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Vacations: do you find yourself going to the same country over & over? Or is it quantity over quality?

Vacations: do you find yourself going to the same country over & over? Or is it quantity over quality?

Sep 28th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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Vacations: do you find yourself going to the same country over & over? Or is it quantity over quality?

I started to travel to Europe about 3 years ago, and have been to Greece 2x with 1 day trip to Albania, and Italy 4x with a daytrip to Corsica, France. In thinking about my next trip I find my mind going back to Italy, as there are so many regions that I want to explore more in-depth or that I haven't been to at all.

On the other hand, I know I need to explore other countries. Are there people here who are content with vacationing in the same country over & over and are happy with developing an in-depth knowledge of that place or do you make a point of going to different ones each vacation?

I'm guessing most are a combination, but with 1 European vacation per year (in my case) I find it hard to think that I may not be able to see a new region of Italy on my next vacation, but instead go somewhere completely new.
AP6380 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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I like to return to places I've been before and personally have no problem with that concept.

I question the statement "I know I need to explore other"... says who? Since they're MY trips I'll do whatever I feel like, no explanation necessary.
suze is online now  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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I've had the luxury of being able to make long excursions to Europe so have been able to do both. I can't imagine going to Europe without a week or two stop in London (for my theatre fix) and nearly always end up in Paris for a week or two before returning home. But I also like to reach out and explore new areas as well. Now that I've visited most of all the countries and areas of Europe, I tend to focus on returning to France and to Italy the most -- obviously my two favorites.

But it is easy to see from here alone that there are many people who focus on one country or even one specific area of a country. That's great if that's what they like. We have some real experts here on particular countries or regions who probably don't know a whole lot about most other regions of Europe and that's fine. I sometimes have to force myself to see other places just to make sure I'm not "missing" something.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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I question the assertion, implied or otherwise, in the title that visiting one country brings some sort of "quality" that going to various countries does not.

Different people derive different things from travel and the places they visit. Since you, personally, feel a "need" to visit other countries then you are correct to act on that. But allowing the travel habits, and needs of others, dictate or unduly influence or confirm or approve or whatever word you want to use your own plans is a serious error IMO.
TopMan is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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I just wanted to start a "fluffy" thread to divert my attention from my boring job, it's not meant to be taken seriously.

I'm interested to hear people's opinions.

I've recently connected with my family in Southern Italy, so pretty much every time I go to Europe I now want to stop there for at least 5-7 days. I guess that would explain my fixation on Italy at this point!

I fell that "I need" to see other countries to broaden my horizons, as cheesey as that may sound.
AP6380 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:49 AM
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It's a mixed bag - we really love the South of France and continue to visit ever few months going back to the same hotel and visiting the same restaurants. Granted we do have some friends that we go see as well. But we also go to new places as well - I'd say we mix it up new / old 50 / 50...I think we have made probably 12 trips from long weekends to one- two week vacations over the last year - places we have been - (we live in London) Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, Le Mans in France, Antibes/Nice/Cannes, Porto Portugal, Lisbon, Paris.
kittrdg is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 06:54 AM
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Like Patrick I have to get my London fix, but the great thing about London is it is a jumping off point for the rest of Europe. Nov 03 I went to Berlin for my side trip, in Feb I went to Rome and now I am getting ready for Denmark and Holland. I wemt to Iceland in March without going to London, but it is an easy flight from there.

In your case, I would pick a region in Italy that you want to explore and then pick a new place for your side trip. The budget airlines in Europe make this easy. I flew to Rome for 38 GBP RT and the ticket to Holland is 28 GBP RT.
rj007 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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For me, I find myself wanting to return to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They are such beautiful countries and there is still so much of them I haven't seen. This year, we went to England and Scotland and now I'm hooked on Scotland and want to see more. I have been to France and Italy and don't seem to have the same feelings about them as I do the other countries I have visited.
bettyk is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 07:26 AM
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I often compare my annual Italy trip to people who spend two weeks on Martha's Vineyard every summer . . . or purchase that vacation house somewhere.

Italy is my vacation house. It has everything I want: a feeling of "foreigness" even though I've visited many times; art and architecture; great food; a pleasant pace; beautiful vistas; friends to visit; good public transportation . . . and I don't have to figure out how everything works each time I arrive.

