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missjanna Jun 19th, 2007 07:19 PM

Please help solve this dilemma!
I have enough frequent flyer miles to go to Hawaii from NY.

However I can also go to anywhere in the Carribean. I know Hawaii is a much longer flight and requires a layover.

Considering I will have about 8 days and 7 nights which would you choose? My only concern is the jet-lag from Hawaii and being on a long flight, otherwise I would be psyched to go. But there are plenty of places in the Carribean I would love to see as well.

volcanogirl Jun 19th, 2007 07:26 PM

We've been to the Caribbean and Hawaii, and my own personal preference would be Hawaii. It is a long flight, but to us it's entirely worth it. Hiking out to see the lava flow at night, a helicopter tour of the Na Pali coast, 400 foot waterfalls... when I think of big wow vacation moments, a lot of them are in Hawaii.

abram Jun 19th, 2007 07:36 PM

In your circumstance, I'd pick the Caribbean. For me, that would be too short a trip to deal with the jet lag.

There are many beautiful, fascinating places with lots to do, and Wow moments.

TxTravelPro Jun 19th, 2007 07:51 PM

Hawaii, hands down!

orangetravelcat Jun 19th, 2007 08:19 PM

I prefer the Caribbean to Hawaii. I am a beach person and nothing beats the beaches and water in the Caribbean. However, the plane fare to Hawaii is probably more from NY than the fare to the Caribbean, so it might make sense to use your miles for free ticket to Hawaii. If you're jet lagged when you get there, just nap on the beach.

Have you checked availabiity for these destinations? Depending on the type of aware you're using, and when you plan to go, that might be the deciding factor.

missjanna Jun 19th, 2007 08:23 PM

I'm not planning on traveling until October, and so far I have a lot of availability with the dates I am looking at regardless of which I choose.

The FF miles are through American, if that makes any difference.

missjanna Jun 19th, 2007 08:25 PM

Forgot to mention.....

I am not worried about being jet lagged when I get to Hawaii, I am worried about it on the way back!

I went to Vegas last year for a weekend and it took me a week to feel normal again!!

cko Jun 19th, 2007 08:27 PM


easytraveler Jun 19th, 2007 08:31 PM

Jet lag affects different people differently.

Some people feel it east to west.

Others are exactly the opposite and feel the effects west to east.

Sounds like you're a west to east person, like me. :)

Depends on how much you want to accoomplish when you get back.

Ahulani Jun 19th, 2007 09:21 PM

I would vote for Hawaii for sure because there are always deals to the Carribean from NYC. I would do some research on ways to maake the flight as enjoyable as possible for yourself and look into the ways to avoid or alleviate jetlag, for exampple, drink LOTS of water, no alcohol, bring healthy food if you can, if you are into it, there are terrific homeopathic remedies that can make a huge difference. One trick I learned years ago flying 36 hours to Indonesia from NY and back, was to figure out when morning was at my destination, then take a sleeping pill on the plane to create an artificial night. It really has worked very well in subsequent trips. I suggest you creat a new post (or look for old ones( on how to avoid East to West jetlag...there is a difference, some say.
Have a great time whatever you decide........but nothing in the world can beat the aloha spirit and the variety of adventures you can have in Hawaii.

OO Jun 20th, 2007 03:59 AM

I have awful jet lag going east to west. In Maui I was waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning, raring to go. My husband on the other hand, slept almost 'til morning. I'd go into the bathroom to read. That was a lot of fun. :)

There's one issue that might decide it for you. Hurricanes. That's a big worry in the Caribbean in October.

I actually prefer the Caribbean beaches and water to HI's too, and some of them have the peaks and valleys that contribute to HI's beauty., but everything taken into consideration: hurricane season, cost of flying to HI as opposed to the Caribbean, I guess I'd choose HI. Awful dilemma to be in, huh? LOL

volcanogirl Jun 20th, 2007 05:11 AM

Hi, missjanna - I think it depends on what you'd like to do. If you just want to go relax on a beautiful beach, I'd go to the Caribbean. We've travelled to St. John, St. Thomas, Tortola and the BVIs, the Bahamas, Mexico, Bermuda, etc. All of them were beautiful, but we still enjoyed our trips to Hawaii more.

