How do you travel?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    About 99% of the guys on this site will tell you they love to travel (and that's probably a conservative estimate). But travel means different things to different people. Some are into the backpacker/hostel scene, others won't leave home for less than a five star resort. Some prefer guided tours, while others just hop in the car and go wherever the road takes them.

    I was a full-on backpacker when I was young. A vacation for me was a passport, a plane ticket, and no reservations (double entendre intended). These days I no longer care to share a four-bunk room with three 20-year-olds from Slovakia (uh, unless they're really hot icon_smile.gif ) but I still prefer the low key, communal lifestyle to elegant but impersonal luxury, so I get a private room in a backpacker hotel, or stay in something like a pension. I usually reserve a room for the first and last night of the trip - showing up in Kuala Lumpur at midnight with no place to stay broke me of winging it completely - but in between I don't book anything because I'm never sure how long I'll want to stay in any one place. My vacations tend to run between 2 and 4 weeks; anything less feels like I never left home. I don't usually stay any longer than 4 nights in one place before moving on - nothing like a nice road trip - unless it's for a special event (spent 17 nights in Beijing during the Olympics - fuckin spectacular!).

    How about you? What's your idea of a good vacation?
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    Dec 06, 2008 2:13 AM GMT
    I have friends everywhere. Usually that's where I stay.
    I'm going to Burma soon so I'll stay with family for awhile. New Years we are going to KL with some friends. I think we have reservations, we'll see.

    I usually wing it too wherever I go.
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    Dec 06, 2008 2:26 AM GMT
    Just booked a vacation to St. Martin in January. First trip all by myself and not meeting anyone there. Want to sail and scuba. I like to do things when I'm on vacation. I haven't been able to do that in quite a few years. This is going to be fun!
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    Dec 06, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    Independent traveller here. Don't like group tours. I usually read up on a travel destination, and make arrangements. Used to backpack when younger, but now rather stay in proper hotels.
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    Dec 06, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    Wow ript.

    that sounds so exciting!

    I cannot wait to have the opportunities like that. I would love to just pack up and go. you have me excited and looking forward to it now icon_biggrin.gif

    I am looking into scholarships to study abroad more right now. Ive done it before and I can't wait to do it again.

    I bet you have some great stories from your travels!
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3162

    Dec 06, 2008 2:59 AM GMT
    I'm an independent traveller, but depending on where I am, I like having an itinerary and knowing where I'm going. But my last big trip in May was around France, where I used to live, and in three weeks of travelling around I only spent money on one night of accommodation. It's nice having lots of friends all over the place. icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 06, 2008 3:00 AM GMT
    I travel the fastest way possible, by plane. My partner and I like culture,art and history so we go to cities that offer that. Our last trip to Italy was semi-independent, not a bus tour. More relaxing and we had more control over our time and agenda. I have never been one for backpacking or roughing it, I have always liked the creature comforts. One reason is a I am a horrible sleeper and "roughing it" would not work for me.
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    Dec 06, 2008 3:07 AM GMT
    Riptjock, I'm one of those 1% that doesn't like to travel. I've travelled so much over the last 4 years for business that when I do get home and get time off, the last thing I want to do is travel again. It sux when your job requires you to be on the road so much.

    But if I do travel for vacation, there's only two places I want to be:
    Colorado or Southern California. And it doesn't matter which time of the year either. Both are great in their own ways no matter what the season is.

    When I travel there's no way I want to camp unless that's the purpose of the trip. Call me crazy, but I generally like a good bed to sleep in and a good hot shower on a daily basis. So it's usually a hotel (not necessarily a 5 star, but not Motel 6 either), good meals in good restaurants, and a nice glass of wine or mug of beer with my man.
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    Dec 06, 2008 3:31 AM GMT
    Last winter I stayed at a small little gay inn in Acapulco. So much better than a luxury hotel. Everything was just a little threadbare, but the personal care provided by to staff and host made it worth it. I even cooked dinner for everyone, one night.

