Need Destination Ideas - Solo Travel on a Budget

Old May 29th, 2021, 07:48 AM
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Need Destination Ideas - Solo Travel on a Budget

I have June and July open and am trying to decide where to go. I am a single woman in my 50's. I've traveled solo several times - car camping road trips (PNW, Oregon, TX) and love it. I've seen a good amount of the US in my lifetime, some of Canada, and Mexico. New Mexico and Utah are piquing my interest. I'd love to try Europe or the Mediterranean, but don't think my budget (I'd like to stay under $3500) will allow it as airfares look like they would take 1/3 to 1/2 that from TX. Timeframe is whatever I can do within budget, 7 days/+ maybe. More interested in local flavor, easy to moderate hiking, and nature, rather than bustling cities.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 08:32 AM
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With a limited budget and limited time, I'd probably be looking at destinations that can be reached by car fairly easily. Even though domestic airfares are still relatively cheap, this year there appears to be a serious shortage of rental cars available, with the result that prices are astronomical, and in some places, there's simply no availability.

I would think the higher elevation parts of New Mexico/Utah/Arizona might be good options, especially earlier in your time window than later, when crowds and temperatures might be a major issue. Many national parks are expected to be mobbed once school is out, but there are so many beautiful areas in those states that aren't within national parks that you ought to be able to find some places that meet your aims. Maybe look at the four corners country - Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, over to the Grand Canyon... perhaps with some time at Santa Fe going and Sedona coming... play with the maps and see what you think.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 11:58 AM
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I did consider that this might need to be a road trip rather than flight, and it looks like that is going to be the plan. I'll definitely take a look at the four corners area. I think you are spot on about the national parks - I took a long weekend camping trip (to a state park) close to home recently, and it was packed.

Many thanks for the tips! You have provided guidance for me before on the forums and your help is much appreciated!
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Old May 29th, 2021, 06:17 PM
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What parts of Mexico have you visited? Central Mexico is very pleasant in the time frame you have, and no doubt well within your budget. While not much nature to be had, Guanajuato offers some 'urban hiking' in a not bustling city. San Miguel, too to a degree. And Bernal near Queretaro has the Peņa (monolith) that offers an easy enough hike. All 3 are charming colonial cities that could be easily visited in 7 days by flying into/out of either BJX or QRO from Houston (United) for sure and probably Dallas.

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Old May 30th, 2021, 07:57 AM
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baldone, when does the thunderstorm season start in central Mexico? I had once planned to visit during some part of the summer but was warned off.. maybe it was later than June.

I think many National and State Parks are going to be very busy all summer long, due to pent up demand.

There are parts of New Mexico that are a bit off the beaten path. Two years go I went to a conference in Albuquerque (different month, though) and then drove around the Manzanos, Salinas Pueblo Mission National Monuments, Truth or Consequences, Gila National Forest, Silver City, and Gila Cliffs National Monument. There is a lot more there that I don't know about. There is also a lot of hiking around ABQ but usually those closer in places in the mountains would be crowded if it's much like California.

Not sure if there are any New Mexico posters here. But I'd also post on the US Boards.
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Old May 30th, 2021, 12:55 PM
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Mlgb, typically, the rainy season begins the first part of June. But this year, we've already had some of the heaviest rains in a long time. One storm a couple of weeks back dropped like 5 inches in less than 2 hours. Some flooding, and access to our neighborhood was blocked by water for like 10 hours. It was blocked in a low lying area a couple of years ago late one afternoon while we were out, so we stopped for burgers and margaritas while waiting for the water to subside. Took about 3 margaritas before we could get home. This time, we hadn't ventured out. Most rain only lasts about a half hour. It's my favorite time of the year. Cool and green.
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Old May 30th, 2021, 02:06 PM
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Usually the rainy season begins about the first part of June. But we've already had good rains this month, so this year I'd say it's already started. In fact, about 2 weeks ago we had the heaviest rain we've had in years. I think it dropped about inches in under 2 hours. The entrance to our neighborhood was flooded for about 10 hours overnight. Luckily, we hadn't ventured out. But it's my favorite time of year, everything's green and it cools off nicely. Most of the time it only rains for about a half hour, but it can be heavy for a few minutes. Rain every day is rare.

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Old May 30th, 2021, 02:32 PM
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Do you subscribe to Scott's cheap flights or look at google flights? I would not give up on a trip to Europe. Go where transportation is good, no car needed. Some hostels are very nice now. World hostel gives ratings. Book an airbnb for a week and do day trips from there. If you spend even a 1000 on airfare you still have a good budget. We love going to a grocery like Marks and Spencer, picking up to go items and eating in a park. We get stuff for breakfast but then eat lunch out. Our hotels this summer in the USA are almost twice what we pay on average in Europe.
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Old May 30th, 2021, 05:55 PM
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Thanks baldone
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Old May 30th, 2021, 07:03 PM
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That sounds intriguing! Thank you for the suggestion.
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Old May 30th, 2021, 07:06 PM
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5 inches, ugh
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