Our favorite spot in the Caribbean was St. John; it was gorgeous, but the slower pace of the islands got a little boring to us. I guess we're not very good at relaxing! The Hawaiian islands have the volcanoes, huge waterfalls, helicopter tours, luaus, whale watching, the sunrise at Haleakala; we're the types that like to do something really active every day of our vacations, but I have friends that would be content to just relax on a gorgeous beach and shop; I'd send someone like that to the Virgin Islands. Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do?

Like others said, I imagine the airfare to Hawaii is more expensive for you, so I'd take advantage of the FF miles and use them for that. You can always go to the Caribbean later on your own dime. It's a good dilemma to have, isn't it?!

Supercilious Jun 20th, 2007 05:14 AM

"I went to Vegas last year for a weekend and it took me a week to feel normal again!"

If that's really the case, I'd rule out Hawaii which is twice the distance compared to Vegas.

If it's the time zone thing rather than the flight itself, you could also go to Mexico or Costa Rica. They are only one time zone away and also offer a lot to see.

xkenx Jun 20th, 2007 05:28 AM

For one week, you'll spend too much time traveling to make Hawaii worth it. American fies all over the Caribbean. From NY, you can be on an isalnd in the Caribbean early afternoon of the day you leave, and don't have to return until late afternoon of the return day. In the Caribbean, you can experience the cultures of the particular island(s), where Hawaii is tropical United States. If you haven't been to the Caribbean, A good introduction is Barbados. AA flies nonstop from JFK. The island has at least some of everything the Caribbean has to offer, except for a volcano. Lovely people, wide range of hotels, beaches, sightseeing, restaurants, shopping. See

gail Jun 20th, 2007 05:36 AM

Considering everything, Carribean. But check carefully - even though you have enough miles, it does not mean you can get a seat when you want to go.

Also, October is hurricane season in the Carribean.

msjames Jun 20th, 2007 05:53 AM

Do you have enough miles to go to Hawaii in 1st or Business Class? That would help me decide. It would be much easier to deal with the jet lag if you had the comfortable seat and the legroom on your way out there. With 7-8 days to spend, I would choose 2 islands at the most to see. You want to be able to wind down.

On the other hand you have the Caribbean, for which 8 days will allow some serious chilling out on stunning beaches. October is low season there, so you should be able to snag a deal on a nice place to stay. Since it is also hurricane season, I would buy trip insurance. Good luck, it's a tough choice, but an enviable one.

missjanna Jun 20th, 2007 06:15 AM

Thanks for all of the replies, which seem to be tied, 6 for Hawaii and 6 for the Carribean. LOL My main concern with Hawaii on top of my west-east jet lag is having enough time to appreciate it.

I should also mention that my SO works for JetBlue and therefore I get to fly with them for free anywhere they go. (They go to a few places in the Carribean right now) So I was taking that into consideration. Also into places more off the beaten path. Not into a big commercialized place that reminds me of home.

I am generally a relax on the beach and also do some sightseeing type of person. Would sightsee one day, lay on the beach the next. I would most likely be going from Oct. 5-13 or Oct. 19-27.

There is plenty of availability for using my FF miles on a lot of the destinations I had in mind this early out.

Thanks all for your replies!! Keep them coming!!

GoTravel Jun 20th, 2007 06:23 AM

My vote goes to the Caribbean since I get horrible West to East jet lag.

I would pick one of the harder more expensive places to get to like Anguilla, St. Barts, Martinique.

jcb Jun 20th, 2007 06:37 AM

Hi missjanna -

I prefer Hawaii to the Caribbean. In the next several years, do you think you will have longer than 8 days 7 nights for vacation? If so, save Hawaii for then. If not, I say go for it now.

FYI - if by chance you have a Citi Mastercard/Visa/AE, AA has the FF flights for 20% less mileage to both Hawaii and Caribbean if you book by June 30. The link is below.

Happy planning.

Gardyloo Jun 20th, 2007 07:01 AM

If you have enough AA miles for Hawaii then you probably have enough for Europe.

Why not someplace in the south of France, Andalusia in Spain, or maybe Sicily or Greece? Take an overnight flight from NY and you're there in the morning or middle of the next day, so you haven't lost a day. Then coming back, you have the clock working in your favor.

If you choose Spain, where they don't eat dinner until 10 or 11, jetlag is not an issue, since it will be the equivalent of early evening at home.

In October it won't be hot but it will certainly be comfortable; no chance of hurricanes, and off-season prices in most areas.

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