$25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

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fortfun
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$25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:47 pm

Just got a 25k quote for 8 day cruise on Galapagos Is and 4 night Trek at Machu Picchu for my family of 4 through Ideal South America (18 days total). This does not include the flight to Quito. Hoping to pay for this with miles. Does this seem about right? It comes with hotels, tour guides, transfers, flights to Galapagos, meals, etc. Obviously a once in a life time trip.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by finite_difference » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:23 pm

Seems expensive, but if that’s the top-rated tour for those places, then it could very well be worth the money.

It’s better to spend $25k and have an awesome time, with nice hotels, great organization and fantastic tour guides vs spending $15k and being miserable.

I would make sure you shop around a little, maybe get 1-2 other quotes, and check the reviews carefully. Don’t necessarily just go with the cheapest one, but pick the one that you can afford and that sounds the best.
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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by InMyDreams » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:26 pm

I'm not surprised. The Galapagos in particular is very expensive - and you have 8 days. Hope it's a small ship?
We paid a bit extra to be on the upper deck - it was worth it.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:30 pm

InMyDreams wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:26 pm
I'm not surprised. The Galapagos in particular is very expensive - and you have 8 days. Hope it's a small ship?
We paid a bit extra to be on the upper deck - it was worth it.
Coral I or Coral II. 20 or 36. Too many people?

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:31 pm

Galapagos? For 4 people? That sounds cheap.

All ships in the Galapagos are small ships. The park has ship size limits. 20 or 36 is fine.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:41 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:31 pm
Galapagos? For 4 people? That sounds cheap.

All ships in the Galapagos are small ships. The park has ship size limits. 20 or 36 is fine.
Yeah, I'm beginning to think it might actually be a pretty good deal. Tough to spend that much money but life is short....
Last edited by fortfun on Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Careful » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:42 pm

That is a typical tourist junket but keep in mind those destinations are pretty far from each other. Galapagos is a flight off the Ecuador coast and Macchu Picchu is far into eastern Peru, a whole different country, so that is a lot of flights.

I would recommend doing Galapagos + Ecuador mainland, honestly. Amazon maybe? Still far but at least one country.

I think Lindblatt is probably the most high end/ recommendable / good practices company doing tourism in Galapagos. Pay does correlate with quality. The cheaper your tour, the more fish and rice you'll eat while on the boat...

Peru is also a country full of great things you could do with your 18 days, many of them less crowded than Macchu Pichhu, though you should hit that of course. I'd love to make it to Lake Titikaka...Peru/Bolivia border. It's not that far, is wonderful, and makes so much more sense geographically than jetting off to Galapagos.

I know that wasn't what you asked.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by bh09863 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:03 pm

If you are willing to do a land-based trip (rather than booking a cruise ahead of time) you can save a lot on the Galapagos trip.

My wife and I spent 11 days in 2015 and the total cost was ~5k (~2k for round trip flights from Miami to the islands). When researching we found that a straight up cruise would have been at least 3x the price.

There is are a lot of areas you can only see by booking one of the larger cruises but then again we did not run out of things to see or do. Our favorites experience was snorkeling with the penguins and sea lions.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Millennial » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:45 pm

Machu Picchu trek - is that the Inca Trail? Usually this would be 3 nights... If it's an alternate trek, I would highly recommend the traditional Inca Trail 3 night trek to enter Machu Picchu, unless you have done it before. Spend some time researching the tour company, too. They are not all equal, and a great one isn't much extra money.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Herring123 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:55 pm

Cusco has amazing hiking, but highly recommend steering clear of Macchu Picchu and doing basically anything else--I did Choquequirao and Inca Trail/Macchu Picchu and highly recommend the former. It's also super cheap and there's no need to book hotels in advance of your stay really. In fact may be better not to so you can stretch out/truncate a multi-day hike as you wish. No idea what trip to Galapagos costs but hotels in Cusco are cheap and if you're doing it right most of your trip you spend in a tent

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by HomerJ » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:46 am

Herring123 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:55 pm
Cusco has amazing hiking, but highly recommend steering clear of Macchu Picchu and doing basically anything else--I did Choquequirao and Inca Trail/Macchu Picchu and highly recommend the former. It's also super cheap and there's no need to book hotels in advance of your stay really. In fact may be better not to so you can stretch out/truncate a multi-day hike as you wish. No idea what trip to Galapagos costs but hotels in Cusco are cheap and if you're doing it right most of your trip you spend in a tent
If I'm in a tent, I'm doing it wrong.

