You’ll find an array of excellent eateries, including FarmTable Cucina (a favorite with the locals) and craft breweries. Phuket in particular is dominated by visitors who are simply looking for a warm-weather beach area to relax in. Would Tulum make a good trip and feel safe enough? Hi Roger, I just stumbled upon this site and am impressed with how patiently you answer and help people:-) I hope you can advice me on my next travel plan. Any suggestion will be most helpful. Hi, im an Indian, this is a first international travel for me. Seoul I’m not aware of any full-on amusement parks in Mexico, although there may be something like that in the Cancun area. Any suggestions for my wife who likes shallow, clean, safe water? Travel. I haven’t been there myself, but it’s about 6 hours flight from London and has fairly warm Decembers. I would love to travel somewhere warm, in Late December, early January. I was actually happy to spend only 10 hours or so on each island because honestly they would be boring for a whole week. My favorite neighborhood is Condado, which is right next to the gorgeous Old San Juan historic area. Save little legs with a Christmas light trolley tour past some of Savannah’s magical light displays. The beaches along the city are among the best in the Caribbean, and it’s all quite safe (for the Caribbean) since it’s technically the United States. I’m somewhat concerned w the rainy season though nobody can predict the weather. Splendid. Hi…I am wanting to go with my 3 daughters…ages 9..13 and 23..all adventurous souls…I was thinking about Bali…watched are your thoughts? I don’t have it on the list above because you couldn’t really call Hawaii “cheap,” but it should easily fit into your budget. Amenities include two pools, a Splash Zone for kids, and a water sports center where you can try jet skiing, kayaking, or parasailing. Yangon My favorite two places for solo travel in the Caribbean are San Juan and the Playa del Carmen area. I lived in a nice apartment, but of the 10 or 15 restaurants within easy walking distance of me, not a single one had a menu I could read or an employee I could speak with. The hotel rates there are usually a bit higher than in Punta Cana, but flights are usually cheaper so hopefully it would come out lower in general. Especially with questions and a plan like this, I think you could do it on your own and book as you go or hire a driver. Barbados Belize also has the world’s second largest coral reef right off its coast, so it’s a short boat ride from Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, which are the most popular tourist islands. Best of luck and I hope you find better info somewhere on this. Our budget is around 15K. I just want to travel for the week.. What do you suggest? It’s very affordable, but there was one incident at the airport there a couple years back and many Europeans are no longer considering going there. Obviously I’m not sure what you are into, but one great thing about Bali is that it attracts great numbers of more “spiritual” visitors, partly in the wake of the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon. France Affordable rates, spacious suites, and endless amenities are what make this resort so appealing. Malaysia I’m thinking of going to Panama next month. I’m sure it’ll be busy around the holidays, but at least it appears to be outside of the Zika zone and should be pretty good value compared to, say, Hawaii. As you might have seen already, my choice for a longer stay in a Caribbean beach area that also has great access to culture is the Condado neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Another idea that isn’t a beach is Buenos Aires. I wish I could do better answering this question. You know your stuff! South Korea This has been a very popular Christmas destination for northern Europeans for decades, and yet it's still quite affordable even during its peak season. Saint Barthélemy My favorite area is Condado, which is close to Old San Juan. Ok so as a single male in his 40s I’m looking for a sunny week’s vacation end of Dec – early January somewhere new – looking at your list I’ve been to cancun/cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and I want to stay close to the Americas (vs far east, Australia etc). Miami and the Naples/Ft. St. Martin/Sint Maarten Cesky Krumlov, If you haven’t been yet, the historic Old San Juan area is gorgeous and very interesting. The beaches aren’t quite as nice as those on the Cancun Hotel Zone, and you might consider Cancun as well if you like the idea of a 10-mile-long strip of hotels and timeshare buildings on a gorgeous strip of sand. Hi am looking for warm country to spend my Christmas holidays not far from Norway. And flights into Cancun are always some of the cheaper ones in the Caribbean. Let me know if you have any other questions. I am thinking Vietnam and maybe Thailand. In either case one of you is going to have to