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Once a person decides to go on vacation, he or she can easily get lost in the vast number of destination choices facing them. Travel agencies and a simple Internet search will produce plenty of vacations for couples, families, adventurers, historians, gays and lesbians, and even vegetarians. This summer, one vacationer found it particularly difficult to find what she was looking for: destinations for single people in their 40s. Molly Remes, a public relations manager at a Virginia law firm, says she and her two single friends with ages ranging from mid-40s to early 50s were looking for a beach vacation that would fit them, but found they were lacking choices. Travel agencies around D.C. say there are a number of alternatives for singles, including those in Remes’ age group. Remes’ experience proved otherwise. There are numerous packages for young singles (in their 20s) and senior singles over the age of 55, says Remes, but “for that middle ground we could not find anything.” Remes and her friends scoped for an ideal vacation spot for the long July 4 weekend. Their criteria seemed simple: a beach with available scuba-diving lessons (for Remes) and nightlife, in a place not overrun with couples or children. Finding such a spot proved to be challenging. Remes sought help from the Internet and a travel agency in her office building. Neither proved particularly helpful. When she expressed her criteria to the agent, she “looked at me as if it was an extremely abnormal request,” she says. Ultimately, the agent offered some suggestions, but the options seemed “old-lady like,” and did not fit her needs, Remes says. “There are not any real resorts dedicated to [single people between the ages of 35 and 55],” says Priscilla Myers, owner of Executive Travel & Tours in McLean, Va., “because if they did they would go bankrupt.” But, Myers says, there are still plenty of choices for that age bracket. Jan Cammarata, owner of Judiciary Express Travel, or Jet Travel, on Capitol Hill, says she receives a number of requests from clients for vacation options similar to Remes’. She suggests an island resort with a nearby town where people are more independent and where vacationers can meet other tourists and locals. For that, she recommends staying in or near Hamilton, Bermuda. “There’s a lot going on there at night,” she says. Cammarata also mentions Breezes Resorts and the Hedonism Resorts in Jamaica as viable options. Both are a part of the SuperClubs chain that has resorts throughout the Caribbean and in South America. SuperClubs offers places for families, couples, and singles. But Cammarata acknowledges that some of these “all-inclusive” resorts that provide everything for their guests, including food and entertainment, for one price, discourage tourists from leaving the property to explore the nearby town. So, she also suggests the Cayman Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, spots with few numbers of all-inclusive resorts. “There is definitely night life going on for people who want to go to those places,” Cammarata says. Travel agents also proposed two other options for older singles that Remes ruled out: cruises and adventure vacations. Cammarata says high-end adventure tours, including trekking in Katmandu, bicycling across Europe, or hiking in the Alps, are ideal for singles to go and meet others with similar interests. But the prospect of a high-activity holiday didn’t suit Remes, who was just looking to spend days relaxing on the beach. “The thought of being in Navy Seal training was unappealing,” Remes says. Leslie Gearhart, manager of the leisure department at Omega Travel’s Fairfax, Va., headquarters, offered up more choices to Remes. Gearhart says she recently organized a trip for a group of single men to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They leave next January. Mexico is also a favorite locale for Gearhart. She proposed Los Cabos, Ixtapa, Acapulco, and the Club Med Resort in Cancun. Two weeks before the July 4 weekend approached, Remes and her friends finally decided on Cancun as their vacation spot. They stayed at the Sun Palace Resort near Club Med. When it was all over, was Remes satisfied with her choice? “For me, being in Cancun for a week was fine,” Remes says. “I was just happy to be able to go scuba diving.”

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