Why do you suggest one should steer clear of Machu Picchu?
The J stands for Jay

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:50 am

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:46 am
Herring123 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:55 pm
Cusco has amazing hiking, but highly recommend steering clear of Macchu Picchu and doing basically anything else--I did Choquequirao and Inca Trail/Macchu Picchu and highly recommend the former. It's also super cheap and there's no need to book hotels in advance of your stay really. In fact may be better not to so you can stretch out/truncate a multi-day hike as you wish. No idea what trip to Galapagos costs but hotels in Cusco are cheap and if you're doing it right most of your trip you spend in a tent
If I'm in a tent, I'm doing it wrong.

Why do you suggest one should steer clear of Machu Picchu?
Actually Machu Picchu is amazing, and well worth going to, but it’s crowded. It’s so crowded nobody goes there anymore.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Cash » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:01 am

I can’t believe people are recommending that you skip Machu Piccu. One of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been (2013). Crowded, yes, but still worth it. Get tix to climb Huayna Picchu.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by vanguardrocks » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:24 am

The 8 days in Galapagos would be the most expensive part of your trip. Not a lot of information to determine if 25k is expensive. Are you traveling during peak season? What islands in the Galapagos would you be visiting? As a family of 4, we went on a 2 week trip to Galapagos (8 days) and mainland Ecuador (5 days) in June for $9k including airfare. I planned the whole trip and did not go through an agent. This does require a lot of time and effort.
In the Galapagos, we stayed on Santa Cruz and Isabella islands and took a couple of land-based tours. If the cruise itinerary only includes the inhabited islands (Santa Cruz, Isabella, San Cristobal, Floreana), you may be better off with a land-based tour as there are ferry services across these islands.
We loved the weather in mainland Ecuador and thoroughly enjoyed our 5-day stay. Lots of places to visit (Quito, Cuyabeno, Banos...)and inexpensive.
Plan to combine Peru and Bolivia in the future. I have heard great things about Peruvian Amazon and the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by knpstr » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:56 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:50 am
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:46 am
Herring123 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:55 pm
Cusco has amazing hiking, but highly recommend steering clear of Macchu Picchu and doing basically anything else--I did Choquequirao and Inca Trail/Macchu Picchu and highly recommend the former. It's also super cheap and there's no need to book hotels in advance of your stay really. In fact may be better not to so you can stretch out/truncate a multi-day hike as you wish. No idea what trip to Galapagos costs but hotels in Cusco are cheap and if you're doing it right most of your trip you spend in a tent
If I'm in a tent, I'm doing it wrong.

Why do you suggest one should steer clear of Machu Picchu?
Actually Machu Picchu is amazing, and well worth going to, but it’s crowded. It’s so crowded nobody goes there anymore.
Actually clicked through an article/slideshow yesterday about vacation sights to see. They listed Machu Picchu as #1 destination in the world.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Grasshopper » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:46 am

Take a deep breathe and make the reservation, you will be glad you did it. Did 18 days Galapagos/Machu Picchu in 2016 paid $25k for 2 adults only.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:05 am

Sounds reasonable to me. I am wondering hiw you pay for that with mikes. How many miles?

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by jodydavis » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:11 am

Having been to both, the price seems reasonable for what is included. As others have noted, by far the most expensive component is the 8-day Galapagos cruise. All of these cruises are very expensive (our cruise was the most I have ever paid for a single vacation event), and, at least in my mind, worth every penny. If you want to confirm the pricing, do a sample booking for the 8-day cruise only on the Coral I or II, and then compare the balance to what else you are getting. My guess is that it will seem pretty reasonable.

The size of Coral I or II seems like it would be fine. Most of the ships cruising the Galapagos (with a few exceptions) are pretty small, and those two seem like they are in the usual range. You can look for ship reviews on TripAdvisor in the Galapagos forum.

And definitely don't miss Machu Picchu - it's amazing, as is the surrounding Sacred Valley. Sounds like a terrific family trip. Have fun!

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by centrifuge41 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:25 pm

If you want a package deal, then go for it. If you split it up, you can likely save.
Some friends flew to Baltra and realized that even when purchased on the ground, wildlife tours were $150+ a day. I'm sure a cruise would cost a lot more.

