Advice for a solo trip

Old Jan 12th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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Advice for a solo trip

I'm sure there have been many questions for "which island," but this one is for someone traveling alone. Here is what I'm looking for (and what I'm not):

-A place lacking Americanization/globalization (no fast food restaurants, large chain stores)
-Avoiding loud families and small children (no offense, I'd go to Orlando for that)
-Uncrowded beaches that don't have rows upon rows of lounge chairs like a movie theater
-A good selection of authentic restaurants (no buffets)
-No loud Burning Man type parties going on until 3AM outside of where I'm staying
-Decent drinks available from a beachfront (maybe served in a coconut)
-No huge cruise ships with swarms of people trashing the island
-Options to relax at clothing optional beach
-Beaches with white sands, turquoise clear water
-Either barely anyone on the island, or more local population to resort ratio.

I'm pretty laid back, and not stuck on every single thing above, just a ball park to narrow down the selection. Hoping to travel a month from now for about a week to decompress from work and treat myself for my birthday.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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You are going to have to make a couple of concessions.

First, islands that don't have many tourists won't have a "good selection of restaurants". To paraphrase the line from the movie Field of Dreams - "If you build it, they will come!" - no one in the Caribbean operates restaurants where there's "barely anyone on the island". If you want a variety of restaurants you are going to find tourists. The exception are "private island resorts" which charge mega-bucks so that their pampered guests rarely see anyone but themselves - seclusion comes at a price and a big one at that!!!

If you want "clothing optional beaches" you really have to visit one of the French Islands (St. Martin, St. Barts, Guadalupe, Iles des Saints, Marie Gallant and perhaps Martinique - nudity is generally frown upon by the locals and often illegal on most other islands. Most of those will not have the seclusion you seek.

White sand beaches with bright turquoise waters will be found on the flatter limestone/coral based islands such as the Bahamas Out-Islands, the Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, Anegada, Barbuda, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. none of which have "clothing optional" beaches and with the exception of Aruba and Curacao (to some extent) will meet just about all your other criteria.

If you can do without the "clothing optional" beach, look closely at Anguilla - 35 fantastic white sand beaches and 80+ restaurants, some among the best in the Caribbean. It's a quiet and laid back island and doesn't have a deep water harbor so there's no cruise ships.

Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos may fill your most of your needs if you select your resort carefully and avoid the "condo resorts" that are geared toward families. Good restaurants, a white sand beach that stretches for over 11 miles and a decent selection of "quiet" upscale resorts that, because of their pricing structure, don't get many families and, most importantly, no cruise ships.

If you don't mind darker sand beaches and no "clothing optional" take a close look at Nevis. Rarely gets cruise ships and when the do visit they are small (under 300 pax), beaches are never crowded even during "High Season", more than 30 different restaurants, all the "beach Cocktails you want, very little nightlife and what little there is can be easily avoided. No "fast food" and the locals have never even heard of a "chain store" let alone seen one.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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I agree with the thoughts above. You are asking for contradictory things - ammenities that tourists want (restaurants, drink service, nude beaches) but you want an isolated island with no one else there.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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RoamsAround, thanks for the reply and the thoughtful suggestions. Your insight was really helpful and appreciated!
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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suze, as I said in my post, I am not stuck on any particular item in that list. It was to just give an understanding of my interests or unique experiences that I'd like to try.

Every time I've traveled before it has been as a backpacker to different countries to experience life as a local. I have social anxiety and large crowds of people with a lot of activity tends to overwhelm me. I can deal with people, so long as it's a relaxing and peaceful environment.

