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Travel to the Caribbean with family

Old Jun 26th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Travel to the Caribbean with family

I'm planning a vacation to the caribbean with my family, husband and 3 kids, 3, 10 and 16 years. We want to visit at least 4 islands and spend a week in each. What islands are best for families and how can we travel. Been looking at flights and there are not so many direct flights between islands.
Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
Regards, Ásdís from Iceland
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Old Jun 26th, 2011, 02:58 PM
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hi asdis, welcome to fodors. i just did some looking & wow is it expensive to get from iceland to the caribbean. as such i'll start by advising you fly icelandia to jfk in nyc. from there you could use jet blue to go to barbados (all for less than $1000/pp) barbados is a good island to start your trip as it has lots to see & do, with lovely tropical beaches. as well, it is sort of an airport hub for the rest of the southern islands. american air, air jamaica, delta all fly jfk to various islands so if you don't like the looks of barbados you have tons of options.
look at these airlines for inter-island flights to help you decide where else you might go:
www.liatairline.com
www.caribbean-airlines.com
air jamaica

if you can give us some idea of how your family likes to spend time we can give you some very specific island/resort suggestions. are you active looking for hiking, diving, ziplines or interested in touring old plantations or more likely to spend days lounging on the beach or poolside?
will you want to stay in all inclusive resorts, hotels or villas/condos? any info you can give us is helpful. most important info is when you plan to travel & what your specific budget for hotels is.

you could choose to include the maya riviera - south of cancun mexico. it's wonderful & normally easy to fly to. for lots of info on this area look at www.locogringo.com

cuba is a possibility for you too. i can't even check flights to/from cuba as of course americans can't go.
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Old Jun 26th, 2011, 03:26 PM
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cheapcaribbean.com good family site great deals

Probably would fly to San Juan Puerto Rico

Central big airport lots

of other connections to outlying islands

cheapoair.com

farecompare.com

to give you a good idea of flight costs.

Happy Travels,
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 04:57 AM
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Hello!

I have 3 kids myself and with similar ages 9, 11, 16 and man can travelling with them be expensive!

As Virginia said, LIAT does inter island travel and they have an "island Hopper" airfare that allows you to visit a few islands on the same ticket. Also American Airlines flies to most Caribbean islands from Puerto Rico and also Miami. Most of their fares will allow you to embark in one island and dis embark out of another.
As Far as accomodation goes I have always preferred a villa as it allows the kids to be under the same roof as us adults and we can still have our privacy. A two bedroom or 3 bedroom villa can cost the same as two hotel rooms I have found. Some villas are self catering but some come with housekeeping and you can arrange for meals to be prepared as well.
What you need is a villa specialist to advise you on what properties are child friendly. If you look up sugarhutvillas they have great deals and also cater for families with kids!

hope this helps! happy travelling!
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 05:42 AM
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One thing you should know is "island hopping" around the Caribbean is not always easy or inexpensive. This is especially true if you want to venture beyond certain island groups.

For example: it is pretty easy to hop between the different islands in the US and British Virgin Islands since they are all relatively close and linked by a series of ferries, however, going from any of those islands to another island or group of islands may include one or two connecting flights and/or ferry rides and in some cases can't be done without going back to the US. Here's an example - Getting from Providenciales (Turks & Caicos) or any of the Bahamas to any of the Caribbean islands requires you to go back to Miami.

So island groups that (relatively) easily lend themselves to island hopping include:

a) US and British Virgin Islands
b) St. Martin, Anguilla & St. Barth's
c) St. Kitts & Nevis
d) Antigua & Barbuda
e) St. Vincent & the Grenadines
f) Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao
g) Guadalupe, Marie Gallant & Ils des Saints
h) Grand Cayman, Little Cayman & Cayman Brac
i) Cancun, Playa del Carmen & Cozemel (Note: Cancun & Playa el Carmen are not actually islands).
j) The Bahamas
k) Turks & Caicos

If you want to hop between "groups" you'll find it infinitely easier to confine your "hops' the the lager islands as they will have the bigger airports. For instance an itinerary might be Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Antigua. Another suggestion (assuming you want are flying from/to a major East Coast USA airport) might be St. Marin (with a day trip to either Anguilla or St. Barths), St Kitts (with a day trip to Nevis), Antigua and finally Barbados.

Good luck planning your itinerary.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Hi all, just got back from a vacation in Sweden with my family, thank you so much for your replies, they have been very helpful, I thought island hopping would be the easiest thing in the world but I've seen that I will have to plan well ahead
regards, Ásdís
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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There are a lot of great islands you can consider in the Caribbean, you should decide what type of activities you want to do and also figure out your budget. Also would recommend looking for all inclusive packages as you can save money with them esp. if it is a family vacation. Some sites you can search for are:

http://applevacations.com
http://caribbeanvacationresorts.com
http://travelzoo.com
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Old Aug 30th, 2012, 02:53 PM
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Roamsaround gave very good advice. If you go to islands grouped together, it will be much easier.
Look at the islands in books and online and see what appeals to you. Some have more beautiful beaches or bluer water.

Maybe if you said what you really want, people can suggest a group of three!
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