Help! Vacation starts now, where should we go?
September 7, 2011 10:52 PM   Subscribe

We have two weeks off starting Saturday. We have to start in Anchorage, AK, and don't really care where we go. We have a budget of $3-4k for everything. Where to?

For reasons beyond our control, our original plans fell through for vacation, beginning on Saturday. We are two adults, no kids, with two weeks off. We are wide open about where we go, just want to get away and disconnect and wander. We've looked at all the last-minute travel sites (e.g., kayak, orbitz, lastminute) and are down to Mexico (PV or Cabo) and Honolulu. Surely there are other options?

We are seasoned travelers. We'd enjoy some sit-around time, but want to get out and move. Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, all good. We like great food of any kind. If we happen to be near a great Broadway show, or some great cultural hoo-hah, we'd go. Minimum temp of 70 with sun would be appreciated. Some indoor plumbing would be nice. We don't have to stay in one place the whole time.

Where should we go?
And if we pick one of the above destinations, do you have any leads on great housing or dining options?
posted by AnOrigamiLife to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Add on: We're not partiers. We enjoy beer or wine with dinner, and generally don't care about the bar scene unless it has other redeeming qualities, like fantastic people watching at poolside during a steel-drum jam. That sort of thing. Oh and we're 40, plus and minus a few years.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:00 PM on September 7, 2011

Come to Philadelphia. The weather is going to be beautiful next week (high 70s max), and the Fringe Festival is happening until September 17th. We're an hour and a half car ride from some really pretty east coast beaches, and Fairmount Park is full of things to explore.
posted by two lights above the sea at 11:43 PM on September 7, 2011

Your vacation lines up with dam release dates on the Gauley River. It might be a little late to get a reservation with a rafting company, but you could do some amazing rafting (video) in West Virginia right now.
posted by itstheclamsname at 7:50 AM on September 8, 2011

What about flying in to Portland, and spending some time there and on the coast? Temps should be in the upper to mid 80s through Tuesday, then sunny and 70s. There's cultural stuff, there's active stuff, there's sitting around stuff, there's just about everything.

There are some great threads about visiting the Oregon Coast here and here, and about Portland here and here.
posted by stellaluna at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2011

Response by poster: Closing out this post and wanted to share what we ended up doing, in case it helps readers. I looked up all sorts of last-minute options and found that, at least in the case of Alaska Airlines (and I could be wrong), it seems that they no longer adhere to any sort of advance-purchase pricing. The cheapest place we could fly to was Hawaii, with purchase directly through the airline. We just weren't sure about this option (thinking about the high cost of travel once there), so we waited and spent the next few days on a local adventure. Then I looked again, and AA had reduced Hawaii further in a 20% off sale. We couldn't resist. We purchased tix and left the next day.

Last-minute car rentals are plentiful, not at any special price really. We tried Priceline, but it wasn't any different than what we found on Travelocity, or even on the car deals through Alaska Airlines, which offered us miles as part of the reservation, so we did that (our experience at Budget car rental was disappointing and we'll never use them again).

We had a great adventure finding readily available last-minute lodging with the airbnb app. What fun and original places to be had if you don't require the sterility and predictability of a Hilton or some such place! We never paid more than $100 for a night on Oahu. VRBO is another option we used.

We opted to stay on Oahu to really explore and, while we didn't end up choosing this option, I did find true last-minute pricing for a rental campervan because we inquired within two days of possibly renting one and they had unreserved vans. This one experience was the only real "last-minute deal" we came across and we still managed to have a very affordable vacation.

On a separate note related to smartphone apps, we also had great fun using Yelp! to find local markets, places for smoothies, poke joints, etc. (Note that while the Yelp app is LAME for doing your own reviews and photo postings, it's still fabulous for finding what you need).
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 2:43 PM on October 6, 2011

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