Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

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ThankYouJack
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Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm

I'm thinking about taking a family trip with 2 young kids and 7-11 adults in February. We would like water warm enough to swim in so am considering south Florida or possibly the Caribbean. I'm not sure yet on budget, but I just did a quick airbnb search for Sanibel Island and it seems like homes are around $1,000 night which we could do but is a bit more than I was hoping. Where else should I look?

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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:03 pm

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Warm/swimming weather is not guaranteed in Feb.

Florida Keys might be the best bet. Not the best beaches though in the keys.

US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico would all be more. Much depends on where you are flying from.

Belize might be an option.
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Gill
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by Gill » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:06 pm

Sanibel water temperature in February averages 65 degrees with occasional temperatures in the 50's. Do you consider that warm enough for swimming?
Gill
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alfaspider
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by alfaspider » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:41 pm

I'd go for the Caribbean if you are counting on water warm enough to swim.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:50 pm

Gill wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:06 pm
Sanibel water temperature in February averages 65 degrees with occasional temperatures in the 50's. Do you consider that warm enough for swimming?
Gill
Ok good to know. I guess the average high is 77 but it's probably a safer bet going further South. I've been to the Keys in January and it was hot when I was there.
Last edited by ThankYouJack on Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by Gill » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:59 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:50 pm
Gill wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:06 pm
Sanibel water temperature in February averages 65 degrees with occasional temperatures in the 50's. Do you consider that warm enough for swimming?
Gill
Ok good to know. I guess the average high is 77 but it's probably a safer better going further South. I've been to the Keys in January and it was hot when I was there.
I'm talking water temperature, not air temperature.
Gill
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:16 pm

Gill wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:59 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:50 pm
Gill wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:06 pm
Sanibel water temperature in February averages 65 degrees with occasional temperatures in the 50's. Do you consider that warm enough for swimming?
Gill
Ok good to know. I guess the average high is 77 but it's probably a safer better going further South. I've been to the Keys in January and it was hot when I was there.
I'm talking water temperature, not air temperature.
Gill
Got it, thanks. That's warmer ocean water than I grew up swimming in but still probably too brisk to really enjoy.

abonder
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by abonder » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:23 pm

I think carribean/Mexico would be more reliable for swimming weather. Certain places have more affordable staffed villas. We’ve done this in Mexico and Jamaica. It really can be nice to have folks to cook and clean for you while you relax. We find our food bulls tend to be very modest and we spend nothing eating out and just enjoy the time at home with family when we do this. Just an idea.

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Watty
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:41 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm
I just did a quick airbnb search for Sanibel Island...
I am not sure what the current situation is but this summer that part of the Florida coast had a massive problem with algae blooms that are killing off marine wildlife that is washing up on the beach and some people were getting sick from all the crude on the beaches. It would be good to research that situation carefully.

Be careful when looking at the average temperatures, half the time it will be colder than average so if you get unlucky it could be fairly brisk at that time of the year.

If you decide to go to the Caribbean instead then everyone will likely need a passport which can take some time if someone also needs to get a birth certificate before they can apply for the passport. It would be good to get people started on that soon if you decide to do that. Have everyone also check the dates on their passports to make sure they are not expired which is a way too common mistake. Some countries require that you have six months left on the passport past your expected return date.

With that many people the cost of the flights will likely as be a factor than the housing. You may also be able to get group airfare rates so check on that.

Cooking for that many people will also be a production.

I am not a "cruise person" but taking a cruise would be an alternative to look at and you may be able to get some sort of group pricing. Going to Orlando would be another option and there are usually lots of inexpensive flights there.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:47 am

The Carribean offers a better bet on warm swimming weather than does Florida. Some parts of So FL may not get much past 70.
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tydas
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by tydas » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:51 am

One other item, many Caribbean islands and Mexico have a large seaweed problem.(sargassum seaweed). Its so bad in some spots it make swimming or even being by the beach unenjoyable.

goodlifer
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by goodlifer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:17 am

You might consider St Lucia. I haven't been there in 20 years, so I don't know how much it has changed, but I do know that the water is still warm in Feb.

