1. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where to Vacation out of the U.S.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ben414, Jun 11, 2016.

    I've never been out of the U.S., so I'm thinking of taking an international vacation that would be relatively cheap and involve some awesome nature and/or historical sites. I'd be willing to brush up on my Spanish, so I'd prefer somewhere where Spanish was predominant or somewhere where the touristy areas had an adequate number of English speakers.

    Anybody have any recommendations?
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Well if you aren't afraid of the Zika virus, you could go somewhere in Central or South America and see some Mayan, Aztec, or Inca ruins.
     
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  3. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Germany is nice, and the people are too. At least they were when my mother was stationed there. :)
    That and you can go see all the castles and stuff.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    The problem with that, is the high cost of a trans-Atlantic flight.
     
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  5. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm considering Central or South America. There are a lot of countries comprising that area, though, and I'm not sure which among them might be best.

    Germany would be interesting, but the issue is what Lewdog said. That does bring up a point, though: the cost of airfare alone may be prohibitive for me to go anywhere except Central or South America.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    At what time of year will you be travelling? There are some countries that are lovely at some times, and, at least to my northern blood, absolutely impossible in other seasons.
     
  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well there is always Canada. :supergrin:
     
  8. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good point. It would probably be sometime from July to October.

    It looks like that would be during the rainy season for Central America and during the dry season for South America.
     
  9. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    If you ask me the German people are too nice... It's almost like they're up to something.

    Fool me once, shame on you, but start three world wars, shame on me.
     
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  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Go to Cuba if you can. How many people can say they've been there? It's a bit tricky since tourist travel is still outlawed, but things like religious visits or educational visits are still allowed.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Costa Rica has everything from great beaches to active volcanoes to the Teatro National in the capital city, San Jose. And there are plenty of people who are bilingual.

    The capital, San Jose, is a modern city with European roots. There are several national parks. There's a rain forest with eco-tourism. There are monkeys and hammocks on the beach.

    It all depends on what you want to do and how much money and time you have.

    By the way, it's not hard to get to Cuba. You just have to travel from a country outside the US and in the past, customs were all to happy not to stamp your passport so when you returned to the US there was no record of your visit.

    I've been to every country in Central America except Honduras. In South America I've been to Ecuador and Peru, and in the Caribbean: the Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands, St Thomas and St John. I loved every one of the countries. You can't go wrong unless you end up in a crime ridden area. In most countries those areas are specific, not country wide. The US State Department has reports on which areas one should currently avoid.

    Don't be afraid of the whole country though, most places are safer than the rumors.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Loads of people can say they've been to Cuba - it's a pretty significant tourist destination.

    Not that many Americans may have made it, or may admit to it, but the rest of the world has been enjoying the place for a long time.

    ETA: Sorry, forgot to reply to the OP! For me, in the summer, I'd avoid most of the warmer countries (unless I was going to stay in an air-conditioned resort and walk out to a shady spot by the pool all day, which doesn't sound like a worthwhile vacation - might as well stay home!). And I've never been further south, down past the equator to where the seasons might start reversing a little. So I'm not much use.

    But if the heat doesn't bother you? I've always enjoyed the Dominican Republic - not too expensive, and really friendly people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  13. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    France is great... I know a fantastic B&B in central France (mine!) :supergrin:
     
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  14. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Florida?
     
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  15. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah Bruce - I think you forgot to mention one thing, hmm...

    Are you, or are you not, a vegan offender, @bruce?

    I mean, personally I don't mind, love my toast and peanuts as much as the next vegan, but for American people it would be very difficult without beef or potatoes.
     
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  16. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    not quite as "bad" as a vegan. But am half-evil-mad veggie. We are surrounded by fields of beef cattle so if you are hungry you can grab one to chew on, as you walk by.
     
  17. Madrugada
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    Madrugada New Member

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    It would be a transatlantic long and expensive flight, but Croatia is really beautiful in that time of the year :)
     
  18. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    @bruce

    No, I just needed to express my apologies after the cancellation booking fiasco.

    On the same kind of wavelength. Are those pots of vanilla from the supermarket, are they for tea or for breakfast, in France? My wife likes the yogurts with chocolate pieces, I don't like those so much. Generally, I don't know what time to eat stuff in France.

    As for the chap...I always fancied Tierra Del Fuego, and Beagle Channel. Also, Dorian Gap...Peru, drinking Matte, or best steaks in the world, Montevideo?
     
  19. JennaPeterson88
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    JennaPeterson88 Member

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    As already mentioned above, there's Canada! :D

    Newfoundland is a great choice if you want outdoor activities with lots of history. St. John's and the surrounding suburbs have lots of walking/hiking trails and great kyaking areas (though I only recommend water activities for summer). Signal Hill, Fort Amherst and Cape Spear have beautiful historic sights around the ruins of military fortifications. Manuels River (Conception Bay South) has fossils everywhere if you take the time to turn some rocks over. Further south on the Avalon, Mistaken Point has a huge fossil bed that used to be ocean floor millions of years ago. You can book a tour and actually walk out on the fossil bed! On the Northeast end of the island, there's the old viking ruins at L'Anse aux Meadows, and that's really close to Gros Morne National Park. Probably the closest you'll get to seeing something similar to the fjords of Norway without actually going there. If you come in early summer, you're also likely to see icebergs! This is as far south as they come before they melt away.
     
  20. BruceA
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    BruceA Senior Member Supporter

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    did you see the butter with chocolate chips in it? They love sweet breakfasts here. Full grown adult men sometimes request hot chocolate for breakfast, with no shame.
     
  21. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is nice, tho...
     
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  22. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Costa Rica was one of the first countries I looked into. Not sure if it will fit my budget, though,compared to places like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. I could wait until late October/early November so that the dry season would be beginning in the region...

    Incidentally, Ecuador and Peru were the two South American countries I was looking into. Good to hear that you would recommend any of them.

    Already been. I should clarify that I am only looking for a normal level of exotic in this vacation, like Central or South America. I'm not looking for something as exotic as Florida.

    Thanks for the tip! My thought was to go somewhere that felt quite different than the U.S., so I had originally crossed off Canada. That was probably premature, though, and your description does sound like a pretty cool vacation.
     
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  23. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    If you go to Ecuador you could always go visit the Galapagos Islands.
     
  24. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    That does sound incredible, but I'm guessing it's really expensive. I'll have to look into it, though.
     
  25. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I've done a lot of research into Ecuador and things are pretty cheap there other than buying cars and electronics. I do think the boat rides or helicopter rides to Galapagos is kind of hard to get, and not quite as cheap.

    http://www.priceoftravel.com/4683/galapagos-islands-on-a-budget-cruises-diy-trips/
     

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