Opinion: Have internet, will travel

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Friends, I’ve just spent two solid hours frolicking on Expedia and Kayak, planning dream vacations to Machu Picchu, the Caribbean and Toronto. I know! But over the summer, my youngest and I orchestrated an extreme family challenge: Whoever pitches the best summer 2023 trip come Christmas will get the greenlight to proceed with the actual booking, provided, of course, they’ve stayed within certain travel and budgetary guidelines. Oh, it’s on.

To date, I have nine legitimate possibilities, including the ones above. Most are within the U.S. because, unfortunately, airfare is ridiculous right now, especially out of Indy. I had to forgo such amazing locations as Israel, India, and the entirety of Southeast Asia simply because flights alone would surpass the designated cost pe -person. Alaskan and Mediterranean cruises are no-goes for the same reason, as is beautiful and surprisingly affordable once-you-get-there Kyrgyzstan. Europe is predictable and easy and therefore not worthy of my consideration. Yeah, I said it.

Which leaves the Western Hemisphere, and specifically American cities, as the frontrunners in terms of pure bang-for-your-buck. Charleston, W.V., Niagara, N.Y. and Bar Harbor, Maine, could prove entertaining, though certainly not the glamourous gallivanting I’d envisioned back in July. If I time it right, I can get us on a short cruise to Cozumel, and I did find a Belize all-inclusive that might work, provided no one orders premium alcohol or demands spa treatments. The Peru adventure involves four days of trekking at altitude, which I’m not even sure I want to do.

Eventually, I’ll have to decide on which vacay to pitch, but frankly, it’s irrelevant. The countless hours spent daydreaming and internet surfing has already been a win!

Peace out.

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