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MattW
06-04-2008, 04:53 PM
For a milestone birthday celebration, I want to plan a memorable trip for my wife. The only issue is the proximity of her b-day to Christmas, as that also coincides well with the part of the year we can take the most time off - between 14-17 days.

I'm looking for ideas for locations we can visit that meet some of the following criteria:


Many things (restaurants, hotels, attractions) open on Christmas
Generally pleasant climate
Affordability (price and/or currency)
Things to do (sights, museums, history)
Nothing to do (beach, relax, strolls, leisurely pace)
Good food, and variety if possible
Not mobbed by tourists (at that particular time of year)
Language flexibility (she's got the Romance languages down)
Trip of a lifetime qualities - things you may only be able to do once
Something that may not be easy when we have kids in the future
My short list:

Maldives
Thailand
Istanbul + Greece
Morocco
Australia
Anybody have any other ideas?

WendyNYC
06-04-2008, 05:09 PM
Greece and Turkey will be pretty cold. That's the rainy season in Morocco, but you might get lucky. How about Uruguay or Argentina?

SpookyWriter
06-04-2008, 05:13 PM
I can safely say that most European countries will be cold during Christmas with the exception of maybe southern Spain. But you can forget about beach weather.

Roma is nice in the holiday season. Istanbul is okay, but not the best trip for romance. Turkey is great for summer fun and going to the beaches in Antalya is tops.

Thailand may be a good choice as it is exotic. Christmas is a hard time to find those Paris type nights in Europe unless you like to bundle up.

Maybe Austrialia (sp?). I believe (not positive) it's warm (summer) there during Christmas.

WendyNYC
06-04-2008, 05:16 PM
I can safely say that most European countries will be cold during Christmas with the exception of maybe southern Spain. But you can forget about beach weather.

Roma is nice in the holiday season. Istanbul is okay, but not the best trip for romance. Turkey is great for summer fun and going to the beaches in Antalya is tops.

Thailand may be a good choice as it is exotic. Christmas is a hard time to find those Paris type nights in Europe unless you like to bundle up.

Maybe Austrialia (sp?). I believe (not positive) it's warm (summer) there during Christmas.

Yes, Australia would be a good choice. I was there in Sydney and up to the Great Barrier Reef once for Christmas and it was lovely.

poetinahat
06-04-2008, 05:16 PM
You've got some great-sounding choices already. With your attitude, you won't go wrong anywhere, I reckon.

Australia, well... I visited, and I never left. Our currency's very strong against the greenback right now, though - nearly on par, where a few years ago it as at US$0.45.

poetinahat
06-04-2008, 05:20 PM
Maybe Austrialia (sp?). I believe (not positive) it's warm (summer) there during Christmas.
Cross-posted with you, ol' pal. I think you'll be in for a magic holiday season in Dublin; New Year's looks wonderful there.

Yeah, it'll be hot here. But grilled prawns and sliced mangoes, the beach, and a few cold ones on Christmas - I've gotten used to that. . . .

Plus, Sydney does serious New Year's Eve fireworks, if you like that sort of thing. (Yes.)

SpookyWriter
06-04-2008, 05:24 PM
Cross-posted with you, ol' pal. I think you'll be in for a magic holiday season in Dublin; New Year's looks wonderful there.

Yeah, it'll be hot here. But grilled prawns and sliced mangoes, the beach, and a few cold ones on Christmas - I've gotten used to that. . . .

Plus, Sydney does serious New Year's Eve fireworks, if you like that sort of thing. (Yes.)
Hey Rob, if it gets too hot in melbie then pop over and visit me for a couple weeks. Bring the family. I'll have an extra bedroom for you guys, anytime.

MattW
06-04-2008, 05:25 PM
I can safely say that most European countries will be cold during Christmas with the exception of maybe southern Spain. But you can forget about beach weather.I dropped those immediately, plus we've done much of Western Europe together or individually.


Istanbul is okay, but not the best trip for romance. Turkey is great for summer fun and going to the beaches in Antalya is tops.I bring romance wherever I go. :hat:


Thailand may be a good choice as it is exotic.It seems so. It was the first place that sprung to mind when I thought of where to go.


Christmas is a hard time to find those Paris type nights in Europe unless you like to bundle up.We had to bundle up in Paris in May. Can't imagine December.