take a cross-country flight. Let me know if you have any other questions. Along with the Cancun area and the Dominican Republic, these Jamaican resorts are also known for all-inclusive resorts and appealing package deals. I have yet to make it to southern Baja California, but I know many people who have been there and I’ve read quite a bit about it as I plan to go there myself soon. We don’t have a ton of money and are interested in possibly one or some of the Caribbean islands. New Orleans is pretty dead that time of year, but at least the weather is usually pretty nice and it’s an amazing place to visit with plenty to see and do. Samaná My top suggestion for something like you describe is San Juan, Puerto Rico. My hunch is that Cambodia would be a bit easier than Indonesia because there are more tourists on the mainland, but I have heard that Indonesia is fairly easy and quite rewarding itself. I am trying to do research on a holiday trip (last week of Dec through early Jan) to decent weather places in western Europe (i.e. Alaska might have the best fares, but I’d check on Kayak.com and go with whatever airline has the cheapest flights that work well for your tribe. >>>Roatan prices, weather, and travel tips. You’ve also got the Tulum ruins nearby, and Chichen Itza close enough to make it an extremely popular day trip. Puerto Rico would have been perfect and I can’t think of any others that have much of a mix of the things on your list, aside from the Cancun/Playa del Carmen/Cozumel area. Most of the larger hotels are actually groups of hotels where you can stay at one and use the beach and facilities of most of the others. My biggest struggle right now are flights. Amsterdam Colombia is a strongly Catholic country and many of the top sights in Cartagena are cathedrals. Leaving from Toronto, Ont. -Roger. Or South Africa? Thinking about Italy(Rome,Venice,Florence and if possible, Pompeii) The problem is this will be in December end and I have read mixed opinions on the weather.Being from East coast, we are not unfamiliar with cold weather. This will be there first time traveling. Barcelona, We love warm weather winter vacations, usually travel for New Years, did Mexico last year and BVI the prior year. So if you are asking whether you should go to Italy or stay home, I’d say go to Italy. -Roger. Do you have any recommendations? Fortunately there are also dozens of all inclusive resorts in that general area as well. I spent carnival in Rio de Janeiro in 2005, partly by accident. There are hundreds or thousands of apartments in that area that are only occupied by owners for short durations each year, so the rental market is very competitive. One that might not be too obvious, which I do highly recommend, is San Juan, Puerto Rico. Probably the best first visit to Thailand would be to fly into Bangkok and spend 3 nights there, and then fly to one of the islands for the rest of the trip. Any other recommendations would be helpful. And unlike in Vietnam, the characters for the Thai language are totally unfamiliar, so everything looks like squiggles until you study it for a long time. One of her worries is not being able to understand anyone, and whenever I mention Colombia she immediately thinks about safety as an issue. The historic Old San Juan area is amazing, and certainly far more interesting than anything in Cabo. Let me know if you have any other specific questions and I’ll be happy to try to answer them. I would like to be in a place like high party and chilled place. Suppliers do adjust prices as the months come and go, except for when they know they'll have no trouble filling up even at the last minute. Shanghai, Single mother of 1 girl (19), 3 boys (16, 15, 13). Looking for a destination to go for 4 nights from east coast after Christmas till new year. If you are up for a cruise I think you should try one. We’re a family of 5 from Boston, late 50’s and 3 (working) kids in 20’s, we only have about a week, from 12/23 til 12/31/17, and want to go someplace close enough that travel time is minimized. Nha Trang, Especially if you went two weeks before Christmas, you could get a pretty good deal. It would help if there is good amount of English spoken so that I can interact with people and get around without getting too lost or distracted logistically. We can not go there any more since my husband and my daughter got really sick last time we were there. Chiang Mai, If you’ve been there…thoughts? There is a rain forest near there and many other things to do as well. Those would be my first suggestions. There are so many places you can go in Costa Rica that finding something that was reasonable is possible, but it probably wouldn’t be in a location that you liked much. Belize could be an interesting choice for what you have in mind and it sounds like this would be a fantastic gift. Siem Reap Bargains are possible at the last minute, but it's risky. You could do an even