Holiday Planning

Assume you’ve got no more than 10 days, 2 people, and a reasonable budget (up to AUD $7,000).  Further assume you live in Sydney, Australia (i.e. rather remote for intl travel purposes).  Where do you go and/or what do you do?  How do you achieve value for money within the allocated time?
This is the conundrum I find myself in at the moment.  There are many, many options.  I will have to consult a travel agent.
Being so busy these days, I think it’s hard to get time off from work with loved ones.  The trick is how to fully optimise that time?  Don’t you find it harder to plan leave, and when you do manage to successfully align everyone’s leave, does it work out for the best?  What have you done in the past?
For the purposes of an example, let me share with you a short description of our last two overseas trips.  In December 04, we visited New York (we lived in Vancouver at the time).  We arrived on a Friday and flew back to Vancouver on the following Monday.  Last year we went to Hong Kong.  We landed on a Tuesday night and flew back to Sydney on Saturday.  Both trips were entertaining, but incredibly short. 
Is it worth the effort?  Now taking your calls..

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