MT Advice For Vacation Planning
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MT Advice For Vacation Planning
Posted by RickAstley on 1/8 at 2:59 pm
Brief overview, I am constrained on time, and the vacation will be in 2 months to Washington, D.C. I have an expectation to spend $600-$800 total for round trip tickets, and hotel for 4 nights. That part I have mostly taken care of except finalize a payment. I am more interested in learning what were some growing pains that the Money board has experienced in their first attempts at vacationing after college.

I have been on several road trips throughout college, but my mindset was more focused on having a beer and picking up women, moreso failing to pick up women. And then afterwards, having a good story to tell the following week. Being out of college I prefer a more meaningful trip and increasing the value of my spent dollars without the follow up hangover.

So here is a vague attempt to seek advice from the board. How do you plan your vacations? What is it you seek on your vacations? Is it relaxing, sight seeing, learning the lifestyle of the locals, etc...?


This post was edited on 1/8 at 3:00 pm

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Posted by LSURussian on 1/8 at 3:04 pm to RickAstley
quote:

What is it you seek on your vacations?

I want to see sites I've only read about or seen in pictures or on TV.

For example, last year we went on an ice breaker ship out of Ushuaia, Argentina for a 7 day excursion to Antarctica. Very interesting.



This post was edited on 1/8 at 3:05 pm

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Posted by saderade on 1/8 at 3:22 pm to RickAstley
Since I have finished grad school I have been on about 7 or 8 vacations. I like to hit up places I have never been and try to go to parts of the country (or world) that I have never experienced. I find that priceline name your price for hotel rooms is best way to save money. Another hint is to go to the store and buy a bottle of liquor so you can pregame before you go out drinking. This will save you hundreds if you are in expensive cities


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Posted by RickAstley on 1/8 at 3:46 pm to saderade
Thanks, I won't be doing heavy drinking this trip. I do plan to visit a winery outside of DC and drink a few beers that I have never had before. This trip will be more about visiting museums, learning, and relaxing while being away from work.


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Posted by RickAstley on 1/8 at 3:52 pm to LSURussian
Any fears of the ice sinking that ship? The trip itself sounds really fun even if it is vastly different than what I am used to.


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Posted by Dan on 1/8 at 4:03 pm to RickAstley
hard to give general advice to someone else about this but a simple one for me is - on vacations I always make it a point to set goals (place to see, restaurant to visit) and leave plenty of time between these goals to just wing it. I think you lose some of the value of vacationing if you put too strict a schedule on yourselves.always being stressed about the next thing ruins the whole trip IMO.


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Posted by Bubba Bexley on 1/8 at 4:21 pm to RickAstley
quote:

What is it you seek on your vacations?


I like to see the sights. The way I look at it, I can rest at home. Only other advice I have is to be sure to check out Arlington Cemetery while you are there. Definitely worth a few hours of your time.



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Posted by RickAstley on 1/8 at 5:08 pm to Dan
quote:

I think you lose some of the value of vacationing if you put too strict a schedule on yourselves.always being stressed


Good advice, this isn't a trip to pull my hair out over. Simply a rewarding getaway



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Posted by LSURussian on 1/8 at 5:51 pm to RickAstley
quote:

Any fears of the ice sinking that ship?

Not the ice. We went in summer (January) when the sea ice is the thinnest and the icebergs, while pretty big, are spaced out so that the ship could easily navigate around them.

However, the very next excursion after we finished our cruise our icebreaker ship hit some uncharted rocks near the Antarctic Peninsula and............wait for it.............






.....sank. Yep. It went to the bottom. Fortunately, since it was very shallow there (obviously, the effin ship hit underwater ROCKS there!) no one was hurt. But another ship had to come pluck the passengers from the ship and take them back to Argentina. The ship had to be scrapped.

True story! But we made it fine.

I would never do it again, but it was quite an experience, including passing through Drake's Passage between the tip of S. America and the Antarctic Peninsula, which has the strongest and roughest ocean current in the world. The entire South Pacific current has to curl around the tip of S. America to get to the S. Atlantic in just under 600 miles of open water.

Save your money. It ain't cheap.



