OT- Christmas Vacation Destinations

Submitted by Blue_In_Texas on May 17th, 2018 at 2:44 PM

I need some input and haven't been satisfied with the digging I've done online. I am looking to book a 5 day vacation for the Christmas holidays with my gf. I want to go somewhere warm and tropical, and am between Belize, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. 

I think we'd ideally like to stay somewhere with clear beaches at a good resort. If possible, I'd like to stay someplace where there is something to do for a day trip around the resort/town. Of the spots above, has anyone ever been? Anyone know what's the best bargain? I have tried a travel agent but she wasn't really much help. 

I haven't ever visited anywhere in the area, so all tips are appreciated. 

Comments

reddogrjw

May 17th, 2018 at 2:49 PM ^

hit Cozumel, Belize and Roatan or Cozumel, Jamaica and the Caymens - my kids works on cruise ships and has worked those routes before

MacMarauder

May 18th, 2018 at 8:30 AM ^

I randomly decided to take a cruise with my wife in 2013 and then became obsessed with them.  My first one went to Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.  There is a lot of info out there, but the key is to get a balcony and you're set.

The Fugitive

May 17th, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

I can't help you as I will be stuck at 18 family get togethers at my mother in law's.

You'd think I'd stop getting invited after I killed her daughter and all.

SBayBlue

May 17th, 2018 at 3:42 PM ^

I really like Aruba which I have visited twice. I have also been to Cuba (incredible beaches), Curacao (nice water, good but beaches full of shells), Barbados, St Kitts, Puerto Rico, the DR, and St Maarten.

When I was in Aruba, someone told me if you really like this place's beaches, you need to go to Anguilla. Was he right. Anguilla has the clearest, bluest water beaches of anywhere in the Caribbean. You fly to St Maarten and take the ferry over from there.

So if you want quiet, not a lot of activity, but gourmet food and the best beaches anywhere, head to Anguilla. It's a well kept secret among the jet set who fly in on their private jets. If you like really nice beaches, with lots of other things to do, and an "Americanized"/ non third world experience, go to Aruba. 

As for the Pacific, Moorea in Tahiti is super nice, but pricey. Cook Islands (Rarotonga) is very nice too, at about 1/4 the cost.

rc15

May 17th, 2018 at 3:55 PM ^

Customs is a breeze there compared to other countries, the US even has their own terminal.

It's much dryer and more comfortable than Jamaica. I'd compare it to Arizona heat. I never sweated and it was 90 and sunny the whole time. It's naturally a desert island.

Also, since its a desert island, they don't have fresh water. They have to desalinate everything, which means you shouldn't get sick.

If you're going all-inclusive route, Divi resorts does a 1/2 off deal on Cyber Monday.

hailtothevictors08

May 17th, 2018 at 2:59 PM ^

Not a huge DR fan but that's based on only one bad experience. 

 
Off list, but  Puerto Vallarta is wonderful at Christmas time. The whales are in the bay and the activity list is high because it is actually a real city and not one created to be a resort. It has activities for all parts of the family. 

Njia

May 17th, 2018 at 3:00 PM ^

You're traveling during a very popular part of the year, so definitely look at sites like Costcotravel.com if you're a member of Costco (I believe that Sam's Club has something similar). AAA Travel is also good for member discounts. There aren't usually many bargains over the holiday period, I'm afraid.

I would also compare the room rates at resorts against sites like Airbnb and VRBO. No, you're probably not going to be at a full-service resort, but the property you rent can be as nice as any hotel room (often better); it's definitely possible to find bargains, even over the holidays; and the amenities at condo developments or some rental homes are as good as you'll find at a high-end resort.

To your list of possible travel destinations, I would add Costa Rica and Panama. Both countries are exceptional.

BlueCE

May 17th, 2018 at 9:09 PM ^

The way I usually view it is - if a country is making positive strides then I want to support it (which may no longer be the case with China right now... or most of the world for that matter... sigh). As Venezuelan, I even stopped going back there 12 years ago.

Harbaugh's Lef…

May 17th, 2018 at 3:06 PM ^

Do something outside the box, go to Bali. Airfare might be 'expensive' but once you get there, everything is cheap, safe and beautiful.

I went last fall and it was simply the best place I've ever visted.

Harbaugh's Lef…

May 17th, 2018 at 4:25 PM ^

Yeah, I agree, five is too little. Always wanted to go to Thailand and Camodia and just explore, both look amazing. 

Jet lag on my trip to/from Bali was almost non existant though. I think because of how we planned out our sleeping paterns on the flights to Hong Kong as well as the 12 hour time difference.