Where to go for $2000?
September 14, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Two awesome near Raleigh wanna go on an awesome adventure.... international style. $2000, Mr. Bond. $2000 (per person). This has to cover everything. Oh Mefi! Give me vacation recommendations s'il vous plait.
posted by matkline to Travel & Transportation around Raleigh, NC (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: awesome guys, that is
posted by matkline at 8:05 PM on September 14, 2006

Mais oui! your passport photos will cost you, and then go to Mexico ubtil you run out of money.
posted by longsleeves at 9:10 PM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: we already have passports
posted by matkline at 9:16 PM on September 14, 2006

Give us more info about how much time you have and what continents you're into...

For that amount of $$, you could get to Australia or Asia and backpack around... or would any of the Central America or Mexico adventure trips with Green Tortoise work for you datewise? For example, the Southern Migration?
posted by allterrainbrain at 9:38 PM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: We have as much time as necessary over the summer, and aren't really too worried about continents. Although we probably would like to avoid Central America. Africa (except maybe Morocco) would probably be too cost restrictive.
posted by matkline at 9:47 PM on September 14, 2006

After the airfare, you won't have enough $$ left to see Australia. Get a ticket to Bangkok, and do Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Cheap as chips, the people are friendly and Buddhist. They like Americans mostly. There's only one province to avoid in Southern Thailand, the rest is OK. You'll have a very good time.
posted by achilles_hunt at 9:57 PM on September 14, 2006

Get thee to Europe, and buy thee a Eurorail pass. Then get thee to an internet connection and learn where every Hostel is.
posted by matty at 4:02 AM on September 15, 2006

Oh, and maybe read this guys site...

Where is Casey?

I think he's actually home now, but he decided to travel around the world for a year - earning money along the way. He DID have some money to start out with... so why limit yourself to $2000?

If anything else it might give you some ideas on where to go.
posted by matty at 4:04 AM on September 15, 2006

It's super easy & cheap to combine Morocco with traveling around Europe, since the king of euro-budget-airlines, Ryanair, flies to Fes & Marrakesh. The usual caveats about the European budget airlines is that they don't allow as much luggage weight as you may be used to in the US, and some of the airports they use are outside city limits and require a short bus ride to your desired city. For example, to fly into Vienna they offer you "Bratislava (Vienna)" and from Bratislava it's a 1-hour, $10 train ride into Vienna. A cheap flight US-London-US plus a Ryanair-based hostel hopping trip all around Europe & Morocco is what I'd do with $2000.
posted by allterrainbrain at 5:39 AM on September 15, 2006

RDU-LGW is an easy hop, thanks to IBM and AA. -- round trip is around $600 for mid october, it'll be lower in november. From there, the UK, Paris and Brussels are but a train away -- and from Paris, the rest of the continent is easy, it all depends on time.

If you do decide to country hop Europe, get this book and read it. It's less about what to see, and more about how to get around, sleep and eat cheaply, while still having fun. Normally, I find most guidebooks to be a waste, but Rick Steves travels first, then writes about how he did it, and how he'd do it again. For getting maximum visit out of minimum dollars in Europe, this book is invaluable. (And in general, never use an old travel guide, esp. if you're looking at using the hotel information.)
posted by eriko at 5:51 AM on September 15, 2006

See Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia, the major mosques; enjoy the fantastic beaches, meet a million touristing Australians.

Airfare is the major expense. You'll go through London or some other major European city, so make it worth your while by stopping for at least 3 days there. Maybe you could stop through Rekjavik, and take a day's layover to see a little of Iceland. (Iceland is awesome, but cost of living is very high. Spend a day or two, unless you plan to rough it and bicycle some part of the Ring Road.)

But once you're in Turkey, things will be cheap relative to anywhere else in the first world. And Turkey is right at the border of the first world and the third world, so it's familiar enough to be okay but different enough to be really fascinating and a little culture-shocky. Plenty of English-speaking hostels and cheapy buses between cities. You'd need to look at your airfare and current costs of things in Turkey, but I'm guessing you could stay for a couple of weeks on the amount you have. You could also fit in a trip to Greece; research the islands to see which fits your taste best. Greece is more expensive than Turkey.

To give better recommendations it would help to know:
- What do you like? (City nightlife, gambling, culture and history, beach, desert, nature?)
- What languages do you know?
- Do you mainly want something really exotic, where none of your friends have been, and roughing it would be okay? Or do you mainly want something very posh (high-end hotels, paid adventure activities)?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:34 PM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Troll through some other recent posts, especially this one by phrontist, to find some commentary on planning random adventures.

I'm gonna buck the crowd and advise you to try to avoid western Europe in the summer - it's really great, but the $2000 is gonna fly out of your pockets. And really, Paris and London and the other all-stars are gonna be there when you get back, ready to embrace you when you have the money to really enjoy them and not agonize about paying $12 for a sandwich or something. Eastern Europe is eager for tourists, just as historically/culturally/whateverly interesting, and is probably much - perhaps dramatically - cheaper, especially with regards to accomodation.

I don't think Americans need pre-obtained visas for anywhere over there save maybe Serbia and Russia. You could fly to some big European gateway (ie London), then fly on a budget airline to Tallinn or Riga, and then go south on local trains and buses and whatever through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, northern Greece, and end up at Istanbul, from which you could get back to London. You'd have a ball and you might even have some money left over to make a photo book.

LobsterMitten's Turkey recommendation is super - Istanbul is comparatively cheap and gorgeous, and the Cappadocia/Kappadokya region in central Turkey is easily one of the most otherworldly landscapes I've ever seen. (Medieval underground cities! Rocks shaped like 12-foot-tall snails!) I went in March, so the sun wasn't totally baking us, and the weather was pleasantly cool.

Suggestions for places I've always wanted to go those few times I've had money demanding a quick exit from the confines of my wallet:

- Buenos Aires
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Portugal and the Azores (aside: Is it just me, or do Americans just skip Portugal when they do the whirlwind-European-tour thing? Why don't I know anyone who's ever been there?)
- Brazil
- non-Manhattan New York City
- Montreal
- St. Petersburg and Moscow

The most amazing, unforgettable, knocked-me-on-my-ass-fan-fucking-tastic places I have ever visited:

- The patio of a Vietnamese restaurant, at dusk, at the northern tip of the main island of the city of St-Louis, Senegal, with a view across the Senegal River to Mauritania, as the most intense lightning I've ever seen illuminated the sky
- Borobudur
- Yosemite, the day after Christmas
- The National Museum of the American Indian
- Krakow, in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm, trying to get back to my apartment on deserted streets

Final point (I swear!): don't take a ginormous backpack. A few nice-ish shirts, a few nice-ish khakis, some non-flip-flop shoes, socks, undies, and a guidebook. I usually travel with a book-bag-sized backpack and just pay someone the pittance it costs to do my laundry for me. The less stuff you have surrounding you, the easier it will be to be (awesomely) assaulted by the environment around you, and you won't have to stand in long lines to check your bags should you be flying about! (Hope that's not too holier-than-thou.)

(God, I always go on when it comes to travel ish. I guess the air conditioning in the internet cafe here is keeping me from braving the heat outside.)
posted by mdonley at 3:20 AM on September 16, 2006

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