The traveller’s dilemma

To the average 9 to 5 worker vacation time is a rare and precious commodity and much time and debate can go in to the decision of where and how to spend it.

To the average 9 to 5 worker vacation time is a rare and precious commodity and much time and debate can go in to the decision of where and how to spend it.

To the average 9 to 5 worker vacation time is a rare and precious commodity and much time and debate can go in to the decision of where and how to spend it.

Whether it be sitting around the house doing nothing but recharging the batteries, camping far from technology and the busy world, an adventure exploring ancient civilizations, a flop and drop vacation at an all-inclusive Resort or a road trip with no particular place to go, it is a big decision to ensure you make the most your limited time.

We have been to some incredible places, experienced sights, sounds and tastes that many can only dream of, and generally have a very high success rate, in hindsight, for getting out destination and travel style spot on.

But next year, 2016, adds an extra variable to our planning. Something that enhances the importance of getting our choice right, of adding pressure to ensure this will be a trip to stay in the memory forever.

For 2016 is a milestone vacation, 25 years married. I won’t bore you with stories of how I am amazed that I have been able to somehow keep my incredible wife from tossing me aside in the certainty of finding someone better (she is too good for me). Luckily I am an excellent travel planner and she loves to travel!

Whenever your vacation is more than just a vacation the planning can take on epic proportions. It’s one thing to be disappointed with a vacation but to be disappointed with a vacation that was to celebrate an important event as well… that can have life changing ramifications.

So, September 2016 is our 25th wedding anniversary and we want to mark the occasion with a trip that is special to us. That desire has been built up further by the anti-climax of 2014, a year we both had our 50th birthdays, and which neither of us was able to celebrate away from home.

As it stands today we are only a few days away from what should should be another awesome trip. Five weeks in Europe with special attention given to the German Christmas markets, Christmas Day sleigh ride in Salzburg, and New year in Paris . But today my thoughts have returned to the bigger question…

Where should we go for our anniversary next year?

We pretty much have it down to four options on where to spend about three weeks in September, but that is always likely to change as I start to research possible locations and travel styles. Yeah, OK, so I’m not great at narrowing things down. I usually end up growing the list before it shrinks again.

The least likely trip at this stage would be another road trip in Europe. It makes the list simply because it would be during a time when most attractions would still be operational. Our first time was in an early part of Spring and now this new trip next month (December), both times we missed out on seeing some things because they were seasonal and closed.

There is also a lot of places we are yet to see. Maybe Spain, Portugal and Morocco, maybe Croatia and the Greek Islands. Maybe Switzerland across to Budapest. The down side is that it is a very long flight to get there for only about three weeks.

Currently lying third in the rankings would be another USA road trip. We have done a couple now and loved them all. New Mexico and Texas would make a fun trip, as would seeing more of the Pacific North West, maybe with a start in Yosemite. The most likely, however, would be the North East including another visit to New York and first times to places like Boston, Washington DC and Niagara.

Much shorter to get to than Europe, the only thing keeping it down the list is that it doesn’t scream “awesome and memorable anniversary trip”. Don’t get me wrong, I will do these trips one day but probably not for the “highlight” vacation.

So what are the list toppers?

Now we get to the big guns of “highlight” travel. These two locations are incredibly popular for Aussies. I know because I see plenty of people booking through the Travel Agency I work for.

Strangely though I find myself caught in a kind of age based “no man’s land”. Caught up in between the younger people more commonly doing our second choice, and generally an older demographic preferring the current front runner.

That’s not to say we would be the oldest or youngest respectively at these locations, just above and below the average age. So let’s get down to business.

Second on the list has been high on our bucket lists since bucket lists were popularised, Machu Picchu.

We have loved every minute of our exploration of pre-Columbian ruins through Mexico but when it comes down to it, Machu Picchu is the pinnacle of all ruins in the Americas.

My days of multi-day hiking are behind me but I would still be up for a half or full day of hiking. We would also have to be able to experience the sunrise on location. As for the rest of the 3 weeks, well, it would still be a matter of deciding whether to include more of Peru, or Chile, or time in Argentina. Mmmmm, I do love a good steak so Argentina looks promising.

So that leaves us with the current front runner. And the winner is…. Canada and Alaska on an cruise of the Inside Passage with an Alaska extension and some time in the Rocky Mountains.

Pauline suffers from an untreatable inner ear issue which makes cruising a complete waste of time generally, but this cruise is arguably the most smooth sailing in the world and the scenery would keep her mind off any nausea as well.

This is the most common destination for our Agency clientele and it must be time for us to experience it for ourselves instead of just hearing amazing stories and seeing incredible photos.

I’m sure the list will change over the next few months but one thing is certain. The trip I plan will be epic and live in our memories forever. So no pressure at all!

I would love to hear what you did to celebrate any special days on your travels. You never know, you might inspire us to somewhere we haven’t even considered yet.


  1. Good options, but very different. Personally, I would go for the Alaska option, but include Denali. If you still want to see Canada, you can start with Denali, cruise to Vancouver, then do a rail trip over the Rockies – tons of amazing scenery! Whatever you choose, the most magnificent part is the time spent together – I’m sure it will be a great Anniversary! #WeekendWanderlust

    • Sorry for the slow approval and response. Alaska does stand out at the moment. After a somewhat hectic 5 weeks in Europe I could do with a trip at a much slower pace next time.

  2. Quite a dilema. With so many fabulous destinations on your list is hard to make up your mind, but the 25th wedding anniversary deserves something very special. We went to the Amalfi Coast for ours. But no matter where you’ll go, you’ll surely have a lot of fun. Thanks for linking-up to #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  3. Ohhh, I like all the options you have discussed in here. I can see why you chose Alaska and the Canadian Rockies as the first option. I mean, I do not not think you can go wrong with that. As for me and my husband, I do not know why, but we plan for something and end up doing something totally different. All trips have been good though.

  4. What a nice dilemma to have! I’d enjoy any of the trips you outlined, and have done a few of the U.S. roadtrips you mentioned as not highlight of the year trips. Enjoy your planning! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. 25 years, wow!! congratulations in advance 🙂 We just did our 10 years last year and we went to Morocco to celebrate, first time for both of us, we loved it! But both of options, all the options you mentioned sounds amazing! Would love to do Machu Picchu but Alaska and Canada sounds amazing too. Whatever you decide, am sure it will be a memorable experience you both will share 😀 Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Thank you Samiya. I know all the options sound great but unfortunately I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to travel. So I will research them to death to get the best chance of selecting the perfect option. And belated congrats on your 10 years.

  6. Well, what a dilemma you have! I think Machu Picchu would be great, as would an Alaskan cruise. My best friend and I went to Italy for a month to celebrate our 50th birthdays. Having done big road trips and tours, we found it refreshing to concentrate our time in one country and to see so much of the beauty on offer there. Good luck and happy anniversary! 🙂

    • Thanks Lyndall. It’s always tough to decide with so many amazing places to choose from. One thing for sure, the anniversary trip is unlikely to be fast paced!


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