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20 year old couple travel suggestions?

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Jan 9th, 2016, 10:21 PM
  #1
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20 year old couple travel suggestions?

My boyfriend and I want to go to an island in the Caribbean for a week this year. We're both 20 years old so we wont be able to rent a car. We also don't have too much cash and want to keep it to one island.
It would probably be best if where ever we went , the locals were generally friendly, and it was easy to get around by foot. We really just want to spend most of our time on the beach, or in the hotel, and possibly taking some time to visit shops or go on an excision or two. We aren't planning on bar hopping so if the island is considered "quiet" that won't be a deal breaker.

This will be my first time outside the US and i'd love it if where ever we went, it was lush and green, but if its not jungle-y, that's not a big deal either.

If anyone has any suggestions i'd really appreciate the input! Also this is my first time planning a vacation, so any tips there would be great as well!
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Jan 10th, 2016, 12:48 AM
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Flights to some places are expensive, so where you are flying from and to can really rack up the costs. We go to St Kitts and it is usually in the $750-800 range.

However, there are currently some unique flights here and there to a couple of places from specific airports.

Example: Norwegian air has flights from Baltimore to Guadeloupe and Martinique for $200-500 RT. The site says as low as $50 one way, but that is without taxes. I think they are also flying out of a couple of other places. I wouldn't want to go to Martinique for a week, but Guadelupe RT that cheap would be great!

Where will you be flying from? Look for deals to any particular island from your closest airport.

On many islands, you will be limited without a car, so that narrows choices.

Some islands are lush and green, but some with the best beaches are not.
Some beaches are gray because they are volcanic rock.

Hotels on the islands are expensive. You might get a cottage in some places, but probably not without a car.
So, can you provide an overall budget?

You might have a look at these websites for specials in different places. Travelzoo and CheapCaribbean. Travelzoo tries to find the best deals and post them every Wednesday. CheapCaribbean looks for the best just in the Caribbean. You can often book it just as cheap for yourself, but these are good for ideas.

Just throwing this out. Have you considered a cruise that departs from Florida or Puerto Rico and visits several islands? You can often do a nice, fun, 7 day cruise for less than the cost of flights and a hotel on some of the islands. You just have to pick the ship and the itinerary that works best for you. To get an idea, look at vacationstogo. If you find it interests you, look at cruisecritic and cruise.com.l

There are a couple of real experts here on the forum who can give you more specific advice about the Islands and Mexico, which you might also consider.
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Jan 10th, 2016, 05:01 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Would love to help & offer suggestions but we really need to know:

1) When you are planning to travel?
2) Where you are traveling from?
3) What is your budget in terms of actual dollars - you see, we have no idea what "...we don't have too much cash..." means?

Now, here's a few more hints to get you started:

A) The Dominican Republic, Jamaica Cancun and Cozumel are among the more "budget friendly" destinations in the Caribbean - because of the abundance of flights airfares from many major airports are relatively low, there frescoers pf moderately priced All Inclusive Resorts (which will allow you to know up front how much you'll be spending on accommodations, food and activities) and many of these resorts are located close to "towns" so you won't need much in the way of transportation if you wish to leave the resort.

B) As Sassafrass pointed out check some of the airline and travel websites for "package deals" to some of the destinations I mentioned.

C) Also, you don't say when you are traveling but, if possible go sometime between May and mid-November as those periods are "Low Season" when you'll find some of the lowest room rates of the year.

D) When pricing out accommodations keep in mind many resorts have several different "room categories" - you can often save lots of money by opting for one of the standard "garden view" rooms rather than the more expensive "deluxe beachfront" rooms. Remember, you'll have full use of all the resort's amenities no matter which room you stay in - besides you won't be spending too much "awake time" in your room.
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Jan 10th, 2016, 07:53 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the feedback!

We can pretty much travel at anytime, since I haven't made any plans yet, but I've been looking at spring (Not spring break) time, just because with other places I've looked, everyone likes to lower their rates around then. If i can get get a better deal in the summer though, it would be no problem to go then.

