Author Topic: Recommendations for short trips during typical school "holidays"  (Read 1866 times)

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Offline Polaris

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Recommendations for short trips during typical school "holidays"
« on: February 22, 2016, 02:52:22 PM »
A bunch of close friends and I from high school are planning a "grad trip" (for them at least, I don't graduate until 2019) this upcoming December. We have roughly 10 days to work with. Two of these friends are in London, one friend is in New York, I'm located in Calgary and a potential fifth is also located in London.

We're all from Hong Kong, so we were thinking a place like Japan would be good because we could stop-over in Hong Kong and visit our parents/family/friends for a few days before going to Japan. The problem with Japan is that we really want to visit a bunch of places like Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo, and this would be achievable on a 10 day trip especially when the former four cities are close by each other, but if we only get 5-6 days or so in Japan that's not a lot of time, and seems like a race against time to see as many places as possible.

A simple solution for this would be to either skip seeing our family/friends all together, or just not go to Japan and do something closer to Hong Kong like take a trip up to Mainland China or go to Taiwan or something.

If we skip seeing our friends/family, another alternative we were thinking about could be my friend from NY and myself could fly to Europe and we can all go to a couple of European countries, but none of us are really too keen on that idea.

Finally, we were thinking of something like Cancun or someplace in Mexico and do an all-inclusive thing for a week or so. Only thing is that it would cost roughly the same for the UK guys to go to Cancun than if we go to Japan, and Japan seems more like a better deal/place to visit.

What are some ideas for a group of people scattered around countries (but have our home base in Hong Kong that we prefer to visit, but don't have to visit)?

Thanks!

Offline Claw

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 03:07:23 PM »
My sister did something like this with her friends - they all went to Seoul for a couple of weeks.  They had loads of fun.

Nobody knew the lay of the land, where to go, or spoke the language (all English/Cantonese) and the sheer spontaneity of it all made it more fun.
They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 03:12:30 PM »
Went to Seoul with the same group of friends in 2012 after graduating high school especially before people stopped going to Japan and started going to Korea, so it was hella cheap back then :'( Would love to re-visit actually, but just rather spend the money and see a new place before revisiting. I'll ask them anyways though and see what they say, Korea's beautiful in the winter too!

Just punched in a random all-inclusive Cancun thing. Expedia is showing prices around $4-5000/person. Not happening, somehow thought it would be maybe $2000 or $2500..However, a place like Ixtapa costs under $2000 for a week all-inclusive (with flight). Not sure if I will be kidnapped there or die from food poisoning though.

Thanks!


Another edit:


Japan could work if we

1.) Don't visit friends/family in Hong Kong
2.) Stick with Tokyo for 5-6 days
3.) Stick with Kyoto as base for 5-6 days, and only visit places like Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto itself. Rationale being that in the future Tokyo is a lot easier to visit and might even pop up as a stop over location but the smaller places would be harder to go to.

Seoul could easily work for 5-6 days, good balance of stuff to do and not being too rushed. Benefit is that we've been here so we can visit places we haven't gone to.

Cheap Mexican all-inclusive resort in like Ixtapa.

Offline Claw

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 04:02:02 PM »
Do what GrantC just did...  paging GrantC.

That would be pretty epic.
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Offline GrantC

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 04:10:13 PM »
The Ice Castle in Edmonton?  That's not very exotic!



Haha, oh wait, you mean...

Antarctica!



While epic, and quirkily central for everyone to get to... It's not going to be $2k/pp.

Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 04:18:35 PM »
Antarctica is definitely on my bucket list somewhere down the road!! Would be so, so cool. How was it? Did you have to fly in on one of those military planes with nets for chairs? How much colder was it than a -30 windchill in Alberta?


Off-topic: is there an alert for usernames :P

Offline GrantC

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 04:20:33 PM »
Off-topic: is there an alert for usernames :P

Yes, it's the PM button.  Claw PM'd me calling me out, apparently right as he posted.

Offline Player One

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 04:34:38 PM »
Mexico is overrated imo. All inclusive resorts are just you and a bunch of other North Americans drinking for "free" (which is sweet) and eating mediocre food .
Do Japan or South Korea or SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, etc.). SE Asia would probably be cheaper as well.

Offline LilDrunkenSmurf

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 06:12:25 PM »
Mexico is overrated imo. All inclusive resorts are just you and a bunch of other North Americans drinking for "free" (which is sweet) and eating mediocre food .
Do Japan or South Korea or SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, etc.). SE Asia would probably be cheaper as well.

