Author Topic: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?  (Read 4766 times)

MishMash

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So, the husband and I haven't had a non driving/camping trip since we got married due to our work schedules and the fact that the only time he's ever allowed to take off more than a Friday/Monday is Christmas/New Years week (and we all know how ridiculous travel is at that time).  Well, he now has to take 30 days of leave before the end of July or it's gone forever.  He's pretty much going to take the entire month of July and we want to go somewhere.  Outside of the husbands "trips" to the Middle East we haven't been out of the country in a long time.

Problem is, there are so many places we want to go we can't figure out what to do.  We have a budget of around 3k for the trip (hopefully a week or longer).  Does anyone have a favorite place, or know of any really good package deal sites outside of Groupon/LivingSocial?  We were thinking maybe Costa Rica but are open to suggestions for places from people who have actually traveled a lot more than we have.  Thanks for the help!

GizmoTX

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 07:59:11 AM »
Where do you live?

lpep

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 08:03:21 AM »
Would you consider WWOOFing? You could actually do an entire month in Europe traveling around on less than $3k doing that - it's basically exchanging work on organic farms for a place to sleep, food, and a really fantastic experience. I traveled across the UK WWOOFing the summer after graduating from college, and it was great!

Another recommendation: use Google flights, flights.google.com, and click on the calendar button. Since it seems like you have flexibility in dates, this can really help you save money because the prices change a lot day by day.

MishMash

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RunHappy

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 08:56:00 AM »
What do you want to do?

Beach?

Mountains?

Museums?

City?

Country?

Active?

History?

There are a lot of affordable vacation places but what are you trying to get out of it?

MishMash

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 09:10:10 AM »
Beach and mountains mainly I think, I just know hubs doesn't want to be around a lot of hustle/bustle and doesn't want to do a million transfers to different hotels I think.  It's difficult because we are both active nature and history lovers so it's one of those, yes to all of Run Happys questions but we can't fit it all in one trip type of thing...hence the issue trying to find a decent place.

partgypsy

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2015, 09:16:04 AM »
I love the North Carolina coast and outer banks (which also has a lot of history particularly the pirate variety) but July is the high season and the most expensive. The most cost effective is to rent a house. I would look for a soundside house where you can kayak, fish and then you can always walk to otherwise get to beach if feel like it.

If you don't mind roughing it (a little) Hanging rock state park has cabins that fit your criteria, and in the summer you need to rent by the week. Lots of hiking paths, a (manmade) lake to swim in, higher elevation so it doesn't feel like the South in summer. Can do a day trip and visit Asheville/Biltmore.

Sorry, was thinking your budget was 1K. With that you have a lot more options.

RunHappy

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2015, 09:48:01 AM »
Depending on how active you are, you might consider a guided backpacking trip around Yosemite.  It is very active but you get the mountains, swimming holes, and a chance to really see some beautiful scenery.  Some of the treks are about a week long and will run under $3k.

I've never been Costa Rica but I heard it is beautiful and lots to explore.

FranzJoseph

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
You can rent an apartment in Costa Rica for a month and pay $500-1000 depending on your preferences.  https://www.airbnb.com/s/Costa-Rica?checkin=07%2F01%2F2015&checkout=07%2F31%2F2015&guests=2&price_max=1025&ss_id=7c0qnmd0
You could even split it up between two apartment - enjoy the mountains for two weeks and then the beach for another two weeks.  If you each sign up for an American Airlines credit card and get the 50,000 mile bonus your flights will cost less than $50 for taxes.  That leaves plenty of cash left for entertainment/food/transport.

Valhalla

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 10:21:07 AM »
This is a really personal decision and you should really let your guts tell you what appeals to you.

Talk to travel agents (CostCo, AAA, etc) for free to get some ideas of destinations and cost.  This sounds like fun decision...so get info from the travel pros and then decide. You can't go wrong.