We live in Texas and will probably be departing from DFW airport, and id like to keep the total budget in the $5,000-$6,000 range. My boyfriend has a sister that is a flight attendant for american airlines, so if we flew with American he would be able to get 20%off his ticket (not me however, since its for direct family only) If another airline is able to provide a deal cheaper than that, wed go with a different airline, so ill definitely look at some websites for package deals.

@sassafrass like i said, if its not super green, its not an issue. my plan for the no car situation would be to definitely have a cab or find a private car service to take us to wherever we were staying, and then be able to easily walk to the beach, or into town from there.

I wish we could cruse, which would make everything easier, but we cant, because we aren't 21 or married
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Jan 10th, 2016, 09:02 AM
  #5
 
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Negril Jamaica
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Jan 10th, 2016, 09:22 AM
  #6
 
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Sorry, I forgot about the requirement for at least one person 21 or older on cruises.
Between them, RoamsAround and Suze really know just about everything you need to know about the islands and Mexico.
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Jan 10th, 2016, 11:40 AM
  #7
 
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Yes, if you travel after Easter Week you'll find many of the resorts will have lower rates. Depending on the resort, you might see even lower between July and mid-November.

American Airlines flies non-stop from DFW to a few Caribbean destinations such a Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and perhaps Aruba or to many of the other major islands like St. Martin, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts on connecting flights via MIA. To reach some of the smaller island like Anguilla, Nevis, Grenada, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, you may have to take an additional "island hopper" flight or ferry from one of the major islands. You can expect R/T airfares for non-stop destinations to be in the $450 to $650 PP range, for connecting flight destinations to be around $650 to $900 PP and if you need to take an"island hopper" to reach your final destination you can expect to pay an additional $100 to $300 PP.

Your overall budget of $5,000 to $6,000 for a week's trip during late spring, summer or early fall is very doable. If you spend $1,000 to $1,500 on airfare you'll still have a good amount left for a decent mid-range hotel.

You might want to look at resorts/hotels in the Grand Case area of St. Martin. The island is fairly easy to reach (airfare & time wise) from DFW, there are lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance of many of the hotels and you can easily get taxis for those few occasions when you want to get out and explore the island.

Also, look at the Marriott Resort or Timothy Beach Resort on St. Kitts. You can leave DFW around 6AM ad get a connecting flight in MIA and be on the island by 3PM. Both resorts are beachfront properties within walking distance of a dozen or so restaurants and beach bars as well as several shops. You'll also be able to easily take organized tours around the island or even visit the nearby island of Nevis for the day either on your own, on a catamaran day sail or with an organized tour operator.

Another destination you should look into is Playa del Carmem. You can fly non-stop from DFW to cancun then take a taxi or hotel shuttle to PDC. Once there you'll have you choice of multiple resorts, including some All Inclusives in your budget range. All resorts/hotels will be within a few minutes walk of the town which has all kinds of shops, restaurants and beach bars.

Finally, look at resorts on the island of St. Thomas - easy to reach from DFW, resorts and hotels in all price ranges, lots of restaurants and shopping (close to some resorts) plus it is an easy island to get around using taxis or "safari buses". As an added bonus you can take ferries to several near-by island such as St. john, Tortola, Virgin Gorda for day trips.

Have fun planning your trip.
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Jan 10th, 2016, 06:00 PM
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I say go to St. John, sounds great for you--open air taxi (like vans without walls) are very easy to use, great vibe on island, fantastic beaches
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Jan 11th, 2016, 05:01 AM
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I second the idea of Playa del Carmen. There are loads of resorts and also small hotels and even hostels and you can walk around the town easily.
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Jan 11th, 2016, 09:24 AM
  #10
 
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Another vote for Playa del Carmen (or Isla Mujeres or Cozumel or Akumal or Tulum)... all on the Caribbean side of Mexico.
www.locogringo.com

If you are interested in Negril look at www.negrilonestop.com and go to the map that features most of the hotels both on the beach and on 'the cliffs'. You'd fly into Montego Bay at take a shuttle out to Negril (it's about 90 mins. drive and cost $30usd per person when I was there a couple years ago).

Agree about better pricing if you can wait and travel in May. (but don't wait too much longer because then you get into the summer rainy season.)
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