Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Mandrale
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Mandrale » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:18 pm

Hello all,

Looking to take my first trip in quite some time in the April/May timeframe. Ideas currently in my head are Hawaii, Mexico, or Vegas. If price is not an issue for these trips, what would you guys suggest as the best spot for a 25 year old to vacation for ~ a week? I will be travelling with a friend, and neither of us have been to any of these locations.

Thanks!

User avatar
rob
Posts: 2973
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by rob » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:20 pm

Mexico is surprisingly good Hawaii is obviously good but that's not escaped attention.... far better value in latin america.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

User avatar
tennisplyr
Posts: 1796
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:53 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:42 pm

I hear Costa Rica is a hot spot these days.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

S&L1940
Posts: 1596
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by S&L1940 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:45 pm

I would vote for Hawaii because I have never been there
Enjoy...
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

technovelist
Posts: 2917
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by technovelist » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:57 pm

I would definitely skip Vegas. Hawaii sounds wonderful; it's on my (virtual) bucket list.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

dickenjb
Posts: 2941
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Philadelphia PA

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by dickenjb » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:08 pm

Just got back from a week on Maui and a week on Kauai. Hawaii is awesome. Research the islands carefully because there is a big difference between them. Also, if you don't like rain, stay away from the windward side of the islands and stay in the west or south where it is drier.

stan1
Posts: 5898
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by stan1 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:10 pm

1 week in Vegas would be a little long, unless you really like gambling/sports bars/shows/pool parties.

The Wizard
Posts: 12275
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by The Wizard » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:12 pm

OP, do you have any particular interests in terms of an active "vacation"?
I've been to Hawaii twice in decades past and am going to Maui next month. We'll be doing a lot of (SCUBA) diving, both from boats and from shore.
That's my mild obsession; what's yours?
Attempted new signature...

DSInvestor
Posts: 10882
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:42 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by DSInvestor » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:29 pm

Southern Utah will be beautiful at that time. If you like scenic drives, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, slot canyons, off-road vehicles, camping, you'll love Southern Utah.

1) Moab (Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Dead Horse Point State Park, Fisher Towers, Corona Arch).
2) Monument Valley
3) Grand Staircase Escalante
4) Capitol Reef NP
5) Bryce Canyon NP
6) Zion NP
Wiki

Pacific
Posts: 1233
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: Lost in the middle of the Pacific

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Pacific » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:37 pm

I have been to Hawaii more than 90 times and have lived there as long as three months a year. I don't know whether it is (i) organized crime; (ii) longshoremen; or (iii) unions, but something causes everything (and by everything I am including fresh fish) to cost more, way more, in Hawaii. Probably your best bang for the buck would be the Big Island. Probably the worst bang for your buck would be Maui. Do not even land in Honolulu if you can avoid it.

A big +1 for Costa Rica.

Of course, you could probably take a cheap tour of Thailand, Venezuela, and the Ukraine right about now. :happy

Pacific
Posts: 1233
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: Lost in the middle of the Pacific

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Pacific » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:39 pm

Oops. Sorry. I neglected the "if price is not an issue" part of your post.

Try going on REI's web site -- it has some wonderful trips.

User avatar
noyopacific
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:06 pm
Location: Mendocino

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by noyopacific » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:47 pm

I've been to all three but spent the most time in Mexico. I've been to Las Vegas the least, my longest trip there was 4 days for a trade show. The idea that a Mexico vacation would be more economical is not necessarily my experience, especially after figuring in air and ground transportation costs. There are some very cheap options for places to stay in all of these locations.

I'd say your choice depends on what you like to do and how you like to hang. If you want to stay in 3 star and better resorts, see a few shows, belly up to the buffet table for meals, hang out at the pool and nightclubs without paying an arm and leg, Vegas may be a good bet, provided you aren't going to spend your time at the gambling tables. Vegas doesn't do much for me personally and even less for my wife. (BTW, one show I'd love to see in Vegas is a comedian named Vinnie Favorito, he is supposed to be very popular with locals.)

If your interests go more towards outdoor recreation and in exploring new places. Hawaii and Mexico both have much to offer. Coming from the US mainland, Hawaii will be more culturally familiar. Mexico is a bit more adventurous but some people have difficulty adapting.

