Travel websites or forums????

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by busywend, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DF & I are trying to figure out where to go on our honeymoon. Very exciting!

    Does anyone have any good resources they use for travel planning?

    We were thinking Caribbean until the weather aspect said 'Hurricane season is August-December with September being trickiest'. We will be traveling in Sept!

    Then I was thinking Hawaii. Cause I have always wanted to go there. It is my dream vacation. But, I know nothing about it! I do not know anyone that has traveled there.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I haven't been to Hawaii either but a very good friend of mine loves it there. I'm not sure about travel forums but someone here must have some good suggestions...
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What about Australia? You'd have your own tour guides on tap... well, at least for Sydney.

    Here you can choose whichever bit is safest at that time of year. And don't worry about all the stories about dangerous denizens - who better to look after the tourists and keep them safe, than a country forged by this sort of stuff? For example, when we went to NZ and difficult child 3 was so panicked by all the dangerous volcanoes and earthquakes, we were able to show him (once we were there) tat a country like NZ DOES have a lot of volcanic activity, but it also has the word's experts on earthquake monitoring and a great many safeguards.

    Now there's another place - New Zealand! Just don't go on any Lord of the Rings tours, they're expensive. Instead, you can get a book (or word of mouth) and discover the places for yourself. We had fun doing that. Hey, the whole country is like Middle Earth!

  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I use a lot to research areas and hotels. It's full of user reviews, and that's what I trust the most. From there you can find places to buy.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Aw Marg - are you offering to be my tour guide through Australia?! DF thinks it will be too expensive. I think we need to do more research. Thanks for the offer & I just may take you up on that someday!

    Witz, thanks for the site. I was looking for user reviews but had trouble finding them.

    Julia, can you find out where your friend stays?
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I sent her a message. :)
  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have been to Hawaii a few times. We went there on our honeymoon and for our 10 year anniversary. Then we took our girls one year. One of my favorite vacation memories is when we got to our resort, the girls threw themselves on the beds and said "This is the life!" (They were 6 and 8.)

    I use Travelocity a lot to find hotels. There are user reviews there.

    I think I used a travel agent from AAA for the first 2 trips and they ended up being with Pleasant Holidays. I liked that they met us at the airport with a lei. You can arrange that on your own, though, if you want. You could check that site for package deals. When we went on our honeymoon, our package included breakfast and dinner.

    Have fun planning!
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OK....I have three ideas.

    One a cruise.

    Two what about the honeymoon disney package?

    Three and this would be my favorite...Rome. I went to Rome for a week when I was in 9th grade and it is beautiful.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    She suggests Maui. :)
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, neither of us has ever been on a cruise, so we thought trialing that on our honeymoon was not a good idea. I hear you either love them or hate them, so I do not want to risk that we are in the 'hate them' category.
    Disney is out as we both have been there many times and want to relax on a beach! LOL!
    Italy - NOW you are talking! My first suggestion for a honeymoon was Tuscanny. DF laughed at me! LOL! It is too $$$ for us.

    Thanks for the Hawaii info. I will keep it in mind. He is stuck on Caribbean so now it is looking like Aruba or Barbados - neither of which get much hurricane activity.

    I did stop at Liberty Travel & AAA today for brochures.

    Also, I good tip for travelers....I got the Frommer's guide to Aruba (last year's edition) for $3 at Ollie's Bargain Outlet. Good to know! They are normally $23.99.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Considering the Iceland volcano, I'm suggesting you avoid Europe and Britain. That volcano is likely to be unpredictable for a while.

    If the southern hemisphere is too expensive (pity - if not Australia, then NZ would be a very romantic place to come to) then I have two suggestions -

    1) Stay 'home' and find a US-based resort and head there. Pick somewhere that has a lot of fun (just for two) activities. For example (an Aussie example) - difficult child 1 & daughter in law went to Bright, a lovely alpine place in Victoria, Australia. There they could visit farms, go on a local food trail tour (just them in their car and a picnic hamper) buying cheese at the cheese factory; fresh bread from a country baker; fresh fruit and vegetables form a roadside farm stall; rainbow trout they fished themselves from a local trout farm. They have a hedge maze there, a huge one. Lots of rambling walks through some magnificent countryside. For them, it was a magic time.
    Another example - easy child 2/difficult child 2 & SIL2 went to a resort at the Gold Coast. Again, lots to do locally. They went to a lot of theme parks because that is what they wanted to do. SIL2 went to the beach a few times (I think).


