Debating Where To Go This Summer

Old May 26th, 2024, 03:02 PM
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Debating Where To Go This Summer

Debating Where To Go This Summer

I recently got 2 weeks of vacation due to switching jobs and I have flexibility to either take it any 2 week timeframe between early ish June and mid July. So one example is leaving Saturday June 15th and coming back July 1st, which means 14 full days in Europe.

I'm in my mid 20s and just looking to relax after a stressful year. That means I definitely want to have a few days where I can relax on the beach. But I also don't want to do that the whole time or spend all day doing that, so would want to be somewhere that there is more to do. I went to Naxos before and the beaches were beautiful but I got so bored, and there weren't many other solo travelers I met so found it boring. So I flew to Edinburgh on a whim and had the time of my life and met really cool people.

I had a few ideas of where to go:

- South of France (i.e. Menton, Avignon), I took French for a couple of years and really enjoyed Paris!
- Krakow Poland or Budapest, Hungary (heard both have a lot to do and are solo travel friendly)
- A Balkans trip that includes Croatia
- TŁrkiye (I've been to Istanbul, so can see other parts + Turkish coast)
- Crete in Greece or any other island
- This one is a wildcard, but Uzbekistan. I am fluent in Russian, so there wouldn't be a language barrier

I had a couple of ideas for trips but trying to see if they make any sense:

- Krakow + Budapest + 1 week Greece (Crete maybe or 2 islands in the Cyclades)
- I'm not really sure, the whole region is interesting for Balkans: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria (or any Balkan country you recommend that I substitute/add)
- Whatever I can fit, 2 weeks TŁrkiye, or maybe 70% TŁrkiye, 30% Greece
- South of France + Spain + Portugal

I was looking for advice on what would be a good mix of relaxing/sightseeing. Maybe 70% sightseeing and 30% relaxing.

Thus far, these are the places I have already been to in Europe: London, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam, main cities in Italy, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, a lot of Switzerland, Istanbul, Iceland in December, and Kyiv (pre-war)

Any advice on how I can narrow down my itinerary and help plan my trip is appreciated! I usually have trouble deciding on one location since I want to see so many places and 2 weeks feels like a lot of time but I'm realizing it's not. And also best time to go is appreciated too.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 03:53 PM
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Attached are itineraries for our two favorite regions in France.


Stu Dudley
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Dordogne-revised.doc (153.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old May 26th, 2024, 04:00 PM
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OP, you posted similar dilemmas previously, some of the potential destinations are even the same.. The advice will likely be similar....
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Old May 26th, 2024, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
OP, you posted similar dilemmas previously, some of the potential destinations are even the same.. The advice will likely be similar....
Yes but itís different since Iíve visited more places since posting that
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Old May 26th, 2024, 04:23 PM
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Without knowing what your are interested in besides relaxation it is hard to advise. Maybe you need to start looking at some guidebooks first. You know what you want to do best, people here do not know you.

Europe would not be my first choice to relax. Hawaii, Mexico, maybe Caribbean would be better destinations for that.

In *reading your history, you are very indecisive. What exactly do you need people here to tell you?
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Old May 26th, 2024, 06:23 PM
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I think you can relax anywhere, it's just what you plan to do each day. I'd forget the third option, 3 large countries in 2 weeks is too much, and portugal isn't that quick to get to from spain assuming you'd want west area on the ocean. You could pick two countries, Spain plus either portugal or France. I wouldn't go to Crete in july, too hot and crowded and expensive.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Firecracker25
Without knowing what your are interested in besides relaxation it is hard to advise. Maybe you need to start looking at some guidebooks first. You know what you want to do best, people here do not know you.

Europe would not be my first choice to relax. Hawaii, Mexico, maybe Caribbean would be better destinations for that.

In *reading your history, you are very indecisive. What exactly do you need people here to tell you?
Itís not strictly relaxing. Just want to relax at the tail end of the trip.

The first week I actually want to do sightseeing, museums, I like seeing beautiful architecture. Itís why Budapest and Tallinn interest me.

Well there are over 200 countries, itís hard to NOT be indecisive. And us Americans donít get a lot of vacation time
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Old May 26th, 2024, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina
I think you can relax anywhere, it's just what you plan to do each day. I'd forget the third option, 3 large countries in 2 weeks is too much, and portugal isn't that quick to get to from spain assuming you'd want west area on the ocean. You could pick two countries, Spain plus either portugal or France. I wouldn't go to Crete in july, too hot and crowded and expensive.
It would be last 2 weeks of June and heat does not bother me. Last Greece trip was late July, 0 issues.

One idea I had was Budapest + Tallinn + Crete. 4 days Budapest, 3 Tallinn, the rest in Crete.

Or the Balkans and do beach stuff in Croatia. Or even south of France + Portugal. I donít understand how to narrow it down when being indecisive.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 07:37 PM
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You already have some great ideas, so I would go with one of those. Krakow is one of my favorite places in Europe. If you have the inclination to go to Uzbekistan and can swing it, why not? Going to a place you might not be able to visit later has some serious merit.