I don't think you could go wrong picking which ever of these three you are most anxious to visit.
The information contained herein, while not guaranteed by us, has been obtained from from sources which have not in the past proved particularly reliable.

tigermilk
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:32 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by tigermilk » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:31 pm

My vote is for other ideas.

Tokyo

You can actually find good, clean, albeit small hotel rooms that will cost less than Vegas or Hawaii, awesome culture, good mix of history and modern stuff, and one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Alternative,y, Paris, London, or Amsterdam, but the only issue is the dollar is really weak against the euro and pound currently. The yen is at its weakest in years

Grasshopper
Posts: 905
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:52 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Grasshopper » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:00 pm

I did a REI trip to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico loved it. Returned Sunday from 10 days in the Hawaiian Islands on a small boat 29 person yacht, unbelievable. Pacific side of Costa Rica can be a fun spot Quepos in particular, easy travel distance from San Jose. :beer

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Watty » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:44 pm

....a week?
It really depends on where you are starting from.

A big problem is that a long flight would eat up a significant amount of your time for just a one week vacation and possibly leave you tired when you arrive and when you return.

If you have flight connections that will take up more time and there is a risk that a missed connection or if a flight is cancelled because of bad weather that you could lose more of your vacation time.

It would be good to see if there is any place where you can catch a direct flight to at around 9:00 AM so you do not have to get up too early, and then be at your destination at a reasonable time.

I am in Atlanta so from here you can catch a flight at a reasonable time and be on a beach on the Mayan Riviera south of Cancun after lunch since a direct flight there is less than a three hour flight.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7798
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:20 pm

How about Aruba?

I've been to Hawaii, many other Carribean islands and Mexico aside from Aruba. Safe, natives who appreciate tourists (in Hawaii, us tourists are wrecking the island, you know), hot spots if you want, casinos, if you like that stuff, offroading (I've done it in a Jeep, dirt bike and quad), exploring caves, hey....go to the dragstrip if you are a car nut (I am...been there a few times). It is a desert, so don't expect tropical vegitation.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
Tortoise Banker
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Tortoise Banker » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:56 pm

Maui! It's paradise!

Mandrale
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Mandrale » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:03 am

Thank you for the replies everyone - Lots of great information.

After hearing from a couple friends, as well as other information online, I am leaning more towards Hawaii. For this trip I do definitely want to stay within the US or the Americas, but am not opposed to going outside those at some point in the future.

Wizard -- This would be more of a trip to just enjoy the scenery, temperatures, water, and to go surfing, snorkeling, etc... Something to get outdoors and stay outdoors.

I have heard many people suggesting to use VRBO's (Vacation Rental By Owners). Have you guys had any luck with those in the past?

Would 7-10 days be long enough for a trip to Hawaii? We are possibly looking at Oahu as a destination.

Thanks!

livesoft
Posts: 62707
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by livesoft » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:37 am

I would say skip Oahu on your first trip. Fly directly to Maui and hang out there. If you can add a trip to Volcanoes National Park on the big island do that, too. Perhaps sign up with a private "see real lava" excursion.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

vkfu
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by vkfu » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:33 am

If you want to stay inside the US you may also want to consider St. Thomas USVI.

chicago_meatball
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:36 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by chicago_meatball » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:41 am

vkfu wrote:If you want to stay inside the US you may also want to consider St. Thomas USVI.
I completely second the USVI's! We just booked our 3rd trip there for June. ballpark prices...

Airfare - ATL to st thomas- 400 a person
renting a villa -1,000-1500 for a week
car rental (if you want) -400 for a week.

You can also stay on st john, there is less night life, but better beaches.

We are set up for about 2K for airfare and the room. From there you can take ferries to the british islands to to st john. Just an amazing place and its very safe to walk the island relative to mexico or jamaica/aruba.

