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Old 03-31-2012, 10:23 AM   #16
Judyat
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I just received my ABD letter on the new Southeast Asia trip and it got me to thinking about it because I am taking a tour there next week which includes Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Sixteen days (actually 17 since Iím leaving a day earlier from LA.) Iím using a company called Gate 1 travel who I have used before and hereís what I like about it. I can plan my vacation online Ė pick the flights I want, transfers from the airport included, add optional trips, see the hotels Iím staying at and see the prices with the total. And I only need to put down a $100 deposit to book with the remainder due about 45 days before departure. Also if I send a check instead of charging it they will deduct around 5% from the total. I can also purchase travel insurance. In other words I can really see what everything costs and the best part is the price and in this case it includes a single supplement - $3,000 including airfare and 8 optional trips. It also includes leaving 1 day early (at no extra cost except $66 for hotel room) and the hotel for that night in Bangkok. I also worked with an agent at Gate 1 on details and this person took care of my cares and concerns. So for anyone looking to travel I would recommend taking a look. This is just one of many trips they offer. And if you sign up for their emails they have weekly discounts on several trips. For those who can afford ABD I say great. But if you canít this is one of many available options. I love ABD and I loved Viva Italia but I also like to look at reasonable alternatives and this is one of them.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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Judyat, do you know if Gate1 has any "family" tours? I would like to find some more affordable options to ABD and Tauck, but also would like to have other kids along. Although, it doesn't have to be a family trip for there to be children, it does make it more likely. I'm coming to the conclusion that if I'm going to visit all the places I want, I need to find some less expensive companies to travel with, at least part of the time. And I don't think I'll be taking any more escorted trips in the US, even though the ones we have taken were wonderful. But with no language or cultural differences, I can handle US trips on my own and save that money for more exotic locations.

You've obviously done your research already, so wanted to ask if you know if there is a time of year that is best (or better) for visiting Southeast Asia? Our school schedule has been revamped starting next year and we have 2 weeks of spring break, so we may want to take a big trip during that time. I'm hoping we might find better airfare in March than during the summer months.

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Old 03-31-2012, 01:26 PM   #18
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I would suggest going to gate1travel.com where you can play with their dates. Some dates are cheaper than others and you can always call and ask questions. Also sign up for their weekly deals. That's what caught my eye and got me to sign up for a date. I did this with friends about 8 months ago. Also weather.com. I know Bangkok is in the 90s now and Hanoi is in the 70s. I would look at averages for upcoming months. I think the rainy season starts in May give it take a week. Not sure how long it lasts. Good luck. I will post when I get back in May.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:57 PM   #19
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Folks....please keep in mind that this is the ABD Chat board and while we do allow ample leeway to discuss other trips and other tour companies, promoting and attempting to sell travel for another company is against Dis Board Policies.

This conversation has walked very close to that line.

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #20
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I'm glad to see ABD is expanding in Asia...I really wish they would create a Japan or India tour. I would sign up for either in a heartbeat!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #21
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I'm glad to see ABD is expanding in Asia...I really wish they would create a Japan or India tour. I would sign up for either in a heartbeat!
I agree! Especially the Japan one. I'd be all over that!

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
I agree! Especially the Japan one. I'd be all over that!

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I've lived here in Japan these last four months. I think you could visit Japan easily without a tour group if you wished. Maybe a do it yourself add-on to the Southeast Asia Tour? Finishing up of course, at Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea.

The hardest part about Japan? The only place I can get a proper Diet Coke is from the commissary and they only sell cans. I took a suitcase to Kyoto/Hiroshima/Miyajima Island full of soda. Seriously....
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jitzy View Post
I've lived here in Japan these last four months. I think you could visit Japan easily without a tour group if you wished. Maybe a do it yourself add-on to the Southeast Asia Tour? Finishing up of course, at Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea.

The hardest part about Japan? The only place I can get a proper Diet Coke is from the commissary and they only sell cans. I took a suitcase to Kyoto/Hiroshima/Miyajima Island full of soda. Seriously....
Thanks, Jitzy. Maybe I could, but I don't think I *would*. I travel by myself, and there's no way I'd go that far, to a place I don't speak the language, by myself. I really would want the security & help of those ABD Guides.

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Last edited by sayhello; 04-16-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:07 PM   #24
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SayHello...

