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karenwliu Feb 16th, 2008 10:25 AM

Trip Ideas Wanted!
Hi -

A girlfriend and I are looking for trip ideas. We're still in the early stages of determining where we'd like to go. Honestly, at this point, we're open to anything. Any suggestions? The trip would span 1 - 1.5 weeks and would take place in June, July or August.

ps. I have also posted this message in the Carribean and Latin American Forums

fun4all4 Feb 16th, 2008 10:58 AM


There are tons of knowledgeable people here who can give great suggestions to help you choose where to go and then help you plan once you've decided upon a destination.

But...please help us help you. :-)
What are some of your interests? Are you more into art museums and the theatre, hiking, fine dining,is this a relax and "get away from it" trip or an active on- the -go "experience it all" type?
Are you 20-somethings looking for nightlife or just retired?

Anyway, you get the idea. There are so many great choices that a bit more info will improve the quality of the suggestions.

kleeblatt Feb 16th, 2008 10:59 AM

You've won 1st prize for the broadest question asked. Congratulations!

KL467 Feb 16th, 2008 11:05 AM

Some ideas:

1) Paris and London
2) Rome, Florence, and Venice
3) Netherlands and Belgium

karenwliu Feb 16th, 2008 11:37 AM

Thanks fun4all -- I appreciate the helpful tone of your posting.

My friend is looking for a destination with a warmer climate and a slower pace where she can relax. She's looking for a "get away from it" trip.

I'm more of an active on the go "experience it all" type. I also would prefer a warmer climate. Basically, while my friend in relaxing, I'd like to have the option of exploring, doing some sort of outdoor activity or checking out museums and sights. We're both 31 and located in California.

We each came up with a "First Cut List":
R - Greece, Thailand, Brazil, Morocco, Paris, Jamaica, Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, Prague
K - Greece, Thailand, Peru, Guatemala, Munich, Krakow, Brazil, Turkey

I didn't mention it before b/c I didn't want to be limited to those destinations. I was hoping people might throw out their most memorable trip destinations -- destinations that R & I didn't even think to consider! Thanks.

kleeblatt Feb 16th, 2008 11:43 AM

1 1/2 weeks: Santorini

crazychick Feb 16th, 2008 01:36 PM


crazychick Feb 16th, 2008 01:37 PM

highflyer Feb 16th, 2008 02:26 PM

Look into Greece and Thailand as you're both interested them, they're great places and you have to start somewhere.

For Greece a few nights in Athens then an island for a week would be perfect.

I've not been to Thailand but I'd go if asked! :D

highflyer Feb 16th, 2008 02:27 PM

Mid to late June would be best for Greece.

annhig Feb 16th, 2008 02:32 PM

hi, karen,

how warm is compatible with the level of exercise you want?

Greece, for example can get VERY hot, as can the south of spain, parts of italy, etc. many people died in Paris in the heat-wave 18 months ago.

you could think about the NORTH of spain - lovely beaches and lots to see, very popluar with the spanish royals etc. and it's quite relaxed as not very touristy.

you could also look at the beaches of belgium - very laid back and lots to see nearby.

can't help with Thailand.

have a good trip,

regards, ann

suze Feb 17th, 2008 09:05 AM

Coming from California, and with such a short time (7-10 days), I'd suggest Mexico instead of going all the way to Europe. It offers what each of you seek. Plane fare would be much less, time change and jet lag insignificant, etc.

luvtotravel Feb 17th, 2008 11:15 AM

You're picking the hottest time of year, the most expensive, and the most crowded. Greece (especially Santorini or Mykonos) or Thailand fit your bill for warm with lots to do. Personally, I think you need a minimum of two weeks for either destination to make it worth the while for the cost and travel time. I also live in California and have been to Greece four times and Thailand once. It's really, really far, and you have to want to go there a lot, especially if flying in coach.

I haven't been, but what about Australia or New Zealand? This would be their winter. Or Northern Italy -- Lake Como or the Italian Riviera? Bali?

You can read my trip report from Thailand (and some other places) at and see my photos.

m104882 Feb 17th, 2008 01:26 PM

Note to luvtotravel, could you make suggestions on things a couple 67/61 should do on a trip sept/oct for 11 days, i.e., places to stay, things to see. 3 star hotels are fine. 4 trips to Greece, so you are probably very knowledgeable.


luvtotravel Feb 17th, 2008 05:14 PM

m104882 -- That's a little hard to say not knowing much about you. My first trip to Greece was in 1989, and the last trip was eight years ago. I had 12 days on my first time over, and I immediately booked for the following year. I felt cheated with so little time. Most people I met were there for two weeks to two months.

My preference is to fly direct to an island, connecting of course through Athens, unless you can find another way to do it, but it's difficult. On the return it is prudent to spend a couple of nights in Athens as transportation from the islands is not overly dependable and you need to catch your flight home. This way you can fit in the Acropolis, the Plaka, the museums, etc., when you not dealing with jetlag.

I've been to Mykonos twice, Santorini twice, Paros, Naxos, Rhodes, Skiathos, and Skopelos. My favorite islands are Mykonos and Santorini. Many people like to spend time on the mainland as that is where a lot of archeological sites are located. I like some history, but my main focus is to take in local color. That being said, there are historic sites to see on the islands, too: Delos from Mykonos, Acrotiri on Santorini, and Crete has much to see.

