is vacation better solo, or with one or more other people?

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is vacation better solo or with one or more people?

  • best by yourself

    Votes: 4 11.4%
  • best with just your SO

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • best with your SO and kids

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • best with friends

    Votes: 11 31.4%
  • best with random strangers (comedy option)

    Votes: 1 2.9%

  • Total voters
    35

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
24,090
2,323
126
I remember going to puerto rico with some buddies...I was pretty pissed that there we were in a foreign country and you make us eat a McDonalds.
Minor clarification since it is a pet peeve of mine: Puerto Rico is not a foreign country. But, your point is taken, you could have had food that was unique to that location and get forced into having the same crap that you can have any other day of your life. Vacations are not about saving money or doing the same thing over and over again. Vacations are about having an experience, one that sticks with you for life.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
24,090
2,323
126
I like to have "somewhat" of a schedule.
That is what I find to be best. I've been with the hyper-schedulers who have every minute planned. If something takes too long, they have to still do everything but they rush it. So, you might have the hour drive to the next destination, but as soon as you get there, you drive back since you need to get back on schedule, rather than actually enjoy what that destination was. And you certainly can't skip that two-hour drive because then you somehow "miss" seeing it, even though you miss seeing it by leaving the instant you arrived.

But the opposite problem with no schedule is often worse. You spend 3 hours each day figuring out what you can do, and then by the time you get there the tickets are sold out. That is no way to vacation.

The rough schedule is ideal. Get some key things planned, like tickets to an important activity. Know what else you want to do, but go with the flow. When something is really fun, keep doing it and toss out another thing. You can always come back another trip to finish it all. I'd rather leave a vacation thinking that I really want to go back to do more than leave a vacation thinking about a schedule.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
51,960
4,606
126
That is what I find to be best. I've been with the hyper-schedulers who have every minute planned. If something takes too long, they have to still do everything but they rush it. So, you might have the hour drive to the next destination, but as soon as you get there, you drive back since you need to get on schedule, rather than actually enjoy what that destination was. And you certainly can't skip that two-hour drive because then you somehow "miss" seeing it, even though you miss seeing it by leaving the instant you arrived.

But the opposite problem with no schedule is often worse. You spend 3 hours each day figuring out what you can do, and then by the time you get there the tickets are sold out. That is no way to vacation.

The rough schedule is ideal. Get some key things planned, like tickets to an important activity. Know what else you want to do, but go with the flow. When something is really fun, keep doing it and toss out another thing. You can always come back another trip.
Yeah I know what you mean. I couldn't travel with people that stick to a schedule like that. We have certain friends we simply won't travel with. Then we have some we'd prefer to travel with.

When we went to Aruba this past Nov/Dec we went with 2 other couples. My wife and I were the only couples who had been there. So we kind of "planned" what to do. Like there were specific beaches we wanted to go to, one that we would be at pretty much all day since it's on the other side of the island, then the others were ones we just knew about. We knew we wanted to do a specific snorkel tour and sunset boat trip. We also knew 1 day the guys would rent ATV's while the girls did spa shit.

But we didn't have any clue what days we were doing anything until we arrived there. Then when it came to the beach days, we didn't have times we would go. We all just got up when we got up, went to the grocery store to get some food and drinks to bring with us, filled the cooler then hung out and ate/drank. The day we ATV'd we booked it a day or two before, no biggie.

The only one that was on a hard schedule was the snorkel trip, because I wanted to do that specifically on my birthday, so we knew that one way in advcance.
 

FeuerFrei

Diamond Member
Mar 30, 2005
9,152
928
126
Never have vacationed alone. :neutral: Unless 6 weeks of corporate training 1,300 miles from home is considered vacation.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,282
1,658
126
I can't choose just one. Once you have kids, it's fun dragging them around places and seeing things...so they'll have an understanding of the world through experiences. We took our kids (3 and 5) to the Smithsonian a few weeks back. It was actually pretty neat seeing the taxodermy animals, the art, the planes/space vehicles, etc... We'll go back in a few years, so they remember more of it. I took them to a planetarium last weekend solo for the sake of learning.

We've taken them to Disney World and different beaches on quite a few trips.... Speaking Disney, I had only been twice before and only for a few days....I never really spent a lot of time there. We went there for a conference at the Grand Floridian with a 2.5 year old and 6 month old. It was a great trip...pushing the stroller, riding all the rides in MK except the mountains. Eating tons of good food. 2 kid to 2 parent ratio is great and we manage those trips well....knowing expectations, food, and potty breaks.

