Where to go for one month ?

Old Feb 12th, 2014, 09:13 PM
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Where to go for one month ?


I had posted in the Europe forum asking for advice about a 2 month trip to Europe. I received great tips and lots of helpful posts. My dilemma is basically the budget. Let me tell you briefly about myself:

We are a family of 4 (kids 8 and 10 years) originally from India. We lived in USA for 15 years during which time we traveled to most of the places in USA. Besides that we have taken trips to the following countries:

1) New Zealand
2) Canada
3) Japan
4) Most parts of India

This May we want to go for one month to some country. The main criteria is if I am able to go for a month by spending $7,000 USD for my family which includes everything except airfare from India. Now this country can be anywhere as long as it meets the following criteria:

1) Interesting man made and historical stuff to see
2) Different culture
3) Some scenic spots
4) Nice cuisine

I am 43 years old and so I assume I still have few years left to postpone visiting expensive countries like those in Europe. I am realizing but reading tips from folks here that Europe is an expensive affair so I don't mind skipping it for now. Can anyone suggest cheaper but still exciting alternatives for other countries ? For example South America, Russia ??

Destination is VERY flexible but budget is not

Thanks a lot..
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 09:43 PM
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I think two regions would fit your requirements.

A month in South. America would provide the opportunity to fit in a couple of countries, the dilemma would be which ones. Ecuador is a small country with a great variety of cultures and scenery, beaches, jungle, the Andes and more volcanoes than just about any other country. It is a it like a mini South America. Easy to get a round and very cheap. Peru has a well worn "gringo trail" and some of the most iconic sights in South America, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca etc plus all of the above. Peru also has some of the best food in South America.

You could combine Peru with part of. Bolivia, Toticaca, Salar de Uyuni, la Paz.

Argentine is a huge and diverse country with so much to see you could easily spend the entire month there and not cover all the highlights. However, it is one of the more expensive countries in SA, although the "blue rate" will help a lot with the cost.
A blog of our time in South America last year http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/6/tpod.html

The other alternative would be South East. Asia, my personal favourites would be Laos Vietnam and Cambodia but travelling with children, the more developed Thailand might be easier.

Both of these regions are substantial cheaper than say Europe. (Costs of food and accomodation in SA are perhaps 25% of those in Europe, maybe a bit higher in SE Asia, particularly. Thailand.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 09:44 PM
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Why does it have to be 1 month? $7000 for a family of 4 is not going to last you a whole month. More than half of it will go towards the hotels, even in South America. You could explore South East Asia, too, though I'm not sure about hotel costs.

My recommendation is to cut the trip time in half and go to Brazil or to Thailand and Vietnam.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 10:44 PM
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Does Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg) appeal to any of you and does it fall in the "cheap" country criteria ?

I am thinking one month because we went for 22 days to New Zealand in 2012 and we found it to be a little hectic.

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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 10:58 PM
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According to your expenses you should travel to the Caribbean country or, African country like South Africa which is the beautiful country in Africa. You can enjoy all of your activity here with this amount of money.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 01:09 AM
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i disagree with the comment above that $7000 is insufficient for a family of four for a month.it really depends on how you want to travel and what you want to see. if you stay in 4&5* hotels and eat in top restaurants inSouth America it will cost you accordingly but as the OP stated they had a limited budget it is erasable to assume they will be choosing accommodation and restaurants etc. in keeping with there budget. As a couple wemanaged perfectly well staying in nice hostels with ensuite facilities and eating in local restaurants with the occasional splurge on far less in SA. SE Asia is more expensive, but still doable.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Well, probably the best thing to do at this point is to consider locations like Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. Briefly look over places that might be of interest to you within them. Make a list. If you find yourself and your family being more interested in what one country has to offer, pick that. Then search for accommodation - get an idea of how much it will cost nightly and the location of it (if it's in good proximity to top destinations). Calculate that for the month. Look at restaurants, attractions costs, etc and make an estimate. Try to have a couple hundred extra on top of it. If you find it's reasonable, then go for a month. But if you find some better accommodation that costs but you feel you'd enjoy more like a nice villa then then cut down a week.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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Some strange ideas here so far.

First, with $7k USD not including airfare, it is entirely possible to go to Europe if you wish.

Going for a month is not the same thing as going for a few days to a hotel. It makes sense to rent an apartment/villa for a month. That results in a rental cost far lower per night than for a decent hotel.

For example, I could suggest a 2 bedroom apartment on the island of Rhodes in Greece. At full daily rate it would cost you $2850 for the entire month of May. I am also 90% sure you could negotiate a better rate when booking an entire month. So let's say $2500 at a guess.

Here is the property: http://www.nikihotelapartments.gr/index_uk.html

Here is the apartment:

Here is a good start for info on Rhodes:

There is more than enough to see and do in terms of culture and history to fill a month. Much of it is accessible by public transport and you can fill in with occassional car rentals for a day here and there.

Since the aparment has a full kitchen, you can save money by eating some meals there as well as being able to afford some restaurant meals to sample local cuisine. Just stay away from the typical tourist restaurants and stick with the local village restauarants that get a more local clientel.

This is an example, you could equally expect to do something similar in France, Italy, Spain, etc. There are only a few of the more expensive countries in Europe where you could not manage on $7k. The UK, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countries would all be much harder to manage in.

There is also E. Europe and Turkey to consider. A month on the Dalmation coast of Croatia for example would fit the bill quite easily as another example.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 05:32 PM
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Russia is wonderful, but (Moscow particularly) quite expensive, plus you might have high visa fees. I was just there in July and found the prices similar to New York. (I stayed in an apartment that was quite cheap at about $150 a night; most hotels in the same area were at least $250.)

You might want to look into Untours www.untours.com and see what some options are; I agree using an apartment/house rental as not only will you save on family accommodation, but you will be able to save a lot on food! Going to the market and buying ingredients is a great part of travel in my opinion.

There are some less expensive countries of Europe, of course; I really enjoyed Armenia, for instance, and it's quite inexpensive.

I also love South America, and Peru is not only reasonable but meets all of your criteria very, very well. (I have to say that Peru is one of my favorite places in the world.) You might want to take into consideration the length of the flights, perhaps?
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