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Where to Spend the Summer

I have a dilemna. Where to spend the summer. Since I live in hotels, I don't have a home to go to so I need to find a place. However, I have some important criteria...

1) No crowds (I don't expect to be the only person there but I don't want wall to wall people.)
2) No High Heat
3) It can't be in Schengen due to travel there during Spring and Fall. (90 day rule)
4) No more than an 8 hour plane ride from say NY. (Domestic travel is fine.)
5) Won't break the bank. (Moderately priced.)

I spent last summer in London. As much as I love London, the crowds were ridiculous. I feel for my London friends.

Any ideas?

Posted by
5630 posts

Excluding the EU Schengen takes out most of Europe.

Have you traveled to South America? South America has many interesting countries to see and cost there are lower than Europe.

Consider going to Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru, or some combination of those places.
It will be Winter for all but Peru, if that is what you want. If not, Peru and Ecuador are very inexpensive to live there. My Wife has friends that retired in Ecuador and they say the cost of living is very low.

Another option is consider taking some cruises. You can go anywhere you wish in the World. We have cruises booked now for 15 days that cost $1200 per person for two. It's more if you are a single in a cabin, but some cruise lines have special rates for singles. Everything is included in a cruise except your alcohol and tour excursions on shore.

Posted by
6877 posts

Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia (nowhere near Dubrovnik, maybe Istria - although I bet it can be hot there), South America (I can vouch for Argentina, it's beautiful - but Ecuador is smaller and much more manageable)....or even Vancouver Island/Vancouver.

Posted by
13211 posts

If I had a summer free, I would spend it as a volunteer in one of the western national parks that provides lodging or a camping spot.

Posted by
672 posts

Edinburgh is wonderful. A bit touristy in places, but nothing like London.

Posted by
3349 posts

Iceland isn't hot. Doubt it's all that crowded.

Posted by
6877 posts

Iceland is everything but "moderately priced" - it's a budget buster galore (and it's super crowded with all the tourists unless you drive way out to the hinterlands). I keep track average costs per day on all my trips and that one was a real outlier.

Posted by
11442 posts


Iceland is on the fall itinerary for the Northern Lights. (It rained the last time I was there) It does get crowded in the summer.

I've been to Edinburgh a couple of times.

I was thinking of spending the summer village hopping in the UK and Ireland. Also the Channel Islands, Hebrides, Orkneys, Isle of Mann, etc.

Canada is also high on the list. I've been through the western provinces but was thinking of exploring the Maritimes ones.

South America is not high on my list. I would like to see Machu Pichu but I've been told it's now like the Cinque Terre--wall to wall visitors.

I love the National Parks and have been to most west of the Rockies. Having done tours though there I have seen where they put the volunteers who don't supply their own lodging. I don't camp. My idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service. :)

Posted by
8293 posts

Winchester, UK. 90 minutes from London by rail, not over run by tourists, interesting place to visit, and easy to get from there to other south of England locations.

Posted by
21302 posts

I think you could easily fill the time very pleasantly in England alone, much less the entire UK + Ireland, by avoiding the known tourist hotspots. I spent a few nights in Norwich (East Anglia) last summer, just as one example. It's an historic university town with a bunch of possible day-trips, though I only had time for one (to Bury St. Edmunds). I need to find a few more places like that for my non-Schengen add-on time this summer.

Coastal towns are riskier in terms of crowds, but we have English folks here who can keep you from making a serious mistake. I think mid-Wales might be good.

I think finding truly inexpensive places in that area will be a challenge, though. I though England was costlier than France (the same year), Spain (one year prior) and Italy (two years prior).

'Twas hot enough when I was in the Balkans in August/September 1995 that I don't think Romania and Bulgaria will work for you until at least mid-September. You need either to be way north (Baltic Coast?) or to be in the mountains if you choose Europe.

Posted by
696 posts

Brazil! Brazil is as large as the continental US with an equal variety of sights--tropical jungles, huge cities, superb beaches, natural wonders (the Amazon, Iguaçu Falls, Vila Velha, ...), wonderful cuisine, and history. Brazil meets your criteria: 1) no crowds if you stay away from certain places in the big cities, 2) no high heat--it's winter down there!, 3) not a Schengen country, 4) within 8 hours (well, maybe the north of the country), 5) yep!

Have a great summer.

Posted by
5630 posts

If you go to Canada, the Canadian Rockies are super. Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff are a must see.

Vancouver is nice, but not moderately priced.

Posted by
3936 posts

If you decide to hit the Maritimes, drop me a line...I can give you lots of suggestions! And tho tourism is up, it won't be crowded - unless you hit a big city during a holiday or festival.

Your US$ will go a long way. It can (and does) get rather hot - usually July into early August...not melting hot like Rome would be, but there are days when I have the AC running from morning 'til evening.

Posted by
5262 posts

I too would suggest the Canadian Maritimes if you haven't spent a lot of time there already. Including Newfoundland as well as Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Quebec City, etc. You could base in several places and take day trips.

