Summer vacation is supposed to be fun. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel if the tunnel were 500 work e-mails and small talk over sh*tty coffee before going back to your cubicle. Unfortunately, in the Dominican Republic, tourists’ vacations have been shrouded in suffering and death in an extremely bizarre turn of events that no one has any answers for. If you haven’t been seeing the news, numerous American tourists who have visited the Dominican Republic this past year have turned up dead. With nine reported deaths in the DR so far, we’re all just wondering: what is going on?
Many of the tourists’ causes of death are still unknown, but they seem to be sort of suspicious. One man was feeling off all day, but went out with his friends like one would do on vacation only to be found dead the next morning. Additionally, a couple was found with fluid in their brain and lungs. “Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran’s brother was among the victims. He died of a heart attack in the DR, though his family says he suffered from a pre-existing heart condition.
As of now, officials in both the Dominican Republic and the United States are not suggesting that the deaths are at all connected. But, with that… there are some similarities. Three of the tourists died at the Bahia Principe Resort within days of one another, while two died at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Health inspectors, environmental and epidemiology specialists and police officials are looking into these cases to see if they can attempt to figure out what is going on with all of this.
A couple who stayed at Bahia Principe last year actually told CNN that after their stay they became extremely ill, but are luckily still alive. A prevailing theory is that tourists were sickened by insecticides spread through A/C units — if air conditioning ends up being the reason for all of this, it’ll break my heart because it’s my first love. It’s especially interesting to consider given the link to issues with lungs that have been noted in some of the victims.
The FBI is also testing minibar samples at the Bahia Principe to determine if the victims might have been sickened by alcohol at the resort.
There are no travel warning yet about going to the Dominican Republic… but, the more you know. I’m from the Jersey Shore, so maybe just head down there and go to one of our outlets — there’s no tax on clothes which is honestly more than enough reason to head there in the first place.
A romantic vacation sounds fab right about now, but as good as shamelessly loud hotel sex and day drinking are, the price of it all may be worse than your college debt. But fear not, I’ve done the boring af research and found a bunch of vacation spots that won’t empty your bank account … but maybe your boyfriend’s. These are the best places to travel with your SO on a budget.
1. Dominican Republic
All-inclusive resorts are like a temporary visit to paradise. Free booze. Free food. What more can you ask for? With a $99 price tag, you cannot get much better than that. There’s a minimum stay of three nights, but if you’re schlepping all the way to the Dominican, are you really gonna stay less than that? Just remember that the sun is way hotter there, so be v careful with your sunscreen. The last thing you want to do is pull a Lila from The Heartbreak Kid and be too sunburned post-beach to have sex. What do you call a romantic vacation if you don’t have sex?
2. Myrtle Beach
When I think of romantic getaways with bae, I think about From Here to Eternity and I’m all in. I know, I know. Another beach vacation. But when I said nothing could be better than a budget-friendly vacation at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican, I lied. Starting at just $44 a night, you’ll stay in a room with a king bed and a gorgeous ocean view. Although this vacay is not all-inclusive, the price is so cheap it justifies itself. Book ASAP and you can be on the beach and making out in the sand before you know it.
Warning: you will get sand in your vagina and it will take ages to get it out. I swear, sand is the herpes of your vacation — once you touch it, it NEVER goes away.
3. Killington, VT
The sex is always best when you’re relaxed. Honestly, stress wreaks havoc on your relationship. Have you ever heard of a husband being murdered by his wife at a spa? Didn’t think so. Ergo (my college profs are defs so proud rn) there is nothing more romantic than a spa getaway with your SO. $229 per person per night may sound a little pricey, but hear me out. A three-night stay at this spa includes all amenities, aka meals, yoga and fitness classes, access to multiple different hikes (if you are an active betch), and a massage! This is a vacation Meredith Blake would definitely enjoy more than her “new family bonding” camping trip. They also have a promo going on for $50 off every couple’s vacay. If you and bae are the outdoorsy type, this getaway is definitely for you.
4. Sebago Cabins State Park, NY
I swear this cabin in the woods will defs be more romantic than the horror movie of the same name. But then again, Chris Hemsworth was in that movie… Regardless, your SO will have to do. Depending on how bougie you want to be, your vacation in the woods of Harriman State Park (just an hour and a half outside of the city) can cost as little as $266 for the entire week. A full week of
obnoxiously loud sex since no one is around to hear good ol’ fashion time with nature? Count me in.
5. Cruise To The Bahamas
The perfect opportunity for you and bae to recreate The Titanic, minus the whole drowning/freezing to death part. If you haven’t noticed already, Groupon is your friend for finding cheap vacations. For $199, you can go on a 2-night Bahamas cruise. Meals and booze included. Need I say more?
