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The Virgin Islands Will Help Pay for Your Tropical Vacation in 2017

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If one of your New Year's resolutions was to take more vacations in 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands are offering potential travelers some extra motivation. According to Condé Nast Traveler, anyone who books a three-night stay on one or more of the islands will receive $300 to spend during their trip.

The generous deal comes with a few caveats. One, the $300 gift isn’t a stack of cash visitors can use however they please. The rebate equals $300 in credits that recipients can put towards "Historical/Cultural Tours and Activities." Fortunately, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix each have a rich history and a vibrant recreation scene, so visitors should have no problem finding ways to spend the money. Snorkeling, kayaking, or touring one of the islands’ several museums are just a few of the options that are available.

To redeem the voucher, tourists can take it to wherever they've booked their stay—which is part of the second catch. Travelers are only eligible to receive the gift if they stay at one of the 27 participating locations, which include resorts, hotels, and campgrounds. They have until October 1 of this year to book arrangements and until December 31 to use the spending credits.

The promotion is being offered in celebration of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Centennial Commemoration. One hundred years ago, the United States paid $25 million in gold to acquire the three islands. To arrive in time for Transfer Day festivities on March 31, you can reserve your stay now (and check out other current promotions) on USVI’s tourism website.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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travel
Why Book a Hotel Room in Belize When You Can Rent This Entire Island for Less Than $500?
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Want to live like Robinson Crusoe without forsaking toilets, electricity, and Wi-Fi? As Tasting Table reports, an Airbnb listing for a tiny private island in Belize can make your castaway-in-comfort dreams a reality.

Called Bird Island, the tiny atoll sits off the coast of Placencia, a quiet Caribbean fishing village-turned-beach resort. Parties of up to six people can rent the entire thing for $495 per night, with a minimum stay of four days.

Instead of a thatched-roof bungalow, guests stay in a two-bedroom house with a separate cabana featuring a double bed. You won’t be entirely off-the-grid—there’s Internet, a phone, and a kitchen stocked with basic cooking necessities—but you will need to bring your own food, plus fishing and snorkeling equipment if you plan to take advantage of the coral reef that surrounds the island.

Fantasizing about getting away from it all? Visit Airbnb to book your stay, and check out the photos below.

[h/t Tasting Table]

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This Just In
Little Ross—a Tiny Island in Scotland With a Murderous History—Can Be Yours for $425,000
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Just off Scotland’s southwest coast sits the island of Little Ross. While picturesque, the remote speck of land comes with a tragic backstory: the 1960 murder of a lighthouse keeper, who died at the hands of a colleague. Now, decades after the tragedy made national headlines, the Independent reports that Little Ross is officially on the market and accepting offers over £325,000 (a little under $424,000).

The 29-acre island has a natural harbor, a rocky beach, and a craggy green coastline. There's also a six-bedroom cottage and several ramshackle barns, all of which are included in the purchase. A wind turbine and solar panels provide power (although everyone knows that good ghost stories are best enjoyed by candlelight).

What’s not for sale is the island’s 19th century lighthouse, the scene of lighthouse keeper Hugh Clarke’s 1960 murder. (His assistant, Robert Dickson, was found guilty, and received life imprisonment.)

“Since automation in the late 1960s the lighthouse no longer requires full-time staffing, and only the lighthouse and Sighting Tower are maintained by the Northern Lighthouse Board,” the island's listing states. “It is anticipated that the Northern Lighthouse Board and the purchasers will share the use, and future maintenance of the jetty wall.”

Since Ross Island is only accessible by boat or air, the listing advises that potential buyers be “proficient seamen” (or have access to a helicopter). Fit the bill, and in the market for an unconventional getaway? Check out the pictures below, or visit the island’s listing for more information.

The island of Little Ross, which sits off the Meikle Ross headland on Scotland’s south coast.
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The island of Little Ross, which sits off the Meikle Ross headland on Scotland’s south coast.
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[h/t Independent]

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