Hey, nice (vacation) package!

(x-posted, sorta, from Yehoodi)

So, Carrie and I are working out our honeymoon. And in the process of doing so, discovering that it can be a huge pain in the ass.

See, the thing is, I know nothing about this kind of thing. I’ve never done a big vacation before. And I figure our friends are nothing if not opinionated.

So I ask you, dear readers – what are your suggestions? To put some parameters in place – this will be about 7 nights, in late May/early June. We’d prefer to do all-inclusive (just for convenience), but there needs to be things to do other than just get drunk all the time. We want to go someplace with good beaches, and mostly, interesting activities to pursue. I’d like to keep the total cost under $4,000 (for two people). Some other caveats – we’re avoiding Europe (because we’ll be doing a big Europe trip in the summer of 2008), and want to have no longer than a 6 hour direct flight. And Carrie isn’t a big fan of Mexico due to some previous experience.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Tips and tricks?

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~ by Matt Stratton on November 16, 2006.

19 Responses to “Hey, nice (vacation) package!”

  1. Turks and Caicos. More specifically
    Providenciales.

    Many all inclusives. Gorgeous destination. I will be quite jealous if you go there. Oh, and they speak English and drive on the wrong side of the road.

  2. Have you considered a cruise? I know that there are some lines that include all-inclusive packages, and they have their little stops at private beaches and such.

  3. A cruise was taken off of the table, but I don’t remember exactly why.

  4. We’ll let you know what we think of the cruise when we get back in March. Southern/Eastern Caribbean is supposed to be amazingly beautiful and much nicer compared to Western Caribbean (which includes stops in Mexico).

    Check out Celebrity Cruises. They were too pricey for us to drag 40 people of varying incomes along, but if just Chris and I were going, we would have picked Celebrity.

    Other than that, we’re in the same boat (no pun int.) as you are. This will be our first vacation together not including dance travel. Good luck! 🙂

  5. It’s corny as hell, but I want to go to Atlantis sometime.

  6. Also, you should hit the library and check out Trvel + Liesure magazine. IT is chock full of inspiration goodness for places to travel. Beeeeeyoutiful photos.

  7. Kona

  8. Six hours from Chicago minus Mexico plus beaches = Caribbean or Central America. Maybe Hawaii, but it’s expensive. Costa Rica is apparently the bomb for natural beauty and somewhat cheap.

  9. I always think you get the best value in Mexico and the weather seems to be less risky than in the Caribbean. I am just not a big fan of anywhere in the Caribbean either. It has always been expensive, awful service ( every thing is on island time) and not very friendly local staff. Playa Del Carmen and the Mayan Riviera is lovely.

    Challenge the urge to go all-inclusive too. You will usually end up paying more for sub-par food and cheap booze. I think it’s fun to find good restaurants in the area you are going and makes for some added adventure.

    Hawaii is awsome but very expesive. You could probably do Hawaii in that price range but it wouldn’t be as luxurious as you could do other places. Poi pancakes are really good (mmmmm.. purple……)

    Someplaces I have always wanted is Costa Rica. I hear once you get there it is cheap and there are spider monkeys are everywhere

  10. couldn’t agree more! yucatan penn in mx is beautiful!!

  11. Carrie just keeps talking about when she went there how you had to watch what you ate because of the water, and you couldn’t eat anything (fruit, etc) that didn’t have a rind, because of the water, or whatever. Maybe it’s different at the resorts?

  12. oh my gosh, i’ve heard nothing but great things about costa rica! i could travel with you stricly for translation! hehe! i’ve heard if you want to go somewhere tropical where you can communicate using “friendly spanish”, then costa rica is it! it’s also very beautiful.

  13. Your constraints are pretty tough; esp w/out Mexico.

    I agree with the rest, Central America or Caribbean come to mind. There are some really nice all inclusive high-end Inns in Colorado and New England (but neither gets you beaches).

    I’d recommend Crete. We loved it, the weather’s great, the food is lovely and there is a TON of Europe left to see for your big trip (I personally recommend Utrecht, I know a great place you can stay 😉 ).

    I believe Wine Spectator magazine does an overview of high-end all-inclusive inns each year. If you can find it, it might also prove helpful.

    I’ve planned a couple of big trips, if you want some hints re: logistics, negotiating with companies for rates, etc, just drop me a line.

  14. It is totally different in the resorts. I can’t express enough how fantastic the all inclusive is. Well, the one we went to anyways.

    The food is awesome. They bottle their own water, but you can buy your own too. We had no problem with the ice, fruit, anything. I did get a cold the first few days, and medicine is expensive on the resort, so I would say bring OTCs. But truly reconsider Mx. It is so affordable and really beautiful. They usually have honeymoon packages toos, like massages and dinner on the beach.

    Tours will pick you up right at the resport lobby and there is a lot to choose from. There is also swimming with dolphins, pyramids, jungle tours, etc. We went scuba diving once and then sat on our asses the rest of the week. Oh, there was that one time we went to Cancun, got drunk and got tatoos….so there’s that too.

    Be careful about going to a resort that is too large like that Moon Palace place in cancun. Go to trip advisor and see what people say about the resorts.

  15. It is totally different in the resorts. I can’t express enough how fantastic the all inclusive is. Well, the one we went to anyways.

    The food is awesome. They bottle their own water, but you can buy your own too. We had no problem with the ice, fruit, anything. I did get a cold the first few days, and medicine is expensive on the resort, so I would say bring OTCs. But truly reconsider Mx. It is so affordable and really beautiful. They usually have honeymoon packages toos, like massages and dinner on the beach.

    Tours will pick you up right at the resport lobby and there is a lot to choose from. There is also swimming with dolphins, pyramids, jungle tours, etc. We went scuba diving once and then sat on our asses the rest of the week. Oh, there was that one time we went to Cancun, got drunk and got tatoos….so there’s that too.

    Be careful about going to a resort that is too large like that Moon Palace place in cancun. Go to trip advisor and see what people say about the resorts.

  16. Hawaii is the freaking bomb. It may be expesive (although I’ve heard of people picking up some super sweet package deals lately), but it doesn’t require a passport, everyone speaks English and the culture, food and natural beauty are spectacular. There are fantastic beaches, mountains, jungle, waterfalls, volcanos, etc.

  17. Actually, a cruise is back on the table now. We looked at Celebrity, but they don’t really have any cruises leaving for the places we’d want to go around the time we want to go. Hm.

    Royal Caribbean had a bunch though. I don’t know anything about them (the line, that is).

  18. The only reasons we aren’t doing Hawaii are a) the flight, and b) Carrie’s been there before, and I guess we want to do something new to both of us.

  19. The only reasons we aren’t doing Hawaii are a) the flight, and b) Carrie’s been there before, and I guess we want to do something new to both of us.

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