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Choosing Caribbean Destination for (College/Family) Spring Break Trip

Choosing Caribbean Destination for (College/Family) Spring Break Trip

Jan 14th, 2019, 10:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Choosing Caribbean Destination for (College/Family) Spring Break Trip

Hello all! Iím currently a college student, and my younger sister (high school) and I happen to have the same spring break this year! We are looking to plan a fun, adventurous, and relaxing spring break trip in March for six days. Weíd be flying either out of Houston, TX or Newark, NJ.

None of us have been in this region before, soIíve been trying to do some thorough reasearch on the different islands and what they have to offer. However, itís very difficult to choose when they are all so amazing in their own ways.

The help get our search narrowed down, Iíd say the biggest things weíre looking for out of our trip are:
- Beautiful beaches: I realize thatís pretty much a guaranteed anywhere in the Caribbean, but Iím talking while sand, beautiful blue water where you can lay out and relax with a book. Also would love somewhere that has water activities available (is. Surfing, swimming with turtles, manta rays, etc, snorkeling, waterfalls to explore, horseback riding)
- Safe and friendly locals
- Somwthing that wonít completely break the bank

Iíve looked into all-inclusive resorts, and I think that we are looking to go more for a cheaper route, like Air BnB since spring break rates are so high. Weíre open to renting a car to get around, but it would also be cool if the island was good to bike around.

From my research, the islands I think will be best for options to consider are: Grenada, Guadeloupe, Barbados, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

If Iím mistaken, or if you have any other ideas, advice, suggestion, or experiences to share, please do! I am a novice and will appreciate all additional information that will help me select a destination and plan this fun vacation!
annaba12 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2019, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,495
First, it's not clear from your post if by "we" you mean just you and your sister or does it mean your entire family? If the latter, how many people will be going?

Second, and perhaps one of the more important matters, when you say "something that won't break the bank" you actually have to give us an actual dollar range for your budget. We have no idea how "strong" your bank is and what it will take to "break" it. While you'll find a range of room rates on any given island those rates will all be "relative" and can vary greatly from island to island so knowing the dollar range of your budget will make it easier to steer you in the right direction.Likewise, you'll find that airfares can vary from destination to destination. So give us some idea of what you are able to spend on airfare, accommodations, activities and food.

Third, it would help too, if you could clarify exactly when you'll be traveling as "spring break" varies from school to school and if you'll be traveling around Easter Week or President's Day (week) you are going to encounter some of the highest room rates of the year as those weeks are very popular. Also, if you are planning to travel for Spring Break of this year" (which isn't very far off) and that time corresponds to Easter or President's Day you may find your accommodation selections will be very limited as those two periods are extremely busy and many resorts, hotels and rental properties are booked up to a year in advance.

Fourth, getting back to accommodation rates and budgets, you should know that several of the islands on your list are among the most expensive islands in the Caribbean. in general, the turks & Caicos, Cayman Islands and Barbados fall into that category. In comparison, Guadalupe and Grenada will be less expensive. You don't say where in the Bahamas you are considering. There are over 800 islands and cays in that chain and some are very expensive whiles others are more -mid-range and a few of the Out-Islands might be lower priced because they are so remote they lack a lot of amenities.

FYI - if waterfalls are high on your priority list then you have to visit a mountainous island like Grenada or Guadalupe. The flatter islands like the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos do not have waterfalls. On the other hand, flatter island generally have better snorkeling than mountainous islands. Another trade off, is that flatter islands tend to have longer white sand beaches than mountainous islands which generally have smaller cove like beaches with darker sand. Fortunately for you, Barbados, Grenada and Guadalupe have several lighter sand beaches even though they are mountainous islands. You should also know that Guadalupe is "very French" so it would be helpful if someone in your party is fluent in French.

I realize this response hasn't given you specific recommendations but you need to clarify the items mentioned above before anyone can give you meaningful recommendations.
RoamsAround is online now  
Jan 19th, 2019, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 6
For what it's worth, I'm a huge fan of the Cayman Islands, and go back every chance I get! I love the islands and the people!
angie7911922 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2019, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,071
Add Puerto Rico to your list. Easy and relatively inexpensive airfare from east coast US. Fewer travel hassles - as part of US, same currency, no cell phone surcharges, no passport. There is also history and culture if the beach gets boring. Rain forest to explore. Most places there is someone who speaks English. If you stay a short distance (but still walking distance) from the beach rates get more reasonable. Food at local places can be quite reasonable.

PR was not even on my radar as a place to vacation until we were there a few years ago - ended up there by default and glad we did.
gail is offline  
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