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Soliciting ideas for Family (with small children) Safe vacations

Soliciting ideas for Family (with small children) Safe vacations

Old May 4th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Soliciting ideas for Family (with small children) Safe vacations

Hello all,
We are interested in travelling around July 15-30 anywhere in the caribbean with our two young children. We are interested in inexpensive deals that include, SAFE places/accommodations, near sea, and stay at a family room/condo/villa/whatever its name may be, where you can cook your own food (which you can buy at a near by stores/shops). I realize what I am suggesting is quite big and vague, but I was hoping to start somewhere.
Any ideas?
Thank you
yannis
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Old May 4th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Aruba and Turks & Caicos are two such possibilities. They both have quite a few condo resorts right on the beach. Both have very nice beaches and gorgeous water. On T & C check out The Sands, Royal West Indies, Ocean Club West, they are good family places and reasonably priced. On Aruba, Costa Linda, Playa Linda, Marriott Ocean and Surf Club, La Cabana, Amsterdam Manor.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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hi yannis, we can better assist you if you could be specific re nightly hotel budget. spaces range from $150 to $1200+/night.
how old are the kids - are 2 bedrooms enough? also, if you have some idea which islands you can easily fly to from your home city - tell us. (with small kids this can be a big deal) kayak.com is most useful as it consolidates info from most airlines.
how do you want to spend your days? beach sitters or active? if active - what would you like to be doing? will you want to go out at night? dancing? casino?
assuming your kids have their passports already
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Old May 4th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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Hello Eileen,

It seems like you know what you are talking about. Without trying to beat to death this subject (I am just starting afterall , I was hoping to hear from you (and others) more details. I have two young children, 6 months and 4 years old, and we were looking for something really inexpensive. We have never been in the Caribbean, and we don't want to be taken for a ride in our first trip there. We were hoping to have a couple of meals at the place where we would stay (thus why looking for a place with a little kitchenette) cooked by us preferrably with material we can access easily without having to pay taxis etc, if possible. Is the Royal West Indies ideal? If not, what other place might accommodate? And are there any activities (or sight seeing) near by? And activities that our 4 year old can engage (other than the obvious swimming)?
Thanks again
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Old May 4th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Hello Virginia,

We have two young children, 4 years old, and 6 months old, but one decent sized room with two beds would suffice. Now budget wise...well, looking to accommdate a family man who happens to be a ..teacher, so we are looking for the least expensive possible, without of course risking a place that is of questionable quality/safety/etc. We are located in Boston, so anyway we cut it more than likely we will have to put up with at least one connecting flight. My hope is only one, but as I said, I never travelled to the Caribbean.
Thank you again
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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How about a condo on Grand Cayman? You can rent a car and visit sites around the island.

http://www.caymanvacations.com/grand...l-condos.shtml

Or Turks and Caicos?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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I have been to all the places suggested thus far. Grand Cayman is very pricey, and frankly, I was underwhelmed with it as it reminded me of Florida, just my opinion. T & C hands down the most gorgeous beach and water (blinding white powder sand and turquoise water, also gentle surf -- very baby/toddler friendly). I have been to lot of islands and for an easy, affordable vacation in a condo it is an excellent choice, I also believe there is a direct flight from Boston. T & C restaurants can be pricey, but it sounds like you won't be eating out that much anyway. However, there's not much else to do on T & C except the beach, golf and eating out. If you are looking for a great beach vacation it's a wonderful choice, but if you are looking for a place with lots of Caribbean charm/personality and lots else to do, that's not it. Most activities are water-related, you could take your 4 year old on a catamaran it you are comfortable with that. Beaches T & C is very popular with families but that is horrendously expensive, you might however want to get a day pass for one day to take the four year old to play there, most of the the condo resorts won't have extensive kids activities/facilities. If you want a good beach vacation with more reasonable dining out options and more things to do and see, Aruba might be a better choice but it's a longer flight with two little ones. FYI, for when your kids get a bit older, I have found that a cruise is the best bang for the buck and a great balance of adult time for the parents and fun time for the kids (the kids clubs are great, when my son was 6 he begged to have dinner with them every night!) Now that my kids are teenagers and it's all aboout unlimited food and meeting other teens cruises are even better!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 03:47 AM
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On Turks & Caicos The Sands would be my choice in the above mentioned post..great pool for kids, wonderful staff, excellent on site restaurant, all condo style with kitchens . ( not full kitchen in smaller studio units) On a budget check out Ocean Club ( or Ocean Club West)
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:36 AM
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Caribzack,
thank you for the info. Where is the nearest airport to this place?
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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Airport code is PLS ( about 15 minute ride to the Grace Bay resort area..)
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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i recommend the site on line at VRBO.com vacation rental by owner. or Homeaway.com these condos, homes give a wide varity of places to stay and are great prices. you put in what you want to spend and what amenities you require, and you will have a great selection.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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agree with all eileen said about provo/pls/turks & caicos. up to the aruba part, as i never been.

i like the sands for their screened porches, which you will appreciate in evening when kids have gone to bed & for dining in.
rwi or ocean club/west are all ok too. all are among the original provo resorts so on good parts of beach.

you will need to rent a car when you first arrive to go to the grocery store. or you can take a taxi. you will need to drive or taxi to grocery from any of above resorts. it's a very quick ride - say 5 mins? if you rent you can take a ride around to get the lay of the land on that day.

