Looking for ideas for destination for dream holiday for me and dd.

(63 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 16:42:28

Come to the conclusion that life's too short and as I have a fair bit of money saved up I think while dd is still wanting to come on holiday with me I'd like to take her for an awesome holiday.

We have fairly differing ideas of what constitutes awesome. grin

Dd's ideal destination is firstly one which doesn't require vaccinations. She'd like a nice pool, probably a beach and places to see, things to do.

I'd like it to be warm/hot. Safe. I'd like to see different cultures, sights, etc.

Some ideas I've got are Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand, Costa Rica, Nepal, carribean? But I don't know good places/where to go/what to do in those places. Oh and dd says she doesn't want to go anywhere there might be a tsunami or earthquake. grin

I wouldn't want to just sit on a beach for two weeks.

I'd like to go further than Europe.

I don't want to go Middle East or Egypt or turkey.

I'm leaning towards an escorted/organised tour. I've gone to Thailand in the past on my own with no plans and gone with the throw but with been responsible for dd and it just the two of us I feel I need some sort of safety net. But then all the places like Explore, etc are expensive and also they seem to rush from one location to another every day. I don't want to spend the holiday travelling as I want to relax.

I want somewhere with pool, and beach and rainforest/jungle with canopy walks, elephant treks, wildlife spotting, pony treks, ruined temples, breathtaking sights.

I'd be looking at spending approx 3-4k for the holiday plus food.

BroodyTroody Sun 17-Nov-13 16:45:31

Viva have you considered a cruise? We did our first this year and can't wait to go on another. Amazing food, loads to do and you get to see lots of places grin

readyforno2 Sun 17-Nov-13 16:47:11

Caribbean cruise.. Good food, good pool and see loads of sights. Definitely worth the money

pinkthechaffinch Sun 17-Nov-13 16:49:14

How about Ecuador? Mayan cities, the Andes, rainforest, lovely beaches, active volcanoes?

Artandco Sun 17-Nov-13 16:52:44

Vietnam is great. You can do city, beaches, inland historical and a huge variety. If you look at a holiday company like Hayes and Jarvis or kuoni for ideas that might help. Some do packages with flights in one airport and out the other, with a variety of hotels/ sights/ boat travel in between

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 16:52:56

I hadn't thought of a cruise at all. Mmmm, I like the idea of your bedroom been in the same place every night but think I might get bored/cooped up on a boat?? Will look at some schedules of carribean cruises.

Ecuador sounds nice. Mayan cities sound good.


BroodyTroody Sun 17-Nov-13 17:01:37

We went on a royal Caribbean cruise and the boat was gigantic, not once did we feel cooped up smile definitely worth considering!

lotsofcheese Sun 17-Nov-13 17:06:30

Mexico? Avoid Cancun, but Some of the resorts further south are lovely & there's great things to see eg Chichen Itza, Xel-Ha, Xcaret

caketinrosie Sun 17-Nov-13 17:41:33

Cambodia is on my dream holiday list but waaay out my current price range. But if you're flush?? Luxury and amazing sights to see look at kuoni they have some incredible water bungalows!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 22:23:31

Have just found out Thailand has a rainforest at khao sok which I didn't know about. It looks nice, maybe not as much wildlife as Costa Rica.

Decided against a cruise.

I keep coming back to Costa Rica but don't want a tour where we're moving onto different places all the time. Will have to get a guidebook and investigate best resorts to stay in.

lotsofcheese Sun 17-Nov-13 22:34:41

Sri Lanka?
Malaysia or Borneo?
South Africa?

Sri Lanka is Gorgeous.

veee123 Sun 17-Nov-13 22:38:57

Cuba . Swim with dolohins , amazing beaches, city tour, amazing excursions .

Jalexis Sun 17-Nov-13 22:45:01

Malaysia... You could do Borneo (Kota Kinabalu), orangutans, jungle/mountain treks, snorkelling/diving... You could then fly on to a different Malaysian island, Langkawi is stunning.

Alternatively, how about India?? How old is your DD? You could do Goa and then down to Kerala, houseboat, backwaters etc, very beautiful and would be a great experience for DD.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 22:45:23

Hasn't Sri Lanka got a war going on at the minute?

