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View Full Version : Help me plan our last no-kids vacation. Non-disney ideas needed!


harleyquinn
04-15-2006, 04:34 PM
I'm hoping you like-buget minded people can help me out.

Dh and I (26) were married about 2 years ago. We've been to WDW 3 out of the last 4 years and we need something different. We went to Niagara-on-the-lake last year, which was nice, but not really our cup of tea. I just have no idea where to go. We'd like to spend under $3000 total. We like road trips and are up for just about anything. I've thought of a tropical type (bahamas, cancun) or a national parks (glacier lake?). It all sounds interesting, but there are so many choices.

I want the trip to be a mix of relaxation and fun. I'm not really a beach/water person, but the thought of a nice relaxing beach vacation does really appeal to me. I love hiking and nature too! :) DH says if we're just going to sit around, he'd rather stay home :p

So can anyone give me some ideas? Maybe places you return to year after year? Places you can relax and have stuff to do if you want? Maybe we can rent a place for a week somewhere.

We're in Cleveland so anything relatively close would be nice. Maybe we can have one big (bahamas) and one smaller closer vacation.

Just gimme ideas with details!! :teeth:

A Mickeyfan
04-15-2006, 04:48 PM
What about waiting for the winter & take a skiing vacation.. that is something that would be very hard to do once children come. You can have nice relaxing nights by a fireplace, fun during the day on the mountains etc....

DiznNut
04-15-2006, 04:52 PM
We just purchased our first ever no kids vacation and we booked a crusie on Royal Caribbean. I know you didn't really want a beach destination, but you did mention the Bahamas and you both could really relax and be pampered on a cruise. They aren't too expensive on RC and you could save some money and take two trips like us. (Hopefully going to Disney in Aug, just the two of us).

Numbersca
04-15-2006, 05:04 PM
If you can swing it with your budget, I would go on a Princes Cruise. We have been on the Dawn, Sea, and Golden (left kids at home). The trip offers the fun and relaxation. You will see several islands and have a chance to enjoy as much of the beach as you want. Princess will also pamper you with great service. Our next trip will be with our kids to WDW in May 07? After that it will be another trip for two on a Princess ship.

EthansMom
04-15-2006, 05:18 PM
I agree with trying a cruise -- a good mix of relaxation (sitting in the sun) and fun (watching shows, dancing the night away, going to the casino, having a few drinks, playing games, etc...). There are cruise lines and options for just about every budget.

HaleyB
04-15-2006, 06:25 PM
What about Yellowstone and the Black Hills. Lots of getting out and doing stuff. We loved it. If DH does not like too much relaxing and kicking back a cruise may not float his boat. I love the outings on a cruise but the time at sea just about drives me bonkers. I do not gamble, can only take a little bit of dance places, and don't like the 'shows' all that much. Oh and I can swim anytime and it kills me to pay $12 for a drink...

Katie
04-15-2006, 09:03 PM
Have to agree with the others, a cruise is the way to go!
We are Royal Caribbean lovers. Best way too spend a vacation, we left our children last time, and embarrassily enough, we didn't miss them much at all! I told my husband that, he and said" I can't believe you said that...I thought it, but I wouldn't say it aloud!"

The kids missed us terribly, 8 days with grandma was enough for them!!!

Returning next March for a 8 day cruise again, without them!!!

ScotnSteph
04-15-2006, 10:45 PM
I cruise would be my first choice. We took a 4 day Wonder cruise without the kids last fall and it was pure paradise.

Steph :)

indylaw99
04-16-2006, 12:11 AM
We've taken a couple of cruises without our kids and got great deals. One really neat one left from New York City and went up to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was only about 4 days but really different than the Bahamas/Virgin Islands cruises that we have taken. They had nice tourist options but were not nearly as pushy when we got off the ship.

djm99
04-16-2006, 09:26 AM
My DH and I (along with DD6) just returned from Cancun. We are thinking that next time we will go without DD. We all had a really nice time. We stayed in the Omni Cancun. It was a family-like resort with many activities. They had entertainment 2 or 3 nights during our weeklong stay. It was always some kind of game by the pool. The scenery was indescribable. The Resort is beach front so if you can imagine waking up to that beautiful sun daily. There is so much you can do in Cancun. Of course party all night, visit pyramids, kayak, shop, visit all kinds of tourist attractions or just chill out near the pool - read a book and just relax. Cancun was absolutely beautiful. Its reasonably priced now too (many hotels are still in the middle of construction from last October or November hurricane. So many hotels only have half the hotels open and are having some really inexpensive stays. Children are free at Omni Cancun, so my husband and I only paid $1135 for 8 days 7 nights. This was an all-inclusive vacation too. All food, drinks (alcohol too), free to and from airport transportation, and non-motor water activities were included. I found this package on skyauction.com

donaldtutter
04-16-2006, 09:50 AM
Definately Las Vegas.

tmt martins
04-16-2006, 10:19 AM
Definately Las Vegas.



