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An Affordable Christmas Vacation Idea

Wendy Perrin | October 21, 2014

Question:

Hi Wendy,

We are hoping to go away over the Christmas holiday. We’re willing to spend some money, but don’t want to spend $15K just for a week in Hawaii with lots of crowds, if you know what I mean. We were originally thinking of Mexico—or, someplace warm and sunny that’s a little less expensive then Hawaii but where we could still have some adventure. We are really open to any non-ski destination, as long as it’s affordable and fun. We live in San Francisco and have two young boys, 9 and 6. Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Nancy

Answer:

Nancy, if I were you I’d go back to thinking about Mexico. There’s still availability and good value to be found during the Christmas/New Year’s period in certain pockets of the country. I spoke to a few trusted Mexico travel specialists, and here are some of your options:

* Colonial Mexico. “Haciendas and resorts in the Colonial interior—like Merida, Oaxaca, Cuernavaca—offer a festive atmosphere, great food, cultural and archaeological sites, and great weather, and there is still availability,” says Ada King of Connoisseur’s Travel.

* San José del Cabo. “This year Cabo has more availability during Christmas week than over New Year’s, says Julie Byrd, a vacation rental expert with CaboVillas. Nonetheless, there are many smaller villas available both weeks, as well as rooms available at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos over Christmas.”

* Oaxaca, Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta. “Both the city of Oaxaca and the coast nearby—Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, and the coast in between—have space left and are a good value,” says Zach Rabinor of Journey Mexico. “Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and Puerto Vallarta also have availability and are exceptional value for coveted coastal destinations, including hotels and villas.” Zach adds that the following resorts in Mexico still have availability, “subject to dynamically changing conditions”: Fairmont Mayakoba, Las Alamandas, Viceroy Riviera Maya, Capella Ixtapa, Qinta Real Huatulco, Rosewood San Miguel Allende, and Viceroy Zihuatenejo.

Nancy, I could suggest a few other destinations that would be affordable, relatively warm over the winter holidays, and fun for both kids and adults simultaneously—San Diego and Charleston, South Carolina, both come to mind—but Mexico will be the sunniest. Zach Rabinor, who lives in Puerto Vallarta and has two kids of his own, is one of my Trusted Travel Experts on The WOW List, and I’d strongly suggest you contact him to learn current availability and the best pricing for your time frame, as well as to get his recommendations custom-tailored to your family’s needs. As a wendyperrin.com traveler, you’ll get VIP status with Zach, as well as my trip-monitoring service, as long as you contact him via this trip-request form.

Have a happy holiday, Nancy!

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1 Comment

  1. Lynne Aiken

    Hi Wendy —
    I confess that I suffered a moment or two of utter panic when I learned that you were leaving Conde Nast Traveler! I had been a faithful reader for many years, and immediately turned to your article as soon as my issue arrived. What we were going to do without your great commentary and knowledge??? I am vastly relieved that you’ve found what appears to be the perfect venue to showcase your talents…and wish us many more years together. Congrats & Good Luck!!

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