Satisfy three of us at once!
June 19, 2006 5:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for suggestions for an island (or other warm place) vacation (4-5 nights) for my family in January.

The criteria:

-- Nonstop flight from Boston or NYC area.
-- Beaches, for my wife.
-- Not too overrun with crowds, for me.
-- Some kid-friendly stuff for the four-year old boy.

Bonus points for suggestions of hotel-type places with 2-bedroom units, so the wife and I don't have to tiptoe around after the kid goes to bed.
posted by Framer to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Easy: Puerto Rico?

It's certainly close enough (4 hours from Boston, nonstop 3x a day on American, at least in January) and big enough and diverse enough to meet your hotel needs, and you don't have to stick to an all-inclusive resort area. Should be fine with English only, too, I imagine, if that's an issue, and the less hassle with a 4-year-old, the better? And no passports needed!

More adventurously: the Azores.

They're also 4 hours from Boston, nonstop on SATA/Azores Express. As you're in Massachusetts, perhaps you can ask locals of Azorean/Portuguese descent for tips? Apparently they've got volcanoes, whalewatching, "the highest mountain in Portugal," and adorable villages. Not tropical, but certainly a refreshing change from the snowy, soul-crushingly-freezing Northeast. The tyke's gonna need a passport someday - might as well capture the adorable face while you can on an official document.
posted by mdonley at 7:37 AM on June 19, 2006

St. John Island.

We did a week there in April. Beautiful, mostly undeveloped (National Park). Quiet.
posted by cptnrandy at 8:34 AM on June 19, 2006

I never get tired of this question.

Fly into Cancun, but get out of the city as quickly as possible - take a ferry over to Isla Mujeres, which has beautiful beaches, incredibly inexpensive (and very nice!) hotels, great food, and no big-resort feel at all ... Plus, since much of it was damaged by Katrina, they need your money!
posted by luriete at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2006

I would second St. John-- but note that you would have to fly into St. Thomas, then take a ferry to St. John. It didn't seem too hard to me to take the ferry, but I wasn't travelling with a 4-yr-old child, either. There are numerous beautiful beaches on St. John. St. Thomas is crowded and run-down in comparison.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:25 AM on June 19, 2006

Paradise Island Bahamas.
Check out the Paradise Island Beach Club. It's a timeshare place that often has vacancies. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, kitchen, etc.

I go there every year and it's a great family spot.
posted by magoo1516 at 11:52 AM on June 19, 2006

As luriete said, use Cancun airport, but head out of town. I would have recommended Playa del Carmen a decade ago, but it has grown much larger since then. Tulum is probably a good bet, or there are some smaller towns in between Cancun and Tulum (such as Punta Bete). There is a waterpark at Xcaret (just south of Playa del Carmen) that your son might enjoy.

On the other hand, if you are a bit more adventurous, I had fun in Panama on my trip two years ago. It is a 5 hour direct flight from NYC area.
posted by fings at 2:06 PM on June 19, 2006

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