It's nice to visit other places, too, but I don't believe that I MUST do so. Some people never leave their state or even their county, and that's fine for them. There's no checklist or "right" way to travel.
ellenem is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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AP6380, I understand where you are coming from. I've only been to Europe 2 times (3rd time coming up in December and 4th in May) but I have the same dilemma. I love to travel and I think so many areas and countries in Europe look fascinating. I also absolutely love the countries I have already been to. It's hard to decide whether to go back to a country we've already been to because we liked it so much, or try to visit a new country we may like equally as much. In our case, we are doing both. We are going back to Rome in December, but are planning a trip to new countries for us, France and Switzerland, for May.
tcreath is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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I always want to return to France, specifically Normandy. I love the people, the food, the feel, the history, and the geography. My mother lives in Luxembourg, so we go there and usually take short excursions from there. We will return in March, and I am having the hardest time picking some place within 2-3 hours to spend two days. We may chose Paris and do it at the end of the trip to make our return trip easier.
DanM is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 07:55 AM
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Hmmm. TopMan has a point that your title seems to indicate that you feel if you return to the same country then that must be quality, and that if you go to different countries you sacrifice that quality in favor of more "quantity" of places. I'm not sure I agree with that.

Even when someone is going to Europe for two weeks and asks about one country or three, there are two distinctly different schools of thought. Some will argue that you can't effictively do three countries in two weeks so the "quality" of the trip is sacrificed. Others may argue that if you only do the very best city or very best highlights of three different countries or cultures -- the "quality" of what you see could be better. After all you are seeing only the "best", not filling two weeks with "quantity" of different things to do in the same cultural region.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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For AP, I don't think it is "cheesy" if you feel the "need" then you should do that. As others have mentioned I think the "quantity over quality" was an unfortunate choice of wording in the title (although maybe reflecting your ambivalence about the issue?).

There's no right or wrong, from whirlwind multi-country tours to living in Europe and everything in between. What is important IMO is matching up what you DO with what you WANT to do.
suze is online now  
Sep 28th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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I understand where AP is coming from. We didn't take our first European trip until we were in our early 40's (not counting 6 months my husband lived in Ireland while his father was on sabbatical at Trinity College back in the 60's). We took the kids to Ireland, which had been our dream for years and we are going soon for the 4th time. In the meantime, I have felt like we should experience other countries as well, so we made it to London one year and Paris last February, and are thinking about Spain in the next year or two. Ireland will always be the place for us, though! (My traceable ancestors are from Germany, but I don't have the desire to go there.)
allisonm is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Whilst I wholly acknowledge that everyone should take the holiday they want, how they want and where they want, I do totally agree with the judgement in the title that underlies the "quality/quantity" question.

You might enjoy a whistlestop tour but I defy you to have the same "quality" of a trip as one that spends time watching and feeling.
sheila is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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I do not perceive trips by COUNTRIES. I see them by REGIONS. So, multiple trips to Italy are really unique experiences--regionally. My next region is Sicily. I hope for a QUALITY experience.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Okay, I know this isn't any of my business but what do some of you do for a living that you can take 2 weeks in London, a week or two in Paris as well. Travel several times a year. Yes I am envious.
Madison is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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I do some of both.

I have been back again and again and again to France, which I love. Sometimes to regions I know and sometimes to new regions.

I've also been to Madeira twice and now to Botswana and Namibia twice. Those last two have captivated my heart so much that I will certainly be there again.

But I also love to visit new places too. My style of travelling though means at least 5 days in one place rather than moving each night to a new place and trying to cover too much ground. I prefer to relax and get to know an area.

I don't feel superior though to those who prefer to visit a wider range of places on a trip but spend less time in each place.

Kavey is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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I think my wording in the title of this post can be interpreted in different ways. What I wanted to find out were the thoughts of those who find themselves going to different countries every year, say spending on average 3-4 days in each town/city. I also wanted to hear the comments from others who return to the same countries repeatedly. I would think those who keep going back to a particular country or countries repeatedly have a more "quality" experience (in my opinion, and this can be interpreted in many ways!) than those who say spend 3 days in one country and zip over to the next one.

My question comes from the point of view of a person who gets to spend limited time abroad each year, 2-3 weeks usually. I totally agree that seeing countries by regions would lead to a more rewarding experience.
AP6380 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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There have been a number of threads on that topic.
Answers include prioritising spending in one's life to allow more travel (resulting in old car, old clothes, not going out so much at home etc etc).
Also some people work overtime in exchange for time off in lieu rather than extra money.
Some work a second job.
My friend at work used to constantly say the same thing to me as though it was all just about luck. In the end I pointed out to her that she was earning £3k a year more than I did but spent £300 on a pair of shoes or handbag without thinking on and spent £50 on a night out in town without even blinking an eyelid. She shut up right about then!
Kavey is offline  

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