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Going south for vacay!

DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
edited January 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I need some help.

The misses and I have decided that we want to take a totally unoriginal trip down south (read: Cuba, Dominican, etc.) and frankly, we are a bit overwhelmed as to how to go about doing this.

We plan on talking to a travel agent this weekend and see what they can offer us, but beyond that, we are somewhat clueless. Anyone have any advice on where to go, or certain resorts to look into or avoid? I heard that you should go for at least 4 stars, but beyond that I am confused.

And for what it's worth, yeah, I have already started the process to get my Hep shots.

Thanks folks!

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    Aurora BorealisAurora Borealis runs and runs and runs away BrooklynRegistered User regular
    What exactly are you hoping to get out of your trip? South is a big place.
    Do you want to hang out on a peaceful beach all day? Do you want said beach to yourself or to you want to share it with hordes of other people?
    Do you want to see cultural sites? Do you want to absorb lots of history? Do you want to absorb said history via guided tour or do you want to wander around and find it for yourself?
    Do you want to drink what the locals drink or do you want to have the same full bars you get at home? Same with food- do you want an option to eat at a familiar chain once in awhile or are you jonesing to try out any and all random street food?
    Do you want an opulent resort hotel? A villa? Apartment swap? Couchsurf?
    Do you know any Spanish/French/Portugese? How well do you know it? Do you need to speak English wherever you go?
    Are you looking to see a lot of places in a short time or do you plan to park in one spot and get as much as you can out of it? How long of a vacation do you have? How much of that time are you willing to spend on a plane?
    Do you like ships/boats? Fishing? Sailing? Snorkeling? Wanna learn to kayak? Scubadive? Paraglide?
    Do you have a valid passport? In which country was it issued?

    No judgements here, just wondering what kind of a trip you want.

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    DorkmanDorkman Registered User regular
    No problems. All certainly questions that should be asked.

    Being a pair of fed up Canadians, come April we are just looking for some place warm and beachy to relax a bit and take in a few sites while just enjoying the weather and the like. We got the passport thing out of the way.

    Like I said, mainly the two places we have really discussed (being our first real trip) is Cuba or the Dominican (the touristy places!), and probably looking for an all inclusive resort type this time around.

    My gf is French, but had taken university level Spanish classes, so she can at least mumble out a few nouns to mayb not get us to the bad part of town.

    Hopefully that sheds a bit more light on the predicament!

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    BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    The NYT might be a good place to start, and Rick Steves (fairly prominent travel personality) has a couple of posts on the area here.

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    CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    I haven't been myself, but I did do some preliminary research for a planned trip that unfortunately fell through. I just have a couple things to add. First, if you're at all worried about language barriers, there are islands that speak English or French. Second, and this could just be because I'm American, but Cuba seemed more expensive than average as far as Caribbean islands go.

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    garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    Cruise ships may be a thing, if that's up your alley.

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    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Edit: I'm an idiot. Posted in the wrong tab.

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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    If security or language is a concern, the Bahamas, Florida Keys, and Jamacia might be better choices at the moment.

    Alternatively, St. Lucia is one of the best, least talked about island locations and is absolutely amazing.

    I'd say avoid Aruba and Dominican due to recent unrest in the areas. Not familiar with Cuba as it's a pain to go there as an American, but I've heard good things.

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