While Peru is next to Ecuador, that isn't necessarily a reason to bundle the two into one trip from a money saving stand point. From a time saving stand point, sure. I saw airfares earlier this year Richmond VA to Quito for under $400 round. DC to Lima for under $500 round. But guess how much a one way from Quito to Lima cost? $400. At that point, I'd personally rather do 2 shorter trips than see Peru & Ecuador in one go.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by jpohio » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:35 pm

We visited Galapagos this past May on a Celebrity Cruise. The ship has 96 passengers, and offers an extension to Machu Picchu - you fly to Lima from Quito flying to Quito from Baltra (Galapagos airport). We did not extend to Machu Piccu, but about 25% of the folks on our cruise did. Based on what we paid, I think $25k is a pretty good deal.

My only advice - You will likely visit these places only once, and both are worth the time and money. Our Galapagos trip was amazing. I would not hesitate to spend the $$ - this is not a trip you want to skimp on.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:23 pm

vanguardrocks wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:24 am
The 8 days in Galapagos would be the most expensive part of your trip. Not a lot of information to determine if 25k is expensive. Are you traveling during peak season? What islands in the Galapagos would you be visiting? As a family of 4, we went on a 2 week trip to Galapagos (8 days) and mainland Ecuador (5 days) in June for $9k including airfare. I planned the whole trip and did not go through an agent. This does require a lot of time and effort.
In the Galapagos, we stayed on Santa Cruz and Isabella islands and took a couple of land-based tours. If the cruise itinerary only includes the inhabited islands (Santa Cruz, Isabella, San Cristobal, Floreana), you may be better off with a land-based tour as there are ferry services across these islands.
We loved the weather in mainland Ecuador and thoroughly enjoyed our 5-day stay. Lots of places to visit (Quito, Cuyabeno, Banos...)and inexpensive.
Plan to combine Peru and Bolivia in the future. I have heard great things about Peruvian Amazon and the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni.
Vanguardrocks, do you have more specific information that you could private message me?

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by InMyDreams » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:39 pm

* IMO, 26 passengers on a ship would still qualify as "small". We were fortunate - we had only 12 passengers, one trip leader, and a crew of 9.

* Please consider carefully whether you are a serious diver, or a snorkeler who enjoys the water but not an expert? Look closely at the ship/crew that you select and see if it will meet your needs & interests.

* there are other threads about MP and Galapagos. They are worth reading.

* Visit a travel clinic before you go - not just for the vaccinations, but for advice about safety in the cities, etc.

* I loved MP. We were there about the 3rd week of March - green mountains, clouds playing in and out amongst them. Cool temps. It is the end of the rainy season, and we did have some rain. March waters in the Galapagos were warm.

* There is a lot to see and do in Peru. It is difficult to pick and choose, and you won't have time to do it all.

* In our tour, we flew to Lima, up to MP, back to Lima to go to Quito, flew to Galapagos then back to Quito, back to Lima, back to US.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:12 pm

Grasshopper wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:46 am
Take a deep breathe and make the reservation, you will be glad you did it. Did 18 days Galapagos/Machu Picchu in 2016 paid $25k for 2 adults only.
Thanks Grasshopper. Getting closer!

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:12 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:05 am
Sounds reasonable to me. I am wondering hiw you pay for that with mikes. How many miles?
Just flights from U.S. to Quito and back, not the rest of the trip.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Cycle » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:34 pm

Id recommend the santa Cruz trek over the Inca trail in Peru. I would recommend machu Picchu and ollantetambo as the two top things to do in Peru. Been there several times.

In Galapagos if you aren't diving, there isn't a ton to see. It's a volcanic wasteland that forced species to evolve. The snorkeling is pretty spectacular, but diving with hammer heads and sea lions is really where it's at.

I spent $1800 (excluding airfare to Quito from US) for ten days of diving and snorkeling, plus a couple land days. This was for one person. I didn't book anything in advance, just showed up. I did have an Airbnb booked for the first night to get through customs.

This was diving with the most reputable shops, $175 per day of diving. Locals dive for much less money.

Galapagos islands can be very cheap compared to vacationing in the US, but diving is a little expensive because the distance one must go is pretty far and it's an all day affair and includes lunch.

