I would rule out South Africa, New Zealand, and Japan from consideration. They are really too far to travel for the amount of time you have available. Japan is also super expensive.ugaDAWGS09 wrote: ↑Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:30 pmMy wife and I are looking to plan our first international trip. We are looking for a 7-10 day vacation in a safe area where English will be commonly spoken. I guess the first place that comes to mind is London, but we are really considering several options such as Rome/Florence/Venice, Cape Town South Africa, New Zealand, Paris, Japan. I know some of these aren't English speaking countries but would be nice if we could at least order food, get directions, etc. without too much of a hassle.
We are both early 30s and love to sight-see, explore the local culture, and find nice places to eat. We would probably be going in the Spring or Summer of next year. Another issue is flight time. The farthest we have ever flown was Maui and that was a long flight from the east coast, and I know some of these locations are way further.
Any recommendations? We are really open to any location.
I think you'll enjoy yourself more if you don't try and do one of the "sampler" bus tours which hit 5 countries in 8 days. Even 5 cities in the same country can be exhausting if you have to be packed with your bags outside the door before breakfast.
I have done several vacations in the UK. You could do London and then a loop up to Yorkshire, across the moors, the Lake District, down to Bath, Oxford, and/or Cambridge. A friend and I flew into Gatwick, stayed several days in London then went back to Gatwick and rented a car. (That was an adventure in itself ). You could also get a BritRail Pass and hit some of the cities as day or overnight trips. Or hit London and Edinburgh or London & Dublin in the time you have allotted.
I did do a bus tour in Ireland through CIE which included 2 stays at B&Bs. I'm not a super fan of bus tours, but we were a group of 6 and i was the only one would have been willing to drive in that group (which I wasn't willing to do since the scenery is such an important part of an Ireland tour. After experiencing the Ring of Kerry, I was definitely thankful that I hadn't taken on the driving! This is the itinerary closest to the tour we took - it looks like they eliminated the B&Bs.
I have also taken a couple of walking tours in England using Wayfarers and Country Walkers. I have done group tours with both tour companies, but Country Walkers has started offering Self-Guided tours where they provide 24/7 local support, luggage transfers, and all the detailed maps you need. I did a Cotswold walk with Wayfarer's which was walk from Inn to Inn and the Cornish Coastal tour with Country Walkers - we did day hikes from 2 different locations. England is rather unique with its public footpaths. With the exception of one of the Cotswold villages that was part of a bus tour route, we rarely saw any other tourists. We were eating lunch and in local pubs and dinner in nice local restaurants. Accommodations were local inns and B&Bs. I really enjoyed these tours and have done several others in the US and Canada.