User avatar
Imperabo
Posts: 1109
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Imperabo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:49 am

I think Maui is the best bet for a complete experience that won't disappoint in any way. There are plenty of amazing things to do there to fill a week. The island is a perfect size to explore given the time frame you have. You won't feel confined like you might on Kauai or overstretched like on the Big Island. Maui has a lot of tourists, but I've never felt it congested or overdeveloped like Oahu. The drives to Hana and Haleakala volcano each take a day and offer variety. The views of other islands from Maui add interest to the beach scenery. Lahaina offers a nice stroll and shop. Old Lahaina Luau is reputed to be the best in the Islands. Mama's Fish House may be the best place to eat on the islands for a nice occasion, and there are loads of other places to eat.

I would absolutely suggest Maui to anyone for their first trip to the islands. To me it's the definitive experience. Consider other islands on future trips.

Mandrale
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Mandrale » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:53 am

chicago_meatball wrote:
vkfu wrote:If you want to stay inside the US you may also want to consider St. Thomas USVI.
I completely second the USVI's! We just booked our 3rd trip there for June. ballpark prices...

Airfare - ATL to st thomas- 400 a person
renting a villa -1,000-1500 for a week
car rental (if you want) -400 for a week.

You can also stay on st john, there is less night life, but better beaches.

We are set up for about 2K for airfare and the room. From there you can take ferries to the british islands to to st john. Just an amazing place and its very safe to walk the island relative to mexico or jamaica/aruba.
What sort of great recreational activities are there? I guess we are looking to partake in fun events as well as scenery, so it would be nice to know more about that place!

chicago_meatball
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:36 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by chicago_meatball » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:10 pm

Mandrale wrote:
What sort of great recreational activities are there? I guess we are looking to partake in fun events as well as scenery, so it would be nice to know more about that place!
St Thomas has a bunch of great beaches and snorkling. They also have a tram lift to take you to the top of the island, bout 800 feet up with amazing views. There are lots of fishing, boating or sailing tours that leave. We have done Scubba diving there before. And this is all on your own. You aren't confined to the resort or "safe areas" like many other places.

If you do go and stay on st Thomas, you must plan at least 2 trips to st john. The island is roughly 50% national park and absolutely amazing. Google trunk bay images to give you an idea of what it is. The image you will see is just from the high way over looking the bay. Just amazing snorkling. Take as much time to explore the north shore beaches. There are some hiking paths old plantation ruins that are three hundred years old.

When we go back this time we plan to take a ferry to a couple of different british virgin islands. Truly an island paradise.

PowDay
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by PowDay » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:24 pm

25 years old travelling with a friend. This is the time to take some risks, go out of your comfort zone and plan an adventure.

My wife and I don't have kids yet, and we make an point to prioritize trips we wouldn't feel comfortable taking with small kids. Vegas/Hawaii/Cancun are all family friendly safe destinations, we are saving them for later in life.

We are about to leave on a trip to Costa Rica, renting a 4x4 SUV and exploring with friends for week.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7798
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:31 pm

My wife and I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks for our honeymoon. Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai.

Oahu felt just like Newark, but warmer. Really.....skip it. Or go to Newark and save the airfare. Maui still has cities and Maui memorial hospital was very nice and takes credit cards. Hawaii is huge and interesting geologically. Less "people" stuff to do compared to Maui and Oahu. Kauai is small and outdoorsey. Beautiful island that's easy to explore.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Myopic squirrel
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:02 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Myopic squirrel » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:48 pm

If I missed this in previous posts, my apologies, but from where are you departing? For only a week's vacation, that can have a significant impact on how you'll feel when you arrive at your destination, as well as how you'll feel when you land on your return. A week's vacation in Hawaii from the east coast is a haul, let alone the time changes. Same with a west coast trip to the Caribbean. Of course, at the age of 25, and ready to party, youth and adrenaline helps mitigate those details! *G*

Mandrale
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Mandrale » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:09 pm

Myopic squirrel wrote:If I missed this in previous posts, my apologies, but from where are you departing? For only a week's vacation, that can have a significant impact on how you'll feel when you arrive at your destination, as well as how you'll feel when you land on your return. A week's vacation in Hawaii from the east coast is a haul, let alone the time changes. Same with a west coast trip to the Caribbean. Of course, at the age of 25, and ready to party, youth and adrenaline helps mitigate those details! *G*
Departing from Midwest United States -- Does that play a big factor in length of stay?