I noticed you didn't offer a suggestion, would you be able to contribute any?
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Look into Culebra and Vieques Puerto Rico. You won't get your clothing optional or even topless beaches there, but they fit a lot of your other criteria.
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 02:29 PM
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While a super tiny island, (3 square miles) Salt Cay in Turks and Caicos meets your criteria except for the nudity (it's frowned upon)

Roamsaround didn't have suggestions, because most of what you want doesn't really exist in Caribbean anymore. Sounds like you're looking for

phi Phi Island in Thailand1

Caribbean is extremely popular with families with kids
Most get cruise ships
Most have discovered the beaches, very few places left undiscovered
Most true Caribbean islands when they throw a party, it gets loud and lasts through the night (they tend to celebrate all holidays- American, Canadian, Caribbean, their own personal island....)
Beachfront drinks are only found with crowds. No one in Caribbean could live off a beach shack that didn't bring in people
Nudity is really frowned upon on most islands, actually illegal on most (except named above, which negates all your other wants)
As a backpacker, you're going to be shocked at the prices. No budget places left, food grossly expensive. Consider $200 for accommodations, another $150 daily for food, and drinks can be expensive (especially in coconuts)

Other than Thailand (which meets all your criteria) and Salt Cay, which comes close but tiny)

You might consider

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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Sorry I hit send to fast

Bocas in Panama
placencia in Belize

Out Islands in Bahamas, such as Eleuthera, Long Island or Cat Island might work for you too (everything but the nudity)
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Old Jan 12th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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As a female solo traveler, I would go to St John, but I am partial. I am doing a solo trip there next October. But as stated, you won't find all of your needs there. Namely nudity or fruity drinks served to you.
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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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Well, I can tell you where not to go based on your "wish list": Aruba! We love Aruba but you wld hate it. It has just about everything that you do not want.

T & C appears to meet many of your criteria. The only concern I have with T & C is this: Will it be warm enough in February?
I prefer "guaranteed warm" places & for that you generally have to go farther south than T & C...places like Aruba! Very close to the equator.

One final comment: "A month fom now", which is your preferred travel time, puts you in President's of the busiest, most expensive times to travel.

Let us know what you decide, ok?

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Old Jan 13th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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I didn't offer a suggestion because no place I've been fits what you seek.

Where I have traveled in the Caribbean (Jamaica, DR, USVI), Mexico (PV, Cabo, La Paz), and Hawaii (Oahu, Maui)... none fit your requirements, not even close. As a solo traveler I love to be in busy places, not quiet isolated ones.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 07:09 PM
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Sint Maarten and Saint Martin.
The French side, Saint Martin has clothing optional Orient Beach.
The Dutch side, Sint Maarten, is pretty laid lack and has mostly local fare. And Burger King, but you don't have to eat there!
Excellent French croissants and pastries on both sides with superb Dutch cheeses on the Dutch side.
Cuban cigars and handrolled from Cuban tobacco on both.
Your hotel will have a newletter telling you on which days Phillipsburg and Marigot have cruise ships - just stay on the beach that day.
Need passport but don't need to to change money - St Maarten, my fav, prices everything in both US$ and NSF!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:04 AM
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I might be responding too late for you but my first thought on reading your list was Anguilla. It ticks almost all of your boxes except for nude beaches. There aren't any and I think even topless sunbathing might be illegal. As already stated above, most islands don't allow even topless sunbathing except for the French and Dutch islands. And Jamaica has a few clothing optional beaches but I think they are mostly at certain resorts.

If you don't go during Presidents' Week you shouldn't have too many families to contend with unless you go to a family-friendly resort like Beaches in the T & C. Anguilla has beautiful beaches, some excellent restaurants and virtually no shopping. You have to look for the nightlife so that shouldn't be a problem. There are a few beach bars where you can get those excellent drinks. Check out Shoal Bay East.

If you really want to get away from people then Anegada is a good spot. There are a couple of nice beaches. There aren't many restaurants but then again the population is 200 with maybe one or two small guest houses so there's not a lot of call for too many restaurants.

Tortola might work for you. It does get cruise ships but I think most cruise shippers confine themselves to where the ships dock, which is their capital city, Road Town. Cane Garden Bay is a gorgeous beach with a few restaurants and guest houses. The West End of Tortola has beautiful beaches, even some surfing!, and very few people.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 10:57 AM
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Anguilla. I think it will be closest to barely anyone on island and drinks served on the beach. The bahama out island are one beaches but wont meet your drinks served on the beach criteria
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