Post # 1
Hi Bees! DH and I got a free set of roundtrip tickets with southwest/airtran for us both after our flight leaving cancun on our honeymoon was cancelled and rescheduled for the next day. We have to use the voucher within a year (so by mid-July 2014) and were hoping to go somewhere for our 1 yr anniversary (july 13th). We got married & honeymooned at Privilege Aluxes on Isla Mujeres outside cancun and loved the vibe of the island- very laid back with extremely kind ppl, gorgeous beaches and great food. We would like something similar and considered going back to the same place but it was a little on the pricey side and we are not sure we can swing that again by July.
So we are looking for someplace with a chill vibe, all-inclusive, great beaches, and yummy food for a medium price range. This *may* be our last intl vacation before kids if that makes a difference. So are our options for Southwest/airtran intl destinations are in the pole above- we are open to traveling an additional hour max after the flight if that matters as well.
What we like to do on vacation: eat local and unique foods, drink lotsa booze, relax on the beach & in the water, snorkel, hike, sunbathe, pretty much anything outdoorsy & adventure we are up for!
-Where would you choose?
-Any resort recommendations?
Post # 3
Aruba – Bucuti and Tara. That’s where DH and I went for our honeymoon and it was great. It’s not quite all-inclusive (brunch/breakfast is included but not the other meals), but there are so many fun places to go to eat that going out is half the fun. The resort’s food was really good though…I could have happily eaten there more than we did! Aruba is expensive, though, so budget high for eating if you choose that option. Also, great beaches and basically perfect weather.
Post # 4
@BeckyS0: Lucky. I only ever get $50 vouchers.
Post # 5
I voted Jamaica before I read the whole post…whoops. I personally would not go to any of those destinations in July because I would die in the heat lol.
Post # 6
Oops! I voted Cancun before seeing you’d already been there!
I’ve been to San Juan, and it is AMAZING–But I wouldn’t stay at an all-inclusive there! It’s SO safe, and the food is SO good! It’s worth going out and exploring.
I’ve heard great things about Punta Cana!
Post # 7
@CoffeeBeanKate: I thought Aruba was pricey but DH wasn’t sure so thanks! It may be off our list if it’s too pricey. The resort we stayed at in Mexico was around $300-$400/night for all-inclusive and we are looking for cheaper than that…
@bitsybee: It’s lucky now, but the whole experience was a fiasco as we were not flying home but to our families home state for a reception and almost missed it. Our lfight was fine, but a plane going to Houston had an issue so they moved all those ppl to our plane, then gaveus their plane and said “oh, opps there appears to be an issue that can’t be fixed until tomorrow- too bad” then spent 3 hours trying to corral everyone to a hotel for the night (after being told 5 different hotels they took us to a totally different one). Top that off with no-one giving us any info and being unable to call the 1-800 # while in Mexico was too much. We almost missed being able to see DHgrandmom because she lives in a home and they have strict visitng hours. We ended up having to wait in the intl terminal in atlanta for 4 hours for our bags because they got on yet another flight, then got kicked out, then called at nearly midnight to come back to the airport and get our bags. It was ridiculous to say the least, and with the exception being these free tix we are planning on never flying with those airlines again… Nearly everyone on that flight called & complained heartily to anyone that would listed at the airline….
@Westwood: I understand how you feel. I’m from GA where it’s super hot & humid so as long as there is a breeze & it’snot 90% humidity outside it feels great to us both! We now live in northern CA where a high in summer is about 65 so we LOVE getting in the heat for a change…
@BrandNewBride: funny! We were kind of crossing Puerto Rico off our list just because it doesn’t seem exotic enough… Maybe we need to look closer!
Post # 8
@BeckyS0: I was just in Aruba in July for 8 days with family. It was a great trip, but more suitable for a shorter trip, say 4-5 days. I didn’t think it was all that expensive, but I didn’t think the food was that great either. We stayed in a house we rented off vrbo and rented a car for the duration of the trip. It has absolutely beautiful beaches but it is a small island and I think a short trip there would have sufficed to do everything we wanted to. The jeep tour of the island (5hrs) was the best thing we did there, and we even stopped to swim in the natural pools which was definitely the best thing I’ve ever done on a vacation!
Post # 9
@BeckyS0: The resort itself actually wasn’t bad (for somewhere safe anyway); it’s everything else on the island that’s expensive. We budgeted about $125/day for food, getting a snack for lunch and splitting an appetizer/entree/desert most nights and we spent it. If you’re okay with Jamaica or Mexico though, you could definitely do cheaper.
