Last minute trip to Caribbean??!!

Aug 20th, 2018, 06:28 PM
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Last minute trip to Caribbean??!!

Iíve been planning a family trip for over a month to Orlando. After doing all my research the total was around $3,600 which doesnít include any meals or drinks! So my husband suggested the Caribbean instead. I think itís a little crazy to try and plan a trip this late?... But here goes. My husband and I want to take our eldest daughters (11 and 12) on a mini vacation. It has to be mid October. When the girls and I are on Fall Break. Is there such a place for less than $3,600? I donít care if itís all inclusive. We would love to be on the beach and we adore snorkeling. Weíre not looking for posh restaurants, clubs or shopping. Good food, nice snorkeling, and a pretty beach. Since itís October (hurricane season) I was thinking the southern Caribbean the ABCís, Barbados, maybe even Panama. My budget and dates are not flexible everything else has some wiggle room. Iíve done a quick search and CuraÁao seems the most affordable. Open to any suggestions..
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 20th, 2018, 06:51 PM
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I know that Bonaire has the best snorkeling. However I can’t find a single flight that isn’t less than 24 hours.. Is it easy to take an excursion from Aruba or CuraÁao to Bonaire?
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 20th, 2018, 08:28 PM
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Need some help here.
How many days (nights) do you actually have exactly?
Does that budget include food and flights, or just hotels? Excursions?
Where are you coming from?
Sassafrass is online now  
Aug 20th, 2018, 09:50 PM
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Why would you go to Bonaire if you want to sit on a pretty beach? I loved Bonaire, but it is not your typical Caribbean island, itís popular with scuba divers. CuraÁao could work, again itís not your typical Caribbean island, main industry is not tourism. October can be rainy and itís right in the middle of the hurricane season. First time I went to Aruba they were cleaning up after being affected by a hurricane, the ABCs are not immune.

Last edited by Odin; Aug 20th, 2018 at 09:53 PM.
Odin is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 05:39 AM
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We only have 5 nights. That 3,600 should include hotel, airfare, and maybe 2 excursions. Meals aren’t included in that price. We’re coming from MEM. I don’t mind if it’s not typical but we would like a pretty beach. Where would you suggest Odin? I love Dominica but not sure if it’s in our budget.
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 06:25 AM
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You can probably book things yourself for less, but check cheapcaribbean and travelzoo for ideas.
Sassafrass is online now  
Aug 21st, 2018, 06:30 AM
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Well, I'm guessing you are going to spend about half your budget just in airfare alone from MEM and that will probably get you to one of the larger islands like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica or perhaps Cancun or Cozumel in Mexico (but probably will include connecting flight from one of the East coast airports like Miami, Atlanta or Charlotte). That leaves you with just a similar amount for 5 nights in a hotel for the 4 of you. Fortunately, all those destinations (except Puerto Rico) have an abundance of All Inclusives, many which should be in your price range. The risk, of course, is traveling in October which is still Hurricane Season in the Caribbean and there are never any guarantees when it comes to predicting the weather.

The difficulty with going further south in the Caribbean (which has less risk of hurricanes) is you'll end up having very long travel days getting from/to MEM and that will cut into your actual time on the islands. That's one of the trade-offs you have to deal with.
RoamsAround is online now  
Aug 21st, 2018, 06:57 AM
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You are correct RoamsAround not only are the flights expensive from MEM but they often have flights that land and have 12-20 hour layovers... Dominican Republic seems like my best option. Thank you.
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 08:35 AM
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Dominica is not known for it's beaches, it is all about nature, Bonaire does not have any beaches at all to speak of. You mentioned Curacao which does have plenty of great beaches, as I said, that could work if the flight connections & hotel on offer are reasonable travel time wise. Is Aruba an option from MEM? Beaches are great and there is a good snorkelling beach at Malmok, plenty of options for inexpensive dining.
Odin is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 09:13 AM
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I see Vacation Express packages out of Memphis to Cancun for under $800.00 each all inclusive including air fare to Cancun in Mid October. We know people who have used them out of Buffalo to Cancun and Dominican Republic and been happy with them.
DaveS is offline  
Aug 21st, 2018, 03:26 PM
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I picked Dominica because we are the outdoorsy type. We go camping every year so as long as we had a jungle or the beach to get our outdoor fix weíd be great. Unfortunately most flights to the ABCís have 2 stops that total 12-24 hour layovers, or if they donít the ticket prices double to $800 + per person.
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2018, 03:01 AM
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It really sounds like Costa Rica would tick all your boxes.

Look into Manuel Antonio area.
blamona is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2018, 05:27 AM
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Sassafras thanks for those websites. It’s giving me a better idea of what we can actually get within our budget.
VelvetSun is offline  
Aug 28th, 2018, 04:41 AM
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Hi VelvetSun,

You may want to try to rent a timeshare from a timeshare owner. You would have more space for your family and you could save some money by cooking some meals in the unit.

The Timeshare Users Group (TUG) has listings of timeshares for rent. They also have a special listing of timeshares (Last Minute Rentals) that are 45 days or less away from check in, offered at $700.00 or less.

Redweek is also another good site for timeshare rentals.
MyResortNetwork also lists rentals.

Trip Beat is a site that is owned by RCI and it lists unused timeshares. Sometimes you can get a good deal last minute.

Cheap Caribbean is a site for booking hotels and resorts vacations. You might want to check them out.

Last edited by cponsolle; Aug 28th, 2018 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Forgot one item
cponsolle is offline  
Aug 29th, 2018, 05:38 AM
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The DR isn't great for snorkeling, but your best bet would be to go to the La Romana area and take an excursion to one of the nearby islands for snorkeling.

Having said that, the DR is much more prone to hurricanes in October than other islands. I'd stick with your Curacao plan if you can. That island has some beautiful beaches and good snorkeling, but a day-trip to Bonaire would require a flight and would put you way over budget. You will benefit from being in the lowest of low seasons.

If it were me, I'd actually stick with the Disney plan or take a short cruise.
doug_stallings is offline  
Aug 29th, 2018, 09:51 AM
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A short cruise might work for you, but choices are very limited for time and cost. All depends on what is available and cost of airfare if you have to fly to a port. Itinerary is important for your interests too.
If you will post exact dates, from when you can leave home to when you must be back, I will see if anything looks promising and send you the websites. No point searching and sending anything that does not at least match your dates and budget.
You can look at vacationstogo yourself for a start, but need to be specific with dates and ports in your search.
Sassafrass is online now  
Aug 31st, 2018, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2018
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I'm currently in Panama, and the beaches here in the Caribbean are located in Bocas del Toro, Colon and San Blas. They are veryyy beautiful and free of hurricanes. You could spend less than $3,600.
melaniebonilla is offline  
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