ITA Sin City has it all and for that price you can do it all. Tours of GC ,just walking in and out of all the casinos' is a blast .

I took DW last year for Ann. and we had a blast spending no more then $10 in any 1 casino.So much free stuff to do .

nucpharm29
04-16-2006, 10:31 AM
Our 2 last vacations without kids were:
1. Hawaii--okay, so not so good on the budget--but we went scuba diving, hiking--did very little "beach" time--we were active the whole trip!
2. Sedona, AZ--one of my favorite places. So beautiful and if you're into hiking and the like this is a great place. Lots of great romantic resorts (can get expensive in the summer b/c of all the people from the Phoenix area going up there to escape the heat) and the Grand canyon is a fun day trip--we went on a hot air balloon ride that ended with a champagne brunch! It was an awesome trip--we are looking forward we when can go again--but with the two little ones it will be awhile!

HaleyB
04-16-2006, 11:02 AM
Wait. I would go to Paris. Airfare $1100. Hotel near the college $150 a night 7 nights $1050. Entrances and Metro fares $400. Picnic style foods from grocerys, cafes near the university, and one or two nice meals (as in expensive), $50 a day plus $100 twice, $550. $3050 total and I aimed a little high on a few things. You can eat & sleep cheap even in Paris if you stick near the University.

Or go to Forance or Prauge. Lovely.

ducklite
04-16-2006, 11:25 AM
Three words. Mirror Lake Inn (http://www.mirrorlakeinn.com) .

DH and I go there every year for 2-5 days. It's serene and romantic. There are a lot of activities if you want to do something, and plenty of laziness if you want that instead. We usually do a bit of both.

It's a five minute stroll into town where you can shop in whimsical shops, get a bite to eat, or see a movie. It's a very safe area, you could walk around late at night with no problem. There's a "bit" of nightlife, more so on the weekends than midweek.

There are lots of activities in the area, hiking, skiing, golf, etc. The resort has an indoor pool and hot tub for colder months, and outdoor pool and beach for warmer months.

The spa is decedant, and they've got a nice health club. There are two restaurants, on property, one is casual, the other more "formal", but that means minimum collared shirts and slacks for men, a suit isn't required.

While children are allowed, they are subtly discouraged in a variety of ways. Bottom line you'll see very few of them, especially if you avoid holidays.

It would be about an eight hour drive from Cleveland, or you could fly to Albany and rent a car for the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Depending on the type of room you get, they run from about $200/night to over $600/night. We always get the same room, the "Elegant Furnishings Cathedral Room." We have done the bed and breakfast package in the past, but have stopped because we've found a couple little places in town with great food that we also like to eat at.

Right now they've got a great package for $250/night (midweek) you get a room, breakfast and dinner every night--that's an incredible deal!

If you decide this might be for you, let me know and I can give you a ton of info, where to eat, where not to eat (only found one bad and one mediocre palce so far), what to do, etc.

Anne

nbodyhome
04-16-2006, 11:47 AM
Wait. I would go to Paris. Airfare $1100. Hotel near the college $150 a night 7 nights $1050. Entrances and Metro fares $400. Picnic style foods from grocerys, cafes near the university, and one or two nice meals (as in expensive), $50 a day plus $100 twice, $550. $3050 total and I aimed a little high on a few things. You can eat & sleep cheap even in Paris if you stick near the University.
Or go to Forance or Prauge. Lovely.

Paris is my first choice too - you can get hotels also in Paris for under
$100.00 per night (or rent an apartment), get a weekly carte orange for the metro, and the museum pass for unlimited entrances to many museums for a number of days. A boat ride down the Seine is about $10.00, and it wonderful at night. Later this year, I plan to sign up for the Fat Tires bike tours through Paris and possibly Versailles (we are planning to go in September).

I love Paris!

las3888
04-16-2006, 01:49 PM
DH and I loved to cruise...now that we have DS we will probably wait several years until we try to cruise again. I know others take their infants and toddlers on cruises, but I am a little wary. We are content with going to WDW. So coming from the perspective of what type of vacation do I miss the most now that I have DS? Cruising comes in first place. A trip with a long flight (i.e. Europe) would come in 2nd place. I don't see us taking any 8+ hr flights for many years!!!

Good luck and have a great time whatever you do!

branv
04-16-2006, 03:36 PM
We adored our Disney cruise, but for about the same price we spent 5 nights in Banff, during the winter, at an amazing resort. Skiing is fantastic and cheaper, less croweded then in the states. We also did a night time sleigh ride, ice skating and took a hike with ice cleats to some falls. I would love to go back during the summer - TONS of activities, however alot more expensive. We stayed at the Rimrock. Cheaper accomodations we considered was the Buffalo Mountain Inn (they have sister resorts as well, one at Lake Louise, and the other more remote at Emerald Lake).

nbodyhome
04-16-2006, 03:43 PM
Disney Cruises are also much more expensive than some other cruises. I have a friend and his parents, who are doing a two week repositioning cruise to Europe. They are going to have balconies (the rooms are called suites, but that doesn't mean they will be huge). The total for the 3 of them for 2 weeks is $3000 or so.

