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MARITIMER3 SparkPoints: (210,133)
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3/27/12 5:20 P

We haven't taken vacations that are promoted as "fit vacations", but regularly do a lot of walking and climbing on our vacations, often walking 20,000 steps/day. One bonus of being this active is that we can eat whatever we want while on vacation but still lose weight.

RACHELNGOM SparkPoints: (0)
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3/27/12 4:59 P

I LOVE turning my vacations into fit vacations!

Some of my favorite adventures:

Climbing the great wall of China
White water rafting down the nile in Uganda/rivers in Kenya and in the US
Paragliding/camel riding in Morocco
Climbing Mt. Sinai/horse back riding/carting in Egypt
Beach volleyball in Mexico
Bike riding down volcano in Hawaii

On my list: Climb Kilimanjaro

I pretty much turn all of my vacas into an adventure--always gotta go hiking and explore! I love water sports too like water skiing =)

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (194,799)
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Posts: 2,243
3/27/12 12:23 P

Most hotels have exercise rooms--you just need to find time to use them! Easier said than done when traveling.........

I find it's harder to fit in exercise traveling, and easier to watch what I eat. :)

FRENCHIFAL SparkPoints: (142,204)
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3/27/12 10:22 A

I tend to be a very outdoorsy person, so most of my vacations involve camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking...all great ways to burn calories! And let me tell you, I did not have upper body strength at all (think spaghetti noodles hanging from your shoulders) until I started kayaking, and my calves were pretty weak until I started the back-country hiking, so they're also great ways to build muscles!

When you're on vacations away from nature, pack a good pair of running shoes and hit the streets in the morning. I usually also take a resistance band with me (GREAT way to get in some strength training without using much space in your suitcase!) and try to do some exercises at night. Also, you can plan for some extra easy cardio, even in big cities. Do a walking tour instead of driving, and look for bike rental places instead of just taking the car or train.

SADDYSPOT Posts: 1,684
3/27/12 9:39 A

We spent 2 weeks in Europe last summer and walked EVERYWHERE. We might take a bus into town, but then we spent all day walking, quickly, so we could see as much as possible. The result was that after 2 weeks of fairly poor eating, I had only gained 2 lbs and my calves were rock hard. I'm going to call that a win.

ASHBRUX Posts: 6
3/26/12 9:50 P

I really enjoy taking bike tours. Over Spring Break I rode the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. We went 280 miles in one week and I had a blast! And I lost some extra weight during the week, which is always a great motivator.

I've never been one to just on my butt during a vacation and like you I'm not a big fan of water sports. If nothing else I try to walk around the hotel or area we're staying in every day and taking walking tours. Vacations, at least for me, have always been more about experiencing new things than about relaxing.

COREY04 Posts: 80
3/26/12 1:13 P

We are very active on vacations. Since it is just me and the kids, I set the expectation: I am not as fast as my 16 year old son, but it is all about trying new things, challenging ourselves to new heights and making lots of memories. I hike every week. In Upstate New York, we are getting ready to go back into the High Peaks. There, taking progressively longer hikes in preparation is key. If you get active and "train" for your vacation, you still might have to set the expectation that your husband needs to wait, but you can prepare for a tremendous sense of accomplishment that "you did all that". As far as climbing outside is concerned, I am sure your guides have dealt with people getting afraid, equipment issues, etc. The big things to remember is that it is about building confidence and about challenging yourself while spending time with your husband. Have fun and post lots of pictures. :)

VKKESU Posts: 1,010
3/26/12 12:14 P

We actually work out more on vacations than we ever do at home. We either take horses out camping.....or take kayaks out w/ overnight trips.........snow skiing.........hiking.....etc. Kids and all. The one beach trip we took I walked in the deep water so much my hips were killing me but I lost weight eventhough I ATE EVERYTHING....I came back prepared to have gained but didn't. lol

Personally I'd be up front with your husband now about being nervous with keeping up. Explain that you may need more breaks and days off that he doesn't. This will keep anyone from doing too much or getting mad that you're not doing enough. If everyone is aware of it before you go, there won't be any surprises later. We realized that 6 miles was the most my feet could tolerate at one time and that 2 miles were perfect with kids as long as my son ate every 1/2 mile (seriously) lol. You'll probably do better than you expect, but talk to him and make sure he isn't shocked if you want a day off so he can have something planned by himself.

CLOUDCAT13 SparkPoints: (143)
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Posts: 69
3/26/12 12:07 P

We've never thought of them as "fitness vacations," we just do what we like to do. I don't hit the gym as much, but we walk a whole lot more. On vacations we want to see and do everything in the short time we have, so we're on the go a lot more than at home. I never focus on "I'll burn X number calories on today's walk." That would kill the fun for me.