I don't get the idea that the only place you can relax is at the beach. You can relax anywhere you have enough time to see what you want plus explore and make unexpected discoveries.....or not, as you wish.
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Old May 26th, 2024, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by shelemm
You already have some great ideas, so I would go with one of those. Krakow is one of my favorite places in Europe. If you have the inclination to go to Uzbekistan and can swing it, why not? Going to a place you might not be able to visit later has some serious merit.

I don't get the idea that the only place you can relax is at the beach. You can relax anywhere you have enough time to see what you want plus explore and make unexpected discoveries.....or not, as you wish.
Wait whatís going on in Uzbekistan that would make me not be able to visit it later?

And Iíve heard nothing but great things about Krakow!
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Old May 26th, 2024, 08:36 PM
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Everyone get out some popcorn and settle back - this thread is bound to take several twists and turns . . .

Older threads (two different screen names but the same person) :

Having a tough time narrowing down where to go

Have 4-5 weeks all of a sudden to travel, where to go?

Have 4-5 weeks all of a sudden to travel, struggling on where to spend it

Have 4-5 weeks off to travel all of a sudden, trouble narrowing down where to go

Feeling overwhelmed with planning a 4 week trip

There are more but these get the idea across
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Old May 26th, 2024, 08:37 PM
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@ janisj: Many thanks!
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Old May 27th, 2024, 02:50 AM
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We spent 6 nights in Budapest and 5 in Krakow a month ago, ending with 3 in Warsaw. Our first trip to those parts and I was surprised to see how much there is to see and do there, we could easily have used an extra day in Krakow.

The thermal baths in Budapest make a great spot to relax, we found an afternoon at Szechenyi Baths a perfect way to recover from jetlag. Lots of biking possibilities too, though we walked everywhere. A Danube evening cruise is a must-do, the illuminated monuments and bridges make for a magical sight, one of the highlights of our trip.

Listen to music and chill at the ruinbars in the evening. Not quite to my taste as itís rather crowded and noisy, and we were practically ancient as the average age is 30ish. But my niece, nephew and his wife enjoyed a few nights out on town, so it should be fun for the OP.

Thereís an overnight train from Budapest to Krakow, but we werenít able to book sleeper berths, despite multiple attempts and calls to the railway helpline. We finally had to go to Vienna and take the overnight train from there. A bit of a pain, but otherwise it went well.

Krakow is another lovely little gem, with again a lot of biking possibilities. Make a trip to Auschwitz, somber, but part of our recent history. We also visited the Wieliczka salt mines a short distance away from Krakow, they also have a spa which is extremely popular.

Try and take in a concert at both places, they have a rich tradition of classical music. Unfortunately the Budapest opera didnít have anything on when we were in town, but we did fir in a couple of classical concerts.

Surprisingly Warsaw was interesting too, though it was completely rebuilt post-War.
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Old May 27th, 2024, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FriendlyTraveler5
Wait whatís going on in Uzbekistan that would make me not be able to visit it later?

And Iíve heard nothing but great things about Krakow!
Nothing is going on with Uzbekistan, but if it's further away from where you live, something could go on with your life. I've had trips planned and canceled, and then life circumstances got in the way of going.

One of my top pieces of travel advice is "first things first." If it's your priority to go see a particular site, don't fly halfway around the world and then save that for the end of the trip. Things can come up to derail your plans, even after the trip has already begun.
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Old May 27th, 2024, 08:59 AM
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I too don't understand why so many people think that going to the beach is the only way to relax. But, that's my perspective.... Couldn't you relax somewhere in the beautiful countryside where you have a nice lodging and the option to just take scenic walks at your own pace and on your own time frame? That's a completely different scenario than being in an urban area and feeling the need to rush around and check off yet another to-do site.

Frankly, to me, some of your combinations (ie. Tallin, Budapest, Crete) are absolutely ridiculous because you would spend way too much time ping-ponging from one end of Europe to another. Narrow your focus down to a smaller area and explore some of the lesser-known but absolutely deserving locations. For someone from the US who is in your mid-twenties you have already been a remarkable number of places. Slow down and focus on a smaller range of places rather than zipping all over the place. Less is more!

My vote is for Uzbekistan because it is a completely different destination. But, would you be bored?

Here is another completely different idea. Try a small group tour aimed at people in your age group. See if any of these European itineraries at G Adventure's trips for 18 to 30 somethings interest you. https://www.gadventures.com/search/?...rland%7CTurkey

Or, here are their worldwide adventures that have last minute sales. https://www.gadventures.com/search/?...ute%20Specials

I am not trying to push GAdventures and really know nothing about them other than that they run groups for people your age. I am sure other companies do the same.

And, speaking as someone who could probably almost be your grandmother, my advice is to take the most physically strenuous trips (try a cycling or hiking trip) now while your body can easily handle the exertion and bounce back.

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Old May 27th, 2024, 09:54 AM
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Good advice from julies.

