Single woman in the caribbean

Old Feb 27th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Single woman in the caribbean

Hi all,
Forgive me for knowing so little about the caribbean, but I'm thinking of planning a week-long vacation for next winter (Feb 09) and wanted to ask some experts for island recomendations. I'm 35, would travel solo, wanting shopping, restaurants, lovely beaches for strolling and reading - no real interest in nightlife or water sports. All-inclusives seem so decadent, but I imagine for a single, they're probably not worth the money, right? My budget for hotels would be $225-250/night. I would be so grateful if you could help me narrow down a few of the islands for my research.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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Since you are a female traveling solo, I recommend Grand Cayman or Aruba. They are by far the safest and have great beaches and shopping. These islands are not noted for All-Inclusives (AI), b/c their restaurants are plentiful and excellent. That's just my opinion.
If you happen to choose AI; just remember they charge you per-person, so it CAN work for you.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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I second Grand Cayman. It's a very safe island and if you stay along 7 mile beach you can walk to a ton of restaurants. It's an easy drive into Georgetown where a lot of the good shopping is, but there are definately little shops around the SMB area too.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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I'm in the same situation as you (except am a few years older and have compromised my position on shopping being a primary criteria since I haven't been that impressed with the shopping options anywhere I have travelled in the Caribbean/Mexico compared to home in the US).

I have been to Barbados, St. Lucia, and Turks & Caicos (Provo) solo within the last several years. I also have strongly considered and researched Anguilla, Grand Cayman, and Aruba. Although you didn't state it explicitly, I'm assuming that saftey is a big consideration for you (it certainly is for me).

For the combination of what you are seeking, of the places I have been, I would recommend Barbados. Other places that you might want to consider are Aruba and Grand Cayman since there will be better shopping there with good beaches and an overall high level of safety (also all of these are places that are pretty easy to get around without a car, which is something else I prefer when traveling alone outside the US). The islands recommended for best shopping in the Caribbean (St. Martin and St. Thomas) are a little too crowded for my preferences, and they don't seem as safe. I am planning a trip to Anguilla (a good choice for beaches and restaurants) and probably will do a day trip to St. Martin for some shopping, and you could do the same thing with St. John and St. Thomas, but IMO, St. John lacks choices in what I consider solo-friendly accommodations (moderate hotels on or near a beach). Provo has great beaches and good restaurants but limited shopping.

AIs usually are not good budget choices for solo travelers because most charge a single supplement, which in some cases can mean that you are paying the same amount as two people would pay. One AI option without a single supplement is the Body Holiday at LeSport in St. Lucia, but it won't work with your budget in February.

If you are flexible about traveling during shoulder season (before Dec 15 or after mid April usually) instead of February, your money goes alot further with accommodations. Of course, the last couple of years I have traveled in December and then decided that I needed a second winter escape in April, so I have ended up spending more than I would have spent for one vacation in February (but I got two trips)!

If you want more details about any of the places I suggested, just ask.
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Old Feb 27th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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I went to Anguilla alone this past Nov.. Has everything except the shopping, but I spent a few days in St Martin beforehand to take care of that end. But as suggested you could take a day trip over. I absolutely loved Anguilla, and would go back in a heartbeat. I thought I would find it lonely, but didn't and had a blast. I stayed at Ku and would stay there again. It won't fall into your budget in Feb, but will in the shoulder seasons. The restaurants are amazing!
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Wow - thanks to all for the feedback. I appreciate the first-hand knowledge & help in narrowing down my options. Thanks again!
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Old Feb 28th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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I think Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos may be the right place for you. It is very safe. I have stayed at Crabtree Apartments, right on the beach, a fantastic spot and the rate is around $225 per night which includes a couple bikes. There are several restaurants within walking distance or a short bike ride. There is not much nightlife but the restaurants for the most part are right on the waters edge and the people are all so friendly. You tend to see the same people at the restaurants and bars at night so you get to know them. Unless you are looking to find a guy and want someplace to meet a single guy I think you will really like Grand Turk.

I think the Crabtree website is http://www.grandturkvacationrental.com if not you can do a search for Crabtree Apartments, Grand Turk.

Good luck.
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