If you are more in the west my pick is Puerto Vallarta, which also has an interesting historic town at its core. I get questions kind of like this from time to time, so I started a new series a few months ago, which highlights which European destinations have good weather and good reasons to go each month of the year. Let me know if you have any other questions. Travel. You could even go to one of the quieter beach areas on Phuket, although those smaller islands are more scenic and will have more to do. And if a gay couple were to do it, it might be even a bit worse, but I don’t think it would be a big problem. I’ve heard that St. Croix is nicer and St. John is quite nice, although I think the nightlife in those places consists of just a few beach shacks and expensive tourist bars. Can you help here please with this season’s suggestions over Christmas and the New Year? Currently 4 live in NY, one in Tampa and the other in Los Angeles We love the warm weather and are an active bunch.Looking to travel either the week or two before Christmas. I did a crazy amount of solo-male travel in my 40s (I’m now 52) so I think I know what you mean. I am wondering or need help actually trying to find a small cheap Caribbean vacation. I am graduating college and our family wants to celebrate. There are really nice chain hotels on the beach just a bit south of the airport, and there is a nice area close to the city center called the Romantic Zone. As you may know, all of the islands aside from Oahu are never very crowded, and the resorts and towns there are nicely spaced out. Granada (Spain), Virgin Islands, British The drug wars mostly based in Medellin have been over for many years now, and now expats are starting to move there in addition to Bogota. Any ideas where we could visit that would be cheap to fly to and family friendly? Rental homes in these top Christmas getaways range from $89 – $149 per night for the holiday break … United Kingdom You could obviously go to Hawaii, but around Christmas you are looking at a minimum of US$200 per night for the most basic place. I would prefer all inclusive. Fez, In fact, you might still consider looking into the San Juan area, which is already running close to normal again, with power on in the main tourist areas. In Vietnam almost 100% of local females where long pants and long sleeves when they are outside, though it seems that it’s mostly that they don’t want to get a tan (seriously). We were looking at going to Tampa to stay with a relative and then a possible cruise. I hope this helps. Due to their poor economy, Argentina is fairly cheap these days, at least once you get there. My only idea would be to start looking early for a house or condo rental in a non-touristy part of Puerto Rico or perhaps the greater Cancun area. Zurich Roger, pls help … we have been going for New. Puerto Vallarta is an interesting place because it’s got a historic town at its heart, but there are also all kinds of hotels and resorts and rentals up and down the coast for 30 or more miles in each direction. And you’ll want to spend some time in or near Ubud, which is the arts and crafts capital of the island, in the foothills just a bit north of Kuta. Any other suggestions? One of the most unusual destinations anywhere, Dubai is a huge and booming city with a few nice beaches and an extremely busy airport. – Panama is absent on your list? Other beach resort options are Punta del Este in Uruguay and Mar del Plata in Argentina. Also, when I sent the last email we were debating Cartagena as well, but ultimately decided against going there for now. A couple years ago I went to Cartagena, which evidently has always been safe, and I was very impressed. Mexico City, Like to explore (we are in late 50s-70) . And even if you choose a vacation spot without a chimney, don’t worry. We wish you a merr christmass and happy new year. I’d book a hotel as soon as you are sure you are going. I am looking for a sunny beach with activities (sailing, jet skiing, snorkling, things like that, or close by tours)for 3 older teens and enough variety in restaurants to make it interesting. Abu Dhabi, My 24 y/o son and I (healthy, active) 50 y/o are looking for a destination this Christmas/ New Years. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. St Kitts The best and most popular beach resort hotels will usually only have a few rooms left by early December, and they will price those high enough that most people will look elsewhere. Ukraine Those resorts will be full that time of year, but the big resorts there are HUGE and built to be comfortable when they are full. And from what I’ve read, they are close to being back open for business in San Juan, although the more remote parts of the island still have no power. Not being cheap, but I rather get the most for my money on entertainment and food, than on a hotel that I am only going to use for sleep, shower and change. Another thing I like about it for you is that there are far more apartments and condos than hotel rooms in that area, so it’s more of a “locals” place. Los Angeles, Willl have a look at them. If you are staying for a month, you can get an amazing deal compared to a hotel. Bruges, All of those are interesting towns filled with activities and shopping and restaurants and bars and such. I am looking for AI and not too expensive. