Help me go on holiday/vacation
January 5, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Please help me plan a holiday/vacation.

I would like to go on holiday to the Caribbean. Thing is, I don't know how to begin to start looking to organise this. Previous holidays I've arranged tended to be European, driving, self-catering, or hiking/camping, with a large group of people.

In February, I have some time off, and a person to go with, and I would love to try a holiday with sun, sea, sand etc for a week, and just relax and not do very much at all (previous holidays have been very action-packed).

Looking at either the smaller islands around the Bahamas, or down towards Barbados, so not Cuba, or Haiti, DR or Jamaica.

My budget isn't huge, and we are looking for somewhere up to a week. Do I need to look at package deals, all-inclusive flights, hotels etc, or is it cheaper to book these things separately? For either, what are the best websites to do both?

Is there anything I need to be aware of? Like I said, I have no experience of this type of holiday, so I don't even know what I should or shouldn't be doing.

We're British, nearest airports are Cardiff or Bristol, although the London airports are ok to get to. Looking to go 13th Feb 2010, though pretty flexible.

Absolutely any help is much appreciated! Even if it's generic advice, not just specifics for my dates/locations.
posted by Petrot to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
From the UK, there are a lot of package holidays for Cuba and the Dominican Republic particularly. You are pretty much locked into 7 or 14 days, since these are scheduled charter flights. In February you will avoid places packed out with families, so that's a good time to go.

You can do this at either end of the budget. You can do 2 or 3 star properties for not a lot of money; it would be self-catering and the room would be fine but nothing to write home about; there would be a pool and loungers and a bar. Normally those resorts have access to the beach rather than being right on it. At the other end, you 4 and 5 have beach-front properties with very nice complex apartments, and usually some sort of meals are included even if it's just breakfast. Here's an example at £645 per person all inclusive with Thomas Cook.

You can sometimes do as well or better booking directly, which also means you can hand-pick a smaller and less.... McResort place to stay. You just have to be willing to sort your own flights, transfers, etc, and to account for that cost in your budget. Personally I prefer not to go with a tour operator because the room is very, very important to me but if you just want to book, go and lounge, it's a perfectly fine option.

Whatever you do, make sure you check the resort reviews on TripAdvisor before you book.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:26 AM on January 5, 2010

And here's a bunch of excellent answers to the same question with almost the exact same dates from a year ago.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:29 PM on January 5, 2010

You're in luck. Book soon while the sales are on. Both Virgin and BA have sales on at the moment.

Sample deal: 7 nights' self catering in St Lucia, from Gatwick: £480 (Virgin). BA also has cheapo deals at the moment, too, provided you book in the next 3 weeks.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:46 AM on January 6, 2010

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