Since I’ve just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas, I’ve got vacation on the brain. So this week’s post will be to seek your advice on resolving a dilemma I’m facing in 2009: too much vacation time and no decision on how to use it up.
By the end of December, after two weeks in New Mexico and the Vegas trip, I’ll still have about 240 hours of vacation time. Next year, I’ll earn another 146 hours. The problem? I need to use at least 120 hours of vacation next year…or lose the excess!
So I’m looking for a “new” destination where I can spend two weeks in September or October. (The other week will be used for the annual Vegas trip.) I’ve narrowed the choices down to three destinations. These three choices presume I won’t make it to the Netherlands and Belgium – the original plan – due to the economy. But if the Euro is weak against the dollar next Fall…
Option 1 is the last U.S. destination on my list: fly to Boston, hang out a few days, then drive through upstate New York to Niagara Falls and on to Montreal. This would be a three week trip to do it “right.” (I’ve had a valid passport since I was in grade school, and my wife’s had one since 1988, so crossing the border is not an issue.)
Option 2 is to combine the annual Vegas trip with a trip to the Mexican Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta (PV). There are direct flights from Vegas to PV. I’ve already done a lot of research on this trip because I wanted to do it this year but it would have been high season and I balked at the rates. Low season, I can get an excellent weekly rate at a 1 BR condo a block from the beach in “old Vallarta.” After seeing the Americanization of Cancun, I’d prefer the ambiance of old Vallarta to the newer tourist zone enclaves.
Option 3 is a week in Puerto Rico, possibly combined with a week long cruise from there. I think by next year the cruise lines will eliminate, or significantly reduce, the fuel surcharge but the economy will not have recovered enough for them to halt deep discount pricing. I ’m not a big cruise fan because I’m an explorer and one day in a port is not enough time for that. So Puerto Rico may be a “fall back” if both of the first two options won’t work. But if I’m offered a cruise deal I can’t refuse….
Now this is where you come in. If you’ve been to at least two of these three destinations, which one would you return to first? Use the poll at the bottom of the page to cast your vote! If you want to extoll the virtues of your recommendation, leave a comment.
P.S. I’ve updated the Vegas Journal page to expand on Wednesday, when I had limited Internet access, and to include Thursday and Friday.