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Posted by kennypowers816 on 1/8 at 5:59 pm to RickAstley
quote:

leave plenty of time between these goals to just wing it.


this is what we've always done... i think its the way to go for sure



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Posted by fatboydave on 1/8 at 7:15 pm to kennypowers816
Call your congressman and senators to get tickets to tours in d.c.


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Posted by RickAstley on 1/9 at 8:26 am to LSURussian
Those stories never cease to amaze me. It is an interesting trip idea. I am going to be doing a few trial vacations before I do something like that. Thanks for the story, that was fun to read.


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Posted by RickAstley on 1/9 at 8:31 am to fatboydave
Thanks, I have only participated in one of these tours once and it was already set up for me for a field trip. The last trip to D.C. I took, I could have benefited from doing this. I will add this to my list.


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Posted by DaBeerz on 1/9 at 9:45 am to RickAstley
As somebody who has lived in DC the past few years, it won't be the most relaxing vacation.... You will walk everywhere! Hopefully you are in decent shape as it will help you out. Metro can be confusing if you aren't city smart.

That being said, most of the museums are free so you can save some coin there. Hotels are always pricey, try to use Priceline like the other guy said.... Go to better bidding and bidding for travel dot com and look up lists of Priceline wins.

I can help you out with restaurants and such in your areas if you want



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Posted by RickAstley on 1/9 at 3:39 pm to DaBeerz
Thanks, I will certainly be spending the majority of one day traversing the Mall and museums all along it. The Metro might be somewhat confusing at first, but I have grown very fond of using it when I am visiting in DC. I still have my Metro smart card that I will typically deposit $10 on at the beginning of every trip.

I am looking to do a tour of the mall, the arlington cemetary, and old town alexandria. I haven't decided what else I wish to include. Maybe go sit on the river front in Georgetown. Have they opened access to the Metro in Georgetown yet?



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Posted by VABuckeye on 1/9 at 3:56 pm to RickAstley
quote:

I do plan to visit a winery outside of DC


There are TONS of wineries to choose from in the Virginia countryside surrounding DC. If you have interest in the civil war there are also battlefields nearby. Plus the DC stuff.



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Posted by RickAstley on 1/9 at 4:22 pm to VABuckeye
Awesome, I have been reviewing the weather, and I think I will save the winery trip for a summer or early fall. Which battlefields would you recommend?


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Posted by bazeball on 1/9 at 4:26 pm to VABuckeye
We went through the White House on our last visit. Very cool. It has to be arranged by a Senator's office, I believe. You may be too late to apply for the tour. Also the capital and Library of Congress is cool. Check with you Representative about those tours.

Smithsonian is very cool and the Vietnam memorial is cool at night. Just my 2 cents.



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Posted by HumongousYeti on 1/9 at 9:51 pm to RickAstley
Check out Theodore Roosevelt Island on the Potomac River. Nice little place to get away from the crowds and enjoy some nature. It feels like you're not even in D.C. anymore.

When you're in the Metro stations, stand to your right on the escalators, since the locals will be rushing past you. D.C. is fast pace.

quote:

How do you plan your vacations? What is it you seek on your vacations? Is it relaxing, sight seeing, learning the lifestyle of the locals, etc...?


All my vacations are destination types from sightseeing in Boston to backpacking in New Zealand. Thankfully, I have a job that's pretty lenient with vacation time. I usually plan my vacations at least 2 months out and pretty much tripadvisor every destination. My goal is to experience the touristy stuff as well as the local culture. All my vacations are highly active. I feel like I need to see as much as possible because life is too short to be laying on a beach in Florida.





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Posted by CoolHand on 1/9 at 11:02 pm to RickAstley
quote:

Awesome, I have been reviewing the weather, and I think I will save the winery trip for a summer or early fall. Which battlefields would you recommend?


I've been to DC several times on business and have always planned to visit the battlefields. Unfortunately it never worked out. If i remember correctly, Manassas was the closest, followed by Fredricksburg/Chancellorsville, and even Gettysburg and Antietam aren't too terrible of a day trip. Of course you'll need a car for any of this.



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