If you get bored on the beach why go to a beach? You can relax in other ways than lying there roasting.
There are lots of lakes which are safe to swim in if you want wild swimming. Rivers too if you are a good enough swimmer.

Choose one place and just be for a while. You will relax, and yes you may be a bit bored but is that so terrible a thing? Read a book or two, walk, listen to nature. It will help reset your mind before your new job. Rent a bike and explore the area.

It is too easy to tick off a country because you have visited a city in it, but you never know a country from it's cities. London is not England, Edinburgh is not Scotland, Amsterdam is not the Netherlands and so on.

You may enjoy Slovenia.

If you fancy Uzbekistan then go, maybe post on the Asia forum here for advice.

Whatever you decide you need to decide soon.
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Old May 27th, 2024, 10:11 AM
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I'm sort of echoing julies and hetismij2--You are YOUNG. Go somewhere and use the physical abilities you have NOW. Cycle, hike, get out there. Getting up a mountainside, whether it be on bike or on foot, gives an exhilaration that celebrates living--and living in the present. Celebrate being young.
hetismij2 idea of Slovenia is brilliant. It's totally underappreciated. The border with the Friuli area of Italy provides fabulous wines. Move further east, and the scenery can rank with Switzerland. Then on the south, crossing over the border to Trieste (ANOTHER UNAPPRECIATED LOCALE!!) delivers a cultural tsunamic. There you find the beginning of WWI, a WWII concentration camp, great food, and an amazingly current fashion and art scene. You can just hang there and chill.

AZ
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Old May 27th, 2024, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Everyone get out some popcorn and settle back - this thread is bound to take several twists and turns . . .

Older threads (two different screen names but the same person) :

Having a tough time narrowing down where to go

Have 4-5 weeks all of a sudden to travel, where to go?

Have 4-5 weeks all of a sudden to travel, struggling on where to spend it

Have 4-5 weeks off to travel all of a sudden, trouble narrowing down where to go

Feeling overwhelmed with planning a 4 week trip

There are more but these get the idea across
These are pretty much what I was eluding to, thanks for compiling them, Janis. OP, you are who you are. But I am having a hard time understanding why you post such threads - you dither and mull. No one, and I mean NO ONE, here can tell you where to go. Only you.

READ. Guidebooks, google maps, tiktok, whatever it takes - but it takes only ONE person to decide and it is absolutely none of us. I hate to say this, but people give you advice and supposedly you have been to some great places. But have yet to see a trip report or even where you have given advice to others. So, please, I would LOVE a trip report of your last European adventure you spent 6 weeks trying to "decide." I want to know where you ended up.
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Old May 28th, 2024, 12:33 AM
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OP is leaving in 2 weeks

I am getting the impression that OP's apparent panic is because he/she is planning on leaving in 2 weeks and, since this is unexpected time off, needs some advice here and now. Maybe we could all kind of stick to giving the advice the OP has requested?

OP, it doesn't look like you have been to Spain, so I suggest AndalucŪa. Fly into Madrid, head to Cůrdoba, Seville, Granada, and finish up in MŠlaga, where you can have a few days on the beach. Good luck.
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Old May 28th, 2024, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
These are pretty much what I was eluding to, thanks for compiling them, Janis. OP, you are who you are. But I am having a hard time understanding why you post such threads - you dither and mull. No one, and I mean NO ONE, here can tell you where to go. Only you.

READ. Guidebooks, google maps, tiktok, whatever it takes - but it takes only ONE person to decide and it is absolutely none of us. I hate to say this, but people give you advice and supposedly you have been to some great places. But have yet to see a trip report or even where you have given advice to others. So, please, I would LOVE a trip report of your last European adventure you spent 6 weeks trying to "decide." I want to know where you ended up.
I really want to apologize. I've asked for a lot of help and like you said, I have dithered and mulled. I realize it's a lot and no matter what, at the end of the day I just need to make up my mind and make a decision. I'm sorry again.

I finally narrowed down my decision and will be doing this:

- Short trip to 1 of 3 Baltic cities (either Riga, Vilnius, or Tallinn) for 2-3 days because the midsummer festival interests me and all the cities in the Baltics look beautiful
- Then what I'm deciding on my own is either doing a city tour (most likely Budapest for 4-5 days) and then going to Milos in Greece
- OR spending the rest of my time in Spain like the most recent poster mentioned or the Balkans area

The reason why Greece to me I'm okay doing shorter time (and combining) with Budapest is that I've been to Greece before. But Spain I have never been to, nor the Balkans, so I'd want to make sure to dedicate at least 10 days to.

I'm currently comparing itineraries and see what feels more interesting to me between the two.

I'm just going through YouTube videos now and seeing what excites me the most!

And I will post a trip report from the big trip I made in 2022 to 4 different European countries sometime tomorrow (05/29) so that I am giving back to the community.

Again I apologize, I can definitely see how it can be annoying. I won't do this again and will just make the decision on my own next time.

Last edited by FriendlyTraveler5; May 28th, 2024 at 01:49 AM.
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