cheaper vacation in Asia in a place such as Phuket, and that includes the flights, but with kids that age I really wouldn’t recommend it because the flights are so long. The hotel is also very dog-friendly (with no additional charge). Buenos Aires is another wonderful city, which doesn’t have a gorgeous location, but it’s very well organized, really fun, and extremely safe. Beyond that you would have to go to India or Thailand, or to the Caribbean. But I would also guess that all-inclusive resorts would be cheaper in the Cancun/Playa del Carmen area because there are more large resorts there. I’ve had a few friends visit Columbia in the past year, but all that I can think of are drug lords. Roger, This is an awesome place I accidentally stumbled up on, thanks for helping fellow folks with your great knowledge of the travel destinations. The beaches there are good, although not quite as nice as the Cancun beaches, and there are plenty of water sports and other common vacation activities available. And it’s pretty good for families as well in that it’s a popular destination for people bringing children. -Roger. Will appreciate a response and thanks in advance. As far as hotels, we don’t want/need a big hotel, but would prefer to find an airbnb wherever we end up. Like San Juan, it also has a lovely walled colonial town and a strip of beach hotels nearby. Tobago is one to research, and it’s generally outside of the storm zone, and Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (the ABC islands) are also in that region and could be considered. Thank you for any advise. You could go to Playa del Carmen, which is about 50 miles south of the Cancun Airport. The thing I like most about it is that it’s a real town with hundreds of restaurants and bars and such, rather than a purpose-built strip of hotels like Cancun itself. Looking for something similar but in a different area. Let me know if you have any other questions. You could visit Santiago and Valparaiso, which are close together and quite different. Especially if you are going to stay for more than a week, it pays to look into an apartment rental instead of a hotel. I cover travel rewards, my … 9 kids 6 adults. I went from Saigon into the Vietnam Delta by bus and then hopped a boat for a ride up to Phnom Penh. We will be flying out of Vancouver, Canada. Still, I think the Playa del Carmen area is fantastic, and going before Christmas like that should be fairly cheap. 2 couples looking for a warm 7-11 day vacation leaving right after Christmas. My favorite neighborhood is Condado, which is just east of the lovely Old San Juan historic district. For the rest of the week you should probably choose either Melbourne OR the Great Barrier Reef staying in Cairns. Avoid the cheapest hotels here and pay close attention because most of the cheapest rooms have no windows at all. In other words, they are all basically the same travel market, with nearly 1,000 hotels in total, and all served by the huge Cancún Airport with cheap flights from all over. any ideas for itinerary would be appreciated! If you are closer to the Caribbean coast then the greater Cancun area is the best choice. Great Wolf Lodge. The list above should provide some interesting places to consider and it’s already my best recommendations for warm and cheap places to go over Christmas. I’ve done a ton of solo traveling myself and most of the Caribbean is definitely geared towards couples, and Cancun itself really is as well. Lyon, Thanks for any ideas. I am interested in Cartagena Columbia at Christmas time. That area is a collection of old fishing villages that now have various hotels and resorts of all types. Hi Roger, Farther away and even a bit cheaper is Cartagena, Colombia. But I really prefer Australia and New Zealand of those. Lastly, if you can afford Hawaii, you can’t do any better than that. We both love to hike and are looking for a low budget adventure with hiking, good food, and some relaxing beach time as well. My understanding is that the Los Cabos area is more like Cancun in that it’s mostly a purpose-built resort area rather than a real town. thanks. That is one of the wet months, but the storms are almost always very short (and intense) and often they happen at night. If you prefer to stay on the west coast you might consider the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica. If you aren’t in the mood for that you might consider Playa del Carmen, which is another one I often recommend. Slovakia Let me know if you have any other questions. On the way back, stop off a Desposito’s for steamed shrimp and oysters. I want to do something amazing! -Roger. I’m actually living in Texas myself at the moment (in Kerrville). Some are tailored for larger families. You could obviously go to Hawaii, but around Christmas you are looking at a minimum of US$200 per night for the most basic place. ANY advice would be so appreciated! I hear sometimes about