The Scenic Route

You know what’s dangerous? Having travel tour brochures lying around the house. We have a couple from – and they have the intended effect – they make you want to take a month off from work to go wandering around south east Asia, or spend 51 days making a circle of India, or trekking through Nepal and Bhutan. Of course they do that! (we have the booklet covering Asia) – I ordered the one for South America but that one hasn’t arrived… I think it got lost somewhere in the mail. That’s probably a good thing.

While waiting for our flight to Mexico – I bought a National Geographic Traveler and Adventurer magazine. I’m not sure if there’s a clear difference between the two – but they have the same effect. And while it’s a form of self torture to be this envious, and to want to just pick up and go… aside from not being able to pay for it – Leah’s in school right now, and we’re paying down debt. So no flying away until we can go next year… because if anything, unlike many Americans – we’re doing everything we can to leave the country at least once a year on vacation.

However, until we’re debt free and we have another round of ample vacation time – we’re going to have to settle for extended weekends (or regular ones) and the roadtrips we take around the deep South. It’s obviously a challenge – because it’s dumb if we spend money on hotel rooms traveling around the south when we’re trying to save up to go to Brussels and Turkey and Nepal. Luckily – there are actually hostels around here – and there are enough cities that are half a day’s drive away that it’s feasible to get there and have a day looking around before we drive back.

Because we never did believe the hype in Staycations. Staycation? Staycation!?… Why?! There are so many places in this world (and the South) we have to visit and see.

(if you wanna join us – let us know, we’ll split the cost of fuel – but we’ll probably only give you a week’s notice at most – life’s better that way – trust us.)

Savannah. New Orleans. Asheville. Charleston (again)… and that’s just the road trips. With some of the really low airfare deals – the whole east coast is open as long as we have someone to stay with for free. Staycations suck, we’re against them and we think you should be too.

(Hey Jill – have any flights to Cuba?)

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  • Little Miss Moi 24 Jun 09 at 1:13 am

    You could camp? Or too hot..?

    • MarkRoX 24 Jun 09 at 2:48 am

      Oh yeah! I forgot about that!… camping is now on the list.

      Thanks Little Miss Moi

  • Jill 24 Jun 09 at 1:44 am

    Ptooie! on the staycations! You know, I've had people asking me about travel to Cuba for years, but unfortunately it is still illegal for us to sell it. I keep telling our product managers, though, to be ready with the resort chains we already deal with that have properties there, too, though, so that once it opens up (and I wouldn't be surprised if it does sooner rather than later), we'll have an in. It's a big vacation destination for travelers from lots of other parts of the world (UK, Canada, etc).

    I went to a trade show down in Jamaica one time, where I was meeting with all of the local tour operators there and they were big on it (because of course everyone EXCEPT us can go) and they know we want to go. Lots of offers to take us over there without having to get a stamp in our passport, which would of course get us into trouble when we returned to the US. I didn't do it, but I really would have liked to have!

    • MarkRoX 24 Jun 09 at 2:49 am

      Aw man. I was hoping that with all of the recent buzz that things had ALREADY changed and that we could go down to Cuba (with a hard C sound!)

      Even though their economy has been really bad lately – even the government rations have been getting smaller and smaller… Maybe next year sometime. 🙂

      • Jill 25 Jun 09 at 6:00 am

        It has been loosening up a little. For example, former Cubans that would like to visit from the US now can, and agents can sell them travel I believe (I haven't really read up on it since we're a tour operator instead of a travel agency). Until then, most other folks that go from the US do so as part of one of a couple of other types of groups allowed to go regularly (like educational trips associated with learning institutions).

  • Patrick 30 Jun 09 at 4:42 pm

    have ya'll checked out

    • MarkRoX 30 Jun 09 at 9:29 pm

      That's true – is an option, but it's not really our main issue. Our main issue is the costs of the flight for both of us. We can always find relatively cheap hostels to stay at in all of the locations we're wanting to visit. So that's never really the issue – it's the part where we could feasibly spend a month in Northern India and still spend less than the costs of our plane tickets.