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Old Feb 14, 11, 8:53 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Need A Vacation Suggestion (or Twenty)

I need to get away, go on a vacation alone. In fact I am really looking forward to a week away alone. I need a week or 10 days away from work for a stress relief and relaxation.

I live in Dallas so it's fairly easy to get where ever.

Some information.

American Airlines points - enough to go anywhere, anytime, any class and then some or can buy a ticket. I would prefer to use points though.
Hilton points - quite a few, enough for several nights but very willing to pay for hotel, Hilton hotel or chain hotel not a requirement.
Reasonable amount of cash budgeted to spend for 7 to 10 days but not willing to pay luxury hotel or high resort prices.

Looking for the following.
International destination
City center type of hotel, even if it's a smaller town, just so I can walk to shops, restaurants and public transport. Some place safe to come and go early in the day and late at night.
Walkability - my favorite vacations are wandering around, walking, taking the train, Tube, bus, boat, whatever the local transport is.
50 to 60 degrees plus during the day for March and April (need to get away soon!)
Like beaches and mountains but not a lay on the beach kind of girl but do day hike in the mountains.
Willing to change cities or countries once or twice during trip.
I like to shop, enjoy local food and wine, take day trips to see local points of interest, ride a bicycle.

Not looking for the following.
Any place I "have" to rent a car to get around, prefer walking or public transport.
Any place super super touristy, if that makes any sense.
Any kind of cruise or all-inclusive or tour. I am one of those people who hates cruises and all-inclusives bore me after a couple of days. I prefer making it up as I go along and getting off the beat and path some.
UK suggestions - spent a month in England and Scotland last year and loved it! Time to try somewhere new.
Canada or Mexico suggestions - job sends me both ways a few times a year.

I travel a lot for my job, pretty seasoned traveler but just stumped on where to go or what to do to get away. If I hadn't so recently spent a month in the UK I would just go over there again for 10 days but I really want to go somewhere new and untried for me.

Last edited by MissJoeyDFW; Feb 15, 11 at 11:26 am.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 5:37 am   #2
 
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Hello.

How about Singapore?

1) It is an international destination for you.
2) There is a Hilton in the city. (Orchard Road aka shopping paradise)
3) Lots of shops, restaurants, food court, eateries and etc just walking distance from Hilton.
4) Safe country with low crime rates. (Then again, low crime doesn't mean no crime.)
5) On time bus and train services at cheap rates. There is always a bus stop or a train station within walking distance of anywhere you're at. So, you don't need to rent a car.
6) As for beaches, there is Sentosa Island or you can go to the East Coast Park to rent a bicycle and also enjoy good seafood by the beach.
7) There are both touristy areas and non-touristy areas.
8) Singapore is a tiny island but there are many places to explore. I think it'll take less than 10 days to do it all. After which, you can try crossing the boarder to Malaysia but I have to say Malaysia and Singapore are worlds apart. ))

Hope you find this useful.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 6:55 am   #3
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Get one of those eurorail passes and travel around Europe. Find your way to Switzerland...talk about being safe at night in Geneva and other Swiss cities. Fantastic public transportation. Make your way to Vienna—safe, great public transport, and talk about a wondrous city. Just thoughts.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 7:37 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Get one of those eurorail passes and travel around Europe. Find your way to Switzerland...talk about being safe at night in Geneva and other Swiss cities. Fantastic public transportation. Make your way to Vienna—safe, great public transport, and talk about a wondrous city. Just thoughts.
I doubt a Eurail pass is worth it for a 10 day trip. If I were doing a 10 day Eiropean trip, I think I would focus on one or two places. The Benelux area is safe (aside from some parts of Brussels you would have no reason to go to) and well-supplied with transit. A couple of days in Brussels, a day or two in Bruges, a couple of days each in Amsterdam and Luxembourg, with a few other day trips might be an easy option.

Italy is always great, too. You do have to be wary of pickpockets in some parts of Rome, but as long as you use a money belt and pay attention, it's a safe place. And I can't imagine somebody not loving Venice.

Or, since you mentioned relaxation, think about Japan. There are great day spas to mix in with walkable city sightseeing. I like the mix of the hustle of Tokyo and the quiet contemplation of a canal stroll in Kurashiki.

As for Switzerland, I prefer Lausanne to Geneva.