girls going to bars to bar and sometimes drinking so much that they pass out and assume their drinks were drugged, but assaults or overly aggressive attention from men seems to be extremely rare in other situations. Orlando, They are also a bit cheaper than the two you mentioned. After a couple decades of being bundled up, many start to wonder if there is another way to spend the holidays. Mumbai Also have you tried any Airbnb overseas? Pattaya, Portugal and Spain are the warmest parts of mainland Europe in December, but I wouldn’t describe them as “warm.” Your best bet is the Canary Islands, as I discuss in that article. Goa is mostly a Catholic state and it’s generally very tolerant with the alcohol and drug scenes being notorious, but again, outward displays of affection might not be welcome at certain beaches and markets and such where locals dominate. Escaping the commercial side of the Holiday and looking to make memories. Everyone insists that it’s very safe, especially in Cape Town. Since you say you’ve done the Caribbean cruises, I assume you are pretty familiar with the various Caribbean islands and have dismissed them. -Roger. Hawaii would be great, but it’s hard to keep it affordable, especially during the holiday weeks. Still, it’s fantastic with great food, a great social atmosphere (without big clubs), and friendly locals. This is an incredibly busy city that comes even more alive during the holidays. Let me know if you have any other questions. Bora Bora and Moorea are very popular during Christmas season, as you’d expect. Nice site. I’ve used Airbnbs in many places in Europe and Asia and it’s always been a great experience. When: Lighting ceremony is on Nov 30, 2018 at 5pm-6pm.Lights stay until Dec 26, Hours are M-F 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Sat and Sun 5:30pm – 11pm. You could potentially combine part of your trip on an island and the other part in mainland Thailand or nearby Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex. We are in Houston and we looked at Punta Cana DR, Puerto Rico but ticket prices are sky rocketing. But honestly I wouldn’t recommend it because it would also be an expensive flight (transfer through Madrid or Barcelona) and it’s kind of boring there. Newly Renovated Dt Elkhart Lake! Let me know if you have any other questions. Another favorite of mine is Boracay Island. This could be a bit tricky because there are no really great late-December destinations in the US that won’t be expensive and/or crowded. Could you please suggest locations based on the below requirements. Let me know if any of this sounds good at all, and I’m happy to add more details if you like. If you are more in the west my pick is Puerto Vallarta, which also has an interesting historic town at its core. At times I feel like a broken record on here, but once again I’m going to push for San Juan, Puerto Rico. 15th anniversary trip in December: wife is scared of Mexico, can’t swim so needs a shallow beach to swim in. Unless you are an Australian surfer looking to get drunk most of the time, that whole area is just annoying, in spite of the nice beaches. There is even a rain forest there that you can take a tour through. You might even try Airbnb, which should have pretty good options in both of those areas, but you have to be careful about the listed price versus the final price (after taxes and fees) because there is usually a big difference. The center of St Petersburg is only a short drive away. El Calafate, Again, it might not be cheap, but I think flights to Cancun will be some of the more affordable to the Caribbean area still, and there are so many hotels and rentals in Playa del Carmen that you should be able to find a deal that works for you. Mexico It just depends on what you are looking for and I’m happy to help if you comment again. If you went to the beaches in the center and south on the Pacific, or any of the beach areas on the Caribbean, it would be quite different. Brisbane, >>>Check current Montego Bay resort and package deals In December you could go pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean and you’d have great weather. Once you get settled and figure out whom to trust, it’s pretty easy to get great value out of things like a private driver or guide. All in good physical shape. What other places do you recommend for family vacations during New Year for 9 nights. Nice, Something other than DR, Cancun. love your site! Dubai is totally filled with people from all over the world, and it does have family beaches along with swimming pools at most hotels. These days most hotels seem to offer lower prices early and then they raise rates as they are getting close to being sold out. Something different. Arusha, And Puerta Vallarta is only a bit farther and should also be very safe and nice. I’ve been trying to spin up a trip to Cambodia for Dec 14-31, 2018 and am wondering if you’ve ever been there? Christmas