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Which island should we go to?

Port Hawkesbury...
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Which island should we go to?

I'm posting in Barbados forum because I couldn't figure out a way to post in a general Caribbean forum. Anyway, my wife and I want to go away next winter somewhere hot, safe and cheap(relatively). We DO NOT want to stay in an all-inclusive resort - possibly a small one if it met certain criteria. We don't like crowds and neither of us like doing a vacation that 'everyone' does.

This is our ideal vacation - we have a little cabin near (bonus points for on!) the beach. We walk to the local market for fresh fruits/vegetables to bring back and cook ourselves. Be able to sit on the beach in relative privacy. We both steer clear of any tourist-y places as a general rule. We would like to go to local shops, etc if it was safe.

We're thinking of travelling in February, if that makes a difference. Budget is a big concern (the travel places are telling us around $4,000 Canadian for everything. I can find most return flights for the two of us for around $1500, and we kinda want to do this ourselves) I'm hoping we can live down there for 10 days at around $100/day. Hawaii is not off the table, but it seems staying there is not cheap.

So - does anybody have any suggestions? We're having our 15th wedding anniversary this winter and we've never really gone on vacation more than 2 days and usually to visit family a few hours away. We never even went on a honeymoon because we couldn't afford it😜. This winter it might just be in the budget, so we're trying to plan early for it.

Also, my wife has health concerns so adventure type-stuff is probably not in the cards, but she loves swimming and is at home in the water - so snorkelling and possibly scuba diving would work. And - she has arachnophobia (spiders)- we know it's the Caribbean and somewhat unavoidable, but the less chance of seeing one, the better😉. Thanks for any and all suggestions! I really do appreciate it!

Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Which island should we go to?

The closer you are to the water the more expensive your accommodations will be. So $1500 for flights from Halifax, $1000 for living expenses, leaves $1500 (all Canadian) for a place to stay. Most places in Barbados use US$ and many the British Pound, you'll have to watch the exchange rates.

Take a look at Airbnb, Home Away, VRBO websites and see what is on offer there.

Port Hawkesbury...
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2. Re: Which island should we go to?

Thanks! I'll look at those for sure! We don't actually have a budget of $4000, that's just the price they gave us. The place we wanted was actually going to be $5000, but that's far too much for us. We're hoping for a $3000 vacation - we definitely know how to live cheap and not spend on extras. We've been doing it for 15 years😂

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Which island should we go to?

Ben C, this site features four properties just north of Speightstown, in St. Peter. We've stayed in Speightstown twice and I think it ticks most of your boxes. The properties are reasonably priced, they're near Heywoods Beach, which is not only beautiful but quiet with calm seas for swimming and a reef for snorkeling. You can walk into Speightstown but buses pass nearby and they are frequent. There are two supermarkets in Speightstown and in addition a number of ladies selling fresh fruit and vegetables at stalls on the main street. Port St. Charles is close by and you can utilize the Re-Discover Barbados programme there for very reasonably priced but truly delicious dinners and lunches. In the other direction, it is a short walk to Six Men's, a fishing village where you can buy fish fresh from the sea.

Here is the link and feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the area:

https:/…1

Port Hawkesbury...
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4. Re: Which island should we go to?

Oh thank you! That sounds perfect. I'm going to take a look at the link in a few, but it really does seem to tick most of the boxes. My wife was very excited by the idea (I wanted to go to Iceland-but that's next😉). You'll probably be hearing from me in a pm - thanks again!

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Which island should we go to?

I am in a similar situation looking for hot destination vacations and have gone to the extent of developing a spreadsheet with options. There are a lot of islands out there, but some are not as accessible as others.

One thing I found useful was the Air Canada ebrochure for sun destinations. About page 9 there is a list of where they fly direct from 'somewhere'. …aircanada.com/en/…15966 Halifax looks like Ottawa with limited direct flights, but I have Montreal or Toronto as alternatives. At least you can see what has options within 2 flights rather than a lot of transfers via the US.

West Jet isn't quite as useful, but you can search from your home airport where they might fly. You could use that criteria to help determine some to consider.

I aslo prefer AirBnB options as I can pay in Cdn via credit card or Pay Pal, (though there is a nominal booking charge), they hold any security deposits, and you have 24 hours upon arrival for any recourse if things don't go well). However, they do charge all or part right at time of booking.

You might also want to consider an overall budget as some islands are slightly over your flight price, but you can get apartments for well under $100. a night. Take into consideration places that may charge extra for AC or environmental costs.

With your interest of low key, snorkeling and swimming, the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) might be of interest. Bahamas is also accessible. Grand Cayman Island is out of budget, and Turks and Caicos may be as well unless you get a flight deal.

Fort Saskatchewan...
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6. Re: Which island should we go to?

Out of the places we have been, I can think of quite a few spots that you would likely really enjoy. They would each require some compromise or adjustment to your list of needs. You are targeting paradise, which is already usually pricey. As mentioned, on-water is usually that much pricier. With that said, here goes...

Grand Cayman. Look into Harbourview apartments. Bus to the beach. Snorkel right from the rocky shore. Walk to the supermarket. Felt very safe, really enjoyed and appreciated the people we met. The water there is otherworldly.

Maui, Hawaii. Bussing is really good in West Maui, that's the way we travel there. Look into Napili Village and Maui Sands. It always feels safe and comfortable to us in Maui. May seem touristy to you now, but aloha is a real thing.

Barbados: the people on this forum are very generous with their time and assistance. If your needs can be met there, I'm sure they'll help steer you straight!

Feel free to message me with any extra questions as you move along in your search.

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Which island should we go to?

One thing about Barbados to add to your consideration-- the people of Barbados are delightful! They always speak if you smile, their sense of humor is hilarious. The food is also great! I think Speightstown will be perfect for you.

8. Re: Which island should we go to?

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