First time travelling outside the USA

Old Jan 14th, 2017, 04:02 PM
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First time travelling outside the USA

I live in NY and I will be taking my first trip out the of the country. I have 15-18 days and a $2500 budget (for hotels and travel expenses). I will be taking the trip in late March.

A little about me:

I am 22 years old. I will be starting my career after my vacation so I want something that will be very memorable!

I only speak English. I enjoy hiking immensely (especially in mountainous regions). I want somewhere where which I will be safe to hike alone (aka no extremely dangerous wildlife). I want semi-easy transportation for whichever one I chose. A big part of my trip will be random exploring and sight seeing (urban and rural). I am an avid photographer and will be taking many photos. I want somewhere which I will be able to safely explore at night. While most of these spots are big for tourism, I want somewhere unique and unforgettable.

The following is general list of areas I am interested in visiting:

1. Western Europe (some combination of cities like London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome [along with perhaps other parts of Italy])

2. Central Europe (some combination of cities like Prague, Vienna, and Budapest [along with seeing parts of Romania])

3. The United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)

4. Australia (some combination of cities like Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne)

5. Japan (some combinations of cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka)

Which of these would you choose? If you had the choice, where would you go? Also, any input on different areas is welcome. If there are any unique and not-much-travelled ideas, I would love to hear them!
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 04:09 PM
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Does your $2500 include airfare to & from?
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 04:27 PM
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You say transport -- do you mean only on-the-ground transport or is that budget also to include your airfare? If the Latter none of your options are realistic for 2.5 weeks. Airfares alone will typically run $1000 or more.

I notice you have mainly listed major cities but want mountain hiking and some rural locations.

Also - March can also still be wintry in places like Europe and Japan.

So -- please clarify your budget. If it truly is $2500 you might do better going somewhere in the States or Mexico/Central America.
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 04:52 PM
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My $2500 does include airfare to & from. Naturally some places are less expensive to travel to as compared to others. I guess $2500 was just my ideal budget. For answers' sake, let's say there is no budget.
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 05:16 PM
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Have you considered a group tour? While most of us here are independent travelers, in this case a tour aimed at a younger crowd might work well.

This is one I've heard about, though you'll want to read reviews before you book. They're having a sale right now:
https://www.gadventures.com/travel-deals/january-sale/

Considering it's getting a bit late for planning for March and it may be a pretty good deal compared with buying the components separately, you might think of it as reconnaissance for a later trip you'd put together yourself.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 04:25 AM
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Where are you flying from? It will make a difference in your airfare.

Now, I know your last post hinted that "there is no budget" but quite frankly given you originally indicated a budget of $2,500 (including airfare) to say you have "no budget" is a very big leap.

Since you are young I'm guessing you don't have unlimited funds so cross the last 3 destinations off your list. You barely have enough money for the airfare to get to those places let along pay for 15 to 18 days accommodations and food.

As for places in Europe - with your budget (whether it's $2500 or perhaps $5,000) stick to one particular country and stay in one general area. Unless you have a much larger budget you'll find "hopping around from country to country to be fairly costly if you do it on your own.

Follow MmePerdu's advice - look for one of the lower tier group tours - that will give you the most bang for your buck. Or, save up a lot more money. In the meantime read a few guide books to find out which countries most interest you.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 03:55 PM
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It would be silly to give many answers based on "no" budget. Then options would be unlimited, and obviously, they are not. I could direct you to the most expensive hotels in expensive cities and suggest private drivers. That would be a waste of my time and no help to you. You need a "concrete" budget to get useful information.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 04:25 PM
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I admit that I never have a budget in mind for my trips and my resources are far from unlimited. But what I do have is experience and know when & where I can do things cheaply, to balance those places that aren't cheap.

Before I had much experience I spent too much because I didn't know how not to. So if you have plenty in the bank to pick up the slack that there inevitably will be should you choose to strike out on your own, no problem. However, buying a tour to a place or places that interest you, from a reputable operator, will do 2 important things. You can keep an eye out, even when you don't need to know, to see how much buys you what. And you'll know in advance pretty much how much this trip will cost. Unless there really are no budget constraints, but you may be shocked at how much a trip can cost.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 04:51 AM
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I vote for Japan! It's my dream to go there! But it's not cheap country, you'd better ask someone who was there, maybe, on forums etc.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 09:00 AM
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If I were 22 I would go to Rwanda.
Now with a family and a wife who wants a bathroom and a good bed and my old joints I would see it the way I dreamt it.
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 09:50 AM
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I would do (1) since it is your first trip and I believe Western Europe is the easiest traveling over the others you list.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2017, 12:18 PM
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Check out G Adventures... they have some trekking tours. An example is 8 days Mont Blanc for $1799 (I'm pretty sure that is CAD dollars, so cheaper for you)and then your airfare on top of that. You are within your budget, and I think for a first time traveller you would feel secure in the travel arrangements and meet new people with similar interests.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 03:06 AM
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Mexico.
Great place. And you'll help the economy so they can pay for the wall.

Honestly. Great country. Close by. Fantastic people. Fantastic history. Fantastic weather. Fantastic flora and fauna.

Cheap. 2500 $ minus fly tickets - 1000 return trip ? Makes 1500 on the ground. Less than 100 a day. Doable in Mexico. Not in Europe. Not in U.S.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 07:42 AM
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"Less than 100 a day. Doable in Mexico. Not in Europe. Not in U.S."

Easily done for 1/2 that, $50 a day. Lots of shopping money left over. I leave tonight for a month in Oaxaca to get warm!
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 02:08 PM
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Have a GREAT trip MmePerdu.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 03:02 PM
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I shall!
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