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Old 10-23-2016, 09:24 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,247 posts, read 19,545,740 times
Reputation: 13002

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
And I avoid cities like the plague. Each to their own.
Except that a city like Tokyo is the elephant in the room in a country like Japan. It is the heart of the culture, entertainment and commerce in that society, besides being a world capital.

But like you said, to each their own. You can always visit a foreign country and check out the local grocery store for that experience.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:48 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,262,981 times
Reputation: 7586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
Why do you think you know what's best for other travelers? Maybe millions of us like seeing a lot of cities on one trip.

There is no city in the world that I want to spend more than 3 days in.
Well, I guess you are one of those who spend 36 hours seeing it all in Paris - wait, not Paris, but the landmarks listed on travel guides. Yeah, of course in every city, you can see it all in 3 days, more likely 2. In fact, to see the most popular landmarks worth posting on facebook in Paris, it really takes no more than 1.5 days. Paris is small, and subways are convenient.
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Old 10-23-2016, 11:52 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,262,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Except that a city like Tokyo is the elephant in the room in a country like Japan. It is the heart of the culture, entertainment and commerce in that society, besides being a world capital.

But like you said, to each their own. You can always visit a foreign country and check out the local grocery store for that experience.
apparently people who avoid cities like the plague are not interested in culture. They just want to see some mountains and seas because it requires absolute no knowledge whatsoever.

A five year old knows the Grand Canyon is beautiful, but it takes education, culture, knowledge of history curiosity to appreciate cities such as Istanbul or Kyoto.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Southern California
5,433 posts, read 8,151,272 times
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OP back.

Well, I subscribed to a few good, informative YouTube channels about Japan, so I can start watching them all.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:00 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,569 posts, read 39,952,759 times
Reputation: 23704
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
apparently people who avoid cities like the plague are not interested in culture. ..
I chose to LIVE in the culture, usually a farm / small village. I cook with them, play instruments, hunt, fish, celebrate, use animals for transit, build huts, build bridges, dig wells (and latrines)...

Works for me
YMMV, as well as your definition of 'culture'.

Maybe you consider museums to be culture, rather than living in a culture.

I consider museums to be displays of what someone thought culture may have been.

I will take the narrow path, feel free to take the wide one (You will have plenty of 'company'!)
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:35 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,247 posts, read 19,545,740 times
Reputation: 13002
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I chose to LIVE in the culture, usually a farm / small village. I cook with them, play instruments, hunt, fish, celebrate, use animals for transit, build huts, build bridges, dig wells (and latrines)...
Wow, you do all of those things on a vacation?

I have to say that's impressive, although it sounds like work.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:50 AM
 
6,995 posts, read 6,988,918 times
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Bus tours, contrary to what some have said here, are very popular, especially for European trips. We've been on two previously and are planning another for this year. Yes, you don't have as much time to wander on your own, but there are free afternoons given in many cities. The tour to France we are considering is almost booked for this summer in every time slot.

We like that they handle the luggage, book the hotels, arrange for local guides, and drive us on a nice, large motor coach. Generally the tour will have up to 40 passengers. Usually a daily breakfast buffet is included, and Welcome and Farewell dinners, and, depending upon the particular tour, other dinners also. The bus usually lets passengers off close to any venue on the tour. A tour guide is assigned to each group. The two previous tour guides we have had were extremely knowledgeable and interesting. Local guides have been very good also. The luggage is taken to our rooms at each hotel.

The tours we've taken previously have been a mix of ages, but were predominately baby boomers with a few younger couples along. On our last tour, we (early 70's) were among the oldest tourists. There were a lot of single women in a large group, a couple of small family groups, and about 10 couples. No children ar teens.

It's a great way to travel safely and see and learn a lot. Some tours are more leisurely than others, and some more strenuous, so it pays to research them carefully.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:28 AM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,354,557 times
Reputation: 9264
I've seen a lot of negativity on here regarding travel agents. I haven't used one in a long time. But when I did, it was a positive experience. We were going from Sacramento to Hawaii for ten days. The agent made all the arrangements 6 months in advance. When we were three months away, the agent emailed me and said, "Hey, you are currently flying out of San Francisco. I wanted to let you know that Hawaiian Airlines now has direct flights from Sacramento and they are cheaper. Should I change your flight for you?" I never would have known that if she hadn't told me.


Also, regarding bus tours. I was always against them. But on that same trip to Hawaii, we did a "Circle Island Tour" on our first full day there. This was great because it was our first trip to Oahu and we were able to make a note of places we wanted to return to later in the trip.


But I do love doing my own research. Another resource that I'm not sure others have mentioned is podcasts. I like to listen to "An Extra Pack of Peanuts" and Rick Steves podcasts. I listened to one podcast of Rick Steves where he is interviewing tour guides of Rome. LOTS of inside tips that I didn't hear anywhere else. Also, it's a nice way to get fired up for your trip while you are driving around or doing housework.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,804 posts, read 806,686 times
Reputation: 1840
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
Internet. LOTS of research including reading reviews for places we plan to stay. I do print out some things and take them in a folder like confirmation pages for hotel reservations or flights just in case.

I enjoy the research. Honestly I think using a travel agent would take the fun out of it.
Too much research is a spoil for me.

I haven't been to Europe yet, but I feel like I've been to Italy many times. When my parents decided to vacation in Italy, I did the research and planning for them. I still remember why I chose hotel X over hotel Y because of the location and reviews, details like that.

The problem is, I don't have the desire to visit Italy at all.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,804 posts, read 806,686 times
Reputation: 1840
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Wow, you do all of those things on a vacation?

I have to say that's impressive, although it sounds like work.
It sounds like really hard work. I'd rather go back to my office.
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