I need to use six days of vacation by January 8th and would like to go somewhere warm (preferably). I am open to non-warm ideas though.
December 19, 2010 10:28 PM   Subscribe

Last minute inexpensive vacation ideas to somewhere warm (preferably)

I have six days of vacation that I need to use by January 8th or I lose them. Unfortunately, I have been so busy at my job that I haven't had time to plan anything. Ideally the vacation would be to somewhere warm that is relatively inexpensive to get to from the Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison area and doesn't require significant amounts of planning. An added bonus would be somewhere that I could take windsurfing or kitesurfing lessons or some other outdoor activity. Preferably the the total trip expense could be keep below ~$1200 for a week to ten days of vacation including flight. I could leave anytime after Dec. 29th but need to be back by January 8th.

A couple of ideas that I had:

Warm locations:
Puerto Rico with some time spent on Vieques and Culebra. The flights to San Juan are really expensive from the Midwest (+$550). What is the best way to get to Vieques or Culebra and deal with a rental car?

Fly to Cancun and stay on the Isla Mujeres

Non warm locations:
Go cross country skiing in Yellowstone (Not warm but it sounded interesting).
Spain (Barcelona and Madrid tickets were +$850 when I checked)

Does anyone have other last minute vacation ideas/recommendations or a method for getting to Puerto Rico cheaply?
posted by cycleback to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Last year, I went on a really cheap vacation to Cabarete, Dominican Republic. It's a kite-surfing destination. I stayed at an all-inclusive, which of course minimizes the planning, and wouldn't have prevented me from participating in the kite surfing if i'd wanted to. Of course, you could stay in a guest house or backpackers, but that would add to your planning.
posted by Kololo at 10:40 PM on December 19, 2010

there tend to be a lot of good last minute deals at sellofvacations
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:13 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fly to Vegas, rent an SUV, drive to Death Valley or Zion, sleep in the vehicle. That's *cheap*.
posted by notsnot at 4:01 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Vieques and Culebra -- and rent a bike instead of a car. Accommodation and restaurants can be more expensive than you this there, though, so you might also consider somewhere in Mexico (puerto escondido?) where you can get super-cheap places to stay. Even if the flight is more you'll save money.
posted by yarly at 4:11 AM on December 20, 2010

Oh, and getting to Vieques and Culebra -- there are charter flights from san juan for around $100. The ferry is much cheaper, but you have to get yourself to the ferry terminal (far away from San Juan airport) and it will take up half a day of your vacation. There may be a cheap bus to get to the ferry terminal, not sure.
posted by yarly at 4:15 AM on December 20, 2010

Kololo: Thanks for the Cabarete suggestion. Unfortunately, flights seem pretty expensive to get there (+$800). I will keep it in mind though.
posted by cycleback at 5:16 AM on December 20, 2010

You can get from ORD to Guatemala City (GUA) for under $500 on those dates. Once you're there, you'd have to try pretty hard to spend the other $700. It's an amazing country, with wonderful people, and really inexpensive. My husband and I only spent about $300-400 in our two weeks there.
posted by jshort at 6:29 AM on December 20, 2010

You are SO in luck! This place was profiled in my newspaper yesterday. It looks so awesome. Here's the article. Website does not show availability. Good luck!
posted by raisingsand at 7:05 AM on December 20, 2010

SellOffVacations.com only sells trips originating in Canada--so that's awesome input for Canadian MeFites, but not so useful for the OP.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:21 PM on December 20, 2010

cycleback, when i went to cabarete, i went on a package that cost $683 all in - flight, all inclusive hotel, taxes, everything. Try looking for packages instead of flights - the a la carte flight often costs more than a whole vacation.
posted by Kololo at 5:52 PM on December 20, 2010

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