O/T sort of ...but I really enjoy your trip reports. It is enough to make me consider doing an ABD adventure even though I am a solo!

(so hurry up and finish the London/Paris/Disneyland trip....)
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ThePhantomsGirl View Post
SayHello...

O/T sort of ...but I really enjoy your trip reports. It is enough to make me consider doing an ABD adventure even though I am a solo!

(so hurry up and finish the London/Paris/Disneyland trip....)
Thanks, ThePhantomsGirl! Go! You'll love it (and my evil plan will have worked! )

And yes, my RL has kind of eaten my free time, but it's gotten much better, so I *REALLY* do need to finish the Knights & Lights Report. Thanks for the nudge!

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:05 PM   #26
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Still hoping for Scotland to come on board ... or even better a Scotland/Ireland combo lol. I have been holding out for ABD so far hoping they will offer one. The new trip sounds really cool though to the East.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #27
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I'm not so interested in this new Southeast Asia tour ... probably because I've never really had a desire to visit these countries. I think the humidity would cause me to have an actual meltdown.

I asked about Japan and I was told that for ABD to do what ABD does on tours, Japan might be too costly ... even for ABD.

After my China trip, I'm actually considering saving up for a South African trip. Hopefully, when I'm able to afford it (in time and money), it'll still be offered. In the mean time, we'll wait and see how much the ABD add on for the Med cruise is ... and if the itinerary is worth pursuing.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #28
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I'm not so interested in this new Southeast Asia tour ... probably because I've never really had a desire to visit these countries. I think the humidity would cause me to have an actual meltdown.
Now that's funny, because I heard the same thing about the humidity in China. Do you mean Southeast Asia is *MORE* humid than China?

Quote:
I asked about Japan and I was told that for ABD to do what ABD does on tours, Japan might be too costly ... even for ABD.
Wow! Considering how pricey some of the trips like Knights & Lights are, that would have to be *really* expensive for ABD to think that!

Quote:
After my China trip, I'm actually considering saving up for a South African trip. Hopefully, when I'm able to afford it (in time and money), it'll still be offered. In the mean time, we'll wait and see how much the ABD add on for the Med cruise is ... and if the itinerary is worth pursuing.
A lot of people have reported wonderful things about the South African trip! And as you probably know, I did the ABD add-on to the Med cruise, and thought it was worth every penny!

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Old 04-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Now that's funny, because I heard the same thing about the humidity in China. Do you mean Southeast Asia is *MORE* humid than China?

Wow! Considering how pricey some of the trips like Knights & Lights are, that would have to be *really* expensive for ABD to think that!

A lot of people have reported wonderful things about the South African trip! And as you probably know, I did the ABD add-on to the Med cruise, and thought it was worth every penny!

Sayhello
There's humidity and then there's HUMIDITY! LOL. Hong Kong, this past week when we were there, was at 91-94% humidity. It was barely tolerable for me. China itself wasn't humid but that's probably because we're still in April.

Back in 1977, when I was just a kid, we went to Malaysia in the summer...ugh. I still remember staying at my grandmother's house wishing that this vacation would end. Thankfully, my parents had also become spoiled westerners by then and we hightailed it to a beach hotel where there was .... AIR CONDITIONING! We lounged with German tourists in the comfort of AC. I'm going to assume that Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand will be the same type of humidity and maybe worse. I am avoiding Orlando in the summer because of the humidity ...
I know, I'm a wuss but I'm a dry one!

As for Japan being expensive for an ABD. When you think of what and how ABD plans a tour, I have no problem thinking that Japan may be cost prohibitive. A room in Tokyo which has the square footage of a walk in closet costs a small fortune. I stayed in a hotel in Tokyo where the washroom was smaller than the washroom on the Magic! And it was expensive!! Can you imagine a hotel that is worthy of ABD ... how much would that be?

That being said, I don't believe that there's ever a "never" in Disney language (except Neverland ...) For all we know, somebody's diligently working up a plan for it as we speak ... greasing some palms and sweet talking the locals. I've seen the power of the Mouse and it is great.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:14 PM   #30
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I've lived in Japan for 3 yrs, and I'd still being interested in an ABD there. Tokyo is certainly expensive, but they have tours in Paris which is crazy expensive too. I'm sure they could make it happen.
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