6. The Ultimate: Paris
Ending this list with a bang. What city is more romantic than Paris? For $599, you and bae can be in the City of Love for six days. All I have to say is “voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” But all I ask is that you do not decide to propose on the top of the Eiffel tower. Unless you want to be the most clichéd couple, or risk her saying no.
Images: Giphy (6)
After the literal shit show that has been 2017, the countdown to spring break is pretty much the only thing keeping me somewhat sane this winter. I mean, after following the summer’s Rob and Chyna drama, keeping up with Miley’s non-stoner revival, and dealing with the news that every man on TV is a sexual predator, it’s been a hard year, and no amount of tequila shots or Kylie Lip Kits can get me through this time quite like spring break can. Picking a destination is so much more complicated than a JetBlue flight and a cheap Airbnb, so we thought we’d help you out. Here’s where all your sorority sisters will probs be headed this year, so we came up with a few important points to consider before you book.
Let’s start with Cancun because it’s basically the OG spring break destination. Betches have been flocking to Cancun for spring break since the concept first existed, and it’s not because of our soft spot for guac (although it low-key makes for a good chaser). Cancun is the best place to go because it was literally built as a spring break city. Every hotel is on the beach, and they all have all-inclusive packages. The beach can get pretty ratchet during the day, but if you drink enough, you definitely won’t care. Going downtown at night is the best part, because the clubs are huge and you can definitely get a great Instagram of you looking hot on an elevated surface.
Going to Miami for spring break is a little less ratchet than Mexico, but it’s also amazing if you don’t mind the fact that every girl looks like Sofia Vergara and every guy is an entitled douche who knows too much about house music. Keep in mind that Miami is a legit city where shit like Art Basel takes place so the night scene is a little more exclusive, but then again the slimy LIV bouncers don’t seem to have a problem letting a hot group of college-aged girls in. You’ll probably get a sick tan, see Jonathan Cheban in the Fountainebleau lobby, and avoid PV’s food poisoning, which is always a plus.
We’ve always loved Vegas, but then again we’ve been completely blackout every time we’ve gone, so we can’t really remember deets. Anyway, if you’re looking for a Hangover-esque trip minus Ed Helms and his missing teeth, Vegas is one of the only places to find it. It’s basically Disney World for reckless adults and reckless pseudo-adults like you. Vegas is seriously a free-for-all, which means no one gives a shit if you’re on molly in the hotel lobby or flirting with guys at the casino to get them to buy you a table at the club later on. Works every time.
4. Punta Cana & Puerto Vallarta
I know these are two different places, but let’s group them together because they’re basically the same vibe when it comes to spring break. PC and PV are both places betches go if you’re looking to black out in the cheapest way on the prettiest beach. They always have group rates and all-expenses-paid hotel deals, so it’s an ideal place if you’re going with a huge group and can’t separate from your 34 closest Tri Delt sisters. You’ll probably be hungover on the beach at 8am, but then again you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of other 21-year-olds in the same boat, so it’s cool.
5. Bahamas Cruise
A cruise is a solid spring break option because of the open bar and the included meals, and even better if there’s a casino or clubs on board too. Keep in mind that not all cruises are created equal, though, so don’t just book a ticket to any cheap deal you find online that promises an “unforgettable week” with “no passport required.” Like, are you trying to get killed? Also remember you’ll prob end up vomiting over the side of the ship after one too many mojitos at the deck party, but then again I guess you’d be doing that anywhere. Just make sure that if you’re going to puke, it’s from alcohol and not Norovirus.
6. Myrtle Beach & Palm Springs
Depending on if you’re an East Coast or West Coast betch, Myrtle Beach and Palm Springs are two classic spring break destinations, and they’re both resort towns, which means you’ll be blacking out with people who have been raging since Fourth of July. You’ll probably end up drinking on the beach during the day and pregaming at Señor Frogs before you go out at night. I mean, the nightlife scene is kinda trashy, but then again you’re in college, the flights are cheaper than the ones to Cabo, and you probably won’t die from bootleg liquor.
7. Daytona Beach
If you’ve never heard of Daytona Beach, it’s because it’s basically Miami’s younger cousin who shops at Forever21 and rages like she’s on Jersey Shore season 3. Daytona Beach is only an option if you’re literally broke and don’t care about appearances, but you’ll definitely feel the difference unless you’re literally on too many drugs to care that you’re partying on a dirty beach with 45-year olds. I mean, the city is known for their NASCAR race track and their Motorsports Hall of Fame, so don’t expect a luxury spring break. But then again if you’re 22 and all you care about is taking shots of Smirnoff near a body of water, go for it. Just avoid the geotags. They’re not doing anything for you.