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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by Olemiss540 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:14 am

I have been going to the Sanibel/Captiva area for decades in the winter time and personally would not hesitate the book a family vacation that time of year.

We have kids and adults alike swimming/beaching it all the time. We usually VRBO condos on South seas, but that would require you to split up your group and may not have any availability during peak season.

Personally, I prefer continental US as the stress of foreign travel is just another element to consider. Fort Myers is easy to fly into considering not many options in SW Florida.

Book it and I promise your family won't be disappointed! Just got back from Turks and while it is sublime/relaxing, may be better off in SW Florida for more diverse things to do with such a large group.

NORTH CAPTIVA is really cool and much cheaper than Sanibel usually. Have to boat over to the island and drive golf carts, but is neat!
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:34 am

It would be expensive, but Aruba or any surrounding island would be warm, seaweed free and outside of hurricane threat. Feb is a perfect time to go. If you go when it is NOT school vacation, the prices are not as bad. Airlines gouge big time during school vacations. I've been there at least a dozen times. Always plenty to do and I've felt safer there than any Caribbean island or even Honolulu. The locals actually want tourists to be there (which is not true elsewhere).
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smitcat
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by smitcat » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:50 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm
I'm thinking about taking a family trip with 2 young kids and 7-11 adults in February. We would like water warm enough to swim in so am considering south Florida or possibly the Caribbean. I'm not sure yet on budget, but I just did a quick airbnb search for Sanibel Island and it seems like homes are around $1,000 night which we could do but is a bit more than I was hoping. Where else should I look?
I would suggest the DR for more economical possibilities as well as guaranteed warm enough weather and water to swim and play each day.
Some of the resorts have separate buildings almost like homes that can accommodate 12-20 people with private pools and attendants - they can also be searched on timeshare rental sites.
For Sanibel In Feb the daily highs average 77 and lows average 55 with lower and higher peaks each day - this is colder than we would desire for water activities and a mostly outside vacation.
Mexico also offers both low costs and a warmer year round climate but you will need to research the latest crime issues and consider that when/if you leave resort property.

renue74
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by renue74 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:10 pm

Last summer, we vacationed at Sanibel. I have 2 boys and they loved the shell hunting. Truly the best shells we've ever found.

But, that was in July...the water was warm,etc. I probably wouldn't go there in cooler weather. I LIKE warm water also. I don't do any "brisk" water.

A few years ago, we went to Puerto Rico. Flew there from CLT. It was nice and the beaches were wonderful.

My kids are not adventurous with food...so that was a little issue. I enjoyed the food and culture.

I've heard good things about all inclusive resorts on the Dominican Republic. But, it's basically the resort....not much to do off the resort.

I guess it depends on what you want to do.

To be honest, you could take a short flight over to the Bahamas and see beautiful beaches and have warm water. I'm not a fan of many places in the Caribbean....just not a fan of the pan handling and "target" we have on our backs as tourists.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:28 pm

Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do.

delamer
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by delamer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:40 pm

With that large a group, a Caribbean cruise is another option.

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serbeer
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by serbeer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:20 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:28 pm
Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do.
Look into Jamaica as well and Mexico too. DR, Jamaica, and Mexico are the most economical carribean destinations of all. Mexico is a bit risky in Dec/Jan as temp can drop into low 70s there sometimes, but in Feb. should be OK. So for a best deal look at all-inclusive vacations in Jamaica, Mexico (Cancun, Huatulco are better locations, Puerto Vallarta is cheaper/not as good), and DR. You are not going to find better deal elsewhere. You may be able to get 7 days in excellent all-inclusive resort for as as little as $900 per person, and that will include everything--flights, meals, drinks, airport transfers. My wife is travel agent, so we go there sometimes 4-5 times per year, Florida just does not compare.

