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Caribbean Beaches and Florida For Less

The Deal Detective
by , SmarterTravel Staff
The Deal Detective -Female
Woman swinging in hammock at sunset (Photo: iStockphoto/ Dmitry Ersler)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 7, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: all-inclusive resort, Amelia Island, beach, bed and breakfast, Dominican Republic, hotel, island, resort, solo travel, The Deal Detective, The Deal Detective, vacation package.

The Deal Detective is SmarterTravel.com's resident bargain hunter, Kate Hamman. She's always on the lookout for new travel deals and invites you, dear reader, to submit your own questions.

Stacey writes, "Looking for a week's vacation. I am a single woman, want quiet, good weather, not tons of loud music. All inclusive food is good. Been sick—just need to chill and heal. I live in New York City. Can you help?"

A relaxing vacation may be just what the doctor ordered for all of us these days. The idea of sitting on a beach with a tropical drink, watching as the waves gently roll in, sounds like heaven, but finding a place where you can let your worries disappear requires a little extra thought, especially if you're going solo.

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The Dominican Republic, with its plethora of all-inclusive resorts, pristine beaches, and dazzling culture (including Spanish, French, Haitian, and African influences), is an ideal place to let your troubles fade away. Plus, many vacation companies like CheapCaribbean.com and Funjet Vacations are offering air-and-hotel package deals that will put your mind at ease.

For instance, CheapCaribbean.com has a six-night all-inclusive special at the Sun Village Resort and Spa in Puerta Plata starting at $689 per person (without taxes and fees and based on double occupancy). The deal includes round-trip airfare from New York City, hotel, airport transfers, and all meals and beverages. I priced the package for a single traveler leaving from New York City in June at $1,038 (with taxes and fees), which works out to be around $173 per night. And if it rains during your trip, you'll automatically receive a $100 coupon. Book by May 15.

Funjet Vacations is offering a similar package deal for a seven-night all-inclusive package at the Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf, and Casino Resort in Punta Cana starting at $749 (without taxes and fees and based on double occupancy) leaving from New York City. The deal includes round-trip airfare, hotel, and all meals and beverages. For a single traveler leaving from New York City in July, the total price came to $1,232 (with taxes and fees), or about $176 per night. You must book by May 14.

Though there are many perks to staying at an all-inclusive resort—you know what you're paying for up front, most everything you need is available on the premises, and you can just kick back and enjoy your time—there is also something to be said about doing a little extra legwork and staying someplace with a more intimate feel.

If you'd prefer something closer to home and a little more quaint, then Amelia Island, located off the coast of northeast Florida, provides 13 miles of beaches and may be the perfect getaway. The island offers a few all-inclusive resorts, but your money might go farther by staying at a smaller hotel like the Amelia Hotel at the Beach, which sits right on the water. Rooms start at $119 (with taxes and fees) per night in June. You can also opt to stay at a B&B, where you will get a full breakfast each morning and a taste of the local culture. For instance, the Ash Street Inn, located only a block from the historic Fernandina Beach (which was once a Victorian seaport) has rooms starting at $119 per night (without taxes and fees).

I priced flights from New York City to Jacksonville (the nearest major airport) starting at $159 per person (with taxes and fees) in June. The total cost of this trip, with round-trip airfare and six nights at a hotel without meals or ground transportation, comes to about $873 per person (with taxes and fees). The island offers a wide variety of restaurants, so you can choose to skimp or splurge however you see fit.

Traveling alone requires a little extra planning and safety precautions regardless of the destination. I wish you a relaxing week to recharge your batteries and feel better.

To my other readers: Do you have a particular place you go to unwind? Is there somewhere else you can suggest for Stacey that might be more fitting? Please share any tips or suggestions you may have regarding a peaceful vacation for a single traveler.

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All prices, dates, and booking details listed here were valid at the time of publication. Some information may have changed since that time.

 
 
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