You're booking a massive trip, it's really hard for me to say whether it's a good deal or not, 6k per person seams not horrible. 25k is a lot, but you are going to places very far apart, where booking from the US tends to be 2X or more the cost of booking locally day of. I planned my Galapagos trip 12 hours before the flight departed, ie I bought my plane tickets a half day ahead of time while in quito.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:29 am

We're spending about that for 2 of us next year. Higher end travel than we would have paid for when the kids were young. Sounds like a great trip you are planning, hope all 4 of you enjoy it.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Watty » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:11 am

I have never been there but I would be concerned about altitude sickness if you are going from the Galapagos first at sea level then to Machu Picchu for long hikes. You should be sure to look into that since a "trek" may be more strenuous than a normal tourist trip.

This is not always related to your fitness level either. In my younger days I was pretty fit when I drove up to the mountains one Friday after work then tried hiking(not climbing) up a 10,000 ft mountain on Saturday. The transition was too quick and once I got to about 9,000 ft. I felt terrible, like I had a really bad hangover and we turned around.

Being young and dumb I tried it again a few months later with an extra day at a lower elevation and it happened again but it was even worse and my future wife had to carry my backpack and lead me down the mountain. I was lucky that I did not get into serious trouble since we were a long way from any help.

My impression is that some people are just more prone to altitude sickness. If you live in a coastal area and have not been at high elevation much you might want to try a test trip to some place like Colorado where you can get above 10,000 ft. to see if anyone in your group has problems with it.

Taking several days to adapt to the high elevation can help some people so I would think that the tour company would have that built into their schedule.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:37 am

Good point about altitude sickness. Medical advice is not allowed on this forum, but medical help is available. Talk to your doctor about prevention and treatment.
Last edited by NotWhoYouThink on Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:08 pm

Is it 18 days or 12? Your math in your post doesn't add up to 18. If it's 18 days, honestly, it seems about right. It's an expensive destination and with a top-notch tour company, it is probably worthwhile.

I would probably get another quote from a slightly lower tour company and see which one you think is the better deal. Agree that it's tough to spend that much money but for a once in a lifetime experience, it may be worth it.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by InMyDreams » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:00 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:37 am
Good point about altitude sickness. Medical advice is not allowed on this forum, but medical help is available. Talk to your doctor about prevention and treatment.
Or a travel clinic...

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:08 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:08 pm
Is it 18 days or 12? Your math in your post doesn't add up to 18. If it's 18 days, honestly, it seems about right. It's an expensive destination and with a top-notch tour company, it is probably worthwhile.

I would probably get another quote from a slightly lower tour company and see which one you think is the better deal. Agree that it's tough to spend that much money but for a once in a lifetime experience, it may be worth it.
There are a few extra days built into the schedule for sight seeing/tours in the cities/towns :)

Working on a few other quotes now.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:09 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:11 am
I have never been there but I would be concerned about altitude sickness if you are going from the Galapagos first at sea level then to Machu Picchu for long hikes. You should be sure to look into that since a "trek" may be more strenuous than a normal tourist trip.

This is not always related to your fitness level either. In my younger days I was pretty fit when I drove up to the mountains one Friday after work then tried hiking(not climbing) up a 10,000 ft mountain on Saturday. The transition was too quick and once I got to about 9,000 ft. I felt terrible, like I had a really bad hangover and we turned around.

Being young and dumb I tried it again a few months later with an extra day at a lower elevation and it happened again but it was even worse and my future wife had to carry my backpack and lead me down the mountain. I was lucky that I did not get into serious trouble since we were a long way from any help.

My impression is that some people are just more prone to altitude sickness. If you live in a coastal area and have not been at high elevation much you might want to try a test trip to some place like Colorado where you can get above 10,000 ft. to see if anyone in your group has problems with it.

Taking several days to adapt to the high elevation can help some people so I would think that the tour company would have that built into their schedule.
Thanks Watty. Reside in CO and plan to do as much high altitude training as we can before departing. We stay at 9k' for 2 days before departing on the hike.

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Re: $25k -18 days Galapagos & Machu Picchu Trek (family of 4).

Post by fortfun » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:12 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:29 am
We're spending about that for 2 of us next year. Higher end travel than we would have paid for when the kids were young. Sounds like a great trip you are planning, hope all 4 of you enjoy it.
Thank you! Our son started to tear up about it a little tonight, because he is so happy! We didn't have an expensive wedding and haven't done any big anniversary trips, so I think we saved for this one in some ways.

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