Yensid_MD
04-16-2006, 05:36 PM
Try the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is warm, sunny, very relaxing. Not large beach crowds.

Enjoy!

tw1nsmom
04-16-2006, 06:06 PM
Pick something you've always wanted to do that will be difficult with small children. Some ideas: New York City, Paris, London, a cruise, stay at bed and breakfasts throughout New England this fall, Vegas...

luvsmickeymouse
04-16-2006, 06:18 PM
I have never been but I saw pictures of my friend's recent trip to the Dominican. The beaches were gorgeous. It looked romantic too. :love: They offer all-inclusive packages at very good prices.

sk!mom
04-16-2006, 07:12 PM
Paris is my first choice too - you can get hotels also in Paris for under
$100.00 per night (or rent an apartment), get a weekly carte orange for the metro, and the museum pass for unlimited entrances to many museums for a number of days. A boat ride down the Seine is about $10.00, and it wonderful at night. Later this year, I plan to sign up for the Fat Tires bike tours through Paris and possibly Versailles (we are planning to go in September).

I love Paris!

Another vote for Paris. It is beautiful, romantic, and there is plenty to do.

harleyquinn
04-17-2006, 01:04 PM
Thank you all so much!! Lots of great ideas for me to explore!

I'd lovve to go to Paris, but we have to go to Rome and Florence first.

I don't think I'd like skiing, but there are a bunch of places around here that we could try for cheap.

DH has been on a cruise and he doesn't think I'll like it, but I think we might give that a try.

We're not big for gambling, but I know Vegas has a lot more to offer.

I'd love an all-inclusive resort deal. I'll keep an eye on skyauction.

Thanks again everyone!!

stanncie
04-17-2006, 01:31 PM
I was just going to suggest florence to you! why if you have to go there don't you go then?? I have been to florence three times and would go again in a heartbeat, IMHO it is more romantic than paris, i find paris beautiful but a little on the cold, somber side, again that's just me. Florence is compact enough to be able to walk to most attractions and just have a very relaxing vacation. The food is excellent as well. You can also take a quick trip on the train to some neat small towns in the tuscan countryside.

If you are worried about cost, I think 3000 dollars is doabe as long as you stay in cheap hotels and maybe even in private rooms in hostels. I always stay in hostels in my vacations and have met many couples. You will have a blast!! great food, beautiful art and architecture and a very warm people to welcome you.

YOu can also think about venice, which is a bit more expensive or even rome which is not really romantic per se but it's my favorite european city by far

harleyquinn
04-17-2006, 02:52 PM
I was just going to suggest florence to you! why if you have to go there don't you go then?? I have been to florence three times and would go again in a heartbeat, IMHO it is more romantic than paris, i find paris beautiful but a little on the cold, somber side, again that's just me. Florence is compact enough to be able to walk to most attractions and just have a very relaxing vacation. The food is excellent as well. You can also take a quick trip on the train to some neat small towns in the tuscan countryside.

If you are worried about cost, I think 3000 dollars is doabe as long as you stay in cheap hotels and maybe even in private rooms in hostels. I always stay in hostels in my vacations and have met many couples. You will have a blast!! great food, beautiful art and architecture and a very warm people to welcome you.

YOu can also think about venice, which is a bit more expensive or even rome which is not really romantic per se but it's my favorite european city by far

I was researching Italy and couldn't figure how we'd do it under $5000. Staying in a hostel kinda weirds me out, but I guess I shouldn't give up on it completely. I just can't see going to Italy without going to Rome, Florence and Venice though, which raises the price. Plus airfare is awful out of anywhere near Cleveland.

stanncie
04-17-2006, 04:30 PM
haha! why does it weird you out?? is it due to the movie hostel?? all my friends bug me ever since that came out cuz they know i love hostels ;)

Like i stated before you don't have to necessarily stay in a dorm room, hostels have private rooms usually only one or two though, these rooms are like a basic hotel room with your own bathroom. Also there are cheap hotels to consider. These are not fancy at all , just a place to rest your head but that is enough in such a beautiful city imo.

If you are seriously considering going then i suggest heading over to the forum on the guideforeurope site, you will have to google it cuz this forum won't let me post the url , it's mostly a backpacking forum but they also give lots of help for people staying in cheap hotels, the people there are very knowledgeable and can point you in the right direction.

