Short Family Trip from NYC Area...on budget

Old Apr 5th, 2021, 06:27 PM
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Short Family Trip from NYC Area...on budget

Hello....thinking ahead to either the summer (I know it will be VERY hot) or early next year for a 4-5 night trip to the Caribbean for my family of 4 (2 children-- ages 15 & 11). Given the short length of the trip, need a direct flight from JFK in New York. My husband and I have stayed at some amazing resorts pre-children but are now on a tight budget. I am thinking my children will love any island...especially since this will be their first trip to the Caribbean and the water alone will amaze them. Just looking for a resort with a nice pool/beach......very casual and relaxed. Thanks in advance!!!
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Old Apr 6th, 2021, 05:27 AM
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Please define "tight budget" in terms of actual dollars as we have no idea how much you are willing to spend. Please clarify whether that "tight budget" includes airfare, food, activities or is it just for accommodations.

As for direct flights from New York (by the way I believe you probably mean" Non-stop" flights as in airline parlance "direct flight" means staying on the same plane but making one or more intermediate stops before reaching your final destination you can get to most major islands. those with flight times under 5 hours include:

Nassau, Bahamas - about 3 hours
Providenciales (Turks & Caicos) - 3.5 hours
San Juan - 4 hours
Dominican Republic - 4 hours
Jamaica - 4 hours
St. Thomas or St. Croix - 4.5 hours
St. Martin - 4.5 hours
Antigua - 4.5 hours

Your biggest obstacle right now is dealing with any Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the governments of the island you visit. Many of the current restrictions are being eased or lifted entirely but the situation is still in flux and rules/regulations can change rapidly (in any direction) so you'll have to investigate this aspect very thoroughly before making any final commitment. Make sure you understand the cancellation/refund policies of your airline and resort.

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Old Apr 6th, 2021, 06:04 PM
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I have visited most of those islands. If what you really want is a beach, it's hard to beat the Bahamas for ease of travel and amenities. We visited St. Martin/Maartan shortly after the big hurricane, and not much was open, but it was fascinating. There isn't a whole lot to do there other than lie on the beach. The Dutch side was recovering much faster than the French side. The most affluent of the islands is the Grand Caymans, and there are things there like swimming with the dolphins and more organized activities for kids. This all depends on which island will let you in, of course, and whether the airlines will let you fly internationally. Some are talking about requiring proof of vaccination, which is a problem if you're traveling with children under 16. If you can't travel internationally, the beaches on the Gulf in Florida are just as good, and everything there is open.
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Old Apr 7th, 2021, 10:02 AM
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Consider Bermuda, maybe not quite as hot, should be non-stop flights.
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Old Apr 7th, 2021, 11:52 AM
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The OP needs to check the entry requirements before deciding on an island. Bermuda for example will put you in quarantine on arrival for 4 days plus you need to apply for pre-authorisation before you arrive into Bermuda which has a load of requirements including a negative PCR test. Then you need to check what you need to get back home which might mean checking what local facilities there are in Bermuda for getting a PCR or other COVID test. Grand Cayman is not letting tourists in at all. Bahamas needs a health visitor visa application with a negative PCR test, there is a state of emergency currently which might be lifted soon. The big hurricane that hit St Martin was a few years back now and things have been rebuilt. But France is now in lockdown so there will be some knock on effect to St Martin, being a French territory. I would suggest the OP looks at the various requirements and narrow down the list to some destinations that posters can then offer advice on. T&C is where I am booked for but everyday throws up a new challenge, it might or might not happen.T&C is not a place for those on a budget and neither is much of the Caribbean. Check Aruba, bit further away but you may have to compromise on something.
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Old Apr 7th, 2021, 12:52 PM
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Iíve been getting Jet Blue emails touting Caribbean vacation packages. Personally Iíve been looking at their attractive airfares to St. Thomas to get to St John, but playing around a bit see some really good vacation deals to Puerto Rico. If your main goal is a nice hotel/beach/pool area there are some great rates for five nights at an oceanfront resort like the Wyndham in the $1,800.00 range including airfare and resort fees. I donít think there are any Covid travel restrictions.
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Old Apr 8th, 2021, 05:57 PM
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All-- thanks for all the information and apologies for taking so long to respond. I am not planning something right away....just thinking ahead. When it comes time to actually book, I'll figure out all the COVID restrictions. Was just looking for general ideas. Since I want a non-stop from NY....and since I will only be going for 4-5 nights....would prefer a shorter flight. If we go in the spring... I am leaning towards Nassau or possibly Turks and Caicos.....and for summer, Bermuda. This is all for NEXT year.....and I am not even thinking about booking yet....just gathering info.
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