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Trying to decide between Hawaii or Mexico for family trip

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Apr 18th, 2014, 05:44 PM
  #1
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Trying to decide between Hawaii or Mexico for family trip

Well I've been researching lots of possibilities for a family vacation for this coming November & decided to add your opinions to my final decision just in case I am overlooking something.

There will be 11 of us-6 adults, 5 kids ages 17, 17, 15, 9 & 7 (all very athletic). Wanted to get a trip in before the two oldest graduate from high school. I plan to rent a large VRBO home. These are the important things to us:
cost of airfare (Southwest is starting service to Cancun in Oct which is swaying me)
good weather (aware that Mexico is in hurricane season)
blue ocean for snorkeling, paddleboarding, fishing, etc
ruins or good historical adventures
plenty of activities
guys want to go fishing
nice beaches

I've been to both Hawaii & Mexico. I'm leaning towards the Yucatan area in Mexico & maybe the Big Island in Hawaii. Our dates will be Nov 8-15.

Would love you to share your ideas & thoughts! We will fly out of Boise, ID. This week is about the only one that our grandkids aren't in sports. Appreciate any help you might give.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 06:00 PM
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I vote for Hawaii, but go with the best airfare deal.
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Apr 18th, 2014, 10:44 PM
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México has nicer Maya sites. ;-) My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations for the Yucatán are embedded there in 2 collections. Happy trails! http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Apr 19th, 2014, 03:25 AM
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I'd take Hawaii unless seeing ruins is really high on your list. Hawaii is amazing. I like Mexico too, but have gotten sick twice when we've gone there. You might take a look at Belize too; it's closer than Hawaii and has a lot of what you're looking for. Everyone speaks English, and there's not the big time change that you deal with when going to Hawaii. Lots of nice ruins as well.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 07:01 AM
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Flight times are important so will check out Belize. Not mainly places to fly nonstop or within 6 hrs. We have been there & loved it. The main downfall when we were there was finding groceries. Appreciate the advice.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 08:16 AM
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I don't think November is still "hurricane season? Is it? I often go to Puerto Vallarta in Nov. and it's absolutely gorgeous weather there at that time.

I've been to both Hawaii and Mexico many many times. I think either one offers what you are asking for. I find Hawaii a little "easier" traveling (since you don't have to deal with passports, money changing, language barrier, etc.) so for a group trip might be smoother planning and more VRBO available.

I'd definitely check flight times and prices and take all that into consideration too.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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"The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will be an event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone formation. The season will officially start on June 1 and end on November 30; these dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time."

Hurricane Mitch was a late October/early November storm in 1998 so technically it could happen, just unlikely. If you pay out a bunch of unrefundables during hurricane season I'd buy travel insurance but not overworry about it. So happy we bought travel insurance in 2012 - just had a nice revisit to Belize thanks to that decision.
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Apr 19th, 2014, 11:30 AM
  #8
 
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I love them both but feel I get much more bang for my buck in Mexico. Staying 8 nights in a condo in Akumal next month and only paying $75 per night for instance.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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They're only coming from Idaho so there isn't quite the "big time change" for Hawaii like people from back East US have.

I do agree Mexico is generally less expensive, and you can get a little more for your money (particularly in loding) but even that just depends where you stay, what you choose to see & do.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 11:30 PM
  #10
 
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Putting aside price and travel time, I would choose Hawaii. That said, you'll get more hotel bang for your buck in Mexico, although I've had pretty good luck with Priceline in Hawaii (great luck on the Big Island a few years ago, actually). I also think Volcano National Park is one of those places everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. I you fly to Cancun, I would recommend staying someplace else like Playa Del Carmen. To me, Cancun is basically Vegas by the sea minus the casino. You just don't feel like you're in Mexico. Another recommendation might be someplace on the west coast of Mexico, like Puerto Vallarta. The landscape reminds me a little more of Hawaii.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 12:21 PM
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I love Puerto Vallarta dearly and it is a wonderful place to visit for all the things there are to see & do, friendly and welcoming local people, incredible restaurant and arts scene. But it is *nowhere* near as beautiful as the Hawaiian Islands imho.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:57 PM
  #12
KVR
 
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My only reservations for the Riveria Maya/Playa del Carmen area of Mexico is in November the pools are too cold to swim in. If you choose that destination make sure you get a resort that actually offers a heated pool if that matter to you at all. Most that do will make you pay for the premium upgraded rooms/service to gain access to them. We stopped going there during that time frame just because of that. Instead we have been going to the West side of Mexico during that time frame as heated pools there are the norm.

We've been to Maui and Oahu and I would never return. Too far, too expensive and did not like the beaches/ocean or food there. If SW would fly to Mexico from my area I would never fly with any else again. Hopefully someday. From your list, Mexico fits your criteria more than Hawaii.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 09:11 PM
  #13
 
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Not saying it's as nice. I'm saying it's not a bad alternative if you're looking for something cheaper and closer.


"I love Puerto Vallarta dearly and it is a wonderful place to visit for all the things there are to see & do, friendly and welcoming local people, incredible restaurant and arts scene. But it is *nowhere* near as beautiful as the Hawaiian Islands imho."
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Apr 21st, 2014, 09:25 PM
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Just to play a little 'devils advocate', some of us have never considered Hawaii because we don't find it culturally interesting compared to Latin American countries.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Well of course... you'd need to be actually interested in the local island culture and history to find Hawaiia interesting in that regard. But isn't that true pretty much anywhere?
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:53 AM
  #16
 
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Hawaii! November could be rainy in Mexico. And Hawaii has so much to offer!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:26 PM
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Your point is well taken, suze. We are so deeply fascinated by historical and contemporary Maya culture that the other cultures and places we read about pale in comparison. Frankly, our favorite place to visit is Guatemala - even México doesn't win that competition.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Sorry it's a little pet peeve of mine, hopefulist, since I've started spending more time in Hawaii lately. How people often say it's "only for tourists" or "it's all just like Disneyland".

When it doesn't take much to scratch the surface and start to find out about the rich culture and history of the islands and the complex, diverse, and interesting culture of the people who live there. Yes, like anywhere, you've got to get up off your beach chair to find it.
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Apr 26th, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #19
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Lots of good feedback so thanks to all. We have not returned to Mexico since all of the drug problems except for a trip to Cabo which I think is more like LA. I think it's still between the Big Island & the Mayan Riviera. I agree with those that think Cancun is too touristy. I love the ocean there. After checking out airfares & VRBOs I think our best bet is to fly into Cancun if Southwest firms up that route. Problem with flying out of Boise, nowhere is a short trip or nonstop. I refuse to fly that many people on flights longer than 7-8hr so that really cuts down my choices plus my daughter lives in Northern Idaho & has a 5 hr drive to Boise so it does get complicated. There are some beautiful 5 bd VRBO with heated pools & right on the ocean in Mexico. My daughter is fluent in Spanish as well. But definitely will keep my options for the Big Island open if I can find reasonable flights/times. Love all the help for each of you.
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Apr 26th, 2014, 11:53 AM
  #20
 
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Well if it helps any there are absolutely no State Dept. trip advisories for the states of Quintana Roo (where Cancun and RM is located) or Yucatan State (Merida, Chichen Itza etc.). Leaving for Akumal in 5 days cannot wait.
But Hawaii is great also, have only been to Big Island once but really enjoyed it.
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