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Europe or the tropics? How much to do?

I'm trying to figure out what we should do for our delayed honeymoon, and I'm sort of stuck -- too many options, only one opportunity for this sort of big trip (after all, we might settle down and start having kids in a year or two, and at that point, big/far/long/pricey vacations are out of the question for, well, probably forever, unless our 401(k)s see an unexpected windfall).

I've always wanted to go to Paris, so that's on the list.  But we did a little mini-moon in Montreal, and he was frustrated by his lack of French knowledge (I didn't know he knew so little of the language before we went; I'm not fluent by any means, but I remembered enough to get by, mostly).  So I thought maybe a European tour of some sort, maybe Paris and London (though I've been to London before... but I didn't get to see everything then, and it's a beautiful city).  Or maybe Paris and London and ___, since I've already been to London and that way I'd get to see two new places -- but what would the third be?  And would there be enough time to see three big cities in two weeks?

Of course, then there's the question of whether big cities is even a good idea, whether it'll be too much work and not enough play.  Maybe we should just can the whole thing and go to Hawaii or something?  Or take a cruise (neither of us ever have)?  Maybe that would be more romantic.  Then again, Paris is romantic, and this is probably the only chance I'll ever have to go there.

I'm totally stumped.  I feel like I'm trying to cram a million travel wishes into two weeks, which I sort of am, I guess, 'cause I don't think we'll ever get this opportunity again, this chunk of time and money (that's not needed to take care of a baby/child) for a big vacation.  I'm torn in a million directions and don't know what to choose.  And my FH doesn't seem to have an opinion at all -- I asked where he'd go if someone gave him one free trip to anywhere, what's his dream trip, and he didn't have any answers.

Suggestions, please?

(Just to give some details: We're looking at two weeks in the spring, maybe March-ish, and hoping not to spend more than $1,500-$2,000, though that's a bit flexible.)
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Re: Europe or the tropics? How much to do?

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    I can't imagine how you would manage 2weeks in Europe with a $1500-$2000 budget :( Have you looked at airfare?
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    I think your budget is very low for your dreams. You would have to manage something more than that.

    I think if you can't come up with at least 4k or more you should look into trips to Mexico or somewhere similar. Gorgeous and so many things to do yet relaxing as well.

    image
    06.09.2012

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    Agreed with PP, your budget is way too low for Europe or Hawaii. Just airfare along will take up bulk of your budget. As far as a cruise, your budget is doable for 9 to 10 nights cruise if you get an inside cabin but you still have to take into consideration of cost for alcoholic drinks, specialty restaurants, excursions, etc... Plus since you are located in Upstate NY, you still have to pay for airfare. 
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    Yes your budget is too low.  If you just go and buy airfare without waiting for a deal or anything it's typically around $1000/person to get to Europe (give or take a couple hundred bucks depending on where you're coming from and where you're going).  If your budget changes and you can do Europe, I recommend doing Paris and Belgium.  Bruges and Ghent are gorgeous Belgium is about an hour and a half away from Paris by train.

    At your budget I would look into a cruise.  Check out vacationstogo.com - they have a lot of cruises with some great discounts, and you might be able to wrangle an oceanview or maybe (maybe) a balcony stateroom at that price.  I suggest springing for the balcony.  The interior rooms are teeny tiny and a balcony is pretty much the only real opportunity you have to be private and outdoors on a cruise ship.


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    You might be able to find a good deal to Ireland if you increased your budget a bit and cut your time shorter and really searched for deals.  For example, on TravelZoo there is a deal  for $1000/person for March/April for six nights that include air, car, and hotels (B&B plus a castle). 

    I agree with PP, if you want something longer you should stick to a cruise or Mexico. 


    image
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    Well, I guess that's one way to answer the question... I can't have a honeymoon at all.  (Not unless I drop all of that money on going somewhere I don't really want to go, anyway.)