User avatar
Random Musings
Posts: 5209
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Random Musings » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:40 pm

Maui, Kauai and the Big Island were wonderful. Oahu, ehhhh.

Vegas for a week might be a little too much, unless you plan on taking jaunts to other places.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 pm

Mandrale wrote:
Myopic squirrel wrote:If I missed this in previous posts, my apologies, but from where are you departing? For only a week's vacation, that can have a significant impact on how you'll feel when you arrive at your destination, as well as how you'll feel when you land on your return. A week's vacation in Hawaii from the east coast is a haul, let alone the time changes. Same with a west coast trip to the Caribbean. Of course, at the age of 25, and ready to party, youth and adrenaline helps mitigate those details! *G*
Departing from Midwest United States -- Does that play a big factor in length of stay?
Take a look at the flight times to Hawaii and add in the time you will need to drive to the airport, get at the gate early, and get to your hotel when you arrive. The “door to door” time could easily be 14 hours or more which would pretty much eat up your first and last day. That would have a pretty big impact on a one week vacation.

The number of time zones are also an issue. You are likely four or five time zones over from Hawaii which would help on the way there but could cause you to return very late at night which could be a problem if you have to be at work the day after you return. You might need to return a day earlier just so you can be in good shape when you go to work the next day.

If you have your heart set on Hawaii it is doable but there are a lot of tradeoffs that would favor going somewhere else.

It really depends on what you looking for. You might add going to California or Florida to your list of possible locations to look at.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:14 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Maui memorial hospital was very nice and takes credit cards.

I think I would prefer to skip that. :beer

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:23 am

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

chicago_meatball
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:36 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by chicago_meatball » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:00 am

pinecrest wrote:
Trunk Bay has been one of my favorite beaches, but what I'm hearing now is that any visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands needs to work around the cruise schedules. Cruise ships anchor off St. John and result in a huge influx of tourists to the beach. Apparently, that can be avoided by scouting out all the cruise schedules ahead of time. The bigger ships dock at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and the biggest one carries a whopping 5400 passengers. There are excursions from these ships to Trunk Bay. HERE is a picture of the gargantuan 5400-passenger cruise ship at Charlotte Amalie. Pretty obscene if you ask me. :shock: Especially since the USVI is not that big.

When my parents were in St. Thomas most recently (I don't remember the year), they said there was a lot of construction going on and the dirt mixed with the sand made the normally turquoise waters non-turquoise. I don't know if that has ended. You may have visited more recently than my folks. All I know is that my folks were fed up with what they saw and planned never to go back again. (It's quite possible that they just visited at the worst possible time -- when all the cruise ships were in, and construction was at a feverish pitch.)
I didn't think cruise ships came to STJ, I thought they all docked on STT. But you make a very good point about cruise ship schedules. Its my favorite place in the world so I admittedly have rose colored glasses into its flaws. But I have never seen a crowded beach on st john. The shopping districts in Thomas can be very crowded on the cruise ship days. But I don't go to those places to shop so it doesn't affect me.

Were your parents talking about some of the main beaches (Megans, Coki, Trunk...), or just the general ocean water?

My personal favorite beach if you go is Waterlemon, its on the north side of John, shore is a little rocky, but we have had a quarter mile of beach to ourselves a couple times and cool hiking in land.

NOLA
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by NOLA » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:06 pm

I guess one question is this a friend or a girlfriend/boyfriend?

Hawaii is fantastic. Maui is an amazing island, but like previous posters have already mentioned, Oahu is kind of overrated. However, I must say that the eastern/northern part of the island is really nice. As long as you get away from Honolulu you will enjoy it. We drove about 30 minutes from the city and had an amazing beach pretty much to ourselves. However, we regret not going to Kauai.

Costa Rica was one of our top 3 vacations ever!

We own a VRBO property and about to get a 2nd one. I def recommend it, but look at the reviews and it might be good to call the owners before you book. We have used it twice in the last year and were very happy with it. We travelled with family so we got a good deal. Probably can't get the same deal if it is just the two of you.

No matter what you will have a great time, enjoy!

FarmMD
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:17 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by FarmMD » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:08 pm

if money is not an object (which it usually is on this blog, which has been teaching me so much by the way), one vote for the four seasons on maui. by far the best vacation experience I have ever had!!