Good luck and enjoy.

lise

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 10:27:30 AM »
Based on your love of nature I would highly recommend Costa Rica. 
We spent a week there.  I wish we were there for two weeks to see more.  We stayed at cheapish local places for 5 days and then a nice resort on the beach for 2 nights (using points).  One thing we did splash out on was a 4WD small jeep instead of a standard car after doing research on the roads. Some of the roads aren't that great.   The volcano and rainforests are just great.

You may want to add on another Central American country to round out the trip to a month - maybe Panama or Belize?  I've not been to either but heard great things about Belize being cheap and fun. 

Or if you want to gently return to civilization on the way back, maybe Tulum in Mexico on the way back.  It's not so low cost anymore but nice middle ground between Costa Rican basics and American luxury.


lise

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 10:30:03 AM »
@Franzjoseph makes a good point on American Airlines. I got down there on AA points.  Good connection on the way down via Dallas and then back via Miami up to NYC so I'm guessing DC would be the same. 

MishMash

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2015, 10:38:55 AM »
Ooooh good points on Air Bnb and the AA card.  The other thought we had was Europe, perhaps the Almalfi Coast in Italy since the exchange rate is so favorable.  Does anyone have experience with airbnb in a foreign country?

aschmidt2930

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2015, 11:06:22 AM »
If there's somewhere in Europe that you've been wanting to see, this is a solid time to go, it's the most affordable Europe has been in a long time. 

Jouer

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2015, 11:54:18 AM »
I trust AirBnB and VRBO very much. I like AirBnB a bit better because communication via the app is great.

I've used them in a few countries in North America and Europe. Read the reviews of course.

You mentioned Italy. Maybe think about getting a villa in the Tuscany region. You could cook the majority of your own meals with fresh Italian food. Rent bicycles to travel around close to your rental and day-trip via train to any cities close-by you want to visit. You get the relaxation of the countryside and also day-trips to cities. Oh, and wine!! 

Scandium

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2015, 01:33:33 PM »
Ooooh good points on Air Bnb and the AA card.  The other thought we had was Europe, perhaps the Almalfi Coast in Italy since the exchange rate is so favorable.  Does anyone have experience with airbnb in a foreign country?

Europe on less than $3k might be rough, especially during the summer. Flights alone to Italy will run almost $1k/person. Unless you start doing credit card points etc of course. I've been looking at italy and outside busy season, in May or October seem to be cheaper options (no help to you I know)

IMHO, if you're husband's job is so demanding you can't take vacation for years it had better pay so well that you can afford to spend a little more on this one trip. Now, if you makes a ton and you'd rather save it all that's of course a valid choice too. Our travel spending is way out of whack to our overall spending, compared to most people.

MishMash

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Re: Finally able to take a vacation, any mustachian suggestions on place?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2015, 05:19:37 PM »
Ooooh good points on Air Bnb and the AA card.  The other thought we had was Europe, perhaps the Almalfi Coast in Italy since the exchange rate is so favorable.  Does anyone have experience with airbnb in a foreign country?

Europe on less than $3k might be rough, especially during the summer. Flights alone to Italy will run almost $1k/person. Unless you start doing credit card points etc of course. I've been looking at italy and outside busy season, in May or October seem to be cheaper options (no help to you I know)

IMHO, if you're husband's job is so demanding you can't take vacation for years it had better pay so well that you can afford to spend a little more on this one trip. Now, if you makes a ton and you'd rather save it all that's of course a valid choice too. Our travel spending is way out of whack to our overall spending, compared to most people.

He's military..so no, he doesn't make anywhere near a ton now lol, I actually outearn him.  The pension/healthcare is what he sticks around for.   This month he's taking is use or lose..he literally had multiple years of leave stacked up to the point that if he doesn't take it, it's gone (and he doesn't get paid for it, he's already lost something like 20 days) and come August he's facing a minimum of another year with no vacation time due to his upcoming schedule.   3k is what we are looking at for airfare and lodging, looking at Airbnb it looks like guesthouses are running around 100 a night and that AA credit card, plus existing pts would cover at least one roundtrip ticket.