for futher economizing - you can purchase some bottles of booze at duty free in boston. kitchens should all have blenders.
we stay in villas and always take a cooler with us, with frozen solid meats, juices, butter and some premade appetizers, etc. we also put things like tuna, pb&j, cereal, coffee/teabags, goldfish in checked luggage. of course this does not preclude grocery shopping for bread, milk, ice cream, fruits/vegeys & more. i advise you pick up a case of 5L water bottles. provo water is drinkable but the bottles are so convenient and can be frozen to take on the beach. you might find the kids a sand castle building set at the IGA grocery. you could pack a couple floats for them to blow up and play on. wait - i guess the 6 mons old should not have a float.

be sure to take spf 9 million sunscreen as july sun will be intense. hats for all of you and swim or t-shirts the kids can wear in the ocean to keep them from burning. you need to fresh water rinse them nightly as once they get salty they will refuse to dry.

there are a few 'not so pricey' places to eat and an ice cream shop at the ports of call mall near the resorts.
hemingways at the sands is tasty, on the beach and not to expensive. mango reef at rwi is ok and both have kids menus.
menus are listed on thier web sites.

this map is most useful: http://www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com/map.htm
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Old May 5th, 2010, 02:20 PM
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Another option you might want to look at is a all inclusive in Punta Cana or Mexico where all your food/drinks and activities will be included If you pick a 2-3 star hotel this might work out for you since buying food/drinks on some islands can add up.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Thank you all for your kindness and prompt replies. I think I am narrowing my options to one spot...Note, the burden to make this decision my wife left it up to me...this makes things even more difficult to decide as I keep in mind safety/kids/and ofcourse the ...wife as she desparately needs relaxation and time off since she has been working non-stop for the past 5 years!! I think Providenciales it is...now, one last 'bugging' you all. The time frame we are looking to go there is between July 15 through 23. How is the weather there during this time? Will we be able to go to those sandy (with crystal clear waters) beaches I see on pictures? Also, I need to choose whether it is Royal West Indies, Grace Bay, or other place to stay...Any final thoughts?
Thank you to all again.
yannis
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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July is beautiful, very warm and yes it will look just like the photos...Royal West Indies is on Grace Bay ( the famous beach in all of the photos) I think for a 1st time trip Grace Bay is where to be...easy to get to dining, grocery store etc. Did you compare rates to The Sands? Both would be wonderful and perfect for kids !!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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i'm glad you leaning towards provo. in case you didn't guess it's my favorite carib locale.

perhaps a need to clarify. All the resorts suggested are located directly ON grace bay beach which is approx 11 miles long. you will walk out the front of the hotel right onto the sand. at sands even blding 6, which is closest to the road is only 100yds from the beach. and while the pics are nice the actual color of the water around this island is stunning & unforgettable.

the weather should be excellent. you are well ahead of hurricane season baring fluke storm. the water will be about 80 and the day air will be in the upper 80's but not likely much above 90, with evening temp maybe 77 to 82? i am taking this info from a site called wunderground.com

provo beaches are what's called coral based (as opposed to volcanic) - which means the sand is ground up corals and thus for reasons unknown to me never gets hot to walk and hang out on and is super fine and soft. (sand on previously mentioned taylor bay beach is like talcum powder)

i believe the sands resort (w/the screen porches) has a babysitting program, if you and wife would like to try one evening out for dinner a/or a couple hours of entertainment. the "belongers" of provo are delightful if a bit shy ppl. they treasure their kids. my point being i'd consider this a safe option. decide after you get there and meet ppl.

as wife "desparately needs relaxation" sands has spa here's the menu http://www.thesandsresort.com/docume...Price_List.pdf

re picking resort while royal west indies probably has spa & sitters, i'd still give the nod to the sands for the screened porches. i think it's-the porch- safer with a 6 mons old too.

as you've mentioned safety several times - provo is known as one of safest islands. you still need to lock your doors, not leave your wallet and watch in plain sight on the beach, and not try to walk home drunk late at night. even if you did all of these things chances are nothing would happen. not to say there is never any crime but i think you'll feel safe and comfortable at all times.

keep asking questions. we're here because we love sharing info with ppl who are interested!

as regards "the burden" -i think you're being quite efficient. your fear should probably be that she'll think you did such a good job that she'll want you to do it for every vacation...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Virginia,

THANK YOU!
and thanks to all of you who responded. I am thankful for your insights (not to mention your patience with my questions). I greatly appreciate the detailed responses. I do sincerely hope that this is going to be a great vacation (even if it is only for 5 nights or so).
I hope this next question is the last one ... and I know it is very subjective...but as I am trying to budget, aside the room & board (and flights that I have budgeted for) what is the average (I know it is very hard and subjective to quantify) sum of expenses (I don't know...local souvenirs, eating out, misc. expenses) for the 5 days we'll be there...any ballpark figure?
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Old May 6th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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t-shirts run $20-50
coffee mugs $12.50-16
grocery food add 20% to home prices
dining out. well a lot depends on how often, which meal, what you eat & where. on wed night tiki hut has all you can eat rib/chicken night for i think $12.50 each, ranging to places that will be $30-60 per entree. you can order a pizza.
drinks 6? for a beer, maybe 8-14 for a cocktail < we usually drink at the villa so i'm just guessing on those.
at the provo airport you'll find a free magazine with dining guide. or you can get the fodor's mini guide to t&c on amazon, which lists more specific price ranges for restaurants.
a car w/daily rate $45-60
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Old May 6th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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The magazine Virginia is speaking of is www.wherewhenhow.com
at the top of the page click on "dining" for prices.
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