Where should I go to have a great time and hopefully meet people before I have to start working?
May 6, 2007 5:31 PM   Subscribe

School just ended, and I have two weeks before I start working. Where can I go on a spur of the moment solo trip?

I'm 19 and based in Hamilton, Ontario. I have about $1000 and there's a possibility that I could get my hands on a $250 voucher for US Air.

I'm not a big fan of camping, and I don't have a car. If I go, I'll most likely be alone (with a cell phone for safety, of course). I speak french and spanish, but since I'll be working in Quebec City, I'd rather avoid going to Quebec. Last but not least, I have no problem being by myself, but I'm a fairly social being so I'd prefer doing something that involves talking to other human beings from time to time.

I'm willing to consider any destination and any activity as long as I can get going as soon as possible. I've got the proverbial itchy feet!
posted by snoogles to Travel & Transportation (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
NYC, If you haven't been you should go. Its incredible and there are tons of things to do. You can stay in a hostel in Manhattan for around $20 bucks a night and there will be other people around your age form all around the world to hangout with. Or if you have a friend there stay with them, or maybe a really cool MeFite has a spare couch, anyway if you find a cheap place to stay you could pull off a really sweet trip for $1000 and two weeks.
posted by CaptMcalister at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Try Couchsurfing.org! Find a nice city, bum around for a week or two. I'd vouch for NYC. It's wonderful when it gets warm.
posted by GilloD at 6:00 PM on May 6, 2007


NYC sounds cool! San Francisco might be good too. Seattle is pretty awesome, in my opinion. Minneapolis will keep you pretty busy too, with the Mall of America among other attractions.

Also, try and see where a favorite band is playing, and try to go there.

I'd offer to show you around, and house you here in Billings, Montana, but I am gone for the next 2 weeks. And, aside from the outdoors stuff, Yellowstone Park, etc, big cities are WAY more exciting for spur-of-the-moment, cram-a-lot-of-activity-in trips.

Let's hear from some big-hearted MeFites with a spare room or a couch. :)

Have fun! Let us know what you did.
posted by The Deej at 6:05 PM on May 6, 2007


If you wind up in the Boston area I've got an air mattress and a spare bedroom in the Somerville area. I've also got a bicycle that doesn't get used nearly enough. I'm just sayin'
posted by FlamingBore at 6:06 PM on May 6, 2007


While it's domestic, might I recommend Vancouver? I was there sans car just last fall and it was the hands-down best English-speaking city I've ever visited.
Aside from that, maybe look to cheap airfare to Barcelona or Amsterdam?
posted by klangklangston at 6:20 PM on May 6, 2007


Definitely go somewhere outside the English-speaking world. You speak Spanish, so I'm thinking a trip to Mexico or another Latin American country could be pretty fun, and airfare from Canada might not be that expensive.
posted by pravit at 7:15 PM on May 6, 2007


Round-trip to Tokyo from Detroit (closest US city I could find) for $750.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:32 PM on May 6, 2007


Option 1: New York + Boston and/or Washington, DC. Lots to see and do, not too pricey if you stay in hostels, and not completely malarial weather yet. Here's a bus from NYC to Boston for US$15 (at your own risk!). Jetblue will probably be the cheapest from Buffalo to NYC and then Boston back to Buffalo.

Option 2: Anywhere appealing on FareCompare's maps. Plug in your home airport and then check out the deals by region of the world.

Option 3: Save your money until the low season (Januaryish) and fly across the Atlantic to somewhere mildly less freezing, like Spain, or somewhere even colder, like Iceland.

Just make sure you decide tonight so you have time to enjoy yourself!
posted by mdonley at 8:15 PM on May 6, 2007


I like the suggestions above, but if you are into the bar/club/concert scene you might want to keep in mind that you are underage in the States.

Also, Vancouver and Victoria are beautiful places to visit. It may be rather chilly at this time though. Think about weather as it is rain season in the wetter cities.
posted by bread-eater at 8:43 PM on May 6, 2007


Oh, FlyGlobespan can fly you from Hamilton (Hamilton!) to all sorts of British and Irish places for not a lot of money.
posted by mdonley at 8:46 PM on May 6, 2007


Buy a cheap ticket to London. From there, you can travel anywhere very cheap. Sometimes plane tickets are a dollar or two to neighbouring countries. Stay in hostels. Enjoy your adventure!
posted by xammerboy at 11:28 PM on May 6, 2007


You could go for a walk on the bottom of the Bay of Fundy. It's an amazing place, and while you say you're not a fan of camping, Parks Canada does have a park with 3 great campgrounds directly on the Bay. My kids and I spent a week there, and made bread in a woodstove one morning, which resulted in us meeting about 20 people there, drawn in by the smell of our bread. Everyone I've ever met in a Canadian Park has been pleasant, as they are full of people who are generally relaxed and happy, and having a pretty good time.
posted by paulsc at 3:53 AM on May 7, 2007


Buy a cheap ticket to London. From there, you can travel anywhere very cheap. Sometimes plane tickets are a dollar or two to neighbouring countries.

That'd be a dollar or two plus taxes and surcharges (about $18-$30), plus getting a train/coach/cab to one of the out-of-the-way airports that handle the budget airlines' $1 flights. $18 one-way just to nearby Gatwick, a bit more for Luton and Stanstead. And it'd have to be a cab if your $1 flight leaves at 6:40am before public transport starts running (unless you want to camp out in the airport the night before).
posted by Martin E. at 5:17 AM on May 7, 2007


Regarding the Victoria suggestion: I loved Victoria when I was there years ago. Not sure if it's 2 weeks worth of fun. But (at least when I was there) they had scooters for rent to get around easily. And rickshaws.
posted by The Deej at 6:02 AM on May 7, 2007


Thanks for all the great answers! Bread-eater is right, going to the States is no good, as I wouldn't be able to enjoy the night-life. So it's a tie between London and Mexico City, although I'm leaning towards Mexico, as my money would last a little longer there.
Either way, if all goes well, I'll be leaving on Thursday.
posted by snoogles at 6:39 AM on May 7, 2007


Might want to think about Cuba as well?
posted by loiseau at 10:03 AM on May 7, 2007


I just got back from Mexico City last month if you've got questions! I also posted this.
posted by mdonley at 1:28 PM on May 7, 2007


Cuba could be interesting. Although I haven't been, I'm guessing it is cheap, and there is a pretty good chance that it will undergo some dramatic changes in the years/decade to come -- giving you the opportunity to spend the rest of your life explaining to others how you knew Cuba before it sold out and went commercial.
posted by i love cheese at 6:10 PM on May 7, 2007


Update us! Where are you going?
posted by mdonley at 3:49 PM on May 9, 2007


I've bought a plane ticket and booked a bed in a hostel, and I'm heading to Isla de Mujeres in Mexico tomorrow. From what I've read about it in other AskMefi questions, it seems like a great place. Thanks for all the great advice!
posted by snoogles at 12:14 PM on May 10, 2007


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