Vienna is also a great city and allows for easy excursions to other places. A day trip to Bratislava would let you go to a cafe that sells 80 hot chocolate variations, for example.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 9:45 am   #5
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Lausanne is beautiful. More importantly for the OP, it's safe and has great public transport as do many of the Swiss cities. So your idea of picking a few cities is a good one too. There are all kinds of rail packages. I have no idea what the OP wants to spend but being on her own, she'll have a great time.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 11:20 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Lausanne is beautiful. More importantly for the OP, it's safe and has great public transport as do many of the Swiss cities. So your idea of picking a few cities is a good one too. There are all kinds of rail packages. I have no idea what the OP wants to spend but being on her own, she'll have a great time.
I should have mentioned what kind of activities I would be interested in. Sight seeing of course since it will be someplace new, local food, wine, shopping, maybe a bicycle ride, maybe a spa day. Day trips are fine to see local points of interest or changing cities. I will have to definitely check into Lausanne and Bruges, Singapore sounds great too.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 3:18 pm   #7
 
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I like Singapore - great food, public transport, shopping. Another suggestion - what about Australia? You could easily do Melbourne & Sydney in 7-10 days.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 3:48 pm   #8
 
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Some suggestions - some may exceed your "super touristy" threshold but hopefully this time of year (barring certain events, i.e. festivals) they are quieter:
- Barcelona
- Lisbon
- Nice, Cannes or somewhere else along that coast
- Venice
- Cinqueterre or Lake District in Italy
- Hong Kong
- Amsterdam or Oslo, but I am not sure about the weather that time of year....
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Old Feb 15, 11, 7:22 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissJoeyDFW View Post
I should have mentioned what kind of activities I would be interested in. Sight seeing of course since it will be someplace new, local food, wine, shopping, maybe a bicycle ride, maybe a spa day. Day trips are fine to see local points of interest or changing cities. I will have to definitely check into Lausanne and Bruges, Singapore sounds great too.
Lisbon. Don't need a car, non-touristy, full of character, wine, local food, cabs pretty cheap, temps 50 to 60 in late March, spa and glitzy shipping, but also out walking side streets you'll find tiny local shops and little bitty cafes and grocers. Stay in the Chiado area for the most at your doorstep. Not scary late at night, it is a late night culture. Can easily take a local train to cozy Cacais for small town with beautiful sea front and a pedestrian street lined with cafes and good little shops, walkable. It is so easy get to, you can go for no more than lunch. For hiking in the mountains and castles, likewise Sintra is easy to get to by train. Both are within about 20 miles. There's a lot more in Portugal if you are interested. Last but best, the Portugeuse people are kind, there's no antipathy to Americans or terrorist threat, and it is more affordable than other European capitals.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 7:33 pm   #10
 
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What about Israel?
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Old Feb 16, 11, 12:27 pm   #11
 
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How about Brazil??

Try looking for a beach called Florianopolis it is one of the most beautiful beaches i've seen
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Old Feb 16, 11, 8:21 pm   #12
 
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- Barcelona (my favourite city, which is saying something because I used to live in Paris)
- Granada (just got back from a 10-day trip that combined a week in Granada with a couple of weekend days in Barcelona - flew between cities in Spanair - CO flies direct to BCN from EWR)
- Buenos Aires
- also would vote for Singapore
- Vancouver
- Berlin
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:09 am   #13
 
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Marrakesh. Weather good, safety good, super interesting, spa days possible, day trips for hiking to the Atlas Mountains (Google Le Toubkal to see a good place), food stupendous. If you are into shopping, the souks are fabulous, and if not, just spend your days in places like Majorelle Gardens and you will get relaxation in spades. I think BA flies there from Gatwick (just re-started or will just re-start this route, IIRC).

If you don't want to get that adventurous then I would second Lisbon.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 7:12 am   #14
 
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If it were me I would book a flight to London and book a hotel right in the city near the kings cross and paddington train stations - basically on a tube line that will get you there. See the city it is lovely and lots to do and safe for woman traveller alone. you can see museums, lots of theater, great restaurants. then you can take the train easily to various other places like a day trip to oxford other places like that. I go to London on business and always take time out for tourist activities often by myself and always enjoy the trip very much.

If you don't want the UK then try Australia / NZ. We just got back from 3 weeks there took a cruise around NZ lovely went to Melbourne and Adelaide. Both of those cities have excellent public transport no need for car. domestic flights in australia are easy and cheap. i thought melbourne was a lovely city very walkable things to see nice parks. same for adelaide people take the tram to the beach there.
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Old Feb 17, 11, 12:11 pm   #15
 
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Two suggestions:

1. Lisbon. Suggested upthread and seconded here. Exactly as Tizzette describes, and really terrific.

2. Have you ever done a thalassotherapy cure? Surprisingly affordable, and there are several in easy distance of Montpellier (south of France, not yet warm temps but not bad). A typical cure lasts a week, and you do a half day of treatments (alternating morning and afternoon) and a half day of touring each day. The hotel often sets up standing shuttle transportation to surrounding areas for your non-spa time, or you can book a cab. Extremely relaxing.

You could also do a shorter spa break and spend the rest of the time in Montpellier.
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