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ThankYouJack
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:51 pm

serbeer wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:20 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:28 pm
Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do.
Look into Jamaica as well and Mexico too. DR, Jamaica, and Mexico are the most economical carribean destinations of all. Mexico is a bit risky in Dec/Jan as temp can drop into low 70s there sometimes, but in Feb. should be OK. So for a best deal look at all-inclusive vacations in Jamaica, Mexico (Cancun, Huatulco are better locations, Puerto Vallarta is cheaper/not as good), and DR. You are not going to find better deal elsewhere. You may be able to get 7 days in excellent all-inclusive resort for as as little as $900 per person, and that will include everything--flights, meals, drinks, airport transfers. My wife is travel agent, so we go there sometimes 4-5 times per year, Florida just does not compare.
I wouldn't mind going to Jamaica myself, but my wife went to Jamaica once and didn't have the best experience. I guess where she stayed was a bit on the sketchier side. I'm sure there are nicer areas but Jamaica is probably off the list.

coalcracker
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by coalcracker » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:57 pm

If you were thinking Puerto Rico, consider Vieques. With that number of people you could even charter a flight from San Juan for a reasonable price.

smitcat
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by smitcat » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:34 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:51 pm
serbeer wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:20 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:28 pm
Thanks all. Will start looking into places in Aruba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. Would prefer the first two as I've been to the latter two. But by the time I add up flights and lodging and consider logistics, it may be more than my family is looking to do.
Look into Jamaica as well and Mexico too. DR, Jamaica, and Mexico are the most economical carribean destinations of all. Mexico is a bit risky in Dec/Jan as temp can drop into low 70s there sometimes, but in Feb. should be OK. So for a best deal look at all-inclusive vacations in Jamaica, Mexico (Cancun, Huatulco are better locations, Puerto Vallarta is cheaper/not as good), and DR. You are not going to find better deal elsewhere. You may be able to get 7 days in excellent all-inclusive resort for as as little as $900 per person, and that will include everything--flights, meals, drinks, airport transfers. My wife is travel agent, so we go there sometimes 4-5 times per year, Florida just does not compare.
I wouldn't mind going to Jamaica myself, but my wife went to Jamaica once and didn't have the best experience. I guess where she stayed was a bit on the sketchier side. I'm sure there are nicer areas but Jamaica is probably off the list.
That's too bad Jamaica was a great idea. We were at the Grand Bahia (Runaway bay) within the last year and it was really great. Large , many places to eat, great shows, good snorkeling, shopping, many amenities, near Dunns falls etc - pretty good prices.
I don't know how long ago you were in Jamaica but it has really changed recently - our first visit was in the 70's and we have watched it change since - quickly changing the past 10 years or so - all for the better.

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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by mxs » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:03 pm

I have been to Puerto Rico a few times and it is pretty good. Culebra island has one of the best beaches in the world, Flamenco beach ( coral reef, snorkeling, clear water, etc ), but you will probably be out of tourism season which may or may not be a good thing. There is a ferry boat that goes to Culebra in about an hour and costs something like $5 round trip. Just off the beach there are a lot of huts to buy food from, but tourist season may influence how many are open. I have never been to Vieques but it is supposed to be awesome.

On the south side of Puerto Rico's main island is a bio luminescent bay (also one on Vieques) that you can kayak into. There also is a rainforest with waterfalls, and of course some awesome beaches. There are a few other things to do that I haven't mentioned since I haven't done them. Top of my list to do again or take others to do would be Flamenco beach and the bio luminescent bay.

I have not been there since the more recent hurricanes, so I am sure those affected things somewhat. I would love to go again. No passports or foreign money needed.

TravelforFun
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm

When we take our kids and grandkids on our annual vacation, we always go to an all-inclusive resort or on a cruise. We dont want to cook, clean, or make dinner reservation every night.

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carguyny
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Re: Large Family Trip - Florida or Carribean

Post by carguyny » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:08 pm

Barbados has some of the best waters anywhere in the world, will be around 80F water temp in February.

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