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated . Southern Italy is also cool and a bit wet this coming week. Leaving from Toronto, Ont. You can also board a boat to nearby Shell Island for a spot of snorkeling. We are sort of tired of Mexico (we live in CA) and Costa Rica seems like it might feel like a Mexico repeat? Let me know if you have any other questions. You could even add a little trip to Morocco if you took a bus to Tarifa in Spain, which is the closest port. You might also consider New Orleans. Native American and Christian traditions are both celebrated in Santa Fe around Christmas. Hotels? Let me know if you have any questions. If you’ve been there already or it doesn’t sound right, let me know and I’ll try again. During your Christmas holiday in Europe you will discover the best Christmas markets and the most romantic Christmas … Unlike Cancun, which is mostly a strip of high-rise hotels and time-share buildings, Puerto Vallarta is built around an interesting town. If you could go in September or May it would be nicer, but if this is the time you have for a trip I think Italy is one of the better choices in Europe. >>>Check current Sharm el-Sheikh hotel and package deals Updated for 2020: This year's list has been updated and expanded, with current price information for 2020 holidays as of October, 2020. Latvia With temperature Highs of 72 degrees, beautiful beaches, and so much to do in the surrounding area, Sirata Beach Resort in St Pete’s Beach is the perfect spot for an affordable Christmas family vacation. You don’t need a passport to get there from a US airport, as it’s part of the US. Personally, my other favorite inexpensive place in the Caribbean aside from San Juan is Playa del Carmen, which is just south of Cancun. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the US Virgin Islands, at least compared to many of its neighbors. If you haven’t been yet, the historic Old San Juan area is gorgeous and very interesting. which location will be the best to stay. I’m thinking of renting using Airbnb. any ideas for itinerary would be appreciated! There are hundreds or thousands of apartments in that area that are only occupied by owners for short durations each year, so the rental market is very competitive. At times I feel like a broken record on here, but once again I’m going to push for San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m an American and we still can’t book leisure trips to Cuba, so I don’t know much about it. Looks like San Juan may be a great place but just wondering if there are other exotic places you may suggest. Once you get settled and figure out whom to trust, it’s pretty easy to get great value out of things like a private driver or guide. Let me know if you have any other questions. There are many choices of international cuisine here, including many chain restaurants. We live in Michigan. I’ll be happy to help but I’ll need some more information. >>>Guanacaste prices, weather, and travel tips. Not too busy. Trinidad and Tabago You don’t get many all-inclusive resorts, but that’s partly because food, drinks, and activities are all quite cheap there. Hopefully this helps at least a bit. Do you know if there is anything going on at Christmas time for visitors, or does everything close up? Copenhagen -Roger. Denmark The main tourist islands are Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Colombia is now considered safe, even in Bogata and Medellin, so I would go. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is also worth a visit to see the dune fields – you can even try sandboarding! Bariloche, I hope this helps. Was also thinking maybe Belize? Any suggestions? I am a big fan of Singapore, but I probably won’t be there again for a couple years. I live in AZ and my friend lives in NY. Thank you so very much for all the help you provide through your blog, which I’ve only recently discovered. Malaga, I’ll try to help. As for shopping, depending on where you stay, you might be surrounded by dozens of chain fashion retailers (all the famous brands) or you might be near locally-owned shops selling Balinese clothing and souvenirs and such. India is another place where solo male travelers don’t vastly outnumber solo females. Where are you starting from? It’s very affordable, but there was one incident at the airport there a couple years back and many Europeans are no longer considering going there. I may post additional questions once the real planning begins! If you book an apartment a few blocks off the beach it’ll be cheaper than one closer to the beach, of course. Dubai isn’t a classic beach destination because it feels much more like a big city that happens to have a few nice, sandy beaches, but it is something to consider and you can usually get apartments there for good prices. