Surf and Turf: trip ideas when you are looking for more than just a beach

I hear it a lot:  clients wanting some beach time, but are afraid that an all-inclusive beach vacation is going to bore them to tears.  So here are some suggestions for your next vacation when you’d like to split your time between the beach (and resort pool) and stuff to do that doesn’t involve a bathing suit.  Here goes…

Closer to home

  • Costa Rica – jungle and soft adventure are awaiting you in Costa Rica!  You can opt to stay at a beachfront all-inclusive, and then just take day excursions to explore as much as you’d like.  Or, maybe a tour itinerary with a couple of beach days at the end to rest up before heading back to reality. The beaches here are not up to par with the Caribbean, but are still very pretty.​

  • Puerto Rico – it’s easy to get around by car in Puerto Rico, and there’s lots to do and see on your own.  El Yunque is a rain forest within easy striking distance from the resorts on the northeast side of the island.  Explore Old San Juan one day.  Play a round or two of golf.  Take up surfing or explore a cave.  There are no resorts here that are all-inclusive.
  • Hawaii – visiting Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island?  Include a car rental in your package, and explore on your own.  Maui has the most diverse activities of the three listed.  There’s plenty to do and see in a week’s stay.  If you plan on being on vacation for at least 8 nights, you might want to consider a 2 island vacation.  Or, visit Oahu, where a car isn’t necessary if you are staying in Waikiki.  Hike waterfalls, go shopping, enjoy the natural beauty and the culture, go ziplining or take a helicopter tour.  No shortage of things to do!

Crossing an ocean

  • Thailand – combine a Thailand cultural tour (Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle) with a few days at the end on one of their beautiful beaches (such as Phuket, Krabi, or Samui).

  • Vietnam – enjoy a Vietnam independent or escorted tour with a night or two of beach on your itinerary.  Have more time?  Combine Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Greece & Her Islands – fly into Athens and then island hop…from one to three islands, depending on time and budget.  You’ll be busy exploring the rich history of the islands with a beachfront resort to enjoy a little down time too.
  • Australia – combine the ultimate dive destination, the Great Barrier Reef, with an independent or escorted tour of the country (or at least the major cities if you are short on time).
  • Tahiti – admittedly, Tahiti is pretty “water focused.”  But if you are not much of a dive or snorkel enthusiast, the best way to experience these beautiful islands are by Paul Gauguin Cruises.

  • Bali – beautiful beaches and exotic culture.  Allow time to explore the area on your own, or book an itinerary that includes some tours.  Or, combine Bali with Indonesia (or with Hong Kong).

~Happy Travels! Cindy Grant, travel consultant with Expert Family Travel.  Located in the Dallas Fort Worth metro area (Texas) Near Frisco, Plano, Little Elm, and The Colony.  972-625-6200.