Where should I give my tourist dollars for a short, warm vacation?
November 14, 2016 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to take a short 3 night vacation with my husband around New Years (yes this is last-minute) to somewhere warm. Suggestions for destinations that need tourist dollars?

I was thinking Puerto Rico? Or DR? Or somewhere in the Caribbean?
I know a bunch of places have been hit with weather and with people cancelling vacations due to Zika so it would be nice to bump up the tourism somewhere like that.
We're not sure where it is best to spend money to help the local economy as a side benefit of our selfish vacation, and surely metafilter can help!

Ideal criteria for a place:
1. <5 hour flight from NYC
2. Warm like around 80F+
3. Beach would be nice
4. Zika is okay, we are not planning a pregnancy
5. Vegetarian food not hard to get
posted by rmless to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Ideefixe at 2:58 PM on November 14, 2016

Somewhere in the Caribbean: Went to St. Croix in February, will be going back in December. Warm beaches. If you stay on the Christiansted side check out Ital In Paradise for your vegetarian/vegan dining pleasure, if you're over on the Fredericksted side, there's a community center which also has a big portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia on the wall that serves yummy vegan, but only on days when the cruise ships are in.

Don't know how they're doing economically because of this summer and fall's issues (the Fredericksted side is the poorer rainier side, but it's where I was and will be), but the island took the closure of a big refinery there pretty hard.

Can't speak to more vegan options than that 'cause we largely cooked our own food where we camped (including a particularly annoying rooster who made a super yummy paella and didn't wake us up at daybreak any more). But you can probably rent a condo or apartment and cook your own...
posted by straw at 3:16 PM on November 14, 2016

New Orleans!
posted by erattacorrige at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

That's hardly last-minute to me, but then again, I'm the king of "let's fly somewhere tomorrow" so I guess I'm not typical in that way.

Endorsing Cuba strongly, because if you're American, this might be your last chance to do so legally and easily. All the other Caribbean locations will definitely still be open to you next year, after all.

(And after you decide on this clearly correct course of action, and you're about to start planning 3 days in Cuba, post another AskMe and I'll swamp you with suggestions. Or MeMail me.)
posted by rokusan at 3:30 PM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Miami (let alone NOLA) is not going to hit your temperature criterion, as it only has an average high of 76. It's pretty humid, though, so maybe. Puerto Rico, Cancun, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, these are all very nice places that have populations with pretty much the income of third-world countries. All have great beaches.
posted by wnissen at 3:39 PM on November 14, 2016

posted by Fister Roboto at 4:21 PM on November 14, 2016

Puerto Rico is going through a serious economic crisis and could really use your dollars. It is also a really lovely place to visit, and there are direct flights on JetBlue!
posted by lunasol at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Kaikoura could really use some tourist dollars.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 5:57 PM on November 14, 2016

We were just in Puerto Rico and loved it-beautiful, friendly, and definitely hurting from the drop in tourism. Plus, food was absolutely amazing-if that's important to you.
posted by purenitrous at 6:03 PM on November 14, 2016

PR is one of my favorite places on earth, but I fear rokusan might be right about Cuba. Go there while you can.
posted by Brittanie at 5:29 AM on November 15, 2016

Kaikoura is beautiful, but definitely not the time to go and not a 5 hour flight from the US! Nthing Cuba.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 1:38 PM on November 15, 2016

Near, and part of Puerto Rico, the islands of Vieques and Culebra. They tick all your boxes. Check out TripAdvisor for reviews and find a nice casita! Best vacations we have ever enjoyed!!
posted by LaBellaStella at 2:48 AM on November 16, 2016

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