    *sigh*  Well, thanks for the reality check, anyway. :(
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_europe-or-the-tropics-how-much-to-do?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:11Discussion:69676fdd-3478-403d-b9ac-09ef806b153ePost:42fb2eb8-9b51-4eeb-abdd-985586a23fdd">Re: Europe or the tropics? How much to do?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well, I guess that's one way to answer the question... I can't have a honeymoon at all.  (Not unless I drop all of that money on going somewhere I don't really want to go, anyway.) *sigh*  Well, thanks for the reality check, anyway. :(
    Posted by Ravenclaw79[/QUOTE]

    I really recommend taking some time to research and talk to a travel agent. You can go on a HM with your budget, but you may have to consider scaling back the time or consider alternate destinations. There may be the perfect place for you out there, but you won't know it until you search around or talk to someone at an agency. I would not just write off the HM just because you can't do europe or Hawaii for two weeks. There are so many other incredible places out there other than those two.

     







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    I think that you have a lot of things to think about.

    1. Have an affordable but great honeymoon. You could do something nice in the US, maybe go to Mexico or Puerto Rico.
    2. Save for a couple years and have a great 2 year anniversary trip.
    3. Don't go on a honeymoon, save your money because kids cost a lot of money and $1500 would help to buy baby things you need.

    I honestly think that you and your husband should sit down and have a conversation about money though. Kids cost a lot of money. If you think 1,500 or 2k is a lot of money then kids are going to make you broke. I am not saying you couldn't do it for less then that but maybe taking a few years to save up and have some time just the two of you might be a good idea.

    Other then that I would say start saving a bit more, get a part time job or something similar if you want to have a honeymoon like that. We were engaged for almost 2 years and I got a part time job to save money for our honeymoon and wedding. We were both working full time and going to school full time but it was important to us. We saved money for the entire 2 years, didn't go out as much and instead we would eat at home and have friends over for board games and things like that. I think if you sacrificed and saved and scrimped you could have a great trip for your 2-3 year anniversary instead and that could be your last harrah before you have kids.

    image
    06.09.2012

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    I have to add, that no matter WHERE you go, it's still your honeymoon!

    I'm not that interested in places like mexico or the caribbean... but if it's all my FI and I could do, we would do it, and I'm sure we'd love it because hey, it's a beautiful place and I'm with my new husband, right?

    My point is that your honeymoon doesn't need to be the trip of a lifetime.  Just think of somewhere you can go with your FI in which you can enjoy your time together.  I think you could probably find a lot of places like that.  Don't put too many pressures or restrictions on what your honeymoon needs to be. 

    I might consider somewhere in the US.  For 2k you could find a place that may not be foreign or exotic, but still with a lot of fun and culture.  Our second choice for our honeymoon would be California.  We went once and can't wait to go back.  So many great beach towns, plus touristy places, museums, nightlife, theme parks, vineyards further north... so many choices.

    Good luck!

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    There is no rule that you have to travel across the globe and spend $1000s of dollars on airfare, and 400$/night hotel rooms to have a honeymoon.  Wherever you go and spend time with your new husband is a honeymoon. Unfortunately, the Sandals and Beaches resorts of the world would have you think otherwise. Its a big marketing scheme.  You could look into somewhere within driving distance that has a resort feel, like a winery or spa resort, so you can cut out airfare (which eats up so much of your budget) or look into cruising which a lot of other posters have suggested.  The unfortunate thing is that travel IS expensive, especially airfare.  In reality, you don't have to go that far to have a new experience.  I would definitely suggest sitting down with a travel agent and letting them know your budget, and work with them to find something that works for you.

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    just for comparison: i spent a week in rome and florence this past end of jan/beginning of feb. i'd been to florence 2x before and rome 1x before. the trip-airfare and hotels (not crazy expensive-we're talking about on off season about $100 a night for 3 stars) was 1400 a person. that was the dead center of off-season and the cheapest time to go. it was chilly-that didn't matter to me-I didn't want to deal witht he crowds and it was wonderful then.

    so at 2800 total for just hotel and airfare you're only looking at 200 more available for transportation, food, drinks, day trips etc... imo your budget is too low.

    the good news is that during the winter it's CHEAP to go to italy. why not go somewhere local for a few nights after your wedding and then plan on going for your anniversary? that way you have another year to save more $ and you can enjoy the trip without stressing about going over budget.

     

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    If you are flexible on your dates, I would start researching into cruises. Lately, some cruise lines have been known to pay airfare on European Cruises if you book a nicer cabin.
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