NEWMOM20121 SparkPoints: (77,575)
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Posts: 1,330
3/26/12 11:57 A

Planning a vacation in July. Already I am looking at ways to keep active and make sure that I do not loss sight of my goals.

ARINTEZ SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 296
3/26/12 11:46 A

So I didn't go on vacation this past week, but my family did. I was left to watch the pets. I lost touch with one of my closest friends, sleep. In turn I binged and napped and watched TV like a lazy goober all week while the family was gone. I gained weight, and I wasn't even on vacation!

My brother, mom, and dad came back this week after going to Cali and told me they plan on having another vacation in Hawaii in December. I'm so going to go, and I'm totally going to make it a fit vacation. I want to go hiking on trails, take surfing lessons, go biking, and enjoy healthy local cuisine. I'm totally looking forward to it =]

MMSANGSTER49 Posts: 621
3/26/12 11:28 A

I make every vacation a fit vacation...when I went to Italy, we went everywhere by foot or bus. No rental cars allowed. Same for Scotland and London. When I go to Florida, I walk everywhere possible.

I steer clear of all inclusive resorts and cruises. That is just too much food available to me. When I get a hotel room, I ask for a fridge and stock it up with my own food. On my cheat days are when I go out for a nice dinner and treat myself.

3/26/12 10:57 A

Try skiing!! It's great fun, sunshine in the snow... everyone can get involved. And you burn off so many calories without realising that if you want to have a splurge on a cheese fondue, you can warrant it! We go every year.

MCFHARPIST SparkPoints: (62,120)
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Posts: 1,836
3/26/12 10:29 A

Cambria, California. There is a boardwalk at the beach. My sis and I walked it everyday of our vacation. You can make it as long as you want. We made it a 4 miler everyday. It's a beautifully kept boardwalk with the Pacific Ocean at your side. Paradise.

3/26/12 10:25 A

We like to go on long weekend vacations in near by (less than 8 hrs of driving) areas where there are state parks or other hiking areas. We book accommodations with a kitchen so we can bring and prepare our own food. This helps with expenses and diet! We usually have 1 or meals out but I try to watch the caloric splurges. We hike 8 to 10 miles a day with lots of time for sitting and enjoying views and fresh air. As the kids get older and more independent, we're trying to do more of these weekends. Having a vacation planned also gives me good motivation to keep up my regular at home fitness so I'm not too stiff and sore!

SOAPDIVA2 Posts: 75
3/26/12 10:23 A

Puerto Rico is a great vacation to get in a lot of walking and water activities. You can also visit the rainforest at El Yunque and make the fairly steep climb down, cool off in the waterfall and climb back up! Fun activity

SOAPDIVA2 Posts: 75
3/26/12 10:21 A

Way to go!

BAMBI31311 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 498
3/26/12 5:59 A

Definitely my idea of heaven.

Scuba diving holiday with 3 dives per day, action/adventure, kayaking, hiking, bike riding, sight seeing. Anything active as long as it is not sitting around or lying in the sun.

Still to achieve one of my goals to climb Mt Kilamanjaro, still on the list.

3/26/12 5:37 A

Active vacations are the best and they can be designed/planned in a variety of ways (many mentioned here). Check with your gym to see if it has a partnership with any gym in the area of your destination or, of course, you can always pay a day fee, which in the instance of Y's, can be quite reasonable. Cities with bike share programs may offer special visitor rates or, many cities are beginning to offer safe, organized bike tours (bikes included) around the city with stops at sites etc.
My husband and I are cyclists so we tend toward areas where we can ride however last summer we decided to take a beach vacation on Portugal's Algarve Coast. The best thing we did was bring our mt bikes because once we reached our destination (Lagos), we found dirt roads and trails that provided access to beaches inaccessible by car. Each morning we'd pack our messenger bags with swim suit, towel, sunblock, water, and snacks and take off in search of a new beach, where we'd park ourselves for a while and swim until we got bored of the location. Key to our enjoyment was sunblock, water, and snacks because if you get burned, thirsty, or hungry, then you're done for and suffering sets in. This would be my advice for any type of active vacation, prepare so that you don't suffer the basic necessities of human existence: bring enough food and water plus sun protection to tackle your challenge with gusto!

3/26/12 12:15 A

If you aren't used to it, full day hikes may be too much for you. Do you have time between now and your trip in mid-April to work your way up to half-day hikes and outdoor climbing?