Maybe Austrialia (sp?). I believe (not positive) it's warm (summer) there during Christmas.I know the southern hemisphere would be ideal in December. I didn't look much into Australia, as I wasn't sure how limited our options would be for 12/24 & 25.

MattW
06-04-2008, 05:28 PM
You've got some great-sounding choices already. With your attitude, you won't go wrong anywhere, I reckon.

Australia, well... I visited, and I never left. Our currency's very strong against the greenback right now, though - nearly on par, where a few years ago it as at US$0.45.Currency might be an issue.

I definitely would prefer to take advantage of some country's weak economy, and not vice-versa.

WendyNYC
06-04-2008, 05:28 PM
I know the southern hemisphere would be ideal in December. I didn't look much into Australia, as I wasn't sure how limited our options would be for 12/24 & 25.

From what I remember, everything was open on the 24th and 25th. It was Boxing Day on the 26th that was the issue.

WendyNYC
06-04-2008, 05:28 PM
Currency might be an issue.

I definitely would prefer to take advantage of some country's weak economy, and not vice-versa.

Buenos Aires is still cheap.

robeiae
06-04-2008, 05:34 PM
South Africa.

You can go on Christmas safari.

JimmyB27
06-04-2008, 05:36 PM
Hey Rob, if it gets too hot in melbie then pop over and visit me for a couple weeks. Bring the family. I'll have an extra bedroom for you guys, anytime.
'Pop' over? You know it's at least a 24 hour flight, right?

Thailand is amazing, but i believe that the good bits I saw have all started to become clones of tourist resorts everywhere. Worst thing I encountered on that trip was in Chiang Mai - a MacDonalds on one side of the road, a Starbucks on the other.

Lapland? You could go visit Santa!

SpookyWriter
06-04-2008, 05:42 PM
'Pop' over? You know it's at least a 24 hour flight, right?That's why my invite was for a couple weeks. Pffftttt...

poetinahat
06-04-2008, 05:45 PM
Yeah - twenty-four hours? Pfft. One day, it's done, and we're singing rugby songs at Durty Nellie's. (Not to perpetuate a stereotype or anything, but it sounds funnier than 'arguing over whether Wilde or Joyce was better', hey?)

I can sit in a chair for a day.

SpookyWriter
06-04-2008, 05:47 PM
P.S. I went to Lapland once. Great time.

http://partyinnottingham.co.uk/lapdancers.jpg

poetinahat
06-04-2008, 05:48 PM
In that case, maybe I'll cancel my trip to the North Pole. . . .

aspier
06-04-2008, 05:56 PM
For a milestone birthday celebration, I want to plan a memorable trip for my wife. The only issue is the proximity of her b-day to Christmas, as that also coincides well with the part of the year we can take the most time off - between 14-17 days.

I'm looking for ideas for locations we can visit that meet some of the following criteria:

Many things (restaurants, hotels, attractions) open on Christmas
Generally pleasant climate
Affordability (price and/or currency)
Things to do (sights, museums, history)
Nothing to do (beach, relax, strolls, leisurely pace)
Good food, and variety if possible
Not mobbed by tourists (at that particular time of year)
Language flexibility (she's got the Romance languages down)
Trip of a lifetime qualities - things you may only be able to do once
Something that may not be easy when we have kids in the futureMy short list:

Maldives
Thailand
Istanbul + Greece (Greek Orthodox x-mas is in January, yes?)
MoroccoAnybody have any other ideas?


The city of Ghent, Belgium. Make it your base ... and go for daytrips to Paris, London, Cologne, Frankfurt, Brussels (20 minites), Antwerp, Brugges (15 minits) etc. all within the 2 hour fast train. Prices still of the cheapest in Europe and the people here are friendly but leaves you a lot of space. You can even come and stay in my duplex luxury appartement ontop of my house I rent to opera singers (when available). Separate entrance, watch out over castles etc.

MattW
06-04-2008, 06:09 PM
P.S. I went to Lapland once. Great time.


Great idea for my wife's birthday trip...:Thumbs:

WendyNYC
06-04-2008, 06:47 PM
I must be in the mood to travel.

