Friday, December 03, 2010

spring break

A friend and I are trying to plan a trip for "spring break." After a bit of research, we decided on Puerto Rico for the following reasons:
  1. The weather there is pretty mild all year long (warmth and sunshine!) and March falls out of their typical hurricane season (though many sources claim that tropical storms usually skirt the island and hit the U.S. instead so they don't really have a hurricane season at all).
  2. We don't have to convert any money. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, we can just bring our U.S. dollars and not have to worry about exchange rates and all that jazz.
  3. We don't need plug converters! The voltage and outlet shapes are the same as that of the U.S.
  4. Our cell phones will be usable!! We're definitely going to rely a lot on our hotel wifi, but it's comforting to know that we'll have cell phone service (without extra charges).
  5. The prices are right! We're struggling a bit right now because prices have gone up since our initial search, but they are still mighty low.
  6. It's tropical! AHHH! That's basically all we're looking for out of this trip. We want to be lazy and get skin cancer on a beach, while drinking cocktails out of hollowed out fruits and Puerto Rico fits that description.
Some tips on how we conducted our research. We did a bit of initial research on some destinations using Kayak (to see what areas seemed cheapest for this time period) and then did some package searches on Priceline to see what hotel + flight combinations seemed best. We then used Trip Advisor to get additional ratings and reviews on the hotels. Once we settled on a hotel and flight time, we then turned to other booking sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, and Hotels.com to see how we could make the trip even cheaper. It turns out that hotels.com offers the hotel we chose at SUCH a low price that when combined with a normal flight booking on any of the other sites, it was still cheaper than the hotel + flight package deal (which is usually supposed to be the cheapest way to book a vacation).

I'll do a financial summary and posts on other research (like ground transportation and how to save money) once we have everything booked.

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