Every year for the past couple of years we go to Hawaii for my birthday, using our timeshare and reward points. This year we had more reward points sooner so I convinced Alan that we should go to Kauai at the end of May instead of the end of August. (I'm convincing like that.) But that created a question around what we'd do for my birthday. Last year I saw a cruise to Alaska out of San Francisco advertised at $899/person so that sounded like the perfect option. Only, I looked into it and the $899 is for a room with NO WINDOWS. Upgrade to a room with a window smaller than what I have in my office and you're looking at $1599/person. Get a balcony and you're at $1899/person + tax + the cost of excursions + the cost of alcohol. And let's be honest - I'm not going on a 10 day cruise without some wine. All told that "cheap cruise" was going to be pretty damn pricey, not to mention when I saw pictures of the actual cruise ship I was like, "that looks like a cheesy ocean-themed Vegas hotel."
So now every weekend when I haven't been working I've been researching vacation options for my birthday, including Vancouver & Tofino; Maine, Paris and Rome. You'd think Vancouver would be an economical option given its proximity to California and yet you'd be wrong. Airfare to/from is nearly $500/person and to stay in Tofino (a place I've been wanting to go for a long time) we're looking at $350+tax/night. What the what?! Because my birthday is near Labor Day weekend, everything in Maine is about $80 - $120/night more expensive than at any other time of the summer, which is why I thought to look into Paris and Rome. If we're going to spend upwards of $3k, I figure we may as well make it Europe, no? Except, maybe not so quick since that time of year in Rome is hot & humid and might be a ghost town given the Italian holiday.
After our trip to Jamaica, I'd love to hit up the Caribbean again except for that little thing called hurricane season. I'd almost risk going to St. Lucia with hurricane insurance but then I watched a video of a 2008 hurricane hitting the Jalousie Plantation Resort and um, maybe not so much.
So the search continues ... got any recommendations?