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friends on holiday

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Nov 1st, 2016, 04:37 AM
  #1
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friends on holiday

We're a group of anywhere from four to eight friends in our young late-30s/early-40s...
We've been vacationing in Vegas every winter for the past 5 years, & having a blast, but we/re starting to run out of things to do. This year, w/ the Canadian dollar lagging so far behind the USian one, we've decided it's time to head elsewhere. Currently, it's a tossup between New Orleans just *before* Mardi Gras, & an adult-only (non-romantic) all-inclusive.
Ideally, we're looking for a 4+ star resort that will run us ~$1000 for 5nights, including airfare.

Gimme your best suggestions!
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Nov 1st, 2016, 05:31 AM
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If looking at February, 90% of everything is sold out, that's the height of peak season

Since you like action, you're only hope within budget (I assume it's $1000 per person including air) is Mexico.

and at that price resort will probably All Inclusive, but closer to 2 **

4* Caribbean Feb prices average $700 nightly for a room for 2
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Nov 1st, 2016, 07:09 AM
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Agree with blamona - $1,000/person including airfare for 5 nights isn't going to get you anywhere close to 4* accommodations, especially if you are thinking All Inclusive.

At best you are going to find 2* (maybe 3*) accommodations at that budget.

Your best bet is to look on "travel websites" or on your airline of choice's website for package deals to Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmem (all in Mexico), the Dominican Republic and Jamaica - they have an abundance of moderately priced All Inclusive and are the most budget friendly destinations in the Caribbean.

At that price you might be better off looking at one of the lower tier Caribbean Cruise Lines - you'll get accommodations and all your meals in the price.
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Nov 1st, 2016, 11:12 AM
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Mexico fits your request.
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Nov 1st, 2016, 03:31 PM
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Phooey.
I've learned my lesson re: anything under four stars: I go hungry, because the food is hardly palatable. Really, I'm flexible on just about everything, but the food options have got to be decent!
We usually do our Vegas trip in late January, but one of our crew has gone back to school & the semester only ends February 17th... Ideally we'd prefer *not* to be on holiday during Spring Break. I don't think any of us have the patience for that anymore. ;-)

@RoamsAround? Most cruises don't include alcoholic beverages, do they?
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Nov 1st, 2016, 03:49 PM
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Correct, Alcoholic beverages are extra on all but the higher end cruise lines. Many cruise lines offer "drink plans" at additional costs.

Sorry, but at your price point you won't find any All Inclusives with great food. Lots of food, yes (think all you can eat "theme" buffets) - great food, no!

Likewise, if you have to travel during February's President's Week you are going to run into crowds - families, spring breakers, etc. as that's a peak travel week and many of your fellow travelers will be on the same type of budget limits as you.
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Nov 1st, 2016, 04:29 PM
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If you went to a resort in Mexico and did not stay at a low-priced all-inclusive, rather get an independent hotel and eat out around town, you would find way better food at lower prices.
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Nov 1st, 2016, 04:31 PM
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($1000 for 5 nights simply isn't going to get you a 5-star in the Caribbean)
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Nov 1st, 2016, 04:59 PM
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Also is the requested $1000 total price Canadian or USD?
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Nov 1st, 2016, 11:43 PM
  #10
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Good question @suze! We're located in Canada, so would definitely be booking & paying in CAD. Obviously, we can bend our budgets somewhat, but would prefer not to, if possible.
Interestingly, I went on holiday right around this time (early March) to a 4star resort in Mexico a couple of years ago w/ my family & we managed it for $1350 each. I wonder what's changed so much since then that you're all telling me I'm being unreasonable!

@RoamsAround What on earth is "Presidents Week"? We're not locked into any particular dates. Unfortunately, it hadn't at all occurred to me until just now that waiting for our one student to finish her semester means we'll be forced to travel during Spring Break *season*. I hadn't realised just how many schools have spring break over different weeks (I found this though, which is both helpful & a bit depressing: https://www.ststravel.com/college-spring-break-dates)... It may be that we'll need to go before then in order to skip the craziness. :/

P.S.: Thanks bunches for continuing to talk this through w/ me!
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Nov 2nd, 2016, 04:30 AM
  #11
 
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You'd have to go January or middle of April to avoid school breaks. Caribbean tends to sell out Christmas thru mid April, even dumpy places!

At this stage, picks for Feb are slim, just because you did March cheaper (how many years ago) if you want/need cheaper you should have planned it months ago. Most value for money places are booked, at highest price of year

For your budget you need to try May-mid December. You can try Roatan, Belize, Mexico, DR. Only thing is most you need at least a week as travel days may cut into it

Prices overall have really escalated in the last 2 years across the board, and you didn't take into account how much the Canadian dollar has devalued in a year.

So a couple of years in Mexico at $1350 is $1820 today, so that's almost twice your budget
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Nov 2nd, 2016, 06:52 AM
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President's Week = the period between the Saturday before "President's Day" (a US Holiday formerly known as Washington's Birthday - in 2017 it will be celebrated on Monday, February 20) and the following weekend. It is a time when many schools in the US are a closed for "Spring Break" thus a big time for family vacations.
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Nov 3rd, 2016, 02:22 AM
  #14
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@blamona Three years ago, I guess (March of 2014). We're specifically planning a winter vacation, so May-December is definitely not gonna cut it, but thanks for your suggestions.

@RoamsAround Turns out you *do* learn something new every day, I'd never heard of it before today!

@suze I willingly admit that the tags were pretty haphazard. I'd wanted to tag Mexico, Cuba, the DR, & Jamaica, but it wouldn't let me. ST. Lucia is a dream of my own, but I know it'll require a significantly larger budget.

Right. So... back to the hunt. Perhaps we'll get lucky.
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Nov 3rd, 2016, 06:10 AM
  #15
 
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Maybe you could split the cost of a condo. Although it might be tough to find one for only five days. There are plenty of inexpensive restaurants in Playa del Carmen. However, if you are big drinkers it might cost more than an AI.
You might be forced to look as some three star AI resorts in Mexico.
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Nov 3rd, 2016, 09:12 AM
  #16
 
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My best Jamaica suggestion is Negril. Take a look here to see what it's all about: www.negrilonestop.com

I stayed in an independent small hotel on the Cliffs, but there are all-inclusive resorts on the beach(es) available too.
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Nov 3rd, 2016, 11:51 AM
  #17
 
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>>I'd wanted to tag Mexico, Cuba, the DR, & Jamaica, <<

Because . . . Mexico isn't on this board. Mexico and Central america are on their own forum (see the 'Change Forum' pull down menu)

I think you should re-post over there - Mexico will more likely fit in your budget
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