It seems like most of the trips that the Hus and I take are pretty active, but not in an organized way. We'll toss the bikes on the car rack and head up to a nearby lake for a spontaneous overnight camping trip and kayak run, but rarely plan too far ahead. I'd like to get better with that, because meeting my goals would probably be better with a plan!

I'm thinking about booking my first organized cycling trip for this summer. I've never really ridden much with a group of others, or been part of an organized tour, so I'm kind of nervous about that.

BARRISTER2011 SparkPoints: (29,381)
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Posts: 1,017
3/25/12 11:51 P

I like the idea of boycotting Florida. Is there a website for the boycott so that we can make it known to people and government of Florida?

I am taking a trip to BVI very soon and plan on kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and riding bikes. I think you can find activities in a lot of places.

MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (121,865)
Fitness Minutes: (74,035)
Posts: 2,483
3/25/12 11:43 P

We are BOYCOTTING Florida. They kill some Americans' children and let killers walk free. One month & counting (since the killing and NO ARREST)... Can you imagine being Trayvon Martin's mother and father, grandparents, other family, his 11th grade classmates, teachers, and friends?

We're also re-routing travel so we'll fly through Georgia, Texas, etc. Not Florida. No Disney, no Florida oranges or orange juice, etc!


BIGTOSS03 SparkPoints: (368,384)
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Posts: 17,186
3/25/12 11:02 P

I like active vacations but not all my family members do. It is a little tough finding something that entertains everyone.

ALIHIKES Posts: 4,303
3/25/12 7:34 P

I like active vacations! But it only makes sense to work up to a level that is comfortable for you. If your husband wants to hike all day, and you can only hike a couple of hours, either gradually increase your hikes to a longer length, or go on shorter hikes with him in the National park. He can go on longer hikes without you, or you can usually join an organized hike with the park rangers. I'm going to the Moab UT area in May for an active vacation; we will be hiking 8-10 miles a day. So that is distance is a goal to inspire me! I'm gradually increasing my hiking mileage, currently going 5-8 miles on my weekend hikes, and I will increase the distances next month. Hope you have a great time!

p.s. I also do vacations where I visit my elderly sick mom in another state; on those vacations I try to stay active by swimming or exercising at the hotel, or going on long walks while she sleeps in the afternoon

GRANDMAPATTYV SparkPoints: (128,117)
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Posts: 868
3/25/12 2:01 P

We've been taking active and semi-active vacations for years! Last year we went to CO and NM.... what fun! I have never zip-lined, but that should be fun - we mostly hike and bike (even in Australia!) - 2 years from now my sister turns 60 and she wants all of us to go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon! - The vacations are what YOU make it!!! Have a GREAT time! ~ patty emoticon emoticon

JOYFULME01 Posts: 621
3/25/12 1:24 P

There are some great ideas here. I like the tips on choosing your hotel based on exercise facility and opting to not rent a car and "choosing" to walk more.

Best of luck at the national bowling event . . . my husband will be there in April.


3/25/12 1:07 P

last year my guy and I went to california and stayed a couple miles from the beach, we did NOT rent a car, we spent a lot of time walking everywhere and just hanging out in the ocean. So, we had a semi active vacation.

I think it's about having a good time! relaxing or being active it's about having a great time! hope you have a blast!

JUSTDOIT011 Posts: 1,461
3/25/12 12:57 P

Active vacations are way more fun, to me, than lazy ones! My family went to Kauai for Christmas for a week-- the 2 parents and us kids, ages 18, 20, 22, and 24. We 6 went on a bike ride along the coast, went paddleboarding/beach vball/swimming, went on a 3-8 mile hike along the Na Pali coastline (depending on each of us, I did the 8 mile), we went snorkeling...kayaking, and more hiking. We also did less-active things, like reading by the beach, mini-golf, and walking around shopping for souvenirs, but it is way cooler to brag and show pictures of kayaking and paddleboarding rather than a picture of you sitting on a beach chair for a week. It's way more fun to be active! Plus then you can eat pretty much anything you want for dinner, because you burned off a ton of calories all day.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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Posts: 1,708
3/25/12 12:38 P

I will be going on a 10 day vacation soon and I've been wondering how to work in my exercises. After reading these I've rethought my plan out. Instead of how to make time for my workouts, I am thinking on how to figure in my vacation around my workouts. HHHMMM

FITVALGAL SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 2,490
3/25/12 11:57 A

I do exercise DVDs in my room or use hotel fitness centers. My family enjoys water parks...tons of walking and stair-climbing. If it weren't for my allergies, I'd enjoy bike riding and hiking as a family.