ETA – ditto about the Jeep tour! Totally cool!
Post # 10
@BeckyS0: I had a die-hard travel acquaintance tell me recently that Puerto Rico is one of the most Caribbean places in the Caribbean… Not very Americanized at all, which is surprising! It’s a lot higher on my to do list now.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@BeckyS0: The DR is hot right now and everyone I know who’s been and stayed at the AIC resorts has had a blast. San Juan would be my second choice.
Post # 12
I’ve only been to Nassau and we recently got back from Punta Cana. I’ve been to Nassau twice and really enjoyed it. I was kind of dissappointed by Punta Cana but I think most of that was our cheaper all-inclusive, and I think my expectations were kind of high. On another note, I know you live in N.Cali. now, but saw you’re from GA. Idk where in Ga, but I’m from McDonough, living in Athens now because of school and looking to move to Portland,Oregon after graduation. How different was it moving across the country? The thing we are most concered about is the climate change and if we can handle it after growing up in the south lol
Post # 13
@BeckyS0: DH and I have been to Nassau twice and love it. Granted, when we go, we are exhausted from life and all we want to do is be lazy on the beach. This last time, we mixed up our trip with being beach bums, and then stayed several nights at Atlantis so we could see what that was all about. We had a blast and given the chance, we would go back again…and again!
Post # 14
@ksn1219: My family is all from Griffin so just a hop, skip & a jump from McDonough! The move was scary but amazing. We sold most of our belongings before we moved, packed up what was left on a pallet and hired a shipping company from u-ship to add it on their load for about $600 total. The truck with our pallet of stuff got here before we did! The rest of the stuff that wouldn’t fit in the pallet we put in my car and booked it outta there. It was waay cheaper than a u-haul (trailer or truck) and saved us alot of time & hassle. Also, media mail was fabulous for us- DH had about 1,000 lbs of records/vinyl as he’s a dj and producer. We spent a little extra to get the perfect box and sent as much of that as we could media mail through USPS for only $500.
The climate change was a shocker to say the least. We have very similar weather to Portland actually. It’s kind of nice to not be hot much at all, especially at night. But the downside is I almost never get to wear any summer clothes. i’m pretty much in long & quarter sleeves with pants 24/7. The good news is that there are mountains nearby (I’m pretty sure this is true in portland too) and it gets just as hot as GA out there in the summer but zero humidity. It’s less than an hour drive for us to get to hot weather- if we want. It does make you appreciate the summer more. I’d say try to move in the spring/summer if you can so you can get the awesome-ness of those seasons before being plunged into dark cold foggy land. And get a bunch of cute cardigans & wraps cause your gonna go through them quickly wearing them all the time. Layers is the name of the game- when I came in to work this morning it was about 40 and foggy outside, but by lunch it was 65+ without a cloud in the sky (pretty much summer weather).
I grew up in Griffin but have never really felt home there. My views and beliefs just were never condusive to the south and I always wanted to move somewhere more liberal area anyway. Funny thing is, we moved to a town actually just a smidge smaller than Griffin so while it’s still CA it’s quite rednecky! Lots of farmers, hunters, loggers and homemakers. personally, I love it, but the vibe here is probably way different than portland since it’s a much bigger city.
We did drive up to Portland to visit a friend for a few nights & it was a gorgeous city. We didn’t spend alot of time out & about but the food was AMAZING and the people we interacted with were super nice. I’ve found that in general, people seem to really appreciate the morals and ‘way of doing things’ that are instilled in southerners, we’ve never felt unwelcome or judged for sure.
Post # 15
@BeckyS0: I love love love Puerto Rico but I wouldnt like to stay in San Juan in July as it would be too stiffling hot for me. I’d look into Rincón maybe, or Vieques if I could swing it. You could spend your last night before departure in San Juan to check out the forts, architecture & other sites there. Puerto Rico is awesome.
Post # 16
@BeckyS0: Just to add, one of the most memerable meals of my life was had in San Juan and a second memorable one was had just outside San Juan. And I find PR very culturally rich & diverse & so interesting from a historical perspective. The locals are fantastic. World class beaches. If heat doesn’t bother you then maybe you would be alright staying in San Juan or just outside of it at a beach resort. It is safe to travel within PR btw.