Mother/Daughter Graduation Trip

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Apr 20th, 2018, 07:30 AM
  #1
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Mother/Daughter Graduation Trip

I am taking my daughter on a trip for her college graduation. We have narrowed our search for a beach graduation trip to Bermuda, Great Exuma, St. Lucia or Barbados? We will be traveling the first week of August 2018. We have a budget of $3,500 for a 5 or 6 night stay. We will be traveling from the Midwest, so we want the ease of either a non-stop or one-stop air travel. We have traveled many times to Grand Cayman and enjoy the beautiful clean beaches and clear water and snorkeling and would like these qualities for this trip as well. We would like to explore another Caribbean island for this trip. We would like to stay on beachside. Safety is very important for me, as a Mom traveling for the first time alone with my daughter. We want island charm, clear beautiful water, clean beaches, resort with restaurants on property as I do not want to rent a car. Please help?
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Apr 20th, 2018, 10:50 AM
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While Exuma is safe and meets the beach criteria by not renting a car you would be missing out on the island's best beaches - for me the Bahama out islands are all about renting a car and exploring the multiple beaches throughtout. Maybe Bermuda may fit your criteria the best (but the beaches are just ok from my perspective). However, safe with a user friendly bus system to explore. St Lucia's beaches will also disappoint when compared to Grand Cayman. Anguilla may be a fit if you can find a hotel that meets your budget. Another thought would be Treasury Cay and Bahamas beach club. Meets your beach and safety criteria without renting a car and should meet the budget. The beach is even better than 7 mile beach on Grand Cayman. You can take a day trip to nearby Green Turtle Cay by public ferry (taxi to ferry and super safe) and explore GTC on a golf cart...very relaxing and beautiful.
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Apr 21st, 2018, 03:42 AM
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I found the beaches in Bermuda to be more than just ok, they are alot better than many in the Caribbean. Pink sand, small coves, beautiful clear water. St Lucia does have beautiful beaches too but dark volcanic sand seems to be an issue for most who can't cope with anything else but white sand and clear water. The beach around Anse Chastenet is stunning, dark sand, clear water and snorkelling off the beach, view of the Pitons. Further north in Reduit Beach, the sand is lighter colour. West coast of Barbados in St James and St Peter has beautiful beaches with calm clear water. Antigua has many gorgeous beaches eg Dickenson Bay, Jolly Beach. Anguilla too but is more difficult to get to, well worth it IMO. Carimar is a great place to stay, not sure if the restaurants in walking distance are still there since the hurricane though.
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Apr 22nd, 2018, 11:59 AM
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Thank you, very helpful info. I will rule out St. Lucia for this trip. I will research Anguilla as well.
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Apr 22nd, 2018, 12:01 PM
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Thank you, very helpful. Exactly the feedback I am looking for. I will rule out St. Lucia for this trip. I will research Antigua & Anguilla.
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Apr 22nd, 2018, 03:39 PM
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Barbados is beautiful!
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Apr 23rd, 2018, 08:18 PM
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I would recommend Barbados.. if looking for calm clear water, try to the West Coast.. St. James or St. Peter area. possibly near Holetown. August is considered low season, however, our big summer festival CropOver and Kadooment (think Carnival and Mardi Gras) come to an end the first Monday in August, which this year will be the 6th August. it's a national holiday and many businesses, stores etc will be close.. there will still be places to eat etc, so don't worry about that. the 1st of August is also a holiday on the island, so consider that as well.

Hotel.. for your budget, you should be fine for just about anywhere along the coast, except maybe Sandy Lane Resort and a couple of other resorts.. . it also depends if you want all-inclusive (Sandals is the only true all inclusive on the island and it's located on the south coast).. Try the hotels that are part of the Elegant Hotels group. . https://eleganthotels.com/ or for more a beach feel and right near the shops and restaurants of Holetown, also try Discover Bay. and older property very welcoming.

I will advise.. no direct flights from where you are, but not knowing the exact location, I can tell you that you will need to look at American Airlines or JetBlue for airfare and at least 1 stop..

and .. the week after Kadooment (that first Monday in August festival, the flights will be selling out quickly, so.. you would need to make your decision and book so that airfare will not be so bad.)..

There is nothing wrong with the south coast , however.. if you are looking for calmer water, the west coast is the place..