RV.TRVLR Posts: 51
3/25/12 10:55 A

We travel with a fifth wheel. Started camping at the Wisconsin State Parks. They are a destination in themselves. We enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing and the area attractions. I find that it's extremely important to discuss what you want to get out of your vacation with your spouse/friend/partner ahead of time. We have the top "must do" list and a "if we have time" list. We travel all over with our fifth wheel Mount Rushmore, Springfield, IL, Door County, WI, Mackinaw City, Gettysburg, etc... I love it. We take our bikes. It is a bit more work than flying to Caribbean Island. But we wanted more out of our vacations than beach activities. I can exercise and eat healthy on vacation. When we started trips like this, I wasn't physically active at all. My husband was very patient and I have improved over the years.

3/25/12 8:50 A

Our vacations are always active and I have 2 children ages 5 and 6 and last summer my 6-year-old did an 8 mile bike ride with us. Having kids is an excuse to take these types of vacations for our family. Sure the bike ride took several hours longer than it would have it I would have pulled my daughter behind me in the bike stroller but the look on her face when she realized she could do it by herself was so awesome. We have a saying in our family "Can't never tried." I keep telling myself that on my weight loss journey. I have always been active. The first vacation I took with my husband we climbed chimney rock and I was 6-months-pregnant and overweight. I would love to go back now 30 pounds lighter and not pregnant and try it again. It was so much fun.

6BALLMAN SparkPoints: (101,027)
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Posts: 10,144
3/25/12 7:42 A

I am preparing for a trip to the national bowling tournament. I do not count bowling as exercise. I chose my hotel based on the exercise facilities there. There were cheaper alternatives...

FLAFLUTTERBY SparkPoints: (60,765)
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Posts: 90
3/25/12 5:25 A

My husband taught me to play golf when we first got married so we can take golfing vacations. When we lived in the Atlanta area we used to travel up to the mountains to "stay and play." The only drawback to that was playing the same course every day. Now that we live in Florida, we can get packages for the hotel that include several different courses in any given area. We enjoy the lazy kind of vacations, too, but golfing is more fun for both of us!

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
3/24/12 11:19 P

You can make any vacation a fit vacation.Most hotels have fitness facilities, and some offer bike rentals to guests who want to explore the areas.

KEEPITSIMPLE_ SparkPoints: (94,584)
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Posts: 4,821
3/24/12 10:51 P

Fit vacations are now soooo exciting! When I was 250, I didn't dream of much other than lazy, nice vacations, eating, relaxing, and drinking. Now, I plan them. Part of my Dream board/Vision Collage was climbing a mountain, Chimney Rock Park. I made it and more, and far exceeded my dream/goals. In a month, we'll be totally ready, seeking a new adventure. I"m so excited!!

HONBAD SparkPoints: (37,711)
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Posts: 774
3/24/12 10:49 P

Any vacation can be fit! It's about finding opportunities to exercise and making smart eating choices.

JEFFGIRL Posts: 11,239
3/24/12 7:31 P

It's good to check to see if the hotel has a gym. If not do some walking to supermarkets, etc. which were quite a distance, since we didn't rent a car. We actually did alot of walking to
get us to places we needed to go.

MSGNOME Posts: 555
3/24/12 6:20 P

I've never taken a fitness vacation, it sounds kind of cool. I only walk and swim on holidays.

JALEPENOANN SparkPoints: (112,303)
Fitness Minutes: (136,861)
Posts: 4,941
3/24/12 5:44 P

I have done several cycling vacations. We did the Oregon coast twice, once the old Kettle Valley Railway in British Columbia and another time Vancouver Island and several of the Gulf Islands. They were wonderful vacations.

Another thing I like to do is plan a marathon in a distant city, then do the training and plan my vacation around that. It's a great way to really see the sights.


TOTHESUN SparkPoints: (6,155)
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Posts: 73
3/24/12 5:35 P

I love active vacactions. Worrying about keeping up to the expectations of others can cause some anxiety, but the answer to this is part of why I love them so much: if you keep chugging in the wilderness, even if it's not as fast as everyone else, you will be amazed at what you actually can do. Active vacations have totally change the way I see myself. And in the end, that's really what it's all about.

Active vacations are also often much less expensive. I spent spring break backpacking in a national park in the next state over; not only did we have an awesome time and get to see some fabulous things that most people pass over for the developed part of the park, but the entire trip cost about the same as just the plane ticket to a popular spring break destination, where I probably would have stuffed myself with appetizers and $9 margaritas anyway.

IDAHOFLOWER SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 439
3/24/12 4:04 P

We are taking our fifthwheel and will stop places we can walk. When I get to
Grandkid's place will talk the boys into walking with me. I get pain in my back, but I won't let it stop me from walking.