Vacation in Texas at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine Roatán Island Hotel prices will be lower and crowds will be smaller, so putting up with a bit of cold can be worthwhile. But honestly I love San Juan and the beach areas are all very nice. There will be my husband, our 2 children (ages 3 & 4 at the time of the holiday) and myself. I’m assuming you are starting in the US since you didn’t mention a country, but flight times to most places are quite different if you are starting in, say, Seattle compared to, say, Philadelphia. If you had something else in mind, let me know and I’ll come up with different suggestions. It’s good to hear from a fellow travel enthusiast. Dakar, South Africa Thanks so much for any advice or/and suggestions to make the best out of this trip. Thank you! Hotels that are under, say, US$50 per night are not going to be very nice or have an inconvenient location. Auckland, We all have our passports. It probably wouldn’t be as crowded as the beach during the holidays. Avoiding any possibility of Zika really does limit choices in the warm parts of the Americas in the coming months, unfortunately. Goa, This gorgeous strip of sand is lined with hotels, as well as a sand pathway along the beach, making it possible to spend days at a time in bare feet. I’m happy to help with more ideas if those don’t work, if you let me know your starting point and more about what you are looking for. Morocco If you are looking for something similar to Playa del Carmen, but different with its own charms, I highly recommend San Juan, Puerto Rico. Macao Budapest One of its nicest features is that there are thousands of apartments and condos owned by part-time residents, and you can often get those at very good rates for weekly rentals so it’s good value. Costa Rica is the most popular place and the area around Guanacaste has the best access to an airport (Liberia) and the most choices of large resorts mixed with smaller (and cheaper) local hotels. The best holiday islands near Africa are the Canaries, which are part of Spain. Buenos Aires, Christmas is going to be peak season in the whole region, so finding a cheaper place can really help. The Newly Renovated Dt Elkhart Lake vacation home has four bedrooms and accommodates up to 12 guests. United Kingdom Unique winter experiences on offer include horse-drawn carriage rides through town, snowshoeing at the Ice Age Trail, and ice fishing on the lake. Hotels in Puerto Rico can be a bit expensive, but the rental market is more reasonable. St Kitts Your flights would obviously be cheaper, which could help make up for the more expensive flights for the Europeans. There are a few at certain hotels, but it’s not really a “beach” area. Stockholm I hope this helps. >>>Dubai prices, weather, and travel tips. If I were booking a hostel there I’d book either at Hostel 3B or The Yak. It is, even more, fun when you celebrate it as a family. >>>Boracay prices, weather, and travel tips. Las Vegas, Thanks! Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Love the water and the mountains so not picky at all. Puerto Rico If you want real nightlife you pretty much have to go to Honolulu, so you could spend a few days in the Waikiki area and then maybe the rest of the trip on Maui or Kauai for better relaxation. The Old San Juan area is packed with nice restaurants and some places with live music and such. I’d say the only thing you’d have to worry about is booking your flight and hotel early enough before fares and room rates go up too much. Unlike Thailand, which seems to tolerate anything, Malaysia is a more conservative (mostly) Muslim country where most Malay women wear headscarves, although the Chinese and Indian women usually do not. I and my husband are interested in going to Phuket for new year after going through your suggestions Costa Rica not only has beaches and water sports, but also jungles and zip lining and plenty of other adventure activities, as well as a lovely volcano area to visit. I’m looking for somewhere warm and safe away from the crowds, but still with things to do with toddlers, like easy nature hikes, beaches, zoos, parks, family-friendly dining, etc. In fact, I’m flying into San Juan tomorrow to start a cruise the following day. -Roger. >>>Montego Bay prices, weather, and travel tips. I haven’t specifically been to Luquillo, but if you read the comments above you know I am also a big fan of Puerto Rico for many types of trips, and especially longer trips where a condo rental might be better value than hotels. -Roger, looking for a place to go from Dec26th-Jan 31st with my husband as he is turning 50. We live in the UK and hope to travel somewhere warm and safe. I’d say your best options would be Paris or Barcelona if you wanted to do Europe. Republic, these Jamaican resorts are also open to anything prices that are within walking of! 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