    2) Go on a driving holiday and simply go wherever you feel the mood takes you. Let it be an adventure. Have a rough itinerary planned but don't book anything in advance. Let it be an adventure.

    We found in NZ, there are some wonderful B & B.s We've also found wonderful B & Bs in Australia, often you don't hear about them but only see them as you're driving past.

    The B&B we found in NZ - it was so funny! We'd arrived in Christchurch mid afternoon and needed to find somewhere to stay. We saw a sign for a motel that had been given a lot of local tourism awards for hospitality, so we booked in there. It was OK, but nothing special. It looked pretty, the people were very friendly; but it was COLD! It was off-season, midwinter, and so they only turned on the (off-peak) heating when we arrived. And it wouldn't kick in until 4 am! But once the heating kicked in, it was supposed to heat this big concrete block which would warm the little box that was our rooms.
    Next day we'd book tickets on the train to travel across NZ and back, over the (snow-covered) Alps. We got back to the motel room, anticipating the warmth from the concrete block at last - to find the motel owners, worrying about condensation, had cleaned the room (as they do) and left the windows open deliberately, to ensure plenty of air circulation. COLD air. Another cold night. husband & I huddled under the blankets with an accommodation guide I'd filched form the motel office and plotted.

    I found a farmstay B&B in the book, just out of the town. I rang them to find out if they had space for us and they did. husband was sceptical. We were driving along trying to find the place, or ANY place for our last night in NZ, and husband said, "I think you have a glorified notion of what a farmstay will be like. You do realise that farms have manure, smells, and mud?"
    Just then we rounded one of those magnificent hedges they have in the Christchurch region (strong winds there) and there was the place - a fabulous Tudor-looking mansion. Glorious. Huntingdon Grange (look it up). Both our jaws dropped.

    OK, it was cold. But the owner brought round several powerful heaters to warm us up. We had a lovely stone cottage just for us, it looked onto a dressage ring where their daughter was practising for a competition next day. The main house (the manor house) had a large drawing room (can't call it anything else) with a wall of books I enjoyed reading, in front of the roaring log fire while the owner brought me coffee.
    Breakfast was marvellous - five star. All included in the fee, of course. And the cost for us to stay there was STILL less than the cold little motel box in the heart of the city, we'd stayed in the previous two nights. We cursed ourselves roundly, for only finding this place on the last night. If we ever go back to NZ, we're staying there again.
    difficult child 3 took their dog for a walk (we asked if he could) and we also went for a walk into the paddocks to feed the sheep and alpacas.

    I've looked around - it's worth looking into B&Bs, they can be cheaper. They generally are much more pleasant than a motel room.

    We have B&Bs in our village, easy child 2/difficult child 2 used to work for one (cleaning rooms and detailing them to a very high standard). The owners can give you space, or welcome you like family. It depends on you to a large extent, on what you want. There are often books published by local motiring associations that review B&Bs and help you find good ones. Try seeing what you can find.

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When is the wedding again? This year?

    If he is wanting that island feel but wants a bit less money...try Hilton Head. OMG luxury. Presidents go there.
  13. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Tropical is always nice. In terms of great value for dollar (read: FABULOUS deals!) Cuba is always a good bet. I have friends that go a couple of times a year.

    My cousin has retired and moved to Costa Rica. She says it is REALLY affordable, and once you are there, it is super cheap using american dollars there for shopping and activities. Its also a safe country and visitors apparently are treated well.

    Since you aren't far from Canada, you may want to consider the east coast of Canada. Cape Breton (Island in Nova Scotia) is actually land that shifted from Ireland. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. You could rent a car and tour Nova Scotia and PEI, or even drive to Newfoundland. If the weather holds out into September (which it should) swimming is still a good possibility. The Cabot Trail (google it) is a STUNNING drive. There is alot to be said for things close to home that alot of people never think of. There is something so laid back and relaxing that is native to the east coast of Canada. It is something I can't explain. I've been through the US, been through alot of Europe. Enjoyed it all immensely, but nothing has ever compared to the few weeks right here in Canada in Nova Scotia. You would also benefit from the summer season being over, so hotels and car rentals etc will have great deals.