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DC to Dubai 3 nts, Tokyo 6 nts. Kyoto day trip? Itinerary thoughts?

DC to Dubai 3 nts, Tokyo 6 nts. Kyoto day trip? Itinerary thoughts?

Old Dec 8th, 2016, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,997
Consider flights from Osaka or Kansai -- either should work.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 22nd, 2016, 06:40 PM
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Posts: 967
So here's a crazy update. I booked a separate trip to Dubai 1/17-1/24. So excited. Got a RT flight for $625 and using really cheap points for 6 free nights at the Four Points Sheraton Downtown. Now, to search for cool things to do. I'm sure we'll have plenty in mind by the time we get there. Going with a good friend. YAY! Qatar air is a great deal. We checked prices 3 weeks ago for 12/22-12/27 and the air was $1504, about $900 more than the middle of January.
stever is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 602
Glad both trips are working out for you! Glad you are staying where you want to stay for the points/money you have. Travel is very personal and you said upfront you were using points and needed internet connection to work. For some reason that I continue to not understand, some folks on this board don't understand we all have individual preferences for travel and varying budgets. They get bogged down on hotel choices over a certain price instead of focusing on what really matters with travel -- sights, culture, food, interaction with locals, etc. I always see folks with smaller budgets harping on where folks with healthy budget stay but have never, ever seen someone with a large budget ever disrespect where someone with a smaller budget chooses to sleep. Interesting. Anyway, forgive my slight digression. Please come back to us with specific questions on sights after you have finished your research. I personally loved both Tokyo and Kyoto! Have a great time in Dubai! Happy holidays.
Lolazahra is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think dividing this into two trips was wise. I hope they both work out well.
Kathie is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 10:24 AM
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stever, there will be horse racing at Meydan Racecourse on Jan 19 at 6:30 PM. Admission is free. There is no wagering but they have a free pick-6.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2016, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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@ stever: Good for you! ☺

@ Lolazahra: Interesting observation! I’ve never seen anyone on this board, or anywhere on Fodor’s, criticize someone for choosing luxury or other high-end option. I did see a thread in the past year or so by someone who expressed curiosity about very high end lodging; that OP was accused by quite a few people of offering a criticism that I never found in the OP’s words – but maybe I didn’t read carefully enough. Some people mentioned “history,” but I must admit that I try to take people at their word, and I like to think that people can learn from their mistakes. (BTW, I can readily see that my message above could have been misinterpreted – I wasn’t questioning the legitimacy of the OP’s choice of hotels; I was trying to say, if badly, that points and dollars and “value” are not necessarily linked and that a different use of points might be worth considering. I’m sure that many of us know people who have, to paraphrase, been “point wise and pound foolish.”) In contrast, after I returned from China, there was a thread about hotels in that country, and I noted that I had successfully bargained for lower rates than posted at the desk. Almost immediately, it seemed that a competition began to see who could be most vicious in response. Some questioned my veracity; others said that if I thought it worth bargaining for a room rate, then I shouldn’t have traveled to China or anywhere, etc. Posts were made and reposted as fast as the moderators could delete them – and much of the language was definitely bleep-able. It was fascinating to see how many people were willing to prove their capacity for malicious and foul vitriol.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2016, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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@kja perhaps you should reread:

"But FWIW – and it may be nothing – as a solo traveler I use a room simply for sleep and hygiene. I want something clean and well-located; a bit of character is a bonus. I, personally, cannot imagine the “value” that a Western hotel would offer that would be worth nearly $500 a night. In all my travels, I don’t recall even a splurge that exceeded $150 a night. To be clear, I understand that there are reasons why people might pay very high prices for a true luxury experience, but I woudn’t think you could get that at a Starwood. I could be wrong"

I was just observing that I don't really understand what most of this commentary has to do with the OP's original question and needs. He clearly stated where he was staying due to the points that he has -- which is awesome IMO. He seemed to be asking about allocation of days and transport options to enjoy the things he described -- art museums and walking around big cities. Combing Japan and Dubai also seemed like an area he was seeking advice. And wonderfully he figured it out due to the advice of others. I just don't know how your feedback on never splurging for more than $150 a night on a room, or not imagining value of a $500 a night hotel or that you only use a room for sleep and hygiene is relevant to the OP and to this thread.