Cuba doesn't have monkeys. If I'm going to a rainforest it needs monkeys, and ideally parrots.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 22:46:23

Dd is nearly 13. Not keen on the idea of India. Worried about safety and getting the shits.

"Hasn't Sri Lanka got a war going on at the minute?"

Perhaps. You should maybe make that the first priority to avoid. No war is definitely a good reason to stay away.

I mean, WAR is a good reason to stay away. NOt a good reason NOt to stay away.


ToddleWaddle Sun 17-Nov-13 23:02:09

Costa Rica is fab. So much wildlife, rainforests,volcanos,lovely people.
Incredibly safe and easy to move around.
If you are looking to stay in a resort perhaps look at the pacific coast but probably worth travelling around a little after going so far.

I'm going to Costa Rica in 5 weeks. It looks amazing

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 23:04:16


Langkwai looks lovely. And it seems to be fairly easy to get to Borneo from there or vice versa.

So we could go uk to kula lupa, then to Borneo. From Borneo to langkwai, spend a week on the beach relaxing and pootling about. Then back to KL and plane home.

Sounds like a plan.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Nov-13 23:06:42

Toddlewaddle - where did you stay please? I don't mind moving around a bit, just not every couple of days! I don't want to spend hours every day travelling.

NoArmani - whereabouts are you going to? It does look great. Have you got plans for rainforest excursions, etc?

Jalexis Mon 18-Nov-13 05:21:30

Sounds like you have narrowed it down a bit! Costa Rica sounds wonderful, never been in that direction before but here good things!

Langkawi/KL/Borneo all very accessible now and would offer a nice mix of activity/beach/pootling!

Have a fab time whatever you decide.

PS- when do you plan to take the trip? Imagine weather systems are quite different in both locations.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 06:33:33

I'm flexible about when we take the trip so would decide where to go first.

BacardiBat Mon 18-Nov-13 06:38:47

Have you looked at the family adventure holiday companies eg www.explore.co.uk. Sometimes they have Teen/Kids weeks where your dd would be guaranteed other people her own age. I am sure they do Costa Rica as I have looked at that before.

BacardiBat Mon 18-Nov-13 06:40:39
IsabellaRockerfeller Mon 18-Nov-13 06:42:33

Another vote for malaysia, loved it!!

Madgascar, if you like wildlife too. Awesome population of chameleons, from the tiniest one on earth to giant ones. Deserts to tropical forests.
Nogorogo crater in Tanzania
The Okovango
dH and I spent a week at the PhiPhi island village resort a couple of years ago. Went fisrt week of May (officially low season from May onwards). Paid less than half of usual rates and had one afternoon af rain and water visibility for scuba snorkelling was fine.
If you really want to push the boat out, bora bora of maldives?
Or what about a looooong road trip in the US?
Have a great time planning!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 07:04:15

I saw that Explore trip, but you spend 7 out of 15 days travelling. I'm guessi g you don't spend the whole day travelling but is not my idea of relaxing so am now leaning more towards doing something myself rather than a guided/escorted holiday.

Will checkout Madagascar, they have lemurs there don't they?

Don't really fancy mainland Africa as I've spent a lot of time in Uganda already.

SorrelForbes Mon 18-Nov-13 07:16:22

If you do Malaysia/Borneo/Langkawi then try and squeeze in Singapore as well. If you visit Borneo, stick to Sabah and Sarawak, dot bother with Brunei, it's very dull.

notnowImreading Mon 18-Nov-13 07:17:40

Australia is amazing for what you want. There are all the usual destinations in Sydney etc for the city sightseeing thing but if you fly up to Cairns and get a bus (loads of these on the internet via wotif.com/au) an hour north to Port Douglas you have a fantastic base for seeing the rainforest and incredible beaches, particularly at Cape Tribulation. I stayed there in a hostel, which was fine - clean and basic - but I think there are some smarter places to stay round and about. The great thing about Oz is how easy it is for what you get: it's properly exotic but everyone speaks English and there is excellent infrastructure. It's quite expensive when you are there because of the exchange rate but if you manage to get reasonable flights it makes the overall cost okay. I went this (British) summer and the weather was wonderful, sunny and warm enough for beach sunbathing and swimming in the sea etc but not overwhelming and sun cream worked fine with no sunburn worries.

