I tried out a cruise in the Caribbean… well actually, it was just an overnight between Florida and Grand Bahama Island. But I’m not into overeating or gambling or shipboard live entertainment. I found I wished I’d had more time on Grand Bahama Island itself, instead of time getting there by ship. I loved the chance to kayak through mangroves, and to visit the beach where “Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed – one of the most scenic beaches in the world.
So I resolved that the next time I was privileged to go the Caribbean, I wanted to fly directly to an island and just stay put and explore.
There are helpful websites like “Cheap Caribbean” that offer flight & hotel deals. But I don’t really like staying in a big resort. I’d rather do a vacation rental or B&B kind of thing. As to cheap airline tickets, who knows? Those things seem to change all the time. So I got to checking prices on sites like “CheapOAir” and “Cheaptickets” whenever I was bored and wanting to dream of getting away someday. I signed myself up for travel alerts on Trip Advisor when prices dropped. And then one time after Thanksgiving it happened… that constellation of cheaper airfare to SXM, a full week free in February between busy work seasons, and motivation and money. The money was actually from figuring out how much I was still spending on grown children and realizing I didn’t need to do that any more…. they’re quite capable of supporting themselves. The motivation was from learning of the deaths of people close to my age. Why wait till I’m retired if I really want to travel now?
All of my 2014 vacation time was spent with my elderly widowed father. We got to go on a bucket list trip back to California, and also returned to northern New Mexico. I stayed with him when he had surgery. I flew back to see him and help clean out his house for selling when he could no longer live alone and moved in with a brother. But I didn’t take a vacation for myself. So it was time.
Jet Blue and Delta both had fares from NYC to St. Martin for under $400 round trip. That’s cheaper than some of my trips to Utah and Colorado to see family. It made sense to book a flight. Which one to choose? The individual monitors that get satellite TV on JetBlue was the reason for my choice… on Delta I have to swipe my card and pay if I want to watch a movie or the handsome Property Brothers on HGTV.