I do remember the other thread you spoke about. It got very heated and I did add my two cents. Very much along the lines of what I'm saying here but it was much longer! I think that it was a relevant thread and I hope that my input was seen as respectful and tactful even though I had an opposing view to the OP. I would never in a million years endeavor to be anything other than that. By the way, I am grateful that the poster in back on Fodors because I do believe her insights and comments are very valuable. As are yours. I have commented before that I enjoy your writing style and your indepth trip reports. Most definitely before I go back to Indonesia, I will reread that prolific report and I recently enjoyed reading your Switzerland report. Interestingly, I loved reading about the hotels you chose while in Indonesia. I often would jump off and Google the hotel as I was reading to get a clearer understanding of why you enjoyed a place and of the value you described in some instances. I'm sure I will one day try one or two of them as you found some real gems.

My personal travel style is very eclectic. I travel with my kids long, deep and often. I have the ability to really stay wherever I want, but my choices are made to enhance the overall mission of the trip itself or the city/town/village, etc. So my choices run the gamut from extremely high end, to small local inns, to AIR B&B rentals, to the only place in town to see what you want to see, and even several home stays in rural villages. Anyway, I may give advice on places I have stayed when an OP asks, but once I get an understanding of their needs and parameters, I just cannot imagine telling them what I would personally do or stay or bring my budget into it. Nor do I see why it would even be relevant? It's all about helping the OP stay where would be best for them based on their personal needs should they lay forth this information.

I'm sorry for the long response but I wanted to be clear where I was coming from and also ensure that I was not at all disrespectful. And lastly, I apologize to the OP for absolutely high jacking this thread. I do hope you will come back with specific questions to enhance your time in Tokyo and Kyoto. We don't usually go off on tangents like this!

Happy holidays @kja and everyone else.
Lolazahra is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2016, 08:24 PM
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To be clear: If it seemed to the OP, Lolazahra, or anyone else that I was criticizing anyone’s decision to opt for any particular type of lodging, at any price point, my sincere apologies. And yes, as I already said, I can see how it might have seemed that way, even though I was trying to say, if badly, that points and dollars and “value” are not necessarily linked -- one can be “point wise and pound foolish.”

I don’t know that I could have been clearer in placing my response squarely in the domain of individual preference: “We each travel for different reasons and with different interests and styles – and viva la difference! But FWIW – and it may be nothing – as a solo traveler I …. I, personally,…. To be clear, I understand that there are reasons why people might …. I could be wrong…. JMO.”

And I went a step further than grounding everything in these many, many caveats -- to place my comments in perspective, I (unwisely) provided some information about my own experiences – not to say what is right or preferable, but simply for context – which I happen to think has value, given that ANY comment is offered from one’s individual perspective. I hope I remember to never do that again!

My question was really just about whether the points were as valuable as the OP was being led to believe, and so (although I didn’t spell it out) whether that was the OP’s best choice of how to use his points. The OP didn’t need to explain himself to me – not my business! – but he offered an explanation that made perfect sense. I'm glad to know he made a choice that feels right to him!

In contrast, the suggestion that a Fodorite should never challenge the boundaries of an OP’s questions is one with which I honestly can’t agree – and I think this OP’s situation is exemplary: If I, and others, hadn’t questioned the merits of including Dubai in the same trip that he planned for Japan, he might have ended up with very different plans than he now has. I trust that OPs are willing to disregard any input that I provide that they don't find useful, and when I ask for input, I can assure you that I am happy to welcome out-of-the-box comments.

Again, my apologies to stever and anyone who was offended by anything I said.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2016, 11:03 PM
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kja: I don't see that anyone (other than Lolazahra - who I don't think actually has a horse in this race) was the least bit offended.
janisj is offline  
Old Dec 27th, 2016, 11:26 PM
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@ janisj: Thank you! I appreciate your perspective and sincerely hope that you are correct.

Even if only one person took offense, I'd like to do what I can to straighten things out. As mentioned upthread, I do know -- all too well -- what it feels like to be attacked for one's travel decisions. It was NOT my intention to put anyone -- the OP, me, or anyone else -- in that position again.
kja is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2016, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 602
Your response is appreciated @kja. I too hope not to offend when giving my personal insights and opinions. Thank you for the clarification and there really is no ill will at all. Not a bit. And as I said, I really do appreciate and enjoy reading your travel insights. Always have, always will. Not sure what @janisj was trying to say at all. Clearly I have been an avid member since 2005, have planned numerous trips with the help of this forum, and given advice to countless travelers, so I think I have a horse in this race! Anyway, it's all good. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season and Happy New Year.
Lolazahra is offline  
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