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Hawaii vs Caribbean Islands

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I have only been to Nassau, Bahamas once and found it disappointing. I don't like inclusive packages where we are confined in the resort (Dominican Republic, Cuba) . On the other hand I have been to Hawaii many times and love it very much.

This winter I would like to visit a Caribbean Island (probably Puerto Rico or Antigua) instead of going to Hawaii again. My priority is to relax on the nicest beach and also to have the flexibility to explore the island, not confined in the resort compound. I also enjoy good food and have interaction with local people. Shopping and night life are not high on my list.

However, I find that the Carribean islands are so expensive (even more than Hawaii). So I am a little concerned that I will spend more than a trip to Hawaii and might not be as satisfied.

Your insight and comments on how the two destinations compare wrt my criteria above are much appreciated.

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