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I'm struggling with deciding on a new destination versus a favorite

I'm struggling with deciding on a new destination versus a favorite

Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:26 AM
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I'm struggling with deciding on a new destination versus a favorite

We are planning a vacation for next May. Yes, it's probably silly to be putting so much thought into this now but with infant babies at home I haven't traveled to Europe in over a year and am going through vacation planning withdrawals. Once my parents offered to watch the girls so we can take a vacation next year the planning mode has been switched into high gear!

Right now I am just struggling with the decision to go somewhere new versus somewhere we love. I thought we had settled on the Dordogne. It looks gorgeous and we have never been before, and it's been high on our list. But for some reason I just can't get excited about it, I think because part of me wants to back to a favorite destination. We have a week and are considering going back to the Bavarian Alps and Austria (Berchtesgaden/Salzkammergut for the third time). Now that vacations will be few and far between (twins are expensive!) I want to ensure we have a good time and I know that if we went back to this area we would have a great time.

I originally had my heart set on the Dolomites and perhaps Venice (never been to etiher location) until I read that May would not be a good time to visit. I think I am still considering this area despite the risk of rainfall and trail closures. We love the mountains and I thought this would kind of kill two birds with one stone; new area but at the same time kind of similar to Bavaria.

I guess I'm just venting about my indecision to those that love to travel and perhaps know where I am coming from. Sigh....

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:29 AM
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I have no advice but I feel your pain. We have 3 places we've never been and want to go but when we plan we want to revisit places we love....
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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Hey Tracy!
I totally understand your desire to go back to Bavaria. This time last year we were there and I am in serious withdrawal myself. We are going again next May. I think May is a great time to go. I can't comment on the other areas since I haven't been to those. But we always are drawn back to Bavaria and Austria as well. Whatever you decide I'm sure you will enjoy your vacation.

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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Hi Tracy, I am no help at all. It is always London or........... and London wins over and over again! Good luck. And give Rufus a pat from an admirer.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:47 AM
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I completely understand where you coming from. We too love Bavaria Alps region and have gone back to them a few times. However we had a great "wing-it" trip through the Dolomites a few years back so those have been added to our "favorites list" now too. When I say "wing it" trip, I mean we rented a car and just drove, perhaps with a vague plan (i.e. lets head towards Venice) and found a place to stay at the end of the day. We didn't have too many "sites" we were looking for, the focus was more on the journey and what adventures we could have ordering lunch, booking a room, buying medicine(as it turned out we needed) etc. Of course, you probably know that Europe is perfect for this kind of travel.

I should add that winging it is not our normal style but it really worked out well in the Dolomites area. I too, always want to "ensure" a good time but I'm learning that it is really determined by our frame of mind and how we roll with the unexpected things that happen during travel. I think too that area makes it particularly easy anyway.

Although our trip was in August, I think you should give that area a try, even in May. If the rain comes up, you can always head south. There are so many little towns to experience, the driving vistas, Cortina, the GlockenSpeil glacier, not to forget the tasty but peculiar mix of Italian/German cuisine....hmmm, I think I want to join you.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:55 AM
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Honey, we're about to set off on our 11th trip to Paris......
I love London and usually try to include a few days but because I felt strongly about A NEW DESTINATION, left out London (and because we have to get visas) and chose CANADA!
Yes, visas too, but when I had the offer of a guided tour by a second cousin, (he was a tour guide himself) who could pass that up?!
But, my love of Paris is so strong I made sure our flights when via Paris not the USA.
This trip in July I get to go to Paris, Canada & back to Paris before coming home..........who said blondes aren't smart?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:58 AM
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I feel your pain. We leave in six weeks for Paris and although I am sooo excited a small part of me keeps thinking, "I wish it was Italy."
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:05 AM
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Yes, Bavaria and the Salzkammergut keep calling me back too. I leave June 1 and will be staying in Mittenwald, Berchtesgaden, St. Gilgen, and Hallstatt. I try to add at least one new destination each trip. This June it will have to be just a day trip. But in September I will be visiting Dubrovnik for the first time after the Bernese Oberlands (re-visit.) Then back to my all-time favorite spot-Nice.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Every time I plan a trip to a new place, a little part of me wants to revisit one of the great places we've enjoyed so much in the past. So I know just how you feel. And like you, it's sometimes all I can do not to just go storming back to the Alps, where I know I'm just going to love it.

However, in the end, we always default to our wanderlust. And I'm glad about that.

It's worth noting that two of our all-time favorite trips EVER were to the Dordogne Valley and to the Dolomites. If you love it there just half as much as we did, you'll never feel cheated.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:14 AM
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We are all lucky we have such amazing choices, aren't we?

The following script from the end of Roman Holiday pretty much sums up what happens to us every year...... Good luck!

CORRESPONDENT. Which of the cities visited did Your Highness
enjoy the most? Ann pauses as she looks at Joe.

GENERAL [quietly, prompting her] Each in its own way...

ANN. Each in its own way was...unforgettable. It would be
difficult to-[she stops, then her face softens]. Rome; by all
means, Rome. [The press stirs, muttering to themselves quietly.
She turns to look at Joe] I will cherish my visit here, in
memory, as long as I live.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:41 AM
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I say strike out somewhere new. It takes a little more courage to go someplace new but now is your chance to travel without your little ones. Very soon they'll want to tag along too and it'll be easier to revisit places you love then and show them to your daughters.
Who knows maybe the Dordogne will turn out to be your favorite place to return to!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'm glad I'm not alone. Italy06, I love the script from Roman Holiday. And...Rome is also a favorite of ours! We've been 3 times and still have much to see.

scatcat, Dubrovnik is amazing and Croatia quickly became one of our favorite places. I would go back in a heartbeat, but we were there in November - off-season - and I would prefer to go back in off-season again. I'm just not much for crowds.

mr_go, it was your Dolomites trip report and pictures that got me really into the Dolomites to begin with! I saw some of the pictures and about fell over...I can't believe I hadn't been before! And I believe you just followed in our Turkey footsteps...we were there last year and loved it.