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:44 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:57 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
JonnyDVM
Posts: 1596
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by JonnyDVM » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:59 pm

Mandrale wrote:
chicago_meatball wrote:
vkfu wrote:If you want to stay inside the US you may also want to consider St. Thomas USVI.
I completely second the USVI's! We just booked our 3rd trip there for June. ballpark prices...

Airfare - ATL to st thomas- 400 a person
renting a villa -1,000-1500 for a week
car rental (if you want) -400 for a week.

You can also stay on st john, there is less night life, but better beaches.

We are set up for about 2K for airfare and the room. From there you can take ferries to the british islands to to st john. Just an amazing place and its very safe to walk the island relative to mexico or jamaica/aruba.
What sort of great recreational activities are there? I guess we are looking to partake in fun events as well as scenery, so it would be nice to know more about that place!

You guys are making me want to go there! I was under the impression that the Virgin islands were super expensive? We've been to Mexico, Dominica and Jamaica. Rented a 4X4 and explored Costa Rica too! That was fun. So for you frequent VI travelers- is it worth it to go for less than a week? My new job situation favors itself to 4 and 5 day excursions rather than a full 7. OP it sounds like what you are after is Hawaii but that is a loooong flight for a week vacation. That's why we we haven't been yet. If you aren't up for the flight stick to the Caribbean. Hawaii also carries a significantly higher price tag.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

User avatar
widestance
Posts: 139
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:37 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by widestance » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:47 pm

Cancun if you're on a budget. Lots of cheap vacation packages out there.
While you're there, rent a car for the day and check out Chichen Itza (one of the 7 wonders of the world).
That side trip was by far the highlight of my Cancun experience.
Everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

pinecrest
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:51 pm

.....

Post by pinecrest » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:59 pm

.....
Last edited by pinecrest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tylerdurden
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by tylerdurden » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:18 pm

Another vote for Hawaii. My wife and I honeymooned in Maui 2 years ago, and are itching to go back. As others have mentioned, it is expensive, but well worth the cost.

If you do choose Vegas, I would recommend a shorter stay. We did a one week trip once, and it was a bit too long; a good 4-day weekend trip would be just right.

And for a slightly cheaper alternative, I would also recommend trips to Florida. Miami if you are looking for beach time with some good food and entertainment, the Sarasota (gulf side of FL in general) area for something a bit more low key.
"The things you own end up owning you." -TD

DSInvestor
Posts: 10882
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:42 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by DSInvestor » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:48 pm

tylerdurden wrote:If you do choose Vegas, I would recommend a shorter stay. We did a one week trip once, and it was a bit too long; a good 4-day weekend trip would be just right.
Maybe stay a few days in Vegas and drive to Southern Utah - Zion NP, Bryce NP and Grand Staircase Escalante.

Las Vegas to Zion NP is about 3 hr drive.
Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon NP is maybe 1 -2 hrs from Zion.
Wiki

User avatar
pusher62
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:02 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by pusher62 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:41 am

I have been to Hawaii three times and seen each of the "major" islands. We just returned last week from 10 days of Hawaii and 3 on Oahu. First trip to Maui was in 2005, for our Honeymoon. Went for 8 days (including travel). At that point, I swore that I would never go back to Hawaii for <10 days on a personal vacation. The flights are expensive, and you spend a significant portion of your vacation traveling. From the midwest, I would guess your total flight time will be around 8-9 hours. Flying from the "midwest" side of the east coast, total flight time is usually 10-11 hours. That does not include getting to the airport, layovers, getting a rental car, etc. Also, you'll probably have a 4 hour time adjustment if you're CST. It takes me about 2-3 days to adjust to HST, but YMMV. On our second trip, we went to Maui for a week and then Kauai for the second week.

I will echo what others have said. I would go to Maui if I had never been to the Hawaiian Islands.

