First-Time Holidayer - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 05-07-2015, 03:45 AM
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First-Time Holidayer

Hi guys,

I'm looking for some advice on holidays, both from a veg*n point of view and from a general one too.

Me and my partner have been together now for over 6 years and we've never had a real holiday due to various issues outside both of our control.

I was thinking about booking a small holiday for us this year and was considering an all-inclusive package. However, as a vegan, I'm unsure if it's really "worth it" to go all-inclusive? My girlfriend is a meat eater, so she wouldn't have any problems, but I'm not sure what options would be available for myself.

I'm looking for advice really on things to look out for when booking a holiday for the first time and particularly as a vegan, the things I should check for to ensure I can enjoy the local food.

I'm really looking for somewhere that's cheap enough to save up for, but not so cheap as to lead to a potentially bad holiday.

So what advice do you have for someone who has never booked a holiday, and has no idea how to do so?
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#2 Old 05-07-2015, 06:42 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but I am not quite sure what you mean by "booking a holiday"? Do you mean planning a vacation somewhere during a holiday period? I guess I have never heard of that saying before.

If I travel and plan to stay in a hotel/motel, I try to find ones that have in room microwaves and refrigerators so that I can bring and prepare my own food. Or maybe a place that has a small kitchenette or common cafeteria area where I could prepare my own food. I might also check out sites like Happy Cow or Veg Dining online and take note of what kinds of restaurants and grocery stores are available in the area that cater to vegans/vegetarians. I even did that ahead for several major airports I had to get through and wait for long hours in. I researched what kinds of food I would be allowed to carry on an airplane (there are rules regarding this) so I could bring my own.

Not sure if I could be of much more help than that. Hopefully you get some more replies!

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#3 Old 05-07-2015, 07:31 PM
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Based on the use of the word 'holiday' I'm going to assume OP is British.

First of all, where do you want to go? That's the most important thing. From your question about "all-inclusive" options, I'm imagining seaside resorts, but I could be wrong. Even then, there are options. If you are in the UK , do you want to stay in Britain, go to continental Europe, go to the Caribbean, go to Turkey?

Also, what do you want to do on your vacation? Relax, explore, hike, swim, read by a pool, experience a new culture, etc...? This is all important to consider.

I don't much like vacations, where the whole point is to relax and gorge yourself on food and booze. I like adventures, either abroad or close to home. I always go for cheap accommodations (hostels are great!) and use my budget for other things. It seems silly to go elsewhere just to see the inside of a hotel. I get a Lonely Planet guidebook, a good map, and set off! It's amazing what you will see if you just spend all day walking around a place.

Anyway, that's my traveling philosophy. I am thinking OP is looking for something different, but maybe we need more details before we can give good input.
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#4 Old 05-08-2015, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but I am not quite sure what you mean by "booking a holiday"? Do you mean planning a vacation somewhere during a holiday period? I guess I have never heard of that saying before.
Ah, yes, my apologies, in Britain, at least in the part of Britain that I live, we simply call vacations, 'holidays'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
Based on the use of the word 'holiday' I'm going to assume OP is British.

First of all, where do you want to go? That's the most important thing. From your question about "all-inclusive" options, I'm imagining seaside resorts, but I could be wrong. Even then, there are options. If you are in the UK , do you want to stay in Britain, go to continental Europe, go to the Caribbean, go to Turkey?

Also, what do you want to do on your vacation? Relax, explore, hike, swim, read by a pool, experience a new culture, etc...? This is all important to consider.

I don't much like vacations, where the whole point is to relax and gorge yourself on food and booze. I like adventures, either abroad or close to home. I always go for cheap accommodations (hostels are great!) and use my budget for other things. It seems silly to go elsewhere just to see the inside of a hotel. I get a Lonely Planet guidebook, a good map, and set off! It's amazing what you will see if you just spend all day walking around a place.

Anyway, that's my traveling philosophy. I am thinking OP is looking for something different, but maybe we need more details before we can give good input.
I'd like to travel and explore, I too cannot simply sit around "relaxing" even on weekends, I can't just sit around in the garden enjoying the sun, I have to be out driving around and exploring.

The problem is that I'm not too sure exactly what I want from a vacation, and I think that's my biggest problem. I also think myself and my girlfriend have slightly different wants/needs when it comes to vacations and that's a very small part of the reason we haven't been on vacation before. I personally wouldn't mind going to a cheap hostel and spending my days walking around (particularly on trails, or up mountains etc [although not rock-climbing, I'm incredibly un-fit at the moment]).

For me, I think the perfect vacation would be spent driving around and stopping at awesome locations for great local food and exploration. I think I've answered my own question partly, but I think for a first time vacation, I think I'd enjoy driving to France (it's the closest European country accessed by car), and driving around finding awesome sights and stopping for treks and exploring. I appreciate that driving a lot isn't very "green", but I really LOVE driving.
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#5 Old 05-08-2015, 02:59 AM
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I think you've answered your own question. France would probably be the most economical choice, aside from some other place in England, since it's so close and you won't need to fly. If your girlfriend prefers relaxing, maybe you could combine the two: a day of exploration followed by a day of relaxation, alternating like that throughout.
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#6 Old 05-08-2015, 03:45 AM
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Thanks guys for the cultural education! I love international forums!

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#7 Old 05-08-2015, 05:35 AM
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Driving around the French countryside sounds pretty great, and it wouldn't be very strenuous. There'd be lots of opportunities to stop and enjoy a glass of wine along the way, and those small towns can be really cool.

I always like to have a good guidebook. The Lonely Planet brand has always served me well on trips to Europe. They typically acknowledge vegetarian needs and options and environmental-friendliness in their guidebooks, which is great. Their website (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/) also has some information and tips for various destinations. I also like Wikitravel (http://wikitravel.org/en/Main_Page) to do preliminary research about places and things to do. Just poking around in these places and seeing what the possibilities are might help you decide.

Definitely involve your girlfriend in the process too. Planning a trip is really fun for me, and it would probably be a fun thing for you to do together. Plus, then you'll both have shared expectations about what you'll be doing and nobody will feel disappointed.

Another thing to think about is when you'll go on your trip. Thinking about France, it's my understanding that August is when most French people go on holiday, so it may not be a good time to go. Summer is usually high tourist season, so hotel, restaurants, and attractions will be more crowded and possibly more expensive.
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