msmiggins Mon 18-Nov-13 07:35:30

I would say Sri Lanka but not stable atm.
many tropical countries would fit the bill, but most of them require vaccinations and malaria tablets.
So I would go to the Seychelles. No malaria there, and the giant tortoises- the size of a dining table on Bird Island are amazing. water is safe, enclosed within coral atoll, brilliant for snorkelling, turtle, dolphins etc.. It's a very safe place, the people are lovely, very friendly, low crime rate, no religious regime.
Seychelles are stunning beyond belief.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 07:36:06

Notnow, funny you mention Cape Tribulation. I've just had something pop p on Facebook, someone I know is currently there. She'd gone to Australia but hadn't realised she was in Cairns area. It does look really nice and there's rainforest and beaches but no monkeys!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 07:47:38

Madagascar looks out of the running. Expensive and foreign office say not to go due to political unrest.

We are doing the classic Costa Rica trip from Audley Travel: www.audleytravel.com/destinations/central-america/costa-rica.aspx

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 08:35:50

NoArmarni, that trip looks good. There doesn't seem to be as much travelling as on the other tours I've seen.

I've also found a Costa Rica company which will sort out all your transfers and accommodation. So you tell them what you want to do, they suggest an itinerary, you tweak it to suit. Then you make your own way there and they get you to your first hotel and when you're ready to move on they turn up and move you.

So Ill wait for a price from them as well. Sometimes though I think its cheaper doing an organised tour as they get better discounts, etc.??

I'm torn between Borneo/Malaysia and Costa Rica. Need to get some guide books I think!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 08:36:32

I like the idea of Costa Rica been a bit less of a major touristy place though.

When are you going? If you can wait until Jan to book I'll report back to you after I've been.

I got lots of recommendations for Audley and they've been so helpful and given a really personal service

Rojak Mon 18-Nov-13 09:42:23

I'd recommend Thailand.

Thailand - spend a w/end in Bangkok and experience Chatuchak market and the big city vibe.

Then head north to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai (elephant treks, jungle treks etc)

Then head to an island either on the east (Phuket, Phi Phi, Ko Lanta) or west coast (Ko Samui, depending on season) or to Hua Hin, which is a few hours outside of Bangkok for beach.

At 13, she might enjoy a spot of shopping and she will get plenty of that in Bangkok.

Rojak Mon 18-Nov-13 09:43:24

I just did Australia this summer and find it really expensive as the AUD$ has gone up against the £.

SoupDragon Mon 18-Nov-13 09:47:12

Don't you need vaccinations for places like Thailand?

Spherical Mon 18-Nov-13 09:54:46

Wasn't there a Mnetter posting from Chile a few days ago saying you dont need vaccinations to go from UK to Chile?

womma Mon 18-Nov-13 09:54:47

South Africa? Botswana? I'd go for Australia in your position.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 18-Nov-13 10:15:42

Not in a hurry to book. We've already booked next summer holiday so really will be looking at Xmas 2014 or Easter or summer 2015.

I think dd may need to get over her fear of needles.

ToddleWaddle Mon 18-Nov-13 16:06:01


We used this company about 7/8 years ago. Good sample ideas depending on your interests.

Arenal is a must to see volcanos and cloud forest nearby.
We particularly enjoyed Lapa Rios on the Osa peninsula. Waking up with parrots, toucans and monkeys on door step. Wonderful isolation.
Your daughter might enjoy Manuel Antonio. Bit busier and touristy.

monopoly123 Mon 18-Nov-13 16:45:59

I love Malaysia, we spent about 3 months there 2yrs ago - although if you fly into Singapore I'd consider skipping KL - head to Langkawi or Perehentians (depending on when you go) for island life then head over to Borneo for orangutans.
Round the world experts have some great flight packages from the UK to SE Asia and then you can use airlines like air Asia to hop from place to place - or the trains and buses are good options - aero line buses have armchair style seats, the overnight trains are fun too.
But vaccinations are recommended - also good insect repellent, as dengue can be a problem.
We did a jungle package with Borneo Eco tours - we got picked up in Sandakan, taken to turtle island, then a river trip down the kinabatangen river for a couple of nights in the rainforest - it included a morning boat trip, & some guided walks.
We also had a couple of nights in royal belum state park which was good.

