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VTDad May 30th, 2010 10:43 AM

Help a single dad and 2 boys pick a destination! Please?

I am a single dad with 2 boys, ages 18 and 15. We're planning a week-long trip to the Caribbean/Mexico from approximately July 30th - August 6th. I have been reading, researching, pricing, etc for a few weeks now and feel a little overwhelmed. Regardless of where we end up it will be awesome, but I want it to be just right. Our budget is around $3,000 - 3,500 for the 3 of us, including airfare out of Burlington, VT or Boston. We've been looking at all-inclusive so we can simply relax and not worry about where our next meal or drink is coming from. For the most part, we want to chill at the resort and enjoy each other's company, the beach, snorkeling, sailing, wind surfing/sailing, swimming. Depending on where we land, an excursion or 2 would be part of the plan. I have been waffling between some options....

I had been leaning towards an island until reading some other posts about the great snorkeling in Cozumel so am again looking at Mexico.

So many other choices are just too expensive for my budget (i.e Caymans, Belize, Barbados)

Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cimbrone May 31st, 2010 05:02 AM

Just so you know, Cozumel is an island off of Mexico's Yucatan.

If you're willing to be a bit more adventurous, Costa Rica is the perfect place for three guys: beach, surfing, rafting, hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, volcanoe trekking, rainforest hiking, etc. And you could do it quite cheaply.

qwovadis May 31st, 2010 05:16 AM

plenty of cheap AIs on sale

suze May 31st, 2010 12:36 PM

The Caribbean coastline of Mexico south of Cancun (sometimes dubbed the Mayan Riviera)... Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum. Or the islands of Isla Mujeres or Cozumel same area.

Do know that you are going at the height of the summer heat and the rainy season (with hurricane warnings a possibility).

VTDad May 31st, 2010 03:08 PM

Thanks for the replies...but now I am freaking out about the heat and weather, hurricanes included.

Would this be the same case for the Caribbean Islands as well? (i.e. DR, Jamaica, St. Lucia)

This is the time we can go. Older son is off to college in August and with other plans and their Mom's vacation, we have a stretch at the end of July/beginning of Aug during which we can go. Maybe not ideal but with our life moving into another phase, we wanted to have a big beach trip this summer.

linda8 May 31st, 2010 04:52 PM

Book it, don't worry about it, but take out travel insurance.
I've been in the Caribbean many times during hurricaine season. As for the heat, that's what the water is for!!!

AmyKW Jun 1st, 2010 06:22 AM

Playa del Carmen. I'm going for the 4th time this year. The town is GREAT, beaches are great, and there are so many great excursions to choose from. Also, the ferry port to Cozumel is downtown Playa (I think it's $11 to go over there)...I would not recommend staying in Cozumel, but is good for a snorkeling day trip. One year we did a 4x4 Jeep/snorkeling tour that was fun. You can also go down to Tulum and see the ruins, go cave snorkeling at Hidden Worlds (also have ziplines, skycycles, rappelling, etc.). I've done the cave snorkeling twice and it was AMAZING. There's also the eco water parks Xel-ha and Xcaret. Playa is very affordable (compared to other destinations in the Caribbean) and there are a lot of great places to stay. We usually do all-inclusive, but end up in town every night because the food is so good and cheap.

AmyKW Jun 1st, 2010 06:25 AM more thing. I also always visit Playa del Carmen in the summer (June, July, August, September). It is HOT, but I expect that if I'm going to a beach so it doesn't bother me. Also, have never had a problem with the rain, even though that's the rainy season. If it does rain, it's like Florida...passes very quickly.

suze Jun 1st, 2010 06:31 AM

Well yes, summer weather in the Caribbean and Mexico is an issue. It is very hot and the rainy season in all those places. But usually it wouldn't rain 24/7 or be a hurricane, rather just tropical style afternoon storms (if any).

suze Jun 1st, 2010 06:31 AM

I'm heading to Negril Jamaica myself in July! So that shows you how concerned I am about it ;-)

hopefulist Jun 1st, 2010 09:07 AM

I'd vote for Belize if you like adventure, though I am definitely not an AI fan so can't recommend that sort of accommodation personally. Here's a link to my photos and travelogues. Happy trails!

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