Family Christmas Vacation

Mar 27th, 2006, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 14
Family Christmas Vacation

I am new to this site, but am hoping you can help me out. We want to take a family vacation for Christmas 2006 with our two children who are 13 and 16, girl, boy respectively. We also have a daughter 21, but not sure if her schedule will let her join us. Due to my son's basketball schedule, the only time we can go is Dec 20 thru 27 give or take a day. Was thinking St. John's or similar.

My husband insists we should have a villa, house or condo so we can take some meals at home. He has always preferred the local charms to that of a big resort. I like the convenience of the large hotel, but also love the idea of getting a villa that is somewhat removed from the resort crowd. Stayed at the Wyndjammers Resort about five years ago in St. Lucia. Loved that you could stay in the villa OR partake of the resort and there were some great opportunities to explore on our own.

Regardless of the where, I am finding hotels/condos through travel planning sites are already booking full throughout Mexico and the caribbean. I just want a fun, reasonably active (swim, some watersports, maybe a tropical walk or two) family vacation. The kids are old enough that it would be great if they could do a little exploring on their own.

Since we already spend a great deal of any disposable income on the one still in college and two in private school, costs are definitely a factor, but since this is what we plan to give our children for Christmas, I am hoping to keep the budget to around 6-7 grand US for a week, including airfare. Not sure if the 21 year old would be joining us or not, but a two or three bedroom (ability to sleep 5) would be ideal.

Please help. I've read so many thoughtful replies, I am hoping the same will apply to me!

Thanks so much!
Modadunn is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 02:51 AM
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Modadunn, I have been taking my family of 10 on a trip every Christmas for 12 years so I know what you might experience that time of year. First, the cost. The prices will be hiked up usually around 15 December with many guests reserving for the next year before they depart. So yes, I'm not surprised you are finding many places booked. Second, where are you located? Airfares were so high from SD that we had to drive to Minneapolis and take a charter when we went to Jamaica last December. Not exactly what I like to do since we had to drive back in fog after arriving back at midnight. Big difference for you if you are located in a hub city. I have found if we rent a villa, it is not as relaxing for me so think of yourself when deciding on a villa or a resort. My grandchildren much prefer the all-inclusives because of food available at all times. Maybe as a grandmother I am overly cautious, but I would never let teenagers explore on their own on any Caribbean island.

Good luck and go while the kids are able to get away. We will not be able to go anywhere this Christmas because of hockey. Owa
Mar 28th, 2006, 05:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 14
I hear what you're saying, especially about the travel. Fortunately -- or unfortunately -- we live in Mpls and so it's a hub city pretty good for travel if you don't mind connecting more often than not. And we have two weeks vacation for Christmas and Spring break but sports always seem to interfere on one end or the other. And believe me, villa or not, I don't necessarily cook and it's just more space to "hang out" together instead of single rooms.
Modadunn is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,360
I would like to suggest Villa Bellamare on Virgin Gorda part of the british virgin islands. It is a quiet quaint island with nice beaches, some snorkelling and hiking. Very safe so your kids could explore on their own. The villa sits above Mahoe bay which is beautiful. The beach is totally uncrowded (all beaches are on VG except the baths based on when the cruise ships are docked on tortolla). Lots to do. The villa is really nice, has a small pool, and an awesome patio. Sunsets from the patio were gorgeous. When we were looking for villas for our vacation I noticed that villas on VG are a bit cheaper for same quality and also VG has villas that are on the beach or a quick stroll whereas the properties on ST John generally to require a ride to the beach. Getting to VG requires taking a ferry from Tortolla but once there the place is heavenly. Goodluck planning your vacation.
mnag is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 805
As Xmas is such peak season, many hotels/villas/condos cut off their availibility through travel websites so they appear sold out, but if you contact them directly through their own websites, you may find a different story.

I'd also suggest Grand Cayman, as an island we have many condos that would suit you well.
TomCayman is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
Also keep in mind that many places will have a minimum required stay during the holidays of 10 days to 2 weeks.

Take a look at the Treasure Beach community on the south coast of Jamaica. I stayed at Mar Blue during my first trip there, but there are also lots of wonderful villas in the area, many of which are fully staffed. Take a look at to get an idea of the community and take a look at for a nice variety of villas in a reasonable price range.

During our stay in Treasure Beach, we took walks along the beaches as well as the roads, talking with the locals, stopping for a beer or soda every so often to chat. We took a boat ride up the Black River, saw some crocodiles, went swimming at a point further up the river, stopped for a wonderful lunch, and saw wild dolphins cavorting around the boat on the way there and back.

We went swimming every day and if we had stayed longer (only there 4 nights) we would've tried the day trip to YS waterfall and probably gone back to the Pelican Bar or gone on a snorkeling trip. We loved our stay, we felt a real connection to the area and the wonderful people there, and we talk about it all the time now that we're back home.
ejcrowe is offline  
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