    It beats my usual mode of travel (ie. M4, body armor, kevlar, etc.)
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Dec 06, 2008 3:38 AM GMT
    Backpacking, and by packpacking I mean mountains, tents, and no toilets.

    Camping's fun too.

    "civilized" travel can be fun too, but I rarely have the money for it.
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    Dec 06, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    When I was younger, my vacations consisted of 7 to 14 day hikes in the mountains. Someone would drop me off near a trailhead, and I'd arrange for someone to meet me on a particular day a hundred or two miles away.

    Since then, virtually all of my travel has been for business. There was a time, pre-9/11 when I just kept a shoulder bag packed all the time. I could roll out of bed at 0530, shower, drive to the airport, pick up breakfast from the counter at the airport, and stroll onto the plane for a 0620 flight. For longer trips, sometimes I've shipped my bicycle (in a hard case) in lieu of a rental car. For a while it was free.
    Sometimes, I'm involved in big field projects which involve logistical nightmares and shipping loads of equipment to remote locations. The last trip to Europe, I had two carts full of equipment boxes to drag through customs. Those tend to be field camps with rented RV's to stay in, and labs set up in office trailers.

    I've had maybe two actual vacations. I spent the mornings SCUBA diving, and the afternoons... I could never figure out what to do. I have spent a number of long weekends on friends' boats. Usually two or three dives a day and the rest of the time cruising around the islands... or repairing the boat! I think I'd like to take that up again. Four people can rent a cruiser for a week for less money than paying for hotels, rental cars, and restaurants. But one of them has to know how to drive it...
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Dec 06, 2008 3:48 AM GMT
    Going to Egypt in March, with a tour company, thought it was the safest way to go.

    Spent 2 weeks, on our own, in Rome this last summer, was great. Stayed near the Spanish step, incredible.

    Did an atlantis cruise before Rome. Doing another next summer to the Baltic

    Spend 2 weeks in Puerto Vallarta every year, rent a condo, on the gay beach.
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    Dec 06, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    I grew up in a "road trip" family, every summer we'd take off. Alternate years it was to North Carolina, where all my Dad's family were. I still love hitting the road, and all my siblings share the wanderlust, to a degree.

    As far as travel abroad, I research as much as I can before, to the extent of learning a little of the language if I already don't know any. I read a lot both before and after - what a great way to stretch two weeks into 6 months or longer!

    I do not like tours, though the ones I did in college were fine. I like to travel with one or more others - even a larger group of friends can be great, if we all understand the need "independence" and privacy. Have shared house rental with friends four times - in the Caribbean and Tahoe.

    I like hotels well enough, and look for "clean with good beds" and quiet - something a few steps off the beaten path. Also happy to rent an apartment when that's possible.

    haven't done much driving abroad, but loved it in Italy. It just feels great after a week of airports and taxis and walking around Rome to get into an Alfa and head to Umbria. FUN!
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    Dec 06, 2008 6:11 AM GMT
    I enjoy traveling on the fly. Only select reservations at the beginning and end of the trip. Everything between is sporadic. I have stayed in everything from primitive campgrounds to 4stars.

    Every year I take a motorcycle trip to the Rocky's. I love to explore the lesser traveled roads. Some of the mountain passes that I have discovered off the beaten path were simply amazing. The views and scenery always humble me back to a state of mind that everyone should experience. That simplistic state of mind is hard to even describe.

    I will be in Greece in January. I have reservations in Athens for the beginning and end of the trip. Everything between will be sporadic among the islands and mainland. Listening to the locals and having no real itinerary is the best way to go IMHO.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3717

    Dec 06, 2008 6:16 AM GMT
    I travel overseas. When it is for work, its comfortable (by the way, thanks for paying your taxes). When it is for me, I've stayed at hostels and 4 star hotels. It depends on where I am going. I'll be in India next week, tack on to a work trip to Nepal. India will be done dirty cheap, while Nepal will be top of the line.