Enjoy.
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Apr 23rd, 2018, 08:44 PM
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Bermuda may be expensive, but it is very pretty with nice beaches and safe. GC has long white beaches with aqua water, beach bars, resorts and condos. Bermuda is much more lush, flowery, with colorful pretty homes and pink sand beaches. Dinners are more elegant and afternoon tea is served. You can ride the bus everywhere along with locals. We rode the bus all over along with ladies going to get their hair done, children going to school, doctors on their way to work, etc.. There is no renting a car on Bermuda because it is too small. You can take the bus or taxi, whichever is convenient.
The Southampton Fairmont hotel is large scale and very nice, has a beach at the bottom of the hill, restaurants on property. The Reefs Club is a smaller hotel beachfront, usually has a meal plan included. These are the two places we stayed over the years with our daughters. I would not hesitate to take my daughters alone to Bermuda for a trip. Use common sense as you would use anywhere you are not familiar with, but Bermuda is a safe and very pretty place to be.

Have not been to Barbados, but do they sell stuff on the beaches there? Some islands do that and that is something I do not like. I believe I read that is allowed on Barbados?
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Apr 24th, 2018, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by girlonthego View Post
Have not been to Barbados, but do they sell stuff on the beaches there? Some islands do that and that is something I do not like. I believe I read that is allowed on Barbados?
There are some beach vendors but they donít bother you if you just say no thank you. There really arenít many. Iím sure they donít like having to sell items on a beach to tourists for a living either. If beach vendors offend you, stick to the well off islands so you donít have to see any poverty.
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Apr 24th, 2018, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by girlonthego View Post

Have not been to Barbados, but do they sell stuff on the beaches there? Some islands do that and that is something I do not like. I believe I read that is allowed on Barbados?
We do have Vendors who walk along the beach with their items.. we also have kiosks in certain areas along some,but not all beaches that sell everything from Beach Dresses to water and sand toys and towels (in case you forgot yours).. They have have to have a vendors license.. and a simple no, will send them continuing on..
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Apr 24th, 2018, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Odin View Post
There are some beach vendors but they donít bother you if you just say no thank you. There really arenít many. Iím sure they donít like having to sell items on a beach to tourists for a living either. If beach vendors offend you, stick to the well off islands so you donít have to see any poverty.
I had a feeling my post would get someone riled up. Beach vendors are not for everyone. On some islands, they are very aggressive, others not so much. I was harassed with my then ten year old daughter in the bahamas to buy drugs as soon as I walked onto the beach. We could not take a walk without constant requests to buy drugs. Cancun Mexico, someone came by every two minutes to sell us all kinds of puppets, and dolls and stuff. Some people like the vendors, some are uncomfortable having to say no. This is a forum asking about going to the different islands, I believe someone should be informed of this part of the Barbados experience.
Thank you to sunnie for answering the question about beach vendors in a more informed way.
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Apr 24th, 2018, 10:03 AM
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Thank you for your question. I had a frightening experience in Mexico as well with my daughters. Thus, part of my question regarding safety. ; ) I don't mind respectful vendors offering their wares or services, however we travel to get away and relax so aggressive beach vendors are a concern.
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Apr 24th, 2018, 10:10 AM
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Another vote for Bermuda. In addition to bus or taxi, you can also use the fine public ferry system. We stay every year on the "Pink Route" and it really is one of the prettiest ferry routes anywhere.

If you want a resort, you could look at Newstead which has outstanding harbor views and is on the Pink Ferry Route. They also have a private catamaran to run guests across the harbor into Hamilton for dining & shopping. They have a beach shuttle to Coco Reef Hotel which is located on Elbow Beach.
Luxury Bermuda Resorts | Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa

You could also select a hotel on the south shore....Elbow Beach Hotel, Coco Reef Hotel, Fairmont Southhampton, The Reefs, Pompano would all be great choices.

It is a beautiful and very safe island and a quick 2 hours hop from most east coast airports.
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Apr 24th, 2018, 10:23 AM
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Dear Bette:
Thank you, Bermuda is definitely still in consideration!
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Apr 25th, 2018, 11:41 AM
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You have a frightening experience with beach vendors in Mexico? Or some other kind of safety issue? (you don't have to answer, i just wasn't clear from what you wrote what kind of scary situation you found yourself in)
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Apr 27th, 2018, 10:24 AM
  #16
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Yes, we had a frightening experience with beach vendors on the beach in Mexico. I am not suggesting all beach vendors are like this, however I do not want to travel for a rare week off with my daughter and feel afraid or unable to enjoy our time on the beach.
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Apr 27th, 2018, 11:01 AM
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Oh dear. That's unfortunate. Thank you for answering.
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