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July 6, 2006 9:50 PM   Subscribe

2 round-trip U.S. continental or Caribbean tickets, now what?

We just got back from Sandals Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica (I give it a 8 out of 10) and lucked upon 2 US Airways tickets good 'til the end of June '07 due to partaking in an overbooked delay on the airline's part (WEEE!).

Anyway, she is from Columbia, SC, I am from Charleston, SC and very partial to the beach life. I was raised in Brooklyn but it's been 20 yrs since I've been back. My wife has never been and I have promised her I would take her one day, although I don't see this being the least expensive option by a long run (I am back in school until the same time these tickets expire).

Other ideas include coastal R.I., Maine (lobster), Yosemite, Vegas, Niagra Falls, a cool Bed & Breakfast location, and pretty much anything Carribbean (my choice, which she has no problem with). I've already been to Nassau and St. Thomas but that was 20 yrs ago also. We're pretty much wide open, but we really want to make the most of the visit with local festivals or events occuring at the same time. I suspect a week duration would be max and it has to be from XMAS break up until end of June '07 (when the tickets expire). The last 2 weeks are a real possibility, since this would serve as an end of school vacation, so here or XMAS '06 are probably highest on the list of likely dates (meaning snowy 5th Ave comes to mind).

a little background fyi: she is 32 and works as an Environmental Engineer for a tire company, I turned 40 yesterday and am currently adding web-design to my Cobol resume (but I wouldn't consider us nerdy types by any stretch of the imagination, something I constantly 'work' at lol).

Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by BillyG to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total)
Eleuthera has some fantastic diving. Best I've done, after the cenotes in the Yucatan. Eleuthera is also a lot less busy than Nassau, and more interesting, I think. There's a Club Med there and lots of small mom & pop hotels along the beach.

My favorite beach vacation isn't quite Carribbean, but is not too far off; fly into Cancun, then get the hell out, taking a ferry out to Isla Mujeres or driving down to Tulum and the lonely perfect beaches past it.
posted by luriete at 10:21 PM on July 6, 2006

Response by poster: We were thinking seriously about getting certified, so Eleuthera is definitely an option. I don't know if they consider Mexico to be Caribbean or not but thanks for the response.
posted by BillyG at 5:10 AM on July 7, 2006

Personally I would use the tickets to go somewhere I might never go because the flight is so expensive-- St. Kitts, St Lucia and Grenada are islands they travel to that are relatively expensive.
posted by beccaj at 5:31 AM on July 7, 2006

They will undoubtably include the "riviera Maya" part of Mexico, as it does border the Caribbean. This includes Tulum, Akumal, etc. Oh, the cenotes.
posted by desuetude at 6:24 AM on July 7, 2006

Response by poster: the otherwise expensive route does seem the most obvious choice to take, and she grabs Mexican every chance she gets, thx both
posted by BillyG at 7:17 AM on July 7, 2006

You're in South Carolina, so the Caribbean is already pretty convenient (at least from my western Canadian viewpoint). How about... Alaska? Either a wilderness trip or fly to Juneau (or Anchorage?) for a cruise up/down the coast. (Unless of course they don't count Alaska as 'continental U.S.').
posted by hangashore at 7:30 AM on July 7, 2006

A word of warning: US Airways bump vouchers book into frequent flyer award fare classes. This means that inventory can be severely restricted, particularly for popular dates and destinations. Wherever you decide to go, the best advice is try to book far in advance, and if possible, have some flexibility in dates you're willing to travel.
posted by blue mustard at 9:31 AM on July 7, 2006

I think Alaska may be excluded because the ticket is restricted to the continental US.

The Mayan Riviera is fantastic. I went in March and it was surprisingly void of American college students. The girlfriend and I stayed in a gorgeous resort there that only cost us 400 dollars for 7 days total.

Otherwise, you could use the tickets in January to go to Park City, Utah (fly into Salt Lake) and check out the Sundance Film Festival and the amazing skiing/snowboarding that is Park City.
posted by Juggermatt at 9:42 AM on July 7, 2006

I think Alaska may be excluded because the ticket is restricted to the continental US.

From the U.S. Airways award chart page:

┬╣Continental U.S. includes Alaska.

But yeah, a number of sources exclude Alaska from the 'continental' definition (so they really mean the contiguous United States, i.e. the Lower 48).

And the Mayan Riviera sounds mighty appetizing when it's -25 °C in January here.
posted by hangashore at 10:19 AM on July 7, 2006

Response by poster: funny you should mention Alaska, her parents are flying to WA to cruise up there in a few weeks, certainly an option, thx

thx for the warning blue mustard

Which resort was it on the Mayan Riviera? And Sundance, hmmm!
posted by BillyG at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2006

Response by poster: We appreciate all the ideas, are there anymore? TIA.
posted by BillyG at 8:27 AM on July 10, 2006

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