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ve heard and read great things about the San Blas Islands and that is where I plan on going on my next Panama visit. If you were going in February or March I would consider Arizona, but in late December it’s usually a bit chilly there as well. Belize is (more or less) an English-speaking country, and these islands both have a bit of a Rastafarian feel in places, so it's an interesting mix of culture and convenience. We love the arts, history and beach. Puerto Vallarta is more of a real historic town that had tourism grow out of it up and down the coast, a bit like Playa del Carmen. Or Africa. I’d love your recommendation on best choices to travel to from Oregon. They are more like fine, brown dirt, although they are very large and quite popular. Seville, Prague [email protected] Roger! I think that idea could be a winner as well. Year in Punta Cana for the last 5 years and we loved it. I hope that helped at least a bit. Honduras is a Spanish-speaking country, though especially with the recent influx of cruise-ship crowds here, it's very easy to get by in English only. Tenerife is the most English-language-friendly of Spain's Canary Islands, which are just west of Morocco (and about the same latitude as central Florida). At this magical time of … The Dominican Republic has a reputation for its large all-inclusive hotels at great prices, and its two most popular resort areas are Punta Cana (on the eastern tip) and Puerto Plata (on the northern shore). Couples are usually happier in any of the other beach areas, such as Karon or Kata Beaches just a bit to the south of Patong. Sleeps12! The period in late December is one of the nicer times of the year, so it can get pretty crowded during the holidays. Generally speaking, those from the east coast tend to go to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area, and those from the Midwest tend to go to the Gulf Coast around Fort Meyers. Sydney Queenstown, Nairobi The problem in Thailand will be to find places without many tourists, but also where you can get by fairly easily in English. There are some party areas nearby, but it’s mostly an older crowd and some families. It’s a long and thin island just off Belize City, and nearly everyone walks or takes golf carts around. As far as safety is concerned, you might want to read on some solo female traveler blogs to confirm, but I’ve spent years in that area and it appears to be extremely safe. You could rent a condo or even a small house for a week or so, very near the wonderful beach in the Condado area just next to historic Old San Juan. Christmas Vacation in Texas at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine Costa Rica not only has beaches and water sports, but also jungles and zip lining and plenty of other adventure activities, as well as a lovely volcano area to visit. Puerto Vallarta. All of the places on the list are safe. But starting closer to US$100 per night you can get something pretty nice around there with a pool and a good location. 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We’re a family of 5 from Boston, late 50’s and 3 (working) kids in 20’s, we only have about a week, from 12/23 til 12/31/17, and want to go someplace close enough that travel time is minimized. If you think “most” of the places on this list are unsafe, I highly encourage you to stay at home until you can afford to visit Singapore or Scandinavia. It would be me my husband a 15 year old daughter. I’m a big fan of Malaysia, but from the US it pretty much takes a full day each way, even if you are starting on the west coast. We want somewhere warm and somewhat local- we love renting houses as opposed to hotels but are willing to do a hotel. Most of the Caribbean islands will be very expensive for any place during those weeks, so you’ll want to look into the areas with larger populations. This blog is great! Croatia Yes, I’ve spent a month in Cambodia, but almost all of that was in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. You could even choose one of the less popular areas in Puerto Rico such as Rincon. Would like a warm place to visit. Barbados thank you Roger. Phuket is the largest of the islands with the most variety, but there is also Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Phi Phi, and many others. You have listed several areas that are seemingly Zika-free, but the travel distance to those is quite immense (we are in Chicago – quite a hike, and not cheap, to the Canary Islands or SE Asia). Luxembourg City is rainy and just above freezing this week, which is typical this time of year. I haven’t specifically been to Luquillo, but if you read the comments above you know I am also a big fan of Puerto Rico for many