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nycroberto May 21st, 2018 08:27 AM

RTW with toddlers ..AGAIN! Where to go? Thinking New Zealand (S. Island) Fiji, Bali??
We are a couple, me .. mid 40's, wife, 40, and two boys, 5 and 3. We are Colombian/American and normally live in NYC. We rent out our apartment and one other small studio to fund the trip (not trustafarians... I wish )

We traveled RTW last year (I work as a psychologist for the NYC Dept of Education and they hold my job for me until our baby turns 5). Last year we did an impromptu 11 month RTW stopping in Maui, Tokyo, Hong Kong, cruise to Vietnam/Thailand/Singapore, then headed to Cambodia, Thailand, Maldives, UAE, Jordan, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Czech Rep., Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Iceland and finally back to NYC.

This second year (now) we are in Panama... just relaxing, breathing, and happy to be staying in one place. Amazing location and experience here!

We are planning on going back to NYC for the Fall (Sept-Dec) and then heading out for our last big trip .. from Jan-July/Aug.. than its back to work! AGHHH!

Any ideas of amazing places to go .. we are thinking of doing 2-3 places.. more like small towns that have a good healthcare, easy, walk-ability, close to beach, etc. If we could do 2-3 towns for 2 1/2 months each, .. we could stop at two places along the way for a week to break up the flights.

We are open to anywhere .. but want something kinda laid back and with a school for the kids. I am looking for something like: Antigua, Guatemala.... Oaxaca, Mexico......Nafplio, Greece; ....Maui, Hawaii ..... Sucre, Bolivia.... etc if that gives you an idea.

We thought perhaps Argentina/Chile .. for 3 months, and then either head west to New Zealand, Fiji (possibly Bali) .. or head east and go to South Africa, Madagascar, Israel, Barcelona .... but really have no idea!!

Any suggestions are welcome, as although we are well traveled, we are not foolish enough to realize that we don't know A TON.

Thanks so much for any help / tips / info... as it is much appreciated! Enjoy your travels!!

Our travel blog now... from Coronado Panama (last update was us getting robbed in the middle of the night.. ahhh fun fun!)

*MERCADO FAMILY TRAVELS* : A home robbery in the middle of the night isn?t as sexy as it sounds. Our time in Panama.

tasmangirl May 23rd, 2018 11:42 PM

"Any ideas of amazing places to go .. we are thinking of doing 2-3 places.. more like small towns that have a good healthcare, easy, walk-ability, close to beach, etc. If we could do 2-3 towns for 2 1/2 months each, .. we could stop at two places along the way for a week to break up the flights."
The problem with New Zealand is the high cost of accommodation in the top tourist spots. Queenstown comes to mind but there is a chronic shortage of housing there unless you can afford a motel for the 2.5 months or an Air Bnb.
Tauranga/Mt Maunganui is lovely and the beach is great there but again finding a place to stay could be hard. It's quite handy to a lot of places in the middle North Island - Rotorua, Hobbiton, Hamilton, Waihi and Auckland.
Fiji would be a great option for the kids but maybe a week would be enough. Diamantina might comment on whether Dunedin would be a good base for the South Island. Nelson is lovely for the summer but again finding accommodation will be hard. What a great experience for you all - I'm envious!

Diamantina May 24th, 2018 05:13 PM

Tasmangirl, I think Roberto and his family wouldn't enjoy our unpredictable, cold-at-any-time-of-year Dunedin weather and it would probably be too urban for them, as they're looking for a "small town". Nelson/Golden Bay and Blenheim/Picton would probably be the warmest areas of the South Island. Wanaka in summer would be good, but expensive as this is when its holiday rentals fetch top dollar. Roberto seems to be casting a fairly wide net in his search for new places, I'm thinking there are no places on the South Island that are like "Antigua, Guatemala, Oaxaca, Mexico, Nafplio, Greece...or Sucre, Bolivia". Some of the South Island's top surfing destinations might have a bit in common with Maui, but the water temperate would be way different. North Island beach towns would be far more similar.

Diamantina May 24th, 2018 06:10 PM

If it were my trip I'd head to coastal Brazil (south of Rio de Janeiro) from January through March/April, then head to coastal Portugal until July. It's easy to get from southern Brazil to Uruguay and Argentina. From Portugal it's easy to drive, fly, take the bus or train to Spain and many other places. TAP flies direct from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon and the fares are reasonable. TAP also flies to New York City and to Gran Canaria, the Azores, Mozambique, and so on.

nycroberto Jan 26th, 2019 09:31 AM

Hi.. just reread your response as we are in the middle of the trip now. We are in Argentina, but heading to Moorea and then Fiji, so I am really glad that you answered and will think about what you said for the south island of NZ as that is where I think we will be. THank you so much for your tips!

nycroberto Jan 26th, 2019 09:47 AM

We are now in the midst of our trip .. but with us, things can change on a dime :)

We are in Argentina for Jan (wound up being amazing as the peso is so low for us $1 USD = 38 ARG PESOS that we are getting amazing deals). We take a cruise to Chile .. visiting Cape Horn, etc as we found a great deal on a 2 week cruise ($3800 for all four of us : Princess Cruise lines) and then we have a week in Chile and then go on another cruise (we are really not cruise people but it was the easiest way to see a few islands.... Pitcarn, Easter, Moorea, Bora Bora, etc) that leaves us in Tahiti beginning of March. From there, we thought maybe 3 weeks in Moorea, 2 weeks in NZ: South Island, Sydney 4 days, Melbourne 2 weeks, .. then to Bangkok to go to Laos and Myanmar.. then .. who knows.. we will be tired but on the other side of the world, so not sure where we hit on the way back. .. last two months stop in Oman, Israel, Egypt, Malta, Portugal .. finally home.

Any tips for Moorea (best area to stay in airbnb, .. best beach for kids.. is 3 weeks too long?) and I will look into the previous tips for New Zealand south island again as we arrive there around April 1st.

Thank you so much all of you for your help and tips!

Diamantina Jan 26th, 2019 01:37 PM

I've only been to Moorea once, staying at a bungalow with kitchen at Les Tipaniers, in Hauru. Kind of a rustic place but with a pretty and safe beach for children. There was a small shopping area within a few minutes walk. I don't know if there are Air BNBs in Hauru. Moorea's very convenient as you need only catch the ferry from Papeete, but if I preferred the less touristy Huahine Island to Moorea. The rainy cyclone season runs from November through March.

April is a beautiful time to visit the South Island. The weather tends to be more settled and the autumn leaves put on a spectacular show. Your timing will be perfect as school holidays will begin on April 13.

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