon and use that as base to see Asia/Australia and travel the NW at which point the kids will be grown so won't need to drive back to midwest as they can come visit us if they want.

In some ways my plan is to travel non-stop but instead of paying for hotels and long road trips, I'll just move myself permanently so we can explore via shorter day trips or maximum overnight.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:35 PM   #68
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Having only been FIRED since 1/1, I'm not sure how much the travel budget will work out, but certainly I won't be staying at the King George. Plan to use airbnb or equivalent, motels, camping, etc., depending on which is appropriate.

Some possibles on the bucket list:

Have yet to see much of the desert southwest, northern Rockies/Plains, or the northeast;
South Carolina (so Sarah won't feel left out!)
National Parks;
Europe (yeah, I know, big place);
Alaska;

Also, just roadtrips to scenic/historic places.

Yes!! Road trip to SC!! Cmon down and soon! Good beer and music await you!

Don't be so modest about your travel budget--I have it on good authority that you stayed in a holiday inn express recently! Such extravagance!
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #69
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i've always been a fan of planning and arranging trips all by myself, i mean without travel agencies etc. and i picked up routes and things to see to make sure we don't miss anything interesting and so on. and it always means that you plan your every step. but in reality it turns out that the most exciting memories are those that are not planned. so i'm usually trying to allow some flexibility with the plan to let something unexpected happen
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:27 AM   #70
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We do all of our own arrangements. At one time we we planned out our vacation. If it was four weeks we would have all the accommodation booked.

Now that we are retired we no longer do it. Sometimes we bookend a long vacation with specific flights. More often we do one way or open jaw, book our first several nights accomodation, and then 'wing' from there. We find it more rewarding. Granted, not everyone is cut out for this type of travel. Last winter we had a return flight to Bangkok booked. Two months in between with about six days of hotels booked and two short flights. We did the rest based on a few days in advance, leaving room to extend our stay in certain areas or to change outer plans completely.

Language has never been an issue for us no matter where we have travelled. People are similar all over. There is usually a way to communicate even if it is rudimentary.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:28 AM   #71
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i am a schoolteacher and have used those long vacations and sabbaticals to do some long trips.

i love independent budget travel. for the winter month i often do a month long surfing trip. i use google earth and try to find a cheap hotel that is walking distance from a good surf break.

i have done two rtw trips with a bicycle that were 8 months each. the first one was E to W. i biked almost every day but took other modes of transport for parts of the trip. the second trip W to E, i didn't have time to plan so spent more time on trains and buses.

i used to do two long mountaineering trips per year, but spending almost four months a year feeling horrid and away from my friends got to be too much.

i bought a house a few years ago and while it has been worth it for the equity boost, it has put a serious dent in my travel budget. i am working on either selling it or renting it out and living in a camper for my semi-retirement years.

i go camping almost every weekend for kayaking or snowshoeing.

my next sabbatical i am planning a walking tour of a few countries.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #72
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:49 PM   #73
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Don't be so modest about your travel budget--I have it on good authority that you stayed in a holiday inn express recently! Such extravagance!

HIX is a five star hotel by my standards. I usually stay at small locally owned hotels like the Broken Tumbleweed Motel or the Leaks-A-Lot Inn.



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Old 10-01-2016, 03:52 PM   #74
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......... I usually stay at small locally owned hotels like the Broken Tumbleweed Motel or the Leaks-A-Lot Inn.
I like the Bates Motel myself. Great showers.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:54 PM   #75
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I like the Bates Motel myself. Great showers.
You should take a stab at staying somewhere else.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:24 PM   #76
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For those that travel to countries and don't speak or understand the local language how do you find this fun and exciting?
I dealt with tons of people in my prior j*bs that didn't speak english and I don't speak any foreign language I found it to be stress inducing. So why would I wan't a stressful vacation? Because of this I limit my travels to where english is the primary language.
Somehow we've managed very well in German and Austria even though we can't do much more than order a beer, count to five, and say please and thank you in German. Major tourist areas there are a lot of German speakers.

My French is expanding and I used it more on this past trip.

My Spanish is pretty good.

Italian - limited, but better than my German!
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:34 PM   #77
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You should take a stab at staying somewhere else.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:47 AM   #78
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You should take a stab at staying somewhere else.

Mother wouldn't like that...
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:49 AM   #79
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HIX is a five star hotel by my standards. I usually stay at small locally owned hotels like the Broken Tumbleweed Motel or the Leaks-A-Lot Inn.



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Old 10-04-2016, 04:21 PM   #80
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We are in the process of adjusting our travel style. While I had sick cats I didn't spend a night away from my house for 10 years! We have now taken 4 trips to Europe in the past 2 years which were 2 weeks each. We have another 2 weeks in Germany booked for next spring.

Because we are in our late 40's and feel like we are not wealthy we have taken very budget minded trips. Budget is probably a generous word, more like downright cheap. Economy class airfare with miles when possible, staying at Ibis hotels - which I am happy with, using regional train deals in Germany, buying most meals from grocery stores - not always happy with this, etc. A few of our flights have been rather painful, flying way out of our way to get good deals on airfare, only to be totally exhausted when we get home. I have never been able to sleep on a plane, but DH can. After this last trip I told DH that I really can't do 24hrs of travel to get home from Europe with the long flights and layovers. He can still look for deals but they have to be either direct, or with one layover along the way that makes sense, such as stopping at JFK.

I would like to explore taking some road trips in North America.
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