Island Vacation Guide – Insider Tips & Ideas
Read our editor’s favorite tips and tricks for getting great deals, packages and specials; when to travel to avoid crowds, lesser-known destination and how to choose the best island vacation for you.
- What are the best island getaways in the U.S.? Whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway or a fun island spot in the United States that doesn’t require a passport, there are many great options. If you live on the East Coast, head to the Florida Keys where tiny islands offer secluded cottages and romantic sunset views. Other popular getaways from New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia include Sea Island in Georgia, Amelia and Sanibel islands in Florida. Mackinac Island on the Great Lakes is a popular getaway from Chicago. If you live on the West Coast, escape to Catalina, San Juan islands in Washington, Maui and other Hawaiian islands.
- Where can I find huts on water? You will have to travel to exotic destinations like Fiji, Bora Bora, Moorea or the Maldives to get an overwater rooms, suite or villa. Despite the long flight and expense, visiting a destination where you can wake up surrounded by a pristine blue lagoon in your own hut on stilts is a must at least once in your life. If you are planning a wedding, register for a honeymoon registry and ask your family and friends contribute towards your dream island vacation.
- How do I find the best island packages? Many island resorts offer a variety of packages that let you save on your trip. Since you will probably be dining mostly at the resort restaurant, particularly if dining options are limited, look for packages that include free meals and daily dining credit. Also high in demand are spa, golf and family packages. Browse our packages section for ideas chosen by our editors. If you have a specific island hotel in mind, visit their web site and check for seasonal offers to save on your trip. Often you will be able to purchase an add-on activity package which will give you access to a wide selection of activities without having to worry about every charge. Keep in mind that if you don’t end up using all the amenities included in the package, you won’t get a refund for that portion, so if you are not sure how active you will be, it make more sense to purchase activities, spa treatments and golf tee times as you go.
- All inclusive trips: When you are staying on a secluded island, it often makes sense to purchase an all-inclusive package which usually offers savings on meals and activities. Since you will be spending most of your time at the resort kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, fishing and snorkeling, it makes sense to sign up for a package that will give you access to all of those activities (or most of them)