Wow, thanks for all the replies. That's awesome!
I've been looking at a few places, but really have no specific reasoning for them other than I've always been fascinated by cultures much different from my own. Copahc suggested Croatia, and I do love that region. I've been looking at a few resorts in Turkey for a while now. The entire Mediterranean looks amazing. Amfora Grand looks unreal!
bonnie -- I live in Altoona, so I usually fly out of Pittsburgh as it's only 90 minutes from my house. I've noticed that international flights seem cheaper out of Dulles or JFK -- have you found this to be true? I only ask because I see that you're from Pennsylvania as well. The offseason travel idea is a great one. I'll definitely keep that in mind.
For some reason, southeast Asia has always fascinated me. 2-3 years ago, I almost quit my job to teach english in Laos. Again, I have no clue why SE Asia holds that fascination for me. I was looking at La Residence d'Angkor in Siem Reap, and the reviews on Trip Advisor were very good. I was also looking at a few places in South America and Europe.
As far as what I'm looking for, I'd love a relaxing hotel with a decent spa near some great food. Having historical and cultural trips in the surrounding area would be nice, too. I think I'd rather be somewhere less touristy, if that makes sense.
Thanks again for all the great information.
I hear ya about Southeast Asia. I haven’t been yet. But I really want to go. I was hoping to do it this year but I might have to postpone to next year. The problem is where to go? I’ve been thinking about Thailand and Vietnam, but I don’t necessarily know what. I would definitely like to travel through the countryside to visit different cities and villages, and then take some time to chill on a nice beach or island like Koh Samui. Or maybe a river cruise.. So much to do.. so little time.. Does anyone know of any good tours in the region?
Hi A....Yes, Dulles, JFK, Newark, are much cheaper than our regional airports. I like to use Harrisburg, Philly, or BWI. Sometimes, BWI is less expensive that Dulles! Just keep shopping around. Sometimes it is best to drive to one of the larger airports, do a fly/stay/park package to include your overnight stay and parking while you are gone. Enjoy!!!
Thanks for the advice, bonnie. I truly do appreciate it. My passport should be arriving next week, so I'm hoping to be bidding in the next 2 weeks. I'm sure I'll be bombarding everyone with idiotic questions once that process starts.
A - Given what you have written, you might be sure to look for a property which has a strong concierge service (you may have to go to property web site to check this out), plus your own research in the area. In more and more areas of the world, there are smaller tours which take 7-10 people and are very personal and you will not be financially dinged for being a single person.
These tours can be historical, geographical, activity or nature oriented. On the big island of Hawaii, last year, we went with a group up the side of a volcano on a bird and nature outing. Very good leader, 4 wheel drive van which got us to places we wouldn't have known about otherwise, sights of rare island birds (scarlet honey creeper) & plants & use of equipment which we didn't have to buy.
We had just come off a really bad intestinal bug which was going through our home area (we both had to go to emergency rm of hospital), and an endless winter of snow (like this one!). An hour spent lying in the sun, in absolute quiet and peacefulness in dry grassland on the side of the volcano on this excursion was incredibly healing. I still mentally transport myself back there, when needed!
A good concierge will know of safe, reliable alternatives to the 60 passenger buses, for area excursions, which something tells me, is not your cup of tea.
So many great places here on LL - we are going on 3 combined LL packages to Mexico and we have used LL packages to other places in Central and South America - great prices, packages, etc. We have found it very easy to contact the hotels where we are going and they have all been very helpful with special needs, extras, etc. as have the LL folks.
This site gives me so many ideas!
Let us know on what LL package/destination you finally decide. If we can, we will gladly help with ideas and first hand information. Be sure to do your homework before you bid. Contact the hotel via phone or e-mail before hand to check out if they have availability on the dates you are likely to travel. Ask if you can extend your stay and at what rate, in case you want a couple of extra days. Remember, LL now has a feature on BUY NOW, where you can request the number of days you want. Check out which option is cheaper, the BUY NOW for the number of days you want, or the AUCTION with add on days from the hotel directly. Ask questions of the Hotel Concierge what there is to do in the vicinity of the hotel and ask about tours available from the hotel, small group guided tours. How far from the attractions, etc.
Good luck with your research and bidding.