Western Canada is also great but sounds like you've "done" it. Vancouver is very expensive. Victoria and Vancouver Island would be a good choice for part of your time, and use the great BC ferry system to visit islands or even head up to Prince Rupert for awhile.

And of course the great Pacific Northwest US, which meets all your criteria. But my guess is that you've been here, done this.

Posted by
6877 posts

I have to differ with Vancouver/ Vancouver Island as being "very expensive" (say, relative to CA or Seattle). Considering the exchange rate, I thought it was an incredible value especially for a remarkably nice city like that (I stayed in Vancouver, Victoria and a beautiful house overlooking the water in Uclulet on Vancouver Island). I actually shifted some vacation days away from Seattle to Vancouver/ Vancouver Island because I could stretch my money so much further there. I was more surprised at how expensive lodging in Seattle has become (but then again maybe I shouldn't be surprised). After that trip, I daydreamed about spending weeks just on Vancouver Island and seeing some really off-the-beaten path places (mostly islands north of Tofino)

Posted by
21302 posts

It was a long time ago, but I loved the San Juan Island (US) and Gulf Islands (Canada).

Posted by
11442 posts

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I think I've whittled it down to either the Canadaian Maritime Provinces/New England or the UK and Ireland. Since I'm thinking of relocating to somewhere in New England in 2019 I might save travel in that region to that time.

Oh well, I still have to finish planning my Spring trip before thinking about summer.

Posted by
15045 posts

Based on my experience (2.5 weeks in August 2014), Ireland meets all your criteria. I'd happily spend a month there. Add Northern Ireland and a bit of Scotland . . .

Posted by
3343 posts

Ok...won't break the bank, away from mobs of tourists and their tour groups, no high heat, not Schengen, no more than 8 hrs from NY.

  • Prince Edward Island
  • Midcoast Maine (Stonington, Deer Isle, Monhegan, etc)
  • Sebago Lake/Long Lake/Naples region (Maine)
  • Rockport/Gloucester MA
  • Lake Placid
Posted by
3789 posts

Late, I know, but maybe you have made decisions by now. If not, were you looking to explore beyond the city? If so, rental car or public transport? Reality is a lot of the east coast is difficult to best appreciate if you don't drive yourself. The capital cities will see their fair share of tourists, and Halifax is going to include cruise crowds. Prince Edward Island is lovely, but still draws a lot of Canadian tourists - and there is a lot of tourist kitschy attractions between the iconic farms with lobster traps photographic spots. Newfoundland is supposedly stunning (can tell you after July), but rental cars are priced double what I booked in October, and there is a problem of more demand than supply for accommodation.
I recommend UK for this summer. You can do the Maritimes from your New England locale at a later date.
I like your idea of village hopping/island hopping in the UK. A pen pal lives in Isle of Mann and too many tourists will not be a problem there.

Posted by
162 posts

I spent a month in Peru in December. It is not cheap, so plan on US prices. I thought overall it was expensive. I am like you, I live in Hotels. I love Thailand and Bali, but those destinations are farther than you mentioned.

You had some good suggestions.

Are you sure you understand the Schengen rules? There are lot of conflicting info on the internet. You can stay for a total of 90 days at a time, then you have to leave. You can return and stay for another 90 days for a total of 180 days a year. I was told by immigration that you don't have to be gone for 90 before you return.

Posted by
5704 posts

Sally, it’s you that doesn’t understand the Schengen rules! You can stay in the Schengen zone for any 90 days in a rolling 180 day period.

Posted by
2216 posts

Am I the only one curious why you live in hotels full-time?
My suggestion.....Alaska! Not too hot, no crowds, great beauty and wildlife.

Posted by
1236 posts

Diveloonie- I also wondered that.

How about Canada? While Vancouver is pretty expensive/crowded nowadays, there is always Montreal, Toronto or even Halifax area is nice. And it's usually cooler than the continental US.

Posted by
2349 posts

Perhaps Frank II has divested himself of all worldly goods except for a well designed suitcase and a few personal necessities. Or perhaps he is a remittance man, paid to stay away from home. If only, right?

Posted by
11442 posts

So, this thread has been resurrected.

This summer, like last summer, will be spent in London.

A new Marriott Residence Inn is opening near Earl's Court and I am getting a one bedroom unit that includes a full kitchen, free breakfast, free internet, laundrette in the hotel, and daily housekeeping for 120 GPB/night. It's an introductory rate. In the fall it goes up about 75%. (And there is a 24 hour Tesco right next door.)

Why do I live in hotels full time? Because I want to. I like traveling so why pay for a place I don't use. I did get rid of most of my worldly possessions--I do have a 5 x 5 sq foot storage unit--and live out of a carry on bag. (And personal item.)

I don't have to worry about upkeep, cleaning, utilities, taxes, or anything else. And when I'm ready, I move to the next hotel.

It's not for everyone.

Posted by
3336 posts

You are doing what I hope to do when I retire in 7 years! Rent out my place and just my way around the world, either in hotels or short term rentals.
London sure has a way of calling you back, doesn't it? We are that way with Paris...we'll be there for much of this summer.