Interesting to read what others have written about USVI. I had also heard they were very expensive. May look into that for a shorter vacation next year. The Bogleheads continue to inform me.

chicago_meatball
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:36 am

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by chicago_meatball » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:05 pm

pusher62 wrote: Interesting to read what others have written about USVI. I had also heard they were very expensive. May look into that for a shorter vacation next year. The Bogleheads continue to inform me.
I think alot depends if you want to sit at an all-inclusive or get out of a resort and see the island. I've stayed at the marriot there once, great resort, but we ended up leaving the resort for a majority of our time so most of the amenities are wasted. Check out VBRO or google USVI villas for a starting point of what housing costs. I have little desire to ever go to an all-inclusive.

I personally have never been to any other Caribbean islands places other than them, but we have gone with 4 different couples now that have been to Cancun, aruba, cruise ships etc... and they all have said going back to the USVI would be their top choice.

bluemarlin08
Posts: 1561
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:18 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by bluemarlin08 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:39 pm

Hawaii is great, Mexico is as well but don't like the political environment, Vegas,IMO, is good for about 4 or 5 days. My vote is to go to the Caribbean.

JimmyD
Posts: 716
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by JimmyD » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:55 am

I know I'm late to the party on this one, but I want to personally beg you to consider visiting Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I went for my honeymoon a few years ago and I am thoroughly convinced that it's paradise on earth - and just a quick flight from our home airport (I hate being on long flights). It's much more laid back compared to Cancun and the beaches are simply stunning. We took a trip to Tulum (just a bit South) and the beach there, overlooked by amazing ancient ruins, is jaw-dropping and consistently rated one of the best beaches in the world (100% deserved).

The food and culture you can experience within the Yucatan is second to none. We were on a bus that broke down on the way to the ruins in Chichén Itzá and after spending a couple hours roaming villages within the jungle, I have no doubt that it was my best life experience to date. The people we met literally lived in huts that were constructed from scrap wood and didn't have a dime to their name, but they openly invited us in to their homes, showed us how they gathered food, what they ate, etc and couldn't have been more friendly. They never once asked us for money, however there was no way I was leaving without giving them a little something as a token of my appreciation.

I know some folks would be hesitant due to all the negative news you hear about the drug killings and whatnot, but Mexico is a large country and I never felt the least bit threatened. I would return in a New York minute if I could.

rjc32000
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:11 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by rjc32000 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:23 pm

I've spent tons of time in Hawaii and think it is pretty wonderful. However, I would echo some of the concerns from others. Hawaii is almost certainly the most expensive option, but you can save a little money pretty easily: Instead of renting a hotel room, check out VRBO.com and search for a condo or apartment. Parts of Hawaii (Maui in particular) are full of good value condos, and you will come out far cheaper than at a major hotel. If you are going to rent a car, check out local rental agencies. The cars won't be nearly as nice as the ones from the big national chains, but you can save hundreds of dollars renting local. You can also avail yourself of the full kitchen at the condo and save tons of money by making your own breakfast and lunch and eating dinner in a few nights. Some of the best meals I've ever had were cooked up on a community BBQ grill in Maui and eaten on our condo lanai. Costco is extremely helpful for a Hawaiian vacation. Costco in Kahului Maui often has the freshest and cheapest fish available (hint: invest in a cheap styrofoam cooler and some ice for the ride back to the condo to keep perishables fresh), and is also a great place for alcohol, bottle water, snacks, beach towels/toys, etc.
Mandrale wrote:Hello all,

Looking to take my first trip in quite some time in the April/May timeframe. Ideas currently in my head are Hawaii, Mexico, or Vegas. If price is not an issue for these trips, what would you guys suggest as the best spot for a 25 year old to vacation for ~ a week? I will be travelling with a friend, and neither of us have been to any of these locations.

Thanks!

rixer
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by rixer » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:45 pm

I like Hawaii best of the three you mentioned. It's clean, safer than Mexico and much more to do than in Vegas. I prefer Kauai as it isn't as commercialized.

Enjoy your vacation!

denovo
Posts: 4351
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by denovo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:20 pm

If you are single, Vegas is great, although more than 4 nights will be too much. You'll spend three days recovering if you do it right.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

User avatar
zzcooper123
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:55 pm

Re: Vacation - Hawaii, Mexico, other ideas?

Post by zzcooper123 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:29 pm

Just back from Aruba. Excellent restaurants. Very friendly people.

What do people think of Puerto Vallarta?

Post Reply