7. Windsurf Cabarete,
THE DEAL: Settle in for a full week in the Pinky House at El Pequeño Refugio hotel, just a shell's throw from the water. From this base camp, you can grab a board from the hotel and hitch a ride on the trade winds that sweep the shore. Price above includes sample round-trip airfare from Newark to Puerto Plata ($330), airport transfers, and seven nights in a double room with a shared balcony overlooking the Caribbean. If you prefer your rides without a sail, you're in luck. Cabarete has 300 days of perfect waves a year, but you need to go during the early fall, when airfares to the islands plummet. Book a windsurfing holiday to someplace like Aruba, another breezy mecca, and you'd pay at least $1,000, excluding airfare.
THE FINE PRINT: You do all the planning for flights, transfers, meals, and rentals. Three-day beginner windsurfing lesson runs an extra $140. You share a bathroom that has only cold running water.
CONTACT: El Pequeño Refugio, 809-571-0770, www.pequenorefugio.com
PATAGONIA SYNCHILLA MARSUPIAL PULLOVER The classic fleece pullover is a must for any smart traveler: It's a pillow, a blanket, a soft seat on a hard bench, and, of course, a go-anywhere sweater. Patagonia's new Marsupial, a soft-as-baby-koala three-quarter-zip pullover, uses fleece made from recycled plastic bottles. As the name suggests, a huge front pocket keeps hands toasty and has enough room to hold a camera, hat, gloves, and an afternoon snack. ($76; 800-638-6464, www.patagonia.com)