No clue where to start

Travel Forums General Talk No clue where to start

Page
  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by MsFK (Budding Member 4 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Hello. I'm trying to plan a trip for my mom and myself and I just don't know where to start. Like, literally, I don't even know where to start! Every time I think I've picked a destination I start having doubts (will we have fun here? What if it's boring? What if it's a waste of my money?) And start looking at somewhere else. I can tell you this:
1. My budget (including hotel, transportation, and food) is $4,000.
2. While sightseeing would be nice, the primary goal will be relaxing.
3. My mom is in her 50's and has some health problems. Walking a lot is doable with frequent breaks, but we won't be doing things like hiking.
4. My ideal trip length is five days and five nights.
If this is against the rules, I apologize; I looked for posting rules for the forum and couldn't find any. I don't need anyone to plan out a full itinerary for me, I just need some recommendations on places I can visit with my budget!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1855 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Sounds good so far. But fill out the picture for us a bit...

Are you travelling from the USA? (This is a worldwide forum.) What sort of length of flight would you consider? As it's only 5 nights away, are you staying domestic? In which case which city are you starting from?

What sort of places have you enjoyed before? Are you looking for hot and sunny, relaxing by a pool or more relaxing exploring culture / architecture / mountains / etc?

What destinations have you been considering?

3. Posted by MsFK (Budding Member 4 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Sounds good so far. But fill out the picture for us a bit...

Are you travelling from the USA? (This is a worldwide forum.) What sort of length of flight would you consider? As it's only 5 nights away, are you staying domestic? In which case which city are you starting from?

What sort of places have you enjoyed before? Are you looking for hot and sunny, relaxing by a pool or more relaxing exploring culture / architecture / mountains / etc?

What destinations have you been considering?

Yes, I'm starting in the U.S. My only requirement for flight length would be that I could get to point A to B in one day haha. I would be travelling domestic, and I would be flying out from Dayton (DAY) in Ohio.

I've been in very few vacations. I went Mrytle Beach when I was, which was fun, and for my 19th birthday I went to Disney World, which was great. We went during one of the increasingly rare off seasons, so we were able to go at our place and didn't stress about getting on every ride. Hot and sunny is always good! I wouldn't say no to a little bit of culture while we're there, but a place where we can lay around and soak up the sun sounds lovely right now.

So far I've considered a New York trip and a cruise. The New York would have a lot to doing, but my mom is worried about the safety and I don't know how easy it would be to stay in budget. A cruise would be relaxing and easy to stay on budget,but cruises have such a stigma of being boring and bland that I'm worried I'll regret not using the money for something more special.

4. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

You live in the US? Where?

What time of year are we talking about?

The first and last day of your vacation are going to be taken up with travel - whether you drive or fly. I have to say that I can find something to do almost anywhere I end up. I don't like some places (like I am not a fan of Bowie MD or Branson MS) but I can find a way to amuse myself almost anywhere - especially if I only have 3 days to fill. If you think you will have a good time, you will.

If you are going to save money by driving, to your vacation location, you probably would need to take a compass and draw a circle on the map about 300 miles from your home. That's as far as I would want to travel to a place. If you drive your own car (or your mom's) you will only have gas money to worry about.

If you live near an airport, you could possibly fly to a destination, and that will cost you more, and you still have to count the day of the flights out in terms of doing any sightseeing. All you will be able to do on day one is get to the place, check in to the hotel or wherever you are staying and get dinner.

So give us a little more information.

5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Cruises are not boring. They are good for relaxing. But if you have only 5 days, it would have to be a VERY short cruise - 3 days. Most of those kinds of cruises tend to be booze and gambling type cruises, and I don't know of too many that are shorter than 5 days.

You could fly from Dayton to Key West for less than $400 each (Round trip but not a direct flight) The La Concha Hotel right downtown in Key West would be about $2000 for 4 nights. That would leave you $1200 for meals, a taxi from/to the airport and admissions

6. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1855 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

I'm not sure what I can add as the US isn't really my area of expertise, but I'll try...

Sun + culture + good value, how about Cancun? Daytrips to Chichen Itza etc (Mayan pyramids). Sunshine. Mexican prices rather than US ones.

5 days is quite limiting.

City breaks have "interest", perhaps not relaxing and sunshine though. San Francisco? Vegas?

Cruises can be a great way to see a lot of variety, depending where you go. The US market tends to play it safe, stick to US territories, and have an emphasis on being aboard the ship for gambling, whereas those pitched at other nationalities tend to have a port of call every day and be about the destinations. If you can find one going to Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica or St Vincent, they're all dramatic lush verdant mountainous islands that are an experience. They'd be a week long though. Stuff out of Miami will be to less interesting places, in my opinion.

A city break to New York. Just asked my girlfriend who went last year, she wouldn't hesitate to take her mum there, just be normally streetwise about pickpockets and going on the subway alone at night. Plenty to see, not too relaxing and sunny.

Would Washington be interesting and less daunting?

7. Posted by MsFK (Budding Member 4 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the replies! As for length I'm time- I'm open to longer for a cruise, since from the pricing I've done a few more days on a cruise isn't much more expensive and the time limit is more for budget reasons than anything. If you guys think a week or so long cruise would be worth it, I would definitely be willing to length the trip.

@AndyF- I'm open to anywhere, including Washington, that you guys would recommend. I honestly don't know much about the place, so I would need a day or so to look up some basic information, but it's definitely not out.

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 6866 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

How about somewhere like San Diego?

Almost always beautiful weather and just enough sightseeing to keep you entertained for that time period.

A $4000 budget for 5 days is plenty for just about anywhere. That's maybe $1000 on flights and then $3000 for accommodation and spending. That should last for more than 5 days in my opinion. All depends on what level of luxury you are looking for :)

9. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1276 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

You can readily find cruises in the Caribbean for as much as 14 days in length within your budget, including taxes and gratuities. Go online to search with some of the large online travel agencies. If you're a member of Costco Travel you can even see what cabins still are available on the cruise ships you're interested in. Most of these cruises leave from Florida, so if you choose a shorter cruise you can perhaps spend a few days in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Be sure to ask if a passport is required for your particular itinerary.

If you don't want to cruise, perhaps consider flying to Panama City, Panama. Take a tour boat through part of the Panama Canal; and visit the San Blas Islands. Depending on the time you go, a round-trip flight from Dayton will cost under $600 per person. The currency in use in Panama is the U.S. dollar. You'll need a passport to enter Panama. See this link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Panama.html

If you're uncomfortable making your own arrangements, a travel agency can help. Airlines, such as Delta, also offer all-inclusive packages to a variety of destinations. If you go this route, be sure you understand what's included in the package and what's not.

10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1447 posts) 4d Star this if you like it!

Cruises are the cheapest way to travel, but you have to add gratuities for both of you for each day of about $12. So a week cruise would be about an additional $300.

But if you are traveling next month it is a very short time, and if you travel during the summer it is not so necessary that it be warm.

A one week cruise out of New Orleans to the Bahamas would be less than $1000 each. (Royal Caribbean)