AzizaFlutterby Tue 19-Nov-13 01:50:07

Cambodia has pretty much all of this.

I want somewhere with pool, and beach and rainforest/jungle with canopy walks, elephant treks, wildlife spotting, pony treks, ruined temples, breathtaking sights.

eightandthreequarters Tue 19-Nov-13 02:09:57

Costa Rica - very good choice.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Tue 19-Nov-13 02:47:51

Singapore. Beach on Sentosa Island, rainforest, botanical garden, British/Indian/Chinese history and influence. Lots of shopping. Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari at the zoo. Afternoon tea at Raffles. Walk on the Grand Prix Circuit.

If you want to spoil yourself in Langkawi take a look at The Datai hotel.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 19-Nov-13 06:53:04

Have priced up Costa Rica doing it ourselves and visiting three different places and reckon I'd need about 4k for it all. And that's not expensive accommodation either! So will start saving, reckon we'll go march 2015.

Hopefully school holidays, Easter time and their dry season.

I was looking at a nice Eco lodge on the Osa peninsular and it was $500 a night! I've had to adjust my ideas a bit!

Saminthemiddle Tue 19-Nov-13 06:58:41

Queensland in Australia, Great Barrier Reef, jungle walks (high in the canopy), little zoos, river boats, loads to do. Port Douglas is lovely, nice hotels there and it wasn't too expensive when we went. We managed two weeks and it wasn't much more than Asia. We spent a day in Singapore on the way.

Saminthemiddle Tue 19-Nov-13 07:36:00

Just opened my emails and saw the latest voyage-prive.co.uk . there are some fabulous offers, some 50% off and the Malaysia tour for 9 days looks lovely - I have been to lots of those places and stayed in the hotels and it looks good value. There is also Thailand, Bali and Vietnam and great prices if you don't have to go in school holidays.


Not sure if you can click on this without joining (for free).

Have priced up Costa Rica doing it ourselves and visiting three different places and reckon I'd need about 4k for it all. And that's not expensive accommodation either! So will start saving, reckon we'll go march 2015.

That's bloody good! We are spending more than double that

IcouldstillbeJoseph Tue 19-Nov-13 09:19:25

I haven't read whole thread - can recommend Costa Rica, and a tour company called Desafio (I think, will check). The horse trek in Monteverde is amazing.
The food is generally crap though. Apart from pineapples and bananas of course.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Tue 19-Nov-13 09:20:45


IcouldstillbeJoseph Tue 19-Nov-13 09:21:07
IcouldstillbeJoseph Tue 19-Nov-13 09:21:49

We did it far cheaper than 4k - but we stayed in some dodgy places!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 19-Nov-13 10:52:21

NoArmani, there's only two of us remember!

Same here, it's our honeymoon!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 19-Nov-13 11:58:47

Ah well, you need to push the boat out for a honeymoon. grin

I've set out a bit of an itinery of four days at the Areunul volcano, couple of days at Monteverde, back to San Jose for one night. Then fly to Drake Bay and spend four or five nights there. Back to San Jose for a plane home.

You'll have to let me know how you find your trip NoArmani.

BobbyGentry Tue 19-Nov-13 12:19:20

Look at www.airbnb.com for accommodation in the places you want to visit, cheap & local smile
Personally, I'd recommend Siem reap, Cambodia (angkor cultural village hotel - they have elephants to take you around Bayon temple, a Khmer theatre and awesome accommodation.
Whilst in Asia look for cheap flights by scoot, jet star and air Asia smile
Have fun planning!

nogoodusernamesleft Fri 27-Dec-13 23:24:39

I went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua in April/May this year, accompanying a friend who runs a travel/expedition company who wanted to check out the places they recommend. It was absolutely amazing! We did Arenal, Tortuguero, Sarapiqui. Nicaragua was my favourite though, we kayaked down the San Juan river and I completely fell in love with the place and the people. I really want to go back and take my teenage boys so that they can experience it too. Feel free to pm me if you want any more details! smile. We're off to Borneo in September on a 10 day trip, so am looking forward to the next adventure!

Alexchallex Sat 01-Feb-14 18:12:45

Hawaii? Plenty to do and nice beaches. Stayed 3 nights in Vancouver on the way there. Also amazing

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