Hunybadger, you have certainly given me something to think about. I never considered winging it before. My concern, as I mentioned, was with the weather. If we did wing it, we could easily readjust our trip on the whim. The only time I "winged it" was in Ireland and it worked out pretty well. Mein deutsch ist sehr schlect, but I'm sure I could get my point across when inquiring about a zimmer.

But the Dordogne does look pretty....


PS: cmcfong, I gave Rufus a nice bit scratch behind the ears for you! I don't think he's digging the twin babies thing, but he's hanging in there.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Well, if ever there was someone who got hooked on going back to the same place over and over, that would be me, so I'm no help at all! (But I can certainly say that I can't imagine that you wouldn't be enthralled by the Dordogne).
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Italy 06,

Tracy, most of us aren't much help, are we?! I've been to Italy seven times and will go again in July if the flight prices come down. But last July, I went to Paris (and have been there two other times, as well as London). I had a lovely time and love Paris and would go there again in a heartbeat...but my heart is in Italy, especially Rome, and I can't stop wanting to go back there! Maybe next year I'll try someplace else...
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:10 PM
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Tracey - what sassycat said but applied to Venice, which is the least very small child-friendly place I can think off - a parent's nightmare. [think boats to fll off, canals to fall into and all those bridges to negotiate with a double buggy!]

so were I you, I would go to Venice, then rent a car and head up into the dolomites, winging it as suggested above [again, not something I'd consider doing with baby/toddler twins].

The dordogne is a quite a child-friendly place [loads of child-centred attractions] which when the twins are school age would be a great place to go, perhaps staying in a gite. so I would save it til then, perhaps combining it with a trip to Paris.

have a great trip, whatever you decide on,

regards, ann
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:52 PM
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We were just in the Dolomites (and Venice) last March, mainly for skiing, but also for the great scenery we have read so much about. In fact, we stayed in the same apartment as the go family in Selva. We are avid skiers and have skied Austria and Germany many times (Lech, Kitzbuhel, Kaprun) and feel very comfortable in those areas so it took a lot of convincing for hubby & teen son to say yes to the Dolomites. And you know what??? after skiing the Sella Ronda they don't want to go back to Austria. We are planning our return already!!

However, having said that, my opinion is that the Dolomites are enjoyed up close and personal. Skiing makes that possible as does hiking. This won't be possible if most lifts are close (according to our landlady this is the case in May and early June) or when it rains and the trails become very muddy.Sure you can enjoy the view from afar, but I really think the best experience is when you can almost touch the Sassolungo or the Marmolada.

Don't underestimate the beauty of the Dordogne...we stayed in Castelnaud la Chapelle for two weeks and never ran out of things to do from early morning to late at night.

And like many people here, there are just so many places we still would like to visit, no matter what our comfort level is. This summer we'll be in Croatia & Slovenia (+ surrounding countries) and next spring break we'll be in Cambodia & China.

My advice is don't over think about the places too much.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:02 PM
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Is some of your desire to go back to a familiar place the FAMILIARITY?

If I just had twins, the last thing I might want to do for a vacation is figure out a new set of signs, train stations, the way to pay road tolls, fuss over which are the best restaurants or destinations that are "worth it", the local courtesies -- the whole nine yards.

I'd want to go some place and really relax and not have to think about all that! I'd want the fun of revisiting a place where I already knew I liked the food at that restaurant, or my way down the mountainside, so I could take to my husband instead of reading a map every 50 yards.

Since I've not been to any of the places you're considering (even if I had, I tend to think it's rude to tell other people they're going to love something, whether it's a movie or a destination), I can't get in the game of helping you decide.

But I will say this: Since it's so far away, and you've got so much time to research, consider a very flexible trip that would take you the area of the Dolomiti. If the weather is glorious, head to the Dolomiti. If it's not, tour Friuli-Venezia, including some time in Trieste -- or Venice, if you like. It would be too crowded for me in May.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Good points, annhig.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:37 PM
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Thank you all again. I really do appreciate it. We've been fortunate enough to have traveled to some amazing places so I know my "problem" isn't much of a problem in the grand scheme of things. Our last Europe trip was to Turkey last February and we had a great time so I guess I'm just itching for another great vacation.

Joy, we were in Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro/Bosnia in 06 and had an amazing time. Croatia is unbelievably beautiful. I highly recommend a visit to Montenegro if you have time. Kotor was lovely, but we particularly loved Perast. We were there in the month of November and the town was quiet and just about perfect, although the area has gotten quite a bit more touristy since our visit. As far as the Dolomites are concerned, we do like to hike and so that was a concern of mine. But we also just love being in the mountains in general.

zeppole, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. We have been pretty adventurous travelers to this point and have been to quite a few countries. But now that we have babies to look after, I think may be more after the serenity and familiarity of a place I had already been to so I have less to figure out and more time relaxing and enjoying being there. What draws me to the Dolomites is that we have been nearby (we drove from Innsbruck to Liechtenstein and then on to eastern Switzerland a few years back) so it would maintain a little bit of that familiarity but yet be completely new at the same time.

I do like the idea of winging it. You really can't go wrong in Italy, so if it didn't work out for any reason we could swing south, maybe even hit Bologna which is high on my list, or perhaps the lakes.

Decisions decisions....

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