I have a secret. It's not a big secret (well, maybe to some) but it's a secret none the less. I have been keeping this secret from most of you for quite some time. Some of you already know my secret, but now it's time to come clean to the rest of you. So, here we go: I have never been to Puerto Rico (dramatic music, gasp). *hangs head in shame*
Shocked? Most people are when I reveal my secret. Many simply assume that I have been to San Juan, the oldest city on U.S. territory and known for its beautiful beaches - especially since I am a beach lover. But nope, I can't say that I have.
When I make this confession, the first response is "Really? That surprises me." and the second, of course, is "Why not?" and this is where it gets tricky. The truth of the matter is that San Juan always seems so expensive to me. From the airfare to the beachfront hotels, it all seems overpriced and other destinations always seem to be a better value. So the other destinations, which also involve acquiring a new passport stamp, always win out.
For instance, if I do a quick airfare check, using May 30th - June 3rd as my dates of travel, here is what I get:
- Chicago to San Juan - $404.87 (with a 10 hour layover in Miami on the return)
- Chicago to Cancun - $422.61
- Chicago to Montego Bay - $516.09
- Chicago to St. Maarten - $583.90
- Chicago to Curacao - $578.90
- Chicago to Barbados - $591.40
If I were looking to book something for that time period, even though 4 days isn't nearly enough for any of these destinations, which do you think I would select?
Well, other factors would come into play like what is the purpose of my trip: explore or relax, am I looking to experience something new, exactly how long are the flights and layovers especially since this is basically a long weekend trip (that San Juan flight has a 10 hour layover in Miami on the return and the Barbados makes 2 stops - YIKES), what is the cost of an average hotel stay, food, etc.
Based on airfare alone - Cancun would win if I were simply going to relax and Montego Bay would be my choice if I were looking to explore and experience something new. Why, because for the extra cost of the plane ticket. I can either visit my favorite destination (yes, AGAIN. I'm an addict remember?) or explore a destination that is higher on the "must see" list than Puerto Rico.
Don't get me wrong, Puerto Rico is on my list. I want to visit its historical sites, hike in El Yunque National Rainforest, swim in Mosquito Bay, and take a day trip to Culebra or one of the other islands off the coast of Puerto Rico (there are roughly 100 of them); but PR just never seems to win the process of elimination even though there are times that I am actually rooting for Puerto Rico to win. Crazy, right?
SIGH...there it is. My deep rooted secret.
This confession brings me no joy. I know that this favorite Caribbean destination for hundreds of thousands should have made it to my "been there" list by now. I am ashamed and I promise to rectify this situation ASAP. Ok, maybe ASAP is a little too soon, but I will get done in 2013.
I wonder if I can piggy-back it on a trip to another destination?!