Summer extended-weekend trip from NYC
May 24, 2007 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Where could two twenty-somethings go from NYC for 4-5 days to find beautiful beaches and a touch of the exotic, without extreme heat or heavy rainstorms, in July? Ideally, someplace where this could be done <$1k/person.

Interesting jungles or ruins or other interesting things nearby would be a big plus. We don't surf, dive (beyond some very basic snorkeling), fish, or golf.

And where would be the cheapest way to book this?

Anonymous because she doesn't know, yet.
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hunting island, and silver strand south carolina and ga. coast

exotic and tropical and right here in the good old us of a

belize is cool too
posted by Salvatorparadise at 10:19 AM on May 24, 2007

posted by The World Famous at 10:40 AM on May 24, 2007

Keep an eye on Site 59. They do "last minute" travel packages for 2-5 day trips. Looks like it's too early to see anything in July, but you can go on there and get an idea.
posted by Otis at 10:56 AM on May 24, 2007

I guess Cuba's out, since you're from the US.
A friend of mine went to Costa Rica a few years ago and said it was amazing, very rain-foresty, great for hikes. But also had the beach/pool thing.
And it wasn't expensive.
posted by chococat at 10:57 AM on May 24, 2007

I don't know what you're considering "excessive" but a couple regions I'd consider on this budget would be Caribbean - especially the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico - or South American - probably Argentina. Both DR and PR have cheap cheap flights direct out of NYC. Very good beach and swimming relaxation destinations, maybe not so much on the ruins. The temperature is a bit hot, but one of the wonderful things about Caribbean weather is that it can be sunny most of the day, but then a brief thunderstorm will come through, and 20 minutes later, the sun will be out and the humidity down. Happens every day. True story. South America is in winter by July, so it'll be 55-70F in a lot of the continent. Getting there isn't as cheap (expect ~$700 round trip), but staying there is.

Italy? Are you nuts?? The airfare alone in the summer can set you back much of that $1K, and the exchange rate from the US is embarassing right now. Plus, it's summer. Hot hot.
posted by whatzit at 10:59 AM on May 24, 2007

I"m going to second Puerto Rico. whatzit is exactly right about the tropical rainstorm. It cools everything off right about midafternoon.

Staying there is going to be easy, no currency exchanges, no passports necessary, and there are lots of lovely places to visit. I suggest visiting some of the travel sites out there. Arrange for a trip to El Yunque, a drive from San Juan.

San Juan is beautiful, though I haven't been there since I was a kid. My other time in Puerto Rico has been spent in a small western mountain town with family, so nothing touristy there. But it's a beautiful island, full of lively cities, lush greenery, and some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:10 AM on May 24, 2007

Italy? Are you nuts?? The airfare alone in the summer can set you back much of that $1K, and the exchange rate from the US is embarassing right now. Plus, it's summer. Hot hot.

What, it's not hot in the Caribbean in the summer?
posted by The World Famous at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2007

The dominican republic. Beautiful beaches and it's cheaper to fly their from NYC than any other city besides Miami. The earlier you get your tickets, the cheaper the price. I've been there in the middle of July and it's not too hot or humid and the water is just amazing.
posted by Stynxno at 11:24 AM on May 24, 2007

Florida. It will be hot in July, though.
posted by gnutron at 11:32 AM on May 24, 2007

Maine. It is not only beautiful, there are scads of islands where you can do a B&B thing, go out on boats, hang out on the beach...

San Diego! The $1K will get eaten up pretty quickly, but it is goregeous. As long as you're near the beach, the temp will be about 72-82 every day and the beaches are great. Coronado and La Jolla are probably the most popular destinations, and well worth it. Less popular but equally spectacular is Leucadia.
posted by valentinepig at 11:35 AM on May 24, 2007

Have you ever used that service? If I could find a discount package travel site like that with actual people who could vouch for it, I think I'd be inclined to try...
posted by eatdonuts at 11:35 AM on May 24, 2007

I've never booked a trip through them, but I've used their e-mail notification service to check prices for six years or so (yes, sad I know). This person seems to vouch for the service, but I can't offer any personal insight.
posted by Otis at 11:53 AM on May 24, 2007

I've used Site 59 a couple of times. Never had any problems. We've booked 2 flights, a hotel and car for not much more than the flights would have cost with an advance purchase.

My sister-in-law has also used it. She tried to do some funky upgrading of her seats using her elite frequent flyer status and it caused the second leg of her trip to get erased. It took about 30 minutes and lots of telephone calls by both her and the ticket agent to figure out what happened and fix the problem.

Based on these experiences, I would say it's a pretty good service as long as you don't try to change anything after the purchase.
posted by probablysteve at 12:26 PM on May 24, 2007

Caribbean in July is cheap (but hot).

However, it looks like flights haven't dropped in price yet. This flight to Anguilla (sleepy, tiny island with the best beaches) was bout $200 cheaper last year, 4 weeks before purchase.
posted by conch soup at 1:05 PM on May 24, 2007

Assuming your Spanish is up to par, the Dominican Republic would be better than Puerto Rico. PR has close to US prices for everything, whereas Ive stayed in nice DR posadas for like 20/night. In fact, i spent a week there with plane flight for under $500.

PR can be slightly cheaper than the mainland US, though - and the plane flight (since its a territory and you pay no intl taxes) will be cheaper. ive seen roundtrip flights for 180.

Other options would be Jamaica or the Bahamas, for cheap flights. You can do a lot with $1000 to there, cause the flights to any of the 4 countries about can be abour 150-300 total.
posted by jare2003 at 3:43 PM on May 24, 2007

Why not take a road trip to Prince Edward Island and the maritime provinces? That entire part of the world is beautiful in the summer. And if you want exotic, head for Cape Breton or the Acadian Coast of New Brunswick.
posted by billtron at 11:17 PM on May 25, 2007

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