3/24/12 3:30 P

We have three kids that couldn't handle a fitness oriented vacation to the level that my husband and I could but last year I worked out every day we were on vacation and still lost a pound that week. This year we're going to Florida. We're taking it a little easy but I'm taking my set of adjustable dumbbells, my band set that goes on a door and my stretchy bands. My trainer said he'd give me a workout just for a "hotel room." I'm not going to go the intensity I usually do because I'm trying to heal a strained hip flexor but will still do something. Have FUN on your vacation!

3/24/12 1:12 P

@Avabliss - don't wait too long to take one of those trips! There are always less demanding ways to take a trip like that - like hiring a guide to help you along or picking a less demanding route - to make it fit your needs.

I'm nowhere near where I want to be in the long run, but the way I see it, I could wait forever for things to be perfect, or I can just take the plunge and enjoy as much of it as I can right now. It's not like I can't go back again later and do it again the harder way!

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (245,800)
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Posts: 14,863
3/24/12 10:39 A

the YMCA has an away program so you can use another Y facility 2 weeks per year. Our favorite vacation spot has a really nice Y in the next town. I also take my bike, my Pilates mat and workout circle, and I run. DH will ride bikes with me sometimes and he always goes to the gym with me. We also take our pups to the dog park.

when I go to girl's week (Memorial Day week) I'll take my bike and Pilates stuff. I'll walk with the other ladies and run on my own. I'm an early riser so I usually get in a bike ride or run on my own first thing. When I get back, the first group is ready for a walk and I go with them. After that, the late sleepers are ready to go and I walk with them. Sometimes the gals will want to go for an evening walk. If they don't, I'll go for a bike ride or run.

AVABLISS Posts: 261
3/24/12 10:17 A

I have always wanted to take more active vacations. My dream is to climb the Inca Trail with my daughter.

I also dream about canoeing through the rocky mountains for days or the Yukon. Hiking through the rain forest or going on a camel ride in Morocco.

Good for you for signing up! I can't wait until I get strong enough (physically and mentally) to meet my goals!!

3/24/12 10:04 A

@ plearned - I hate rollercoasters, so I'm glad it's smoother and safer than that! Rollercoasters make me nauseous...

PLEARNED SparkPoints: (11,389)
Fitness Minutes: (1,717)
Posts: 32
3/24/12 9:42 A

I LOVE active vacations. Going white waterrafting and ziplining in Colorado in June. You will love ziplining. Did it in Costa Rica 6 years ago. What an adrenalin rush! It's ok to admit you're afraid, but push the envelope. JUST DO IT. Once you conquer that fear, usually after the first leg, you will enjoy the ride. To me it is smoother and safer than a roller coaster ride. You won't regret it.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,838)
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Posts: 2,170
3/24/12 7:52 A

I can't sit and do nothing. The only vacation I can take is fitness-oriented, or I keep working but half time instead of a full vacation.

3/24/12 7:44 A

Do you take fitness oriented vacations, or do you just give yourself the week off to sit on a beach?

I'm both excited and nervous because my husband and I just booked our first fitness-oriented vacation for mid-April. We haven't gone a lot of vacations together, but our last couple we went places where I pretty much sat on the beach while he surfed, so he got in his fitness but I just hung out. Then, of course, he'd have worked out all day and be hungry, so we'd eat like crazy. I don't surf and I'm not a big fan of water sports in general, so while they were very relaxing vacations, it wasn't so great for my health.

Well, we finally agreed that since I'm really not a water person, we'd try an in-land vacation for once, and we're heading to a national park for a week of hiking, rock climbing, and whatever else, which is much more my speed. We've rented a cabin, and we'll be bringing the dog (Which means driving 12 hours each way, but she's worth it!). I'm super excited, but I'm also really nervous that my body won't hold up to all of that activity that he wants to do. We went yesterday and bought hiking backpacks and other gear for long hikes... the longest I've ever lasted is a couple of hours, and I was exhausted by the end, and now he's talking about full day hikes! It will also be my first time climbing outside - he's gone a couple of times outside, but we've mostly climbed in the gym - so I'm nervous about whether or not I'll be able to handle it, or if I'll freak out and have a panic attack, or just plain not be a good enough climber to get up the wall.

There's also a huge zipline tour through the park that he wants to try, but that scares me too! I've never done a zipline before, and it just seems kind of dangerous to me...

So, I'm excited to try something new and different, and it will be a real adventure for me, but it's pretty scary too.

What are your vacations like? Do you take active vacations, or do you stick with the more common resort/cruise/etc. type vacations?

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