types of trips, and especially longer trips where a condo rental might be better value than hotels. Built in the 1800s, this Midwestern town has a rich history and is home to the iconic Old-World Christmas Market at The Osthoff Resort. Anyway, now I’m indecisive on where to go. Lima I’m going solo so looking for the best spot. The beaches in San Juan are also some of the best in the Caribbean. There are some great deals in the Dominican Republic and Mexico as long as you can get flights that are affordable enough. Tenerife is packed with people in your age range in those months, and it’s pretty easy to get around. You could also consider Los Cabos, but I find that Puerto Vallarta has more options in different price ranges. Colombia now has quite a few non-Spanish tourists going to all of these places, so all important signs are also in English, and pretty much all tourist hotels and restaurants have English speakers. It’s hard to recommend specific hotels without knowing exact dates and your budget and so forth because room rates often depend on how many rooms are available for a given date. -Roger. In Playa del Carmen and Tulum there are loads of great bars and restaurants and good shops, so it’s fun to spend some time in town. Thailand has a MUCH better tourist infrastructure and far more people speak English there, so it’s easier to get around and do what you want to do. There is always Los Cabos, of course, which is far closer to LAX. Philippines False. In late December the only place within a reasonable flight to you with temperatures in that range is the Canary Islands. December in Tenerife is warm enough to spend at least some days on the beach, or every day if you are from Northern Europe. It's worth noting, however, that the nicer and better located hotels in Dubai will cost at least two or three times the minimums mentioned below. Mingling with other people is easiest on Oahu, but there are other options as well. Puerto Plata, Newly Renovated Dt Elkhart Lake! Hopefully this helps a bit. -Roger. Farther away and even a bit cheaper is Cartagena, Colombia. Santa Ana Budget minded, we are on our mid thirties and not that interested in clubs or partying but a beer and some wine on a nice beach. Has this changed in the past 20 years? Hi…I am wanting to go with my 3 daughters…ages 9..13 and 23..all adventurous souls…I was thinking about Bali…watched are your thoughts? Phuket is Asia's most popular beach destination, featuring well over 1,000 hotels and resorts. I’ve done most of those stays as a single person as well, so I’ll take that into account. I wanted to travel to a place I have never been to. I hope you are doing well! The only Spanish islands that aren’t cold in late December are the Canaries, with Tenerife being the largest of those. I’d probably shoot for St. Maarten or one of the smaller islands such as Curacao, which might be the best one for you. A farm-to-table restaurant promises show-stopping dishes. Any ideas? Interlaken, As for where to book I’d definitely book online. I’m assuming you are starting in the US since you didn’t mention a country, but flight times to most places are quite different if you are starting in, say, Seattle compared to, say, Philadelphia. Those looking for more of a low-key holiday with no huge chain hotels in sight might prefer the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, both just off the coast of Belize City. Sofia Flights to Cancun are plentiful and fairly cheap as well. The hotel is also very dog-friendly (with no additional charge). Hi Roger, The historic walled city is loaded with great (and cheap!) Around Christmas time I think it would be quite a bit more. Mumbai Our biggest concern is staying away from areas with zika risk as we are planning to start a family very soon. The city has a few large shopping malls in the tourist area, so it could be a good place to do some Christmas shopping or just hanging around. My favorite area is called Condado, and it’s adjacent to Old San Juan, but you can probably find something cheaper if you stay in Isla Verde, which is closer to the airport. Singapore It’s a really cool city with great food (especially if you like beef) and it’s fairly cheap once you get there as well, due mostly to their weak currency. – Economical (Flights and Hotels) Santiago, I am a single mother traveling with a 9 year old. And it’s no secret either because so many people have nearly two full weeks off that time of year. -Roger. Whistler vacation: Christmas in British Columbia 2020. Playa del Carmen is about an hour south of Cancun airport by road. -Roger. Still, I’d recommend at least a few days in Bangkok because it’s really an amazing place to see once. Let me know if you have any other questions. You can rent apartments there easily at reasonable prices, even though it’s a fairly upscale area. There are some nearby places to visit on day trips as well. I even have lived in Portland, Oregon for about 4 years not that long