Written on March 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm, by Matthew Long
It’s been a brutal winter for many folks in the U.S. and around the world, so we thought we’d heat things up in February with a special #TripItChat all about Tropical Getaways. Who doesn’t long for white sand beaches and turquoise blue water? Well after this energetic chat, we were ready to book our tickets and pack our bags for a palm-beach laden destination.
What is a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2 to 3 p.m. PDT on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on the best tips and places for a tropical getaway.
Everyone knows that Mexico and the Caribbean offer some fantastic tropical resorts, but we were curious about lesser-known spots and wow did our followers deliver. From Thailand to Africa, we were amazed by the answers.
- For an exotic getaway, @KelseyIvey suggested the islands off the mainland of Malaysia. Perfect for quiet and secluded beaches.
- If you’re looking for something closer to home, @motherofalltrip says that the beaches of Ft. Meyers and Sanibel Island in Florida are second to none and perfect for families.
- Travel guru and friend of TripIt @LeeAbbamonte named Lord Howe Island in Australia as his top tropical escape that no one else seems to know about.
- Surprisingly Hawaii got a lot of love, but for the lesser-known island retreats of Molokai and Lanai, which are perfect for beautiful scenery and quiet beaches.
Getaway With Miles
Many of us love to plan exotic, tropical getaways, but they’re even better when we can get them for free. Airline miles are a great was to make that dream trip a reality, but we wondered if there was a better time of year to redeem them for the best value.
- @MiddleSeatView shared that hurricane season in the Caribbean and Mexico is a good time to find some amazing deals. Sure there’s risk, but if you go with places like the ABC islands, you’ll still snag a great bargain without much risk from storms.
- Chat co-host @TravelBlggr suggests to go in the off-season, whatever that may be for your #1 choice. If you want to travel to Florida, that means the summer months will have the best deals whereas more far flung locales like the South Pacific don’t have a dramatic low-season at all.
- Finally, @MsAdventurous made the great point that the best time of year to use those miles is whenever you can find the time and an open reward seat!
Of course with TripIt Pro you can keep track of all of your hotel and airline miles in one easy spot.
Too Much Hype
There are certain tropical destinations that are just touristy or aren’t worth the hype they get at all. Our chat participants certainly weren’t shy when it came to pointing out the worst places to vacation.
- Many chat participants said that while they love parts of Hawaii, Waikiki was just too touristy for them. With Ferrari stores and massive malls, the spirit of Hawaii can sometimes be lost there.
- @WayfaringFamily though was more specific when they said that Destin, Florida was just too cheesy, but they quickly added that they love the rest of the state.
- There were some surprising choices too like Aruba, which @KellyFilippone says lacks culture and is too touristy. Sadly, that was a pretty common impression.
- One of the best answers came from @la_vacationista who said that like beauty, every vacation is in the eye of the beholder. We couldn’t agree more!
Resorts that make an impression
A big part of any tropical vacation is where you decide to stay. Resorts and hotels many times ARE the vacation, which is why we wanted to know where our chat participants had a great experience. Based on the answers, it sounds like there are a lot of fantastic properties out there.
- Mexico was a popular choice and chat co-host @RickGriffin said that the Karisma Azul Sensatori Resort near Cancun was an amazing experience for him.
- In what is truly a dream trip answer, @dagongster said that the Intercontinental Bora Bora with their famous over-water villas was the experience of a lifetime.
- Europe didn’t get a lot of love during the chat, but many chatters said that the hotels on the Greek island of Santorini were spectacular thanks to the views of the sunset over the deep blue waters.
- Another surprising choice was made by @PeggyCoonley who listed the Awaroa Lodge at Abel Tasman in New Zealand as a personal favorite and looking at the photos, we’d agree!
There’s nothing wrong about spending some quality time at the beach or pool armed with a fruity drink and a great book, but sometimes it’s good to be active too. Turns out our followers agree and they listed many fun and interesting tropical adventures.
- Exploration is the name of the game for @skimbaco who said she loves to dive into new cultures and new waters, doing everything from city walks to SCUBA diving.
- Not surprisingly water-based activities were a popular choice including snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and even SNUBA diving, a hybrid of snorkeling and SCUBA.
- In addition to SUP, hiking and zip lining, many chat participants listed lying on a hammock as their activity of choice—not a bad option!
Dream the impossible dream
We love to see our followers let their imaginations run wild, so we asked them to name their ultimate dream tropical getaway and the responses were amazing!
- @SeanRoebuck echoed the answer of many people, that the Bora Bora floating bungalows was at the top of his dream travel list.
- For chat co-host @earthXplorer, his choice wasn’t in the South Pacific but in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives were his choice for the ultimate retreat.
- One of our favorite answers though came from travel pro @DonNadeau who said he wants to visit the southern coast of India for a truly exotic getaway.
- Other dream tropical escapes included the Seychelles, Lanai, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Fiji, Thailand, Mauritius, and “anywhere with an umbrella drink.”
And don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on March 20, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. PDT/5:00 p.m. EDT when we’ll be talking about Festivals and Special Events!