    I traveled (for fun) around Spain a couple of years ago, and stayed in some fantastic Paradors, and during the same trip, I had many roommates.
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    Dec 06, 2008 6:29 AM GMT
    I love couchsurfing. Which at first I thought was really risky and crazy but it's really the best way to travel. Nothing immerses you into the local culture faster then staying with someone from the place your visiting. Last summer a friend and I traveled across the West Coast for a month staying at various couchsurfing sites and communes - it was the best of fun.
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    Dec 06, 2008 7:39 AM GMT
    I love going anywhere. Any travel is good. I prefer driving as I love the scenery and not being stuffed with strangers. With that, I'm sure I'd love cruising. And I don't care about the sleeping digs - as long as it's clean and my car will be safe, I'm fine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2008 8:38 AM GMT
    I typically go overseas once a year and that is usually 5 star hotel plus... guess I've been spoiled but haven't done the hostel scene since I was in high school... I loved it then but really don't miss it now...
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    Dec 06, 2008 4:52 PM GMT
    Having grown up an *airline brat* I've had the good fortune of going to a great many countries - 123 to date. I like good hotels (not necessarily big hotels always though). Often smaller hotels are quieter and better - and if it is a gay friendly place - all the better (i.e. no children!).

    My next trip is to Gstaad and Verbier (the best off-piste skiing anywhere in the world) Switzerland right after Christmas for skiing with old frat bros. (gay and straight) I've always stayed in touch with.

    One preference I have - a strict rule for me - is I avoid tour bus or van rides - and long winded tour guides! Instead, get a car or cab, bike, skis, anything else!
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Dec 07, 2008 7:55 PM GMT
    I am a solo backpackers fanatic. I try to travel almost every weekend. Living in a small country, surrounded by dozen of interesting beautiful places mean I can be in Thailand on Saturday, Singapore on Sunday, Indonesia the next weekend . I can take a 2 days off, combined that with Sat and Sun and fly to Australia, Cambodia or Vietnam. There all kinda of cheap mode of travel, bus, boat, train and low cost Airlines . I stay in cheap backpacking hotel, brothel room , dormitory or any cheap places I can find. I travel so much that I am running out of country to go to. One of this days if I gonna take early retirement and do this full time.

    BTW, RIPJOCK let me know the next time you are in KL. Men, your rippling muscles just take my breath away.
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    Dec 12, 2008 11:07 PM GMT
    Recently purchased a Prevost motorcoach by Marathon. I love traveling this way. I usually travel between Oregon, Colorado, Nebraska, and Florida. Any one want to go on a trip soon? I'm Kile.
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    Dec 13, 2008 11:12 PM GMT
    As one living in the UK with its atrocious climate, whenever I had the opportunity, lone backpacking was my passion. Since I don't hold a driving licence, car-hire was out. Instead I travelled across the United States using the Greyhound Bus Ameripass ticket (sold only to non American visitors) and I stayed at hostels as far apart as Boston and San Diego. I found hostelling to be great fun! Each had a member's kitchen, allowing me to buy and cook my own meals.The twin benefits of this was the enormous saving of funds, as with meeting other travellers. Often I found myself talking to someone also cooking a meal, and through this, for example in San Diego, I found out about the Science Museum, Sea World, Mission Beach, the Old Town and Little Italy. The only downside with hostelling is at the dormitory, where there is always a snorer. Wet toilet wipe screwed into a ball make excellent earplugs. I had the same kind of vacation in 1997, only it was around the world on a really cheap-deal air ticket - Singapore, Australia and California in ten weeks. In Australia they also have Greyhound Buses which honours passes bought by foreign visitors. Their hostels are excellent, some even better than those in America. (No offence). In 1994, I spent three months in Israel doing some voluntary work. To each country visited I travelled by air.