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To ask which trip of a lifetime you would choose?

(44 Posts)
MotherOfDragons90 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:08:31

Hi all - I know this isn’t an AIBU but we are really stuck. DH and I are trying to plan a once in a lifetime type holiday for next year (he has a big birthday).

We have narrowed it down to two - either a USA road trip type holiday (we were thinking west coast) or South Africa (including Safari).

Has anyone done both these sorts of holiday and would/wouldn’t recommend it for any reason? What would you pick?!


HarrysOwl Thu 21-Mar-19 16:14:22

Depends what sort of thing you like - I've travelled extensively and one of my favourite trips was a 2-month road trip across 11 USA states, including route 66.

The trip had everything!

Yellowstone, Yosemite, Death Valley for stunning natural beauty, Las Vegas for city craziness, LA for beaches, it's easy to get around if you hire a car, easy to find motels/hotels for all budgets, super friendly, great supermarkets for supplies, it suited me & DH.

thecatsthecats Thu 21-Mar-19 16:15:55

I would pick the road trip personally, having just done one. Done lots of trips with 'guided' stuff before, and whilst it has it's obvious benefits in terms of safety and ease, nothing beats the freedom of do exactly as you please.

Though mine was around NZ, not the USA, which I would recommend to the moon and back. Beautiful country, beautiful people - with a sane government, which can't be sniffed at!

ApolloandDaphne Thu 21-Mar-19 16:17:52

I have done both. We did the US one with another family and had the DC with us. The South Africa trip we did just the two of us for our 25th wedding anniversary. Both were great but i would say the SA has the edge as a wonderful experience especially the safari. I would love to go back and do it again.

MotherOfDragons90 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:19:24

We like all sorts really! We do like beaches but have done many a beach holiday so wouldn’t be too fussed about that. Great food would be a must, lots of places to explore and we don’t mind early mornings/a bit of travelling. I enjoy wildlife- hence the safari idea but equally Yosemite and Yellowstone would cover that too.

It’s so hard! It’s going to take all year saving so don’t want have any regrets!

GottenGottenGotten Thu 21-Mar-19 16:20:17

Of those 2, USA.

If I was to choose my own, a road trip in Central and South America.

Jsmith99 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:23:29

I have done both holidays on your shortlist, and both were wonderful experiences and worth every single penny.

If I were forced to choose, I would go with South Africa. I would do a two-stage trip, starting with Cape Town, the Cape peninsula, the wine lands, garden route and whale watching at Hermanus. I would them fly up to the Kruger Park for the safari part of the holiday. Truly the trip of a lifetime.

The West Coast of the USA is also amazing, of course. Whichever you choose, you will have a very memorable trip.

MotherOfDragons90 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:23:33

Thanks Gotten - will have a look at that too.

saj90 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:24:20

My folks did South Africa last year. Big big trip. Said it was the best holiday they've ever had. (Previously been to Vietnam / Cambodia / a lot of Caribbean etc).
And it's not expensive once you're there.

Jsmith99 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:29:02

That’s a good point about costs. The £ is very strong against the $ at the moment, which means everything in the US is expensive. The wonderful days of $2 to the £ are long gone sadly, and I’m not expecting them to return any time soon.

The Rand is a very weak currency, however, meaning everything is dirt cheap for British visitors.

Jsmith99 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:29:59

I meant the £ is very weak against the $, of course.

Eliza9917 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:30:42

I'd pick the road trip.

AryaStarkWolf Thu 21-Mar-19 16:32:13

Road trip all the way

CruCru Thu 21-Mar-19 16:32:47

How long will you be away for?

TroysMammy Thu 21-Mar-19 16:33:51

China just to see the pandas. Nothing else, just the pandas 🐼

TroysMammy Thu 21-Mar-19 16:34:44

Sorry, thought you meant I could choose. Still the pandas though.

Hobbesmanc Thu 21-Mar-19 16:37:13

We have done both these trips and both are amazing. South Africa works as a great road trip too across the garden route maybe finishing with the Safari north of Port Elizabeth or with a beach holiday near Cape Town which is an awesome city. Driving is really easy if you take some basic security precautions and you will be amazed at the quality and value of the restaurants, wine and accommodation. Theres some amazing B and Bs.

The West Coast is again a beautiful drive with the opportunities to see LA and San Francisco maybe adding in the Grand Canyon and one or two of the National Parks.

Its a really tough call- but there is something so magical about a safari that it would probably be the deciding factor for me. My tip would be to go budget elsewhere but really splash out on the safari. You want to be in private jeeps with no more than 4 guests per guide and chose a variety of times to do the game drives

MotherOfDragons90 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:37:49

We were thinking between 2-3 weeks smile

LoopyLu2019 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:37:49

I've been to south Africa for a 3 week trip of a life time and it was amazing. We did walking and driven safaris, canoed down a river, did the battle fields of islandwano and kosi bay. I've also done several US state trips. I would say south Africa over usa. Mainly because SA was much more of an escape/switch off and a whole new experience.

SenoritaViva Thu 21-Mar-19 16:40:00

I can’t comment on USA but lived in SA for a while. Food is great and cheap. My friends who did a US road trip last year had a great time but were hugely disappointed by the food (very expensive and could not cater for their veggie son, eg top of the range fish restaurant could only offer a cheese sandwich as veggie option’.

If you like wildlife/beautiful spots Namaqualand in the spring for flowers, the drakensburg for sheer beauty, cape Vidal (st Lucia) for beauty and wildlife. Everyone always says the Krüger but you can find smaller parks that can have better experiences, budget depending. It’s worth researching! Cape Town and franschoek are stunning.

AtLeastThreeDrinks Thu 21-Mar-19 16:40:57

Definitely South Africa. I've been to a few places in the US and I just don't love it as a destination –I'm more drawn to places rich in history and culture, and the US doesn't really deliver on that. I know a couple of people who've roadtripped there, too, and both said that unless you love driving it can get a bit monotonous!

Safari is bucket-list stuff for me.

GloriousGoosebumps Thu 21-Mar-19 16:43:58

I can recommend the South African trip. We stayed at two safari lodges for the first half of the holiday and then flew to Cape Town for the remainder of the trip. South Africa really is a wonderful country. Having said that, the road trip sounds like quite an experience too. How lucky to have the choice!

Bobbybobbins Thu 21-Mar-19 16:45:45

I would personally choose the safari trip - once in a lifetime!

Clown77 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:47:11

I would pick the road trip sounds more exciting to me than a Safari trip in South Africa

Clown77 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:48:22

But saying that Why not choose to go Safari for your birthday treat

Either way whatever you decide to choose have a lovely time

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