If you're interested in beaches, it's here. If you're interested in night life, it's here. If you're interested in shopping, it's here. If you're interested in feeling like you are really someplace else, Greece fits the bill. If you're interested in photography, this is a photographers' heaven, or you can just look at the beauty. Romance? I believe the Greek islands offer some of the best in romantic ambiance. Some people on this board joke about the Greek food, but I prefer the food in Greece over the food in Paris (well, maybe Paris wins for bread and pastries), but give me Greek yogurt and honey anytime and I'm a happy lady.

I must also mention the Greek people. I was always made to feel welcome. I know times are changing and things are being more westernized, but I remember on my first night in Athens I stopped into a restaurant in the residential in which I was staying. No one spoke English and I couldn't read the menu (this is not typical). The owner had me visit the kitchen where she showed me everything that was cooking.

Another of my Greek experiences that made me feel I was somewhere else: While at a resort on Naxos I saw in the desk book of services that they offered safe deposit box. I was impressed as I hadn't seen that before on the islands. I went to the front desk and asked for a box. The gentleman took a yellow manila envelope and wrote my name on it. Inside went my passport and paper airline ticket (this was before etickets) and the envelope was sealed. He then proceeded to put the envelope, in clear sight to everyone, on a shelf behind the front desk. That was their safe deposit! I don't know if this is the experience you are looking for, and I doubt there is much of this left except in some less touristy islands, but I embraced the differences (maybe not the hole-in-the-floor toilet, though).

I was young, single and alone on my first trip. The attention from the Greek men was a bit much, wound up going out with some, but I think of that as part of the experience as the Greek men are or at least were quite a bit different from American men. As you are a couple I won't expand on that, but it added to my Greek experience for sure.

Personally, I loved walking around Mykonos in the mornings before people were awake from late night partying. The old women were washing down there sidewalks, the cats were looking for breakfast, and the place felt serene. Even today when stressed I close my eyes and take myself back to that moment and I feel better.

I enjoyed staying in Plati Yalos at the Petasos Beach Hotel, They've upgraded the hotel -- when we were there eight years ago the dollar was still strong, and we paid $75 total for two people including a buffet breakfast. I'm sure it will cost a lot more today.

I stayed in Imerovigli on my first trip to Santorini, and Firostephani for the second trip. I much preferred Firostephani as we could easily walk into town, yet we were staying in a traditional house in a cliff in a quiet area. Room #31 was beautiful. Lots of people on this board give advice to stay in Oia. Lots of information here for you to sort out on accommodations.

In Santorini I enjoyed exploring. In 1989, the island was not as built up as it is today. But even with the changes it is still one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Let us know more about your interests, and I'm sure the folks on this board will help you plan a great trip.

luvtotravel Feb 17th, 2008 05:27 PM

Sorry for all the typos and grammatical errors. I tried to correct them, but it didn't take.

elliesoho Feb 19th, 2008 05:03 AM

if you don't have any specific ideas of where you want to go, i found this website that has tons of different ideas for trips in europe and in other places as well. they list all sorts of activities and things to do in different places around the world. it might help you narrow down that huge trip idea of yours ;)

april85s Feb 19th, 2008 08:19 AM

I think a Contiki tour might work out for you two. I went on one last summer, and there was definitely a group of people who just wanted to relax and there was a group of people who wanted to do everything they could. I was one of the latter. I found this tour on their website, which looks like it would be good for both of you.

But take a look at other ones too. They have heaps of itineraries around the world. If you want to ask me anything about my trip, you can email me at

[email protected]

Christina Feb 19th, 2008 09:05 AM

I think a lot of these ideas sounds great, but are not at all feasible (or practical, at least) for someone who only wants to spend 7-10 days on this vacation -- and lives in California which makes flights even longer to Europe. Not to mention air fare is such a large chunk of the budget nowadays, investing that for a 7 day trip just seems surprising.

Would you really fly to/from Thailand for a one week vacation? The flight alone will take up 16 to 20 hours one way. I don't know the weather, so can't speak to that. I think Greece might be okay, but not in the summer -- aside from the fact of how long it will take you to get there, which will also be around 15 hours from LAX. Morocco in the summer is a terrible idea, as are some others on that list.

Prague is only a little shorter flight than Greece, probably, but at least the weather would make sense there. Same for Krakow, as they are probaby about the same flight distance.

Paris is probably one of the best ideas on that list, considering everything.

Jamaica sounds like a terrible idea, everyone I know who's gone there would never go back and really got bored after a couple days.

travel2live2 Feb 19th, 2008 10:28 AM

I agree that one week is far too short for Europe.

How about northern Canada or Alaska? Or the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia or Alberta? You could do lots of walks, swim, white water rafting, etc.

karenwliu Feb 19th, 2008 02:42 PM

Wow! Thanks to everyone who has responded to my inquiry.
I'm beginning to agree with the folks who are saying that one week in Europe is not enough time. All of my previous trips to Europe have been at least 2 weeks long. Based upon the information from this forum, we're starting to narrow down our list. We've scratched off Europe but I think it's for the best. Right now, we're thinking about island hopping in the Caribbean, Central America, Brazil or Thailand. Brazil and Thailand may fall off the list b/c the airplane ticket alone will eat up a majority of my friend's $2,000 (maximum) budget. Again, thanks for all of your help!

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