Trip for mom's 80th birthday
Replies: 5 - Last Post: May 9, 2012 4:20 PM Last Post By: rhythm_blues
May 7, 2012 2:55 PM
Trip for mom's 80th birthdayMy mother's 80th birthday is August 2012. I want to plan a trip for her and I as a special way to celebrate this milestone. We've gone to the Bahamas and Key West, Fla. several times. We've also been to Aruba and she didn't like it. She has always wanted to go to Hawaii, but my research indicates it is far too expensive for me to afford. Help!
My mom is a good sport and a great traveler. She doesn't like to walk a lot and hates cruises. We want to go somewhere that has beautiful beaches, good shopping and dining, not too touristy and easy to navigate. Suggestions are needed. Thanks!
May 7, 2012 5:00 PM
1What sort of budget are you considering? Also, why didn't she like Aruba, as it seems to meet all your criteria (other than it is pretty touristy)? BTW, any place that's "good for shopping" probably is rather touristy.
May 8, 2012 9:54 PM
2I may sound like a broken record here, but I'd suggest - Anguilla and St. Maarten.
Anguilla has amazing beaches and many fantastic dining options. You will need a car however as there is no public transport but driving is easy. Accom may be expensive, depends on what you require and if you can find a deal. Car will be less than $50 a day.
Likely you will fly to St. Martin/Maarten and ferry over. As there is no shopping (per se) in Anguilla, consider a few days in SXM for duty free shopping?
Here is an Anguilla forum with heaps more information
Oh, watch that the beginning of August is Carnival - very busy and the island will slow considerably after that
May 8, 2012 9:55 PM
May 9, 2012 4:40 AM
4The Anguilla/St. Maarten combo Island Diva suggests is a very good one. Anguilla has the best collection of beaches in all the Caribbean in my opinion. St. Maarten is very touristy (as are pretty much all islands that have "good shopping") as it gets a lot of cruise ship traffic, but it does have some excellent beaches and is worth a visit. It should also be one of the cheaper and easier islands to fly into in the Caribbean. To get to Anguilla, you will ferry over from St. Maarten and it will only take about a half hour. As Diva says, lodging can be a little pricey but there are deals in the off season and there are some guest houses, etc. in the $100 range.
I'm actually returning to Anguilla and St. Maarten the end of next week. I got a great deal at a very nice hotel for $150/night through hotels.com and my rental car is only around $40 a day. Other than meals there's not a whole lot else to spend money on. It's a very sleepy and laid back place.
Another good option would be St. Thomas and St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Fly into St. Thomas and you can catch a ferry over to St. John (takes about 30 minutes). St. Thomas gets lots of cruise ship traffic and is good for shopping, St. John is very laid back and has gorgeous beaches. St. John is about as expensive as Anguilla. It is also possible to get lodging in the $100 - $150 range but rental cars are more expensive. It is somewhat lush and is a very mountainous place (Anguilla is very flat and scrubby). Most rentals are Jeeps that go for about $70 - $90 a day .
On my upcoming trip I am spending my birthday on St. John and a very special anniversary in the British Virgin Islands (which are also accessible by ferry from the US Virgin Islands) at my favorite beach in the world, The Baths in Virgin Gorda.
For what it's worth, St. John is a lot more reminiscent of Hawaii than Anguilla. I think the beaches are actually a little nicer on St. John and Anguilla (though that is no knock at all on some of Hawaii's excellent beaches, it's just a testament to how amazing St. John's and Anguilla's are), but the Hawaiian islands (except for the western side of the Big Island) are much lusher. They are also bigger and offer more of a variety of things to do.
To give you an idea of what St. John and Anguilla look like, here are links to a good representative photo of St John and Anguilla . They both offer some of the most stunning beaches on Planet Earth.
May 9, 2012 4:20 PM
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