More info on my Nerdy Travels in support of tourism recovery

In February 2018, I’ll be taking a two week trip to the Florida Keys and the Eastern Caribbean to promote tourism in the areas hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and to highlight to need for more tourists to visit these recovering areas.

Interested in getting involved with my efforts to help promote tourism in these storm-hit areas? Here are three things you can do:

  1. Come with me! In addition to its Eastern Caribbean itinerary, with stops in three of the most hard-hit ports, the February 25th sailing of Silhouette was an attractive option because it still has a lot of empty cabins, and it’s only about 6 weeks until the cruise’s departure. Celebrity would rather fill those cabins with people, so they’re offering some great deals, especially if someone in your party is 55 or older! You can email me at jessalynn@thenerdytraveler.com if you’d like pricing details. (For reference, we’re talking about a week-long Celebrity cruise from about $550-$900 per person, including the taxes. If you’ve cruised Celebrity, you know this is a pretty low price!)
  2. Tell me where to go! No, not like that, haha. Part of my planning will involve taking recommendations for locally-owned restaurants, bars, and (for the Keys) hotels to patronize. If you have a favorite beach bar in St. Maarten, seafood restaurant in the Keys, etc., send me a message at jessalynn@thenerdytraveler.com and I’ll do my best to go there, and write about it for the blog, as long as the place has been reopened.
  3. Buy me a beer! No pressure, of course, but if you’d like to subsidize my efforts, I’d happily accept your donations. You can click here to send me money via PayPal. You can combine with #2 and tell me where you’d like me to spend your vicarious tourist dollars. I’ll make sure to include pictures on the blog!

Stay tuned for updates on my travels in late February 2018, right here on the blog.

Announcing the Nerdy Traveler 2018 Tourism Recovery Tour!

As a frequent cruiser for many years, I was heartsick to see the damage done to the islands of the Caribbean by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. While I’ve made some donations to various organizations that have been helping with cleanup, I’ve been thinking for a while that I wanted to do something more to help these places as they recover.

Tourism is a major industry for the Caribbean, as it is for the Florida Keys, which were also devastated by Hurricane Irma. If I can be nerdy for a minute, I was shocked to read that economists have estimated that a 1% drop in tourism can lead to a decline of over $200 million in GDP for the Caribbean.

I’m not going to be able to make up for that drop by myself, of course, but I’d like to do my part to help the Keys and the Caribbean by doing what I do best: Traveling to these places, spending my tourist dollars, and of course – writing about them for the blog!

So, on February 19th, I’m going to head down to the Florida Keys for a few days of exploring — and contributing to the local economy. I’ve been to Key West several times on cruise ships, and while I’ll certainly spend some of my time (and money) there as well, I’m excited to finally explore the middle and upper parts of the Keys – and to help give back to some of the small business owners in the hardest-hit areas.

Then, I’ll head back up to Fort Lauderdale to board the February 25th sailing of Celebrity Silhouette, which makes stops in San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten – three of the islands that have been hardest hit by the hurricanes. I’m pleased to be sailing on Celebrity, whose parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, played a huge role in helping these islands’ recovery, both in the immediate aftermath of the storms and by bring passengers back in the long term.

(My hubby has graciously agreed to escape the somewhat-chilly North Carolina winters to accompany me on this mission. Am I a lucky gal, or what? 🙂

You can read more here about how you can get involved in my trip. And of course, look for a bunch of blog posts coming at the end of February so you can follow along with my journey!