Help us pick our 10 year anniversary destination!

Feb 12th, 2017, 07:33 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 188
Help us pick our 10 year anniversary destination!

Hey all, my wife and I are looking to take a trip for our 10 year anniversary and we're struggling to get super excited about anything. Grandma has amazingly signed up to take our two kids for a total of 9 days (we could maybe get 1 more if it was absolutely necessary). That leaves 1 day of travel on the front/back end for a 7 day total trip. We live in the Midwest so can fly out of Chicago or Minneapolis. We are 34 years old.

Primary criteria:

1. International only - don't want to stay in the USA
2. We enjoy a challenge and being pushed out of our comfort zone - a mix of adventure and close cultural interaction is important (e.g. we love close cultural interactions like the cooking class we took in Rio)
3. We don't want a lazy beach vacation but a destination with beaches and some downtime is not a bad thing (e.g. Belize is something we're strongly considering)
4. We've done G Adventures and Intrepid trips in the past and enjoy group travel - especially these days when we have a lot less time to plan! Can go either way on this - group or us planning it all out ourselves with local guides if needed
5. Do not want a physically demanding trip all the way through but having a few optional experiences scattered throughout would be awesome (e.g. we've hiked up Wayna Picchu for example and we loved it)

Budget:

We can fly for free on Southwest (Belize = free) and we have the 100,000 points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card so that will really maximize our budget!! Outside of using this to book either the flight and/or hotel we would spend around $2,000. I'm more concerned with picking a great destination than on what hotels we would stay at.

Places we've been considering:

1. Belize / Guatemala (specifically Tikal)
2. Morocco (So far away...don't think it's reasonable for this short amount of time)
3. Though it would be slower paced we love France, so doing the countryside and smaller towns is high on the list - we've only been to Paris
4. Hawaii has actually been on the list but it seems so...ordinary?
5. Ecuador / Galapagos
6. Some day we really want to go back to Africa (specifically Kenya and Tanzania but alas 7 days is just not nearly enough).

List of trips we've done (starting with the most recent):

Amalfi coast of Italy
Peru + Rio de Janiero
Africa: South Africa / Namibia / Botswana / Zambia / Zimbabwe
China: spent 2 weeks here
We've done a lot of travel in the UK/central Europe prior to the above so we've done many of the big cities
bluesphee is offline  
Feb 12th, 2017, 08:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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March? September?
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 12th, 2017, 08:13 AM
  #3  
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My bad on not giving time frame. We are super flexible and can travel virtually any time after April.
bluesphee is offline  
Feb 12th, 2017, 08:32 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Belize might be a great option, but it's not especially off the radar.

Some non- or partial-beach ideas I could throw out:

- Iceland - many cool activities, easy flights from MSP or ORD.
- Canadian Maritimes or Quebec City + Gaspe Peninsula loop.
- Southern Portugal - the Alentejo region is magical in the spring
- Merida and the Yucatan

I'll think of more.

Congratulations, by the way!
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 13th, 2017, 10:58 AM
  #5  
 
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Sounds like you want to go to Belize.

But there is nothing "ordinary" about Hawaii imo!
suze is online now  
Feb 13th, 2017, 10:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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2, 3, 5, 6 are too much for only 7 days available for the trip from my point of view.
suze is online now  
Feb 13th, 2017, 06:12 PM
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Thanks Gardyloo for the ideas and congrats. Very kind. Will check those other destinations out soon. Suze, I'm sure you're right on the trip length. We will seriously consider Hawaii. I did mention Belize a bunch but more as an example vs. we're really excited about it.

I stumbled across this place to stay in Guatemala and it looks amazing:
http://www.lushatitlan.com/apartments/mirador/

I'd love to couple this with Antigua and Tikal but this place isn't anywhere near it. I'll update this thread as I get more time to spend on planning.
bluesphee is offline  
Feb 14th, 2017, 05:26 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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I would go to Mexico.
I prefer Chiapas than Tucatam but both are great.
Or Canada
Quebec actually the frenchdpeaking part to get another vibe. Quebec City than the laurentides and river Saguensy for example.
Or Iceland.
Close and Lots of things to do and see or so I have been told.
Or an island in the Caribbean.
Again a frenchdpeaking one. Saint Martin or guadeloupe.
WoinParis is offline  
Feb 14th, 2017, 08:21 AM
  #9  
 
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As i know I've already mentioned it's the very short length of the trip, why I might pick somewhere "easier" like Hawaii or Jamaica.

Saving Central or South America for when you have at least 2-3 weeks to do it (then visit all 3 different places in Guatemala).

Mexico would work. My go-to place there is Puerto Vallarta. But from Chicago maybe the Caribbean side would be better?
suze is online now  
Feb 14th, 2017, 08:22 AM
  #10  
 
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(oops, sorry, about Chicago, wrong poster!)
suze is online now  
Feb 14th, 2017, 09:59 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I just spent a day in Belize and, while I liked what I saw in a third-world kind of way in that short time (in Belize City and in the countryside), I don't think 7 days would hold my interest there.

Have you considered Costa Rica? Has all you touch on and more, and isn't all that far to go.
michelhuebeli is offline  

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