Please help me think of a great vacation idea :-D
March 23, 2012 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Vacation suggestions? I have two weeks vacation coming up next month, but no clue yet where I want to go, what I want to do, etc.

I have two weeks vacation coming up next month. I don't have an itinerary or even a destination yet, because taking the vacation was rather last minute. I need some help thinking outside the box & picking a worthwhile location.

If you're curious, I'm in a use it or lose it situation with vacation time at work. We're only allowed to have a max of 20 days on the books, but I have 32 & my boss strongly suggested I use the excess before it disappears on me.

I have available to me:
1. 16 consecutive days off - Saturday 4/14 through Sunday 4/29
2. A valid US passport that expires on 9/4/2012 (No, I don't think mine has one of those RFID things)
3. A nearby major international airport (DFW)
4. A cruise port within driving distance (Galveston)
5. Budget is up to around US $2,000 (though, for a really awesome idea, I think I'd be okay taking up to another $2,000 from my savings account)
6. No travel companion - I'm flying/driving/cruising/walking solo
7. No fluency in languages other than English - my Spanish is terrible due to lack of recent practice

Here are suggestions I've gotten from friends
1. Lounge around on the beach in Costa Rica
2. Road trip through some US states I've never been to, & watch games in other MLB stadiums (stadia?)
3. Iceland
4. Caribbean cruise

Here are previous vacations I've gone on
1. Road trip through south Texas - had a blast, because I had my nephew with me
2. Road trip through southeast US - had a blast, but got really saddle sore by the end
3. Week in London - I was in college at the time, & the girl I was dating was there for study abroad. Saw several museums & a Queens Park Rangers match
4. Latvia - Not technically vacation since I was there for work, but we did get one day off & had a blast in Liepaja

These previous questions have been helpful as well:

As far as what I'd like to do while there, I would love to see some museums, scenic natural beauty, try some interesting food & beer that I can't get in DFW, & generally forget about the blackberry for a while. I'm not much on going clubbing though, unless I'm going with someone I already know. I think I'd be fine doing a package tour of museums & such. I would also enjoy seeing live theater or a sports match. I also have a friend in NYC who has offered to let me crash on his couch for a couple nights if I have a lengthy layover there.

Thanks in advance!
posted by AMSBoethius to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Many countries will not let you in if your passport is not valid for at least 6 more months. Check with any countries you're planning on visiting before you book your flight.
posted by deanc at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2012

Hawaii! Go to the Big Island--stay a week on the Hilo side of the island and take in Volcano National Park (we stayed at Kilauea Lodge)--see the Observatory on Mauna Kea--the eruption of Kilauea crater--walk on black sand beaches. Then spend the next week on the Kona side of the island, soaking in the sun and beaches--or fly to another island. Oahu, Maui, Kauai--all are beautiful.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:33 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Miami or Malibu.
posted by devymetal at 8:14 PM on March 23, 2012

My vote would be for Hawaii too--it's in the US, so no passport issues, and offers nature, history, culture, nightlife--pretty much anything you might want to do on a vacation (and yet, if you are sunburned and jet lagged one afternoon, you could also just go to a movie or something). Plus two weeks will really make you feel like you got your money's worth.

Not sure if $2,000 will cover you for all that, but depends on what your need is for cushy hotels.
posted by elizeh at 8:50 PM on March 23, 2012

A few ideas...

- Fly to New York and take your friend up on his offer. Spend at least a half day at The Met and a half day wandering the galleries of Chelsea. End or begin one day with a walk along the High Line. Have a proper New York dinner - Prune or the Spotted Pig or Fatty 'Cue or the bar at Marea. Spend a day walking - I'd do Wall Street and environs, Central Park, and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. See a show on Broadway. See a show off-off-Broadway at HERE, The Brick or Soho Rep or 59E59 or Bushwick Starr. After a couple days, rent a car and drive up the Hudson River Valley. Go see art at Dia:Beacon, stay a couple nights in Hudson, NY seeing old houses, galleries and touring the countryside. Eat the best farm-to-table food on the east coast. Hike. After a week has gone by, fly out of New York and spend a week somewhere warm; Puerto Rico, Key West, US Virgin Islands, Savannah, GA.

- Fly to San Francisco and spend a few days there seeing art and eating. Then rent a car and drive south to Big Sur and avail yourself of the hiking. East the best farm-to-table food on the west coast. Stay at Deetjen's or Glen Oaks. Take a midnight hot springs soak at Esalen. Continue your trip south along highway 1, slow and steady and filled with side-trips. Wind up in LA, spend a couple days on a hiking/kayak trip out on the Channel Islands. Go to the Getty. See a show at IO West.

- Rent a house or an apartment or a room through Airbnb or VRBO or what have you in New Orleans. Stay there for two weeks and see how much of a local you can become by the end of 14 days.
posted by minervous at 9:54 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

If I had no chance of bringing someone with me, but had two weeks otherwise free, I'd do something that I wouldn't likely be able to do with others (i.e., my wife and child) in tow, but I don't know how much this applies to you. This means I wouldn't go to Hawaii, because that'd be an easy trip to do with them. I'd do something like a bicycle tour of the California coast (which my wife would never want to do) or a camping/surf trip in baja.

If I was doing a trip by myself, I'd want it to be a trip that was uniquely my own and not a compromise to satisfy everyone on the trip with disparate interests.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:51 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, especially deanc about checking passport validity requirements for destination countries.

I wound up booking a package tour through a company called Contiki (link), and took a 10 day tour of the UK (which doesn't require 6 months passport validity after your departure date). I had a great time on the tour, with the standard disclaimer that if you were to book through them (or a competitor for that matter), YMMV.
posted by AMSBoethius at 2:07 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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