Where should we go on short notice?
August 7, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Help us plan a trip on REALLY short notice!

My husband and I would like to take a trip from this coming Saturday (August 11th) through Tuesday (August 14th). We could leave Friday evening as well and come back late on Tuesday (I would prefer this). Where should we go? We are open to any reasonable suggestions (and unreasonable ones too, what the hell) for anywhere in the world.


Easy to plan and book
Easily accessible from a DC airport
Preferably outside the US
I'd like to be able to swim and relax
Nice places to walk around and totally walkable (not renting a car)
Fun activities e.g. snorkeling or like windsurfing or something

It's a short trip so we'd like to minimize travel time and obviously minimize expenses but our absolute maximum for everything (travel, accommodations, activities) is $1000/person. Thank you for your suggestions!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
outside the USA you will likely be hit with the 14 days advanced travel penalty fare. so look at belize -go to caye caulker. or jamaica. But those might have the penalty fare. In the USA consider corolla outer banks.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 10:53 AM on August 7, 2012

Iceland Air does crazy cheap flights from Dulles to Europe. Looks like you could go to Reykjavik for $664 each. Or to Munich or Paris for $732. That leaves you about $100/day each while you're there.
posted by solotoro at 10:53 AM on August 7, 2012

Package deals are probably going to be your best bet - there's a good list of them here, but you're never sure how up-to-date they are. In a nutshell: San Juan, PR, The DR, Aruba, Jamaica, etc.
posted by jquinby at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2012

shoot, sorry, I had too itchy a trigger finger. They are cheap generally, and I've seen round trip to Paris for $400, but those prices on those dates are one-way; I guess TestamentToGrace was right.
posted by solotoro at 10:56 AM on August 7, 2012

...Here's what pulls up for package deals to San Juan, PR. Lots of stuff under 800 pp, airfare included.
posted by jquinby at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Actually, American Airlines does those kinds of trips for way less than that kind of money. They're called Last Minute Packages. They are AMAZING!

We did one for New York, got a suite at the Essex House for $400 per night (usually $2000 per night) with airfare. Heavenly.

Check it out, see what looks good. Bahamas are on sale, you'd love Atlantis.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:25 AM on August 7, 2012

Have you checked out Groupon?
posted by oceano at 5:28 PM on August 7, 2012

Check lastminutetravel.com, as well as packages on Orbitz, expedia, hotwire.
posted by theora55 at 8:46 PM on August 7, 2012

Bermuda. Honestly it's your best bet. It's so close but distinctly different. Gorgeous with fabulous beaches. Stay at some guest cottages. Here's a terrific one.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:25 PM on August 7, 2012

I'd recommend perhaps trying to stay in-county, and visit Key West. You can book flights to Ft. Meyers at around $300 apiece (plus taxes/fees, and might have to leave from Baltimore...), fly ($99 apiece) or ferry ($146 apiece) roundtrip to Key West, and book a room for 3 or 4 nights for $200-$250 per night. Granted, it's a bit of booking around, but once you're there (and if you time it right, it could be only 7 or 8 hours travel time each way), you can relax.

Apparently, this weekend is the annual Lobsterfest, which looks to have fun music and food events going on (though granted, it might make for a somewhat touristy visit). You can try one of the trolley services for getting around, but I recall being able to walk about rather easily to everything I wanted to see. The Lighthouse and Hemingway House are easy visitor destinations, with a relaxed and historical vibe (I enjoyed them both).

You can also check out Snorkel Key West, which has a 3 hour morning tour on a catamaran on the reef, for just $35 apiece.

I haven't checked if there are any fees for booking this last minute, but I'm hoping not!

Starting to wish I could go back...it's a gorgeous place, and hey, Southernmost point in the US!
posted by 6 of 1 at 12:40 AM on August 8, 2012

Response by poster: Hi everyone! I am posting an update because we just returned from the Bahamas! It was GREAT! We only went for a few days but we snorkeled and went to the pirate museum and sat on the beach drinking fruity rum drinks and saw sharks and stingrays and it was AWESOME. Some things were really expensive but overall it was totally worth it. We stayed on New Providence (same island as Nassau) and it was all wonderful. One piece of advice -- even if you reapply 4-5 times a day (as we did) it turns out SPF 30 isn't really sufficient so be warned.

Anyway thank you all for the advice! I am SO MUCH less grumpy than I was when I posted this question.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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