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8 days off between jobs, free flights on United, where to go?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I leave my job on April 29 and start with my new employer on May 9. I want to travel in the time between. I live in San Francisco and have family at UAL which means free airfare on UAL flights (UAL only, no Star Alliance). Where should I go?

I had my heart set on Istanbul but after researching the flights, I'd only be able to be in Turkey May 1, 12:00 PM - May 5, 11 PM, connecting through Washington, D.C. and Rome - That's a hell of a lot of travel for a 4.5 days in Turkey. Alternatively I can buy a normal RT ticket for $1,200 but I'd prefer not to...

With SFO as my starting point, does anyone have any other recommendations? I've traveled extensively in Asia so I was looking forward to Europe or something different.

Thanks.
post #2 of 11
Free airfare sounds amazing, you're really lucky. What about South America? Just throwing it out there, but it's not that far away, and you could probably find some decent dates to travel to maximize the time you have available. Or you could always jump on a non-stop flight to Sydney? In Europe I would consider Copenhagen, connecting at EWR. Great city, and the weather during these dates are rather good. Stockholm is another alternative I would consider, even though they don't seem to have gotten a lot of the great weather we've seen here in the north lately.
post #3 of 11
+1, would go straight to Sydney, spend 5 days there or so. I never get sick of Tokyo either though. My 1st grade best friend is doing the opposite and coming up to visit me from Sydney in between jobs, in a couple weeks, on his way to NY.
post #4 of 11
I would think you could get a direct or fairly direct flight into London or Paris to cut down on travel time. Get a train pass and see the countryside. Off to the south of France and back with 2 days in Paris maybe?
post #5 of 11
Something near a major airport sounds like a good idea to save on flight time, though not necessarily advised if you want to find someplace less touristy. But you will be a tourist, so that may not matter. London would be a good idea, or ireland. How 'bout just touring Rome? Hit up Vienna, or Krakow or something. I don't know all of where United goes, but if you haven't traveled much in Europe I'm sure you can look at a map of their flights and find something interesting they fly into. There's a lot there, and you're probably going to want to stick to just one general area.
post #6 of 11
1. Istanbul is great, even for 5 days. I could help you plan an itinerary, if you want.

2. you could go to Paris and then make your way east on the train, and then return from prague or budapest. that's a nice week.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post
I would think you could get a direct or fairly direct flight into London or Paris to cut down on travel time. Get a train pass and see the countryside. Off to the south of France and back with 2 days in Paris maybe?

What he just said.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback! I've decided to fly direct from SFO to Frankfurt and then take a quick flight to Prague. I'll split my vacation between Prague and Budapest via train and then back to Frankfurt to SFO. This gives me 7 days of fun.
post #9 of 11
Here is how I would spend 8 days ...

Fly from SFO to NYC. Arrive around 5 or 6pm. Stay in midtown, have a nice dinner and see a show. Next morning, have a nice run in central park, do some shopping, get to the airport for an 8pm flight to Zurich.

Stay at the park hyatt for two nights. Eat rich continental food. Do lots of walking.

Then rent a car and drive south (1.5 hours) to Davos. Stay at the Arabella Sheraton (with starpoints ?). Do some hiking. Next day drive south, through st. moritz and into Italy. Spend three days driving across Lombardy and Piedmont, tasting wines along the way and staying at night in the walled city of Bergamo, and finally driving up out of Piedmont into the Aosta Valley, where you can do more wine tasting, etc. Read up on "agriturista" destinations beforehand, which you will find throughout Piedmont.

Drive out of Italy through the tunnel under Mt. Blanc and arrive in Chamonix. Stay at the grand hotel des alps and get the honeymoon suite at the very top with the big vaulted ceilings. Ride the tram to Du Midi, then take the ski lift up the other side of the valley and do some hiking. Stay in Chamonix for two full days.

Drive from Chamonix to Zurich in (roughly) three hours. Fly back to SFO (not direct, unfortunately).
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_sf View Post
Here is how I would spend 8 days ...

Fly from SFO to NYC. Arrive around 5 or 6pm. Stay in midtown, have a nice dinner and see a show. Next morning, have a nice run in central park, do some shopping, get to the airport for an 8pm flight to Zurich.

Stay at the park hyatt for two nights. Eat rich continental food. Do lots of walking.

Then rent a car and drive south (1.5 hours) to Davos. Stay at the Arabella Sheraton (with starpoints ?). Do some hiking. Next day drive south, through st. moritz and into Italy. Spend three days driving across Lombardy and Piedmont, tasting wines along the way and staying at night in the walled city of Bergamo, and finally driving up out of Piedmont into the Aosta Valley, where you can do more wine tasting, etc. Read up on "agriturista" destinations beforehand, which you will find throughout Piedmont.

Drive out of Italy through the tunnel under Mt. Blanc and arrive in Chamonix. Stay at the grand hotel des alps and get the honeymoon suite at the very top with the big vaulted ceilings. Ride the tram to Du Midi, then take the ski lift up the other side of the valley and do some hiking. Stay in Chamonix for two full days.

Drive from Chamonix to Zurich in (roughly) three hours. Fly back to SFO (not direct, unfortunately).

post #11 of 11
If for some reason you would like to stay domestic and like eating - this is my favorite time of year in New Orleans - weather is still tolerable and the and the mardi gras crowds are gone.... and that leaves you time for a stop to eat in Chicago as well. You could easily gain 30 lbs in 8 days if you work at it.
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