ago. I have Goa on the list because it’s the most popular beach area for Western tourists, but there are many other good options as well, including Kerala just to the south. The historic walled colonial city is packed with nice hotels and great restaurants. We are both seasoned travelers, with all Continents under our belts except for one… Is there enough to do and see besides the beach and walled city for 9 days or should I also look into heading to Medellin. Kenya Especially in Punta Cana, they have dozens of huge resort hotels that are surprisingly affordable. Los Cabos, Similar in most ways to the islands of Belize mentioned just above, Roatán Island is actually just to their south, so it also sits off the world's second largest barrier reef. In fact, I’m flying into San Juan tomorrow to start a cruise the following day. Our budget is around 15K. Sharm el-Sheikh I’ve only been to a few places in Africa so I have had freelance writers to help me with the locations that I have listed on the site. Cruises? Wouldn’t mind being in an environment where it’s easy to mingle with nice ladies ie away from families with 10 kids. -Roger. We are both 70 and ambulatory disabled, Based on your UK email address I’ll assume you are starting there. If you don’t mind a longer flight, you could consider Thailand, which is even cheaper once you get there. San Juan San Francisco, After months of hunkering down, it's no wonder many are itching to get away safely—whether you're looking for an affordable weekend escape, a singles getaway, or hoping to find an amazing Christmas vacation the whole family will adore.. And as you probably know, almost anywhere beyond Paris will be cheaper to reach by plane than by coach. Another place that I recommend highly for a longer visit like this is the San Juan, Puerto Rico area. whats the best time to book if I am pretty flexible between now and mid january? She also doesn’t want to get sick drinking the water. We are flexible on all accounts. I’m obviously inexperienced. With a budget of US$500 for an international trip, you can’t go very far from India. Until New year. It’s good to hear from a fellow travel enthusiast. In other words, the more of your trip that falls outside of those weeks (December 21 to January 6 this year), the cheaper and less crowded it will be. I hope this helps. DO you have any suggestions where I can go to this week? Choices range from quaint private cottages to modern condos to suites within the historic grand lodge. There are no last-minute deals on flights just before or after Christmas, at least to and from sunshine destinations. hi roger! -Roger. Thank you! Buenos Aires, Hotels, resorts and theme parks sparkle with Christmas lights, and offer lots of fun activities you can do together. Any guidance would be appreciated! Stockholm Slovakia The food there is wonderful as well, especially for those who enjoy beef and probably less so for vegans and such. I wouldn’t recommend the Dominican Republic for you unless you wanted to meet at an all-inclusive resort. Some are tailored for larger families. I appreciate the kind words. Sorry I couldn’t help more on these. As for Africa, it’s obviously an enormous continent. But the larger destinations with the better airline connections can still be quite reasonable. Chile would be a long flight for just a week, and I think the flights would be very expensive as well. Looking forward to your suggestions. Beirut Also, Costa Rica is known for being something like one-third national parks. Thanks for the great site! Hello Roger, I’d like to go somewhere I haven’t been for the Christmas holidays. I wish I had some info for you. Could you please suggest us some nice warm places to visit in December for Honeymoon around the world. That way we could use a main destination as sort of a home base and branch out during the two weeks of vacation. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. The December weather is mostly sunny and fairly warm, but it’s not in the Tropics so it’s not warm enough for sunbathing every day. Grand Cayman >>>Goa prices, weather, and travel tips. It could be worth a look on airbnb though? In other words, I think it’s a great (and cheap) place to relax in the sun and enjoy the culture, but maybe not on par with, say, Italy or France for deep cultural sightseeing. Last-minute hotel sales are rare, and you’d generally only find them at less-desirable hotels. Ireland Sao Paulo Heres my scenario Been to San Juan. For any adrenaline junkies in the family, a canyoneering tour is sure to please. I think either option would be fantastic for you. 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S celebrations your flights would obviously be in their 20s so they are very nice as.! Options for adventure Old daughter two hours from the UK I assume are... You please suggest locations based on what you think and I ( healthy, active 50... Earlier this year ( Dec 2019 ) for about 10 days of warm/beach weather very.