Nothing like trashing someone else's suggestion before suggesting your own.

Mexico is a great idea.
Go to Maui. I also just got a YYCDeals alert, if you book now, between Sept-Dec it's $752CAD round trip to Tokyo.

http://yycdeals.com/non-stop-flights-from-calgary-to-tokyo-japan-752-cad-roundtrip-including-taxes
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Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 06:32:22 PM »
Haha well it was his opinion, I think that's fine I mean not a lot of people can fully use the all-inclusive "benefits" anyways! I probably can't drink too much either.

Didn't know about YYCDeals, just signed up for alerts! If the deal extends to late December i.e. past the 22nd, I would for sure do that.

Will take a look at Maui, didn't think about Hawaii at all because I thought it'd be more expensive than Mexico or something, after all it's Hawaii :P


Thank you!

Offline LilDrunkenSmurf

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 06:35:25 PM »
There's a thread on beyond where someone was asking about honeymoons in the caribbean (including mexico), and a lot of people are saying you can easily do a week in Maui for under 2000.
If the sea was vodka, and I was a duck.
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So give me the vodka, and stfu.
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Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2016, 06:44:25 PM »
That sounds sweet, will go check it out! Thank you!

EDIT: Friends are very keen on the idea of Oahu or Maui. Generally speaking, I assume Oahu is more action and whatnot, while Maui is more sightseeing and chill? I went to Oahu way back with my parents in like grade 7 and remember driving around the whole island in under a day, might be a lot more fun now that I'm older and legal. They were also very open to renting a car and I currently am day-dreaming about a convertible or Jeep driving to Hana.


Only concern is the crappy exchange rate - people were talking about $2000/person, but that same trip now might be a lot more expensive?

Offline Player One

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 09:30:18 PM »
Nothing like trashing someone else's suggestion before suggesting your own.

Mexico was the 3rd option...
Just tossing my 2 cents in.

What are some ideas for a group of people scattered around countries (but have our home base in Hong Kong that we prefer to visit, but don't have to visit)?

Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 10:24:39 PM »
No, I appreciate it!

LDS to the rescue! Since we all only have around 10 days to work with, and we want to have a bit of time with our local friends/SO's, plus we lose time flying to Asia, I think we're quite happy about Oahu or Maui. AirBnB has apartments that are more than decent for ~$100/night, VRBO works as well if airBnB doesn't. Parents/family and the harajuku girls will have to wait for a bit. Seems like the most expensive part of the Hawaii trip would be the plane ticket and car rental, which we're fine with.

Rather spend a longer time in Japan and fully explore the place and its history; don't want to "look at flowers while riding on horseback" or so the poorly translated Chinese idiom goes.


Will update you guys if we settle on anything anytime soon. Still almost a year to go, so extremely immature.

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 10:43:22 PM »
Let me know where you go, i can hook you up for some deals at fairmonts
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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2016, 11:38:26 PM »
Haha, oh wait, you mean...

Antarctica!


So weird how the bane of one persons career can be the adventure of a life for another.

Offline cha0tik

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Re: Recommendation for December, 4-5 guys scattered in different countries
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2016, 11:54:56 PM »
I would definitely do Japan. You will NOT regret it. I'd suggest staying around Tokyo, as the subway system there quite actually operates to the second, and you will have an easy time navigating (especially with Google Maps). You can take a mixture of trains from Tokyo and visit surrounding areas like Nikko. And Kyoto and Osaka are only a couple hours away by bullet train, so you can definitely hit these up in a day or two if you're determined. If you do plan on using the bullet trains, I do recommend you get a JR pass to get your money's worth (https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/jr-pass),

If you want, I can PM you what my itinerary consisted of during my 10-day stay in Tokyo, during my 1 month trip in Japan last summer.

I actually liked Japan so much, that my friends and I are planning a second trip there in 2017, just in time for Cherry Blossom. This second time around we're planning on hitting up the Northern part of the island, including Sapporo.
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Offline Polaris

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Re: Recommendations for short trips during typical school "holidays"
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2017, 10:57:56 PM »
Bumping this up so I don't have to start a new topic:


We decided on Taiwan for around 7 days or so. We have a very roughly itinerary that's manageable, but a bit rough. Anyone been to Taiwan before and want to chime in with some must-see's?

Thanks!