The Natural History Museum here in NY puts on a bunch of adventure travel tours that make me drool. They are supposed to be fantastic--not your old-lady-with-a-tour-group kind of travel at all. They bring along scientists and archeologists and all that good stuff. Here's the link: http://www.amnhexpeditions.org/tours/searchresultexpeditions.php

MattW
06-04-2008, 07:19 PM
I must be in the mood to travel.

The Natural History Museum here in NY puts on a bunch of adventure travel tours that make me drool. They are supposed to be fantastic--not your old-lady-with-a-tour-group kind of travel at all. They bring along scientists and archeologists and all that good stuff. Here's the link: http://www.amnhexpeditions.org/tours/searchresultexpeditions.phpThose look like cool trips. I wanted to go on a dig a few years ago, but life interfered.

Sarita
06-04-2008, 07:31 PM
We had to bundle up in Paris in May. Can't imagine December.We made a habit of hitting Paris every Thanksgiving. It was my favorite time of year there. Christmas lights were up, cute little x-mas village thingy going in La Defense, weather still mild enough to take a jacket and avoid heavy sweaters, totally magical. I can't be sure about December, although I refuse to go to Ireland again in December. I've never felt so cold. It's like the rain soaks into your bones and you can't get it out.

South America, or at least Peru (where I lived) is in the heart of the rainy season from November to March. I lived in the mountains, and we got a heavy rain every day in the early afternoon, around siesta time. It worked out and the weather was beautiful the rest of the day. So, "rainy season" is really subjective, depending on where you go. Elsewhere, it's hot and muggy and let me tell you, Lima, Peru is akin to hell in the summer (nov-march.) It has it's very own special smell that I still can't get out of my nose. LOL. That being said, I love Lima other times of the year, when it's not so muggy. Last time I was there was in July of 04 and it was great.

Chile was absolutely amazing. One country I've always wanted to spend more time in. You might check that out.

WildScribe
06-04-2008, 07:33 PM
I adore a cold, rainy, romantic London Christmas - I've done it twice (my birthday is January 2nd, so I feel your wife's pain, btw), but it sounds like your wife wants sunshine...

My generalized recommendation: stay at a bed and breakfast. When our host realized we were going to go find a restaurant on Christmas, she insisted that we join in for her family's Christmas dinner, and we were like one of them. It was quite wonderful.

MattW
06-04-2008, 08:06 PM
I adore a cold, rainy, romantic London Christmas - I've done it twice (my birthday is January 2nd, so I feel your wife's pain, btw), but it sounds like your wife wants sunshine...She's from a warm climate that makes my skin feel all cancery.


My generalized recommendation: stay at a bed and breakfast. When our host realized we were going to go find a restaurant on Christmas, she insisted that we join in for her family's Christmas dinner, and we were like one of them. It was quite wonderful.I'm definitely leaning the B&B, house rental, local hotel route if possible. It's more work to arrange, but it can be worth it for bridging the distance between tourist and culture.

MoonWriter
06-04-2008, 08:26 PM
Matt - try New Orleans, if you don't mind a developing country. Many fine restaurants are reopened (any restaurant in NO is awesome). The street cars are running along historic St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street. Plenty of hotel rooms. The historic French Quarter wasn't affected by Katrina, and is, after midnight, as lascivious as ever. A visit to world class Audubon Zoo and The Aquarium of the Americas, a free ferry ride across the river, and beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde would be a good way to spend the morning. Visiting art galleries and countless antique shops along Magazine Street would make for a pleasant afternoon. Come see us, and, Laissez les bon temps roulez!

maestrowork
06-04-2008, 08:39 PM
If you don't mind cold: China, France, Switzerland.

If you want warmth: Thailand, Australia, Singapore, South America.

robeiae
06-04-2008, 09:42 PM
I must be in the mood to travel.

The Natural History Museum here in NY puts on a bunch of adventure travel tours that make me drool. They are supposed to be fantastic--not your old-lady-with-a-tour-group kind of travel at all. They bring along scientists and archeologists and all that good stuff. Here's the link: http://www.amnhexpeditions.org/tours/searchresultexpeditions.php
If that's your game, try this:

http://www.expeditions.com/Itineraries45.asp?Expedition=166&Destination=294

Angelinity
06-04-2008, 10:19 PM
sheesh! no one but NO ONE proposed the lands yonder from Cannes! wonders why....
great (and I mean GREAT) beach weather at Christmas time).