Crap recommendations are the lowest form of Twit.
Over my afternoon cup of tea, I decided to take ‘TheRoamans’ twitter feed for a test drive where we had linked to quite a few travel sites.
There were plenty of Tweets with links to travel articles. What piqued my interest was “Affordable beach hotels for spring break” by USA TODAY Travel where they had a great photo.
— USA TODAY Travel (@usatodaytravel) February 7, 2015
So somewhat interested in something for springbreak this year, I clicked on it which takes you to USA Today article with 14 pictures in a gallery.
Picture 1 and 2 are of Corfu, Greece where this is what they said.
“Corfu, Greece: While most jetsetters head for the better known, more popular and significantly pricier Cyclades (made up of islands such as Mykonos and Santorini), Corfu is a great pick for those on a budget. Travelers can often score relatively inexpensive flights directly to the island by booking through smaller, regional airlines and once there, visitors will find that hotels, restaurants and activities can be pretty cheap. Many Corfu beach resorts offer all-inclusive options and feature numerous pools, a range of dining and simple, clean rooms” Source oyster.com
Are you kidding me? Corfu when you have only a 1 week spring break. First problem is it will take 30+ hours to get there from the US to Kirkira airport. From most flight options, I looked at you leave Friday afternoon, get to Athens Saturday afternoon, then local flight to Corfu for Sunday morning. Coming back, you could leave Saturday and overnight (say Athens) at which will get you back in the US on Sunday. So that would leave you with five full days in Corfu. Price of tickets would be north of $1,000.
Now what can you expect when you get there? March is a quiet period for Corfu. There is a reason for that: the weather. It is cold and wet during this period. You can expect an average temperature of 57F with highs of 61F. A 24% chance (1 in 4) of getting sunny weather. [Source: www.holiday-weather.com]. Now you see why we think Corfu as a recommendation for spring break is a stupid idea.
Pictures 3 and 4 were for Myrtle Beach, South Caroline. So this is somewhat better: at least this is the US.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.: Continually ranked as one of America’s best family beach destinations, Myrtle Beach offers visitors one-of-a-kind nightlife, more than 100 golf courses and 60 miles of sandy shoreline — all at affordable prices. This locale may be known to get a bit jam-packed, but hotels account for this with massive pools and water park complexes, as well as plenty of meeting spaces and large rooms. In fact, many properties feature condo-style accommodations with kitchens and living rooms. Source oyster.com
Picture 4 was “Oyster’s hotel pick in Myrtle Beach: Captain’s Quarters Resort.” Having never heard of it, we took a look at it.
- Google : rate it 2.9 out of 5.
- TripAdvisor: 3 out of 5
- Yelp : 2.5 out of 5
- Oyster.com : 3 out of 5. Now where have I heard of Oyster.com again?
What a sham. Even Oyster.com’s own rating are pretty dire but yet it is still a ‘hotel pick’.
So who are Oyster.com. According to their site:
Our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it’s “uh-oh” time.
Oh my. Inspects like my ‘mother-in-law’? If so, MIL must be a bit loopy. Looks like “uh-oh” time on the recommendations so far.
The remaining ‘recommendations’ were Puerto Rico, Playa Del Carmen (about 1 hour from Cancun), South Padre Island (Texas), Phuket (Thailand), Jamaica of which most have merit.
Phuket recommendation is flat out dumb based on the travel time. 2 days travel either way and you will be jet-lagged. It is not worth it.
Puerto Rico is an ok recommendation with the advantage that you don’t need a passport. Playa Del Carmen, you will need one. I say that as many Americans do not have passports.
As for Jamaica (need passports), what the article did not expand upon is what type of ‘spring breaker’ you’d be. There are those with families, there are college kids and there are the no-kids. Let’s just talk about the later as I am not sure why you’d visit the likes of Sandals (Whatever you do make sure you don’t mistake Sandals with Hedonism – thanks Cleopatra for that tip) during Spring Break as they don’t tend to have families or young adult at their location so visiting then during this time is peak travel and will cost more on airfare. Now getting back to family resorts in Jamaica, ones to consider are Beaches Resorts, Franklin D Resort, Sunset Beach Resort, and even Holiday Inn. For college kids, there are European plan hotels which allow you to book four people in a room to reduce the cost per person.
No opinion of South Padre for spring break but it is very popular and thus busy and relatively expensive at this time. It is easy to get to with Southwest.
It turns out this USA Today post is actually regurgitated article from Oyster with just an opportunity for USA Today to show adverts. Chiselers.
Roads-2-Roam verdict of USA Today twitters as travel planning tools: Forget it.
I’ll keep them on my twitter feed for now but if this is the caliber of their tweets, US TODAY Travel is on their way to be “unfollowed”.