Great December Vacation Spots in the Sun?

<p>I've read a few threads discussing vacation locations for family, but am specifically looking for location/resort ideas for the December/January holiday break. My S and D will both be in college and 18 and older and this could be our last vacation as a foursome before significant others join the family vacation scene.</p>

<p>If you have had success with a particular resort or area, please share!</p>

<p>Some preferences:</p>

<p>Sun, beaches
High qualify food (versus just high quantity)
Fun excursions nearby (or included as options)
Good music (D is a musician ... so local music scene a plus)
Preferably no smoking
Not too touristy, but the kids will want things they can do on their own
Locations in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic all make sense, but also interested in other areas that are warm that time of year (South America?)</p>

<p>Puerto Rico maybe?</p>

<p>Yes, Puerto Rico is a location that also makes sense … do you know specific resorts or hotels that have worked for you or people you know?</p>

<p>We were there for our honeymoon, but that was a long time ago ;). If you were interested I could ask SIL, whose parents were Puerto Rican immigrants and who has been there more recently.</p>

<p>Sylvan, if you can, find out if they have recent insight on a place suitable for Dec/Jan. I can’t book until flights are posted for that timeframe, so I have plenty of time to do research. In the end, we’re looking for a great place and are willing to look at locations to balance price options, but safety and good quality are important.</p>

<p>We rented a house and it was pretty inexpensive. It’s the Villa Sevilla and it is in the town of Rio Grande. It is up near the rain forest and near a beautiful beach (15 min. drive). Very peaceful and secluded and safe. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was lovely. We haven’t stayed at this place but our neighbors did and liked it: the El Conquistador. It is a large resort.</p>

<p>Puerto Rico is one of my favorite places. The food is good, it is easy to get around and the money is the same. By the way, make sure you buy some food from the people selling it on the road. It is fabulous!</p>

<p>I talked to SIL and she said they stayed at the San Juan Condado Plaza (and her sister is there now!). She recommends staying right in San Juan as there are a lot of things to do on foot there. If you decide on Puerto Rico I’ll see if the sister has any tips!!</p>

<p>I know it is probably harder to get to from the US, but I am thinking about a trip to Cuba. A lot of my colleagues have been, they all say it is fabulous - as if time stood still and people are very friendly. A lot of good jazz music. Hotels are very cheap and the beaches are beautiful.</p>

<p>Can just any old citizen go to Cuba? I thought there were still restrictions? I’ve always wanted to go.</p>

<p>You can’t fly right to Cuba from US. Cuba allows US citizens in, but it is US that does not allow its citizens to go to Cuba. As long as you don’t have a stamp on your passport then you should be fine. You could get into Cuba without getting a stamp on your US passport (separate sheet).</p>

<p>We also stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. Very nice location. We sat up on the rooftop at the bar and watched the cruise ships load. It was quite nice to walk to dinner at a cafe and then a short walk to the hotel.</p>

<p>To the Op: what we found was that everywhere was considerably less expensive if you can travel prior to Dec 23 rd…like dec 15-22 for example…</p>

<p>You won’t be able to figure it out until your kids register for classes and fine out when their final exams end, but you should be good to go…</p>

<p>Thanks for the tip, Rodney. With 2 in college we’ll be looking for smart tricks like that!</p>

<p>Cuba? I never thought of that … it also would hit the mark on great music. What do you mean by ‘stamp on your passport,’ Oldfort?</p>

<p>This is getting fun … so many locations that I wouldn’t have looked for on my own.</p>

<p>You can do so research on the internet, enter Cuba via Canada or Mexico.</p>

<p>Central and South America! A little further, but so worth it. Brazil has fabulous beaches, great food, interesting culture. Look at a couple of days in Rio and then the fabulous multi beaches of Buzios. Or fly to Salvador, see the remarkable city and then visit great beaches like Pria do Forte. Peru has the worlds best food, lots to explore there.</p>

<p>In Central America, roaratan has great beaches on the Caribbean at lower price. The Caribbean part of Panama is spectacular and unspoiled. Belize and Costa rica have a wide range of hotels and a activities.</p>

<p>US citizens can now go directly to Cuba on group “people to people” cultural exchange tours. Groups like Grand Circle and Overseas Adventure Travel have been sending us brochures…but those tours aren’t what the OP wants.</p>

<p>There are all-inclusive resorts in NW Cuba like Sandals,etc. Europeans and Canadians escape for winter breaks there.</p>

<p>You do not need to go on one of tours to get into Cuba. What you can’t do as an American is to spend money in Cuba (no credit card transaction).</p>

<p>What do you all know about Anguilla?</p>

<p>We’re taking our 21 yr. old and 17 yr. old to Puerto Rico for their Easter break. We like to move around a lot so are staying at Renaissance La Concha (Isla Verde resort area), Rio Mar (rainforest area, won on Priceline for $100/night), Malecon House (island of Vieques, known for it’s bioluminescent bay), and El Convento (Old San Juan). I use [Reviews</a> of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor](<a href=“”> to plan all our trips.</p>

<p>toledo, let us know how your trip to Puerto Rico goes … I’m all for booking your trip on those online place once I figure out the location. </p>

<p>Does anyone know the earliest I can book for a Dec. or January trip?</p>