Also i don't see why you couldn't visit both rome and florence at least they are not far by train. IF you really want to go to italy you can do it!! The last time i visited europe it was for 2 1/2 months and only spent 5,000, this was without my rail pass and flight which were 1100 and 480 respectively. Again, i'm a very frugal and practical traveler , i realize most people are not and prefer certain comforts, so it's really up to you.
Check out the forum and then see what they say :)

englishteacha
04-17-2006, 04:51 PM
Don't knock hostels! We stayed in some lovely hostels when we were in the UK. We were able to get private rooms in many (we didn't reserve ahead of time), and several rooms were much nicer than my own bedroom at home, and certainly nicer than any Motel 6 I've stayed in!

My vote is Oxford, England. I spent a semester there and fell in love with it. There are lots of inexpensive things to do, and many great sights are only a short train ride away. You can be in London in about an hour, Stratford-upon-Avon in less than an hour, the Cotswolds in 35-45 minutes, Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle all about an hour...it's a great home base. If you want more info on the UK, send me a PM and I'd be glad to tell you more.

I also like the idea of going to Italy. My friend went on her own the summer before her senior year of college. She had a marvelous time and found it pretty affordable. She went to all the above mentioned cities. She stayed at small hotels/B&Bs/Hostels and took all kinds of public transportation. She did it all on her own, and used lots of info from local people she met.

harleyquinn
04-17-2006, 05:30 PM
Thanks!

Hostels don't really bother me that much. I guess I'll look more closely at Italy.

I was looking at skyauction for carribean stuff and man are there some cheap deals!

PrincessMom98
04-17-2006, 05:50 PM
You also mentioned national parks and hiking. My favorite vacations before kids were in national parks. On one trip my husband and I hiked across the Grand Canyon, not everyone's idea of a vacation but I would love to do it again.
When I was expecting my first DD we did a more laid back trip driving and day hikes through "the Grand Circle" parks. We flew and rented a car in Vegas and drove to Denver. Along the way we stopped in Zion, Grand Canyon North Rim, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and Rocky mtn national parks.

ttfn3
04-17-2006, 06:54 PM
Before kids, my DH's and my favorite vacations were to Key West (I'd like to go back but I'm sure it's more touristy now), St. Thomas (honeymoon) and to California. For our California trip, we flew into San Francisco, drove to San Luis Obispo (sp?), drove up Highway One, visited Hearst Castle, stayed a couple of days in Monteray in a great hotel with a rooftop jacuzzi (visited the Aquarium, Carmel, et), stayed a few days in San Francisco (business part of trip), went to the wine country, then spend a few days at Sequoia National Forest (HUGE redwood trees, and great hiking).

For a short trip in Ohio, I highly recommend Hocking Hills- if you are into the outdoors. Lots of great trails to hike and some nice cabins to stay in. http://www.hockinghills.com/ If you like to camp, there are some nice campgrounds also.

harleyquinn
04-18-2006, 09:20 AM
Thanks PrincessMom98 and ttfn3!

All those ideas sound great. Maybe I can fit in a couple different kinds of trips. Hiking and nature for me and beaches for DH.

jennilouwho
04-18-2006, 11:57 AM
I always wanted to visit all of the sites in NYC without children, but we didn't get that vacation in on time... :)

kmebee
04-18-2006, 12:42 PM
#1 - Outer Banks of North Carolina - Absolutely Amazing, Relaxing, Beautiful
#2 - Cruise - Southern Caribbean (sp?)
#3 - Land Tour of Alaska - Lived there for 3 years and Loved it!!! Can't wait to go back for a visit. You'll love everywhere from Seward or Homer to Denali and Fairbanks. Take the train from Anchorage north or Fairbanks south and get off and back on wherever you wish. Walk right up to and climb onto a glacier (Matanuska Glacier). This is really an amazing state to visit!

dancin Disney style
04-18-2006, 02:31 PM
We have been to Vegas about 15 times and obviously we love it. There is as much or as little as you want to do. You can hang out by the pool to relax or you can rent a car and go to Red Rock canyon or Valley of Fire to hike and enjoy nature. You can walk the strip and see some really amazing sights. The food is fantastic as are the shows. You can do a Vegas holiday very cheaply or it can be very luxurious and expensive. Las Vegas is the type of holiday that is what ever you want it to be.
:banana:

harleyquinn
04-18-2006, 03:25 PM
I think I've decided on the Mexican Rivera. There's a bunch of amazing deals thru skyauction. We'll alos probably go to Hocking Hills for a few days in the fall. It looks amazing, right up my alley and only a few hours away. Who knew? :)

You have all given me enough ideas to last forever! Luckily my future babies have awesome grandparents who would be more than willing to take care of the little ones while mommy and daddy go off and play somewhere. Plus, I've got to leave some things for when I retire.

So now I just have to lose about 20 pounds! :teeth:

I hope this thread has helped some other people too!