Of course, a trip with just me and my wife is nice. We did a solo trip for 3-4 days before meeting up with the kids and extended family in our condo/timeshare at the beach. It was a pretty nice week and a half trip for us.

The key is to avoid a group that's too large (for the sake of dining, transportation, and extra occupancy issues). There are certain family members and friends you have to just learn to avoid. People who are too particular about things or control freaks are the worst. Sometimes the best part of vacation is planning for a lot of possibilities, but choosing the one the group wants to go for. I've known some people that want to deviate from the laid-back approach and that's counter-productive. I'd rather just roll with it.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,688
2,800
126
Nothing wrong with eating McDonald's on vacation in foreign country. After eating lot of foreign food, I tend to crave home comfort food and food I'm familiar with. Sometimes, Big Mac hits the spot. And franchise food and quality can vary greatly by country.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,282
1,658
126
Never have vacationed alone. :neutral: Unless 6 weeks of corporate training 1,300 miles from home is considered vacation.
I used to do that, but at least the 6 weeks was broken up throughout the year.

I'd do a week in Boston, a week in Salt Lake City, a week in Chicago.....a week in DC. It turned out to be a pretty nice perk because I was able to go snowboarding in SLC a few times a year and catch ballgames and concerts. I would be the guy that showed up to training smelling like stale alcohol and good times 20 minutes late.

Traveling solo was fun but it forced me to be more outgoing when I wanted to talk to someone. I ended up meeting a lot of strangers, hanging out with people in similar situations from the training. I remember partying with a group of techies from all over the globe a few nights when vendors were taking us out on the town. It was a blast.
 

CountZero

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2001
1,796
36
86
Don't feel bad!

Wife and I did a month in Europe and we had an excel sheet and a word doc. One worksheet per destination, each column was a day we'd be there. Everything we booked in advance was in the schedule. The word doc had a list of things we might want to see in a kind of tier list of "must sees", "high want", "can miss/save for next time" and "if we have time and are close". We also listed food options we definitely wanted to do. Took all of that and for each day entered what was closed that day (Paris was a nightmare for this as most things are not open everyday of the week). Then we just tentatively filled in a plan of things geographically co-located.

We didn't hit it all, not even close if you include the full list of items but we did hit every "must see" and the vast majority of "high want". We did miss a couple food options. Given it was a full month of travel it was the only sane way to do it. We started planning like we would for a week or less trip and the logistics just were too much. It gave us a guide for each day and let us easily plan for changes, too tired today we punt this to tomorrow and just skip that thing.
 

Chapbass

Diamond Member
May 31, 2004
3,113
68
91
Either by myself, or with a child. Both versions I get to do what I want, but with a kid you also get to to see the world through their eyes, and everything's a little more spectacular. The downside is you have to account for a kid where you travel.
I've never really thought about this. No kids yet but planning on starting soon-ish. This is something I'm now really looking forward to. Thanks!
 

GagHalfrunt

Lifer
Apr 19, 2001
25,297
1,996
126
Depends on where you're going and what you're doing. Spring Break in Cancun is better with friends. Disney World you take the wife and kids. Sex Tours of the bars of Bangkok you go alone.
 

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
11,119
1,447
126
When I taught in South Korea I'd vaca in Thailand solo.

I met all kinds of people from around the world. Met up with a dude who I chatted with on a forum I used to frequent.

Had a goood time. :)
 
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DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,366
740
126
Important to understand that "alone" and "lonely" are different things. If are alone and lonely then obviously you are not in good company so maybe solo not a good option for you. Its important to be in good company while on vacation, be it SO or friend or solo.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,905
2,848
126
Don't feel bad!

Wife and I did a month in Europe and we had an excel sheet and a word doc. One worksheet per destination, each column was a day we'd be there. Everything we booked in advance was in the schedule. The word doc had a list of things we might want to see in a kind of tier list of "must sees", "high want", "can miss/save for next time" and "if we have time and are close". We also listed food options we definitely wanted to do. Took all of that and for each day entered what was closed that day (Paris was a nightmare for this as most things are not open everyday of the week). Then we just tentatively filled in a plan of things geographically co-located.
lol, spreadsheet is pretty hardcore but i basically do the same thing but as bulleted lists in google docs
Yeah I don't know how we'd keep everything straight with all our trips, the lengths of some and the pace we generally take. And I keep those in case we want to remember something about the trip or someone asks me for recommendations. What was the name of that great hotel you stayed in 3 years ago? Hold on let me look.
 

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