Epic 30th birthday adventure
October 6, 2021 12:07 PM   Subscribe

I would like to give my son and his girlfriend an epic experience/vacation for my son's 30th birthday (which falls between Christmas and New Year's). They are healthy and like to hike and camp, like art, cultural and natural history museums, like dancing and drinking and smoking hookah. This experience would need to last seven days or less, and cost $2k or less everything included. They live in Portland. OR, USA and both are fully vaxxed and have passports. I will of course run the thing by them both before I actually book anything. I am hoping you can suggest offbeat, amazing experiences and vacation ideas. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aruba is my favorite Caribbean country to visit. It has a ton of nature to experience, but has a healthy, mostly not-tourism focused residents (they even have free health care!).

$800 would get you there and back for two people, that would leave about $1000 for housing and $200 for food. That sounds like a fun 4 days or so!

The weather is always a perfect 80 and breezy. You can snorkle anywhere. Everyone speaks english and accepts usd. It's pretty fun!

If you are feeling... more touristy, a cruise can be gotten out of San Diego for $500 a head for 6 nights. That's a pretty fun trip if they haven't been before!
posted by bbqturtle at 12:30 PM on October 6, 2021


Hiking Catalina Island on the Cross Catalina Island Trail? Perhaps throw in a wine tasting, new camping equipment, or a few nights in a fancy hotel at the beginning or end?
posted by raccoon409 at 1:10 PM on October 6, 2021


I'd look into storm watching in Tofino on Vancouver Island. It's an easy trip from Oregon, and so beautiful and remote feeling.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 1:16 PM on October 6, 2021 [3 favorites]


Costa Rica is a fave, Merida in the Yucatan is good. Tucson is good lots of hikes Suguaro Natnl Monument, etc. Nice and warm in December.
posted by Oyéah at 3:14 PM on October 6, 2021


Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions! So far I think storm watching sounds the most epic to me, and what they're most likely to want to do.

If you guys could suggest specific experiences, cities, hotels, etc. that would be wonderful!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 3:28 PM on October 6, 2021


How about a week on Glover's Reef in Belize? I went to this one resort on a really remote atoll, rustic and beautiful - they have every water activity, pretty much, like kayak surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing (!), snorkeling, normal kayaking, scuba, etc. It's also a really pretty island, and very romantic cabins, with balconies hanging out over the beach. It operates on wind and solar power alone, and rain water, and has eco-toilets (composting I think, forgot what kind). It was a completely epic adventure when I went. December is the good season.

Slickrock Resort Belize (I know, funny name)

posted by bluesky78987 at 4:37 PM on October 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


$2000 or less for two people for seven days is not a lot of money, especially if you're thinking about international travel over Christmas. That's a really expensive time of year. Doing a quick scan of Google Flights shows me that round trip from Portland to Aruba for a week in December is about $1000/person. There are a few spots in Central America and Mexico for $600 or so.

I think this is incredibly generous, but not really enough for something grand and international that time of year. Is there any way they could go in mid-January or so? It's going to cost a lot less if they go in between Thanksgiving and Christmas or after New Year's and before spring break.

If that time of year is a must: see if the train is going to Canada from Portland yet. If so, they could take the train to Vancouver, BC and then take a ferry out to Vancouver Island, and then perhaps take the ferry back to Washington instead of Vancouver. Lodging is going to be more expensive that way, but it could be a pretty great trip.

If that's too much, what about Bend or Seattle?
posted by bluedaisy at 5:23 PM on October 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


Furnace Creek Inn Death Valley NP.
posted by hortense at 5:31 PM on October 6, 2021


they should go to Fairbanks, Alaska, to see the Northern Lights! I've been planning my own trip like this for...whenever...the pandemic ends, and I'm planning to stay here.
posted by nancynickerson at 1:08 PM on October 7, 2021


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