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What other similar islands for family vacations?

San Jose
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What other similar islands for family vacations?

We love visiting Aruba for (1) calm swimmable excellent beaches that are aafw for children; (2) inexpensive cabs that charge per ride, not person, and (3) relatively inexpensive food/drink prices in the Caribbean. We are a family of 4. What other islands should we visit for excellent beaches, great infrastructure (walkability, safety, and easily available taxi rides), and similar price point for restaurants/bars?

We do not want to rent cars.... Thanks.

San Jose
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1. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

Definitely no all-inclusive hotels/destinations.

Hull, Massachusetts
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for Palm - Eagle Beach
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2. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

One island that we've wanted to visit, but haven't yet is Turks and Caicos. That what I thought of with your question.

San Jose
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3. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

Love Turks but it is quite different.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

St. Maarten

Florida
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5. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

We have been to the neighboring islands of Aruba....Bonaire and Curacao. Bonaire is very much like Aruba was about 15 years ago before the recent tourist boom. We love that island, but it does have some differences to keep in mind.

First of all, the government has been able to keep a lid on the economic activity of the island for a long time, so you will not see any of the global resort brands with properties on the island. Most resorts are older and owned and operated by individuals.

The island has a protected reef that surrounds it and you have to really research where you stay, as many resorts don't have a typical sand beach entry, but some do. Bonaire is known for it's world class diving, which makes for world class snorkeling as well. Since the islands underwater is protected as a national park and boats are not allowed to anchor, there is very little dead coral.

The island does not have many American travelers, but English is understood and spoken, along with Dutch, Papiemento and Spanish. Everything is priced in Guilders/Florins but the US Dollar is accepted. Like Aruba, the restaurants, bars and places to shop are located close to the resort area, so everything is a walk away from most lodging. Also like Aruba, there are some cool sites to see if you venture out with a rental or tour group.

Not sure if Bonaire fits what you are looking for, but there are so many similarities that I had to mention it for you to research.

New York
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6. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

We are considering Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach as our next caribbean vacation. It has buses, is walkable, cabs and is also suppose to be safe. We are looking at VRBO to rent from. Turks and Caicos is not good for taking a cab, their car rental is also expensive and no buses. There was a rash of violent crimes right before we were going, put a damper on my feeling safe.

Edited: 10 July 2014, 22:35
Hilmar, California
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7. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

We found the prices for dining out and groceries in St Maarten to be quite affordable; drinks and alcohol in particular are very reasonable. We used rental cars on our trips to St Maarten so I can't speak to the price of taxis, but they have buses in the form of vans that go to most of the popular locations. Every time we ventured out we saw a bus taking our same route, so I got the impression that they would be fairly easy to catch. The area that we stayed in had plenty of restaurants within walking distance. The island has a Dutch and a French side and you get two completely different experiences when you venture from one side of the island to the other and it's a short ride to do so. Another perk is that you can take day trips on a public ferry to St Barts or Anguilla. Anguilla is beautiful!

Raleigh, North...
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8. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach area would be a great choice and for a more economical stay you can choose Sunshine Suite Resorts which is directly across the street from the beach fronting the Westin Hotel. Plenty of beautiful beach, restaurants and shops in walking distance plus a bus system if you need more. We did not need more and found the walk-ability perfect. Grace Bay T&C is another amazing beach where we have never rented a car however the establishments directly on the beach have more of an upscale vibe where Cayman and Aruba have a combination of both. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE St. John and Anguilla but those two are a little harder to get to and while we personally still choose not to rent a car most visits that is not the norm.

Baltimore, Maryland
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9. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

St. John's and bvi. Also turks and caicos has the best beaches you will ever see.

Amelia Island...
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10. Re: What other similar islands for family vacations?

I agree Turks and Caicos has the most beautiful beach. It doesn't meet criteria for inexpensive taxi or food and drink though. It is an expensive destination.