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Question Cheap tropical destination on way back from Vancouver?

Aussie Doc

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Hi all,

Need to pick the brains trust. I need to go to Vancouver for a week in October for work. Work pays for flights, and I have the option to have a week of annual leave before coming back.

I’m allowed to book the flights myself, and get reimbursed. They don’t have to be return flights from Vancouver, can fly back from any other destination, but total value can only be cost of a return flight to Vancouver (it comes out of a separate work fund I accumulate each year for education & training. I am allowed business but as wife is coming on own budget, we’ll be going economy and saving my $$ for other trips i’ll Go by myself and go business). We have to pay for any extra flights/detour during the extra week of leave, and so i’m Interested in cheap flights.

So wife and I are looking for a cheap tropical detour on the way back for a very lazy week spent by the beach, reading books and not doing much. We’ve both travelled Canada extensively so not interested in staying there after the Vancouver section.

With such an endless list of possibilities to detour to on way back it’s hard to choose, so thought i’d Ask for suggestions from the experts here.

Options in my mind are:
1. Find a cheap flight to a Caribbean location, then fly home from there via LA
2. Fly home via Hawaii
3. Find an airline flying home via a pacific Island e.g Fiji and work it out somehow so it’s just a 1 week stopover and doesnt cost is extra. Are there any other pacific islands that connect through to LA/Canada we could use as a prolonged stopover?

We’re mainly after somewhere quiet, with a nice but reasonably priced resort, white sandy beaches and warm weather and warm ocean to swim in.
We’ve never been to Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii, and flights to these places are pretty cheap. But whilst some photos look great I do worry about it feeling to American... something I’d rather avoid. I’d probably rather a hut in Fiji over an American resort in Caribbean.

Does anyone have any tips for cheap stopover destinations between Aus and LA/Canada? Any alternatives to Fiji? Any tips on how to book it cheaply so it counts only as a stopover and not 2 separate flights each way which when I search it seems to do and increases the cost.

Thanks for any and all advice! Where would you go for a week after Vancouver for a island getaway??
 

juddles

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Aussie Doc,

I am sure that there will be others with much better ideas, but in the interest of assisting I offer the following:

I have been to Mexico, the Carribean, and Hawaii. Let's start with the last one.

I have only ever stayed in Hawaii on the main island. It is a great place to visit, in that it is totally civilized, but may be too American for you. I cannot recall what time of year I have been there, but the water was not exactly warm the times I swam there. So if reliable warm water is what you seek, I would head to central america (out of these three).

The Carribean offers a great variety of options. I have been to quite a few places there. In most you can find beautiful beaches, lazy atmosphere, warm water, etc etc. But much of the Carribean is not actually "tropical" - so islands like Aruba and Curacao have a delicious climate, but it is actually quite dry. Places like the Dominican Republic are much more tropical.

But for what I perceive as your likes, what I would most recommend to you is Mexico. Specifically Cancun and the surrounding area. I have been to Playa del Carmen area a few times on family holidays. This whole area of Mexico was purpose-built for tourism, and there are a whole range of options, and it is away from the chaos you often hear about Mexico. We loved going there to absolutely relax. Stayed normally at the Royal Haciendas. This is one of those "all-inclusive" places. I am not usually into that sort of thing but there it works perfectly. Essentially you stay in a resort on a beautiful beach. There are a number of restaurants within the resort, and you can also go to some of the other Royal resorts spread along that coast and dine there too or use their facilities. You go and sit under a shade or in a cabana on the beach, and whenever you feel like another cocktail or a prawn ceviche or whatever, you just plant a little blue flag in the sand and PRESTO!, someone appears to take your order. That is really a nice way to chill out :) Costs are extremely reasonable for this sort of quality of service, especially when compared to most other Pacific destinations. Look around for specials to get a really good deal. I find Mexicans to be probably some of the most genuinely friendly races in the Carribean.

I have never been to Fiji, new caledonia, etc as a tourist, so have no knowledge of value/enjoyment/pricing there. Another option may be for you to visit Rarotonga. I think NZ flies there with a 777 from LAX. There must be other airlines too. Rarotinga is also a favorite place of mine. The most beautiful people (spiritually) on the planet that I have come across. It is nowhere near as cheap as Mexico, but has a delightful climate and is fun to be there. Being a small island, you can relax on the beach or drive around it in about an hour. Totally un-American.

Anyway, just some thoughts :)
 

Pushka

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We flew from Alaska into Hawaii last month. Great weather. We just stayed on Oahu. Plenty of cheap eats.
 

RooFlyer

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I worked a lot in western Canada ( commuting there) and often looked at get-away trips to the Carribbean, but the routings were usually horrendous - via Toronto / Montreal with red-eyes involved. Never ended up doing it.

Mexico world be good, as suggested by Juddles.

Fiji Air flies between LAX and Fiji and onto Australia and is good value. I stayed at Vomo once - you helicopter there from Nadi airport :) - the resort is their own island.

Vanuatu is good, but impractical for you I think.
 

Aussie Doc

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Thanks for the replies!!

Juddles - that’s really helpful!! I haven’t been to Caribbean/Mexico and so was worried it’d all be like a Gold Coast hotel. But Cancun does sound relaxing from what you’re describing. As for Aruba etc - doesnt actually need to be ‘tropical’ per se... just warm, sunny and completely lazy. Wife and I haven’t taken a “do nothing” holiday in over a decade so I owe her one!

As for rooflyer’s suggestion - good idea to think of cool islands! Hadn’t thought of them as a stop over with AirNZ. Will look I to it as well.

An aside question - how do you go about booking an extended stopover with say AirNZ or Fiji airways? When I check their websites they just offer flights with ~3hr stopovers and don’t offer option to pick multi-city and schedule yourself a few day stopover. Is it possible on the 1 ticket, or do you need to essentially book YVR-NAN, then a separate NAN-Syd?
 

eric2011

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Can always do 2 stops, 1 into HNL and then FJ to NAN and onto either SYD or BNE. Booked as a multi-stop wouldnt add much to the cost. IMO I wouldnt bother going back to the Caribbean
 

ozjuice

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If you're thinking Mexico then why not try Los Cabos as it may be easier to get flights there.
 

offshore171

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Just did a quick check on Google Flights and you can get to Bermuda from YVR for about $300AUD.

October is my pick of the best months to visit (lower prices, less busy, fewer cruise ship arrivals). And the weather is perfect. 27c in the air and water.

Beaches are free and public transport gets you everywhere cheap.

 

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