Best of luck with whatever you choose. JetBlue flies into Cartagena, and almost all airlines fly into Cancun. The South Island is more scenic and interesting, and much less crowded, so I would have liked to have stayed another 2 or 3 nights if I had the time. I also recommend Cartagena fairly often, and the cities do have many similarities, including really wonderful historic Old Town districts. John, The Dominican Republic is an unusual destination since the vast majority of its hotel rooms are at large, mostly all-inclusive hotels in beach areas such as Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.
I am still looking for a gate away. The Spa Coordinator can help you with luxurious Wedding Party and Thank You gifts. Punta Cana has fewer cultural options, but the resorts are even cheaper, even though the flights are a bit more expensive. And there are other areas outside of San Juan that are even more affordable. Any advice you have would be very much appreciated. Thu Quan offers gourmet snacks throughout the day. The Golf Club offers a Sir Nick Faldo-designed 18-hole, par-71 championship golf course surrounded by mountain and ocean views.
In Cambodia and Laos most people get around by bus, and the quality of service tends to be well below what you get in Thailand. The historic walled colonial city is packed with nice hotels and great restaurants. Even in the more expensive Caribbean islands such as St. If you are looking for pleasant weather in December you might also consider the Canary Islands. This will most likely be our last trip without kids.
I also generally loved the conveniences of Thailand regarding the easy access to atms, street food and even the 7elevens. Some of the links on Solo Traveler are affiliate links. If you really want to go beyond Mexico then Costa Rica is probably your best bet. If you can spend a week there, and return the camper van or car to Christchurch for a flight to Auckland and home, it would be perfect. Bonus: if you can stay through Jan. Most of the flights to Costa Rica leave from Texas and Florida, so just getting to one of those places is already expensive.
The beaches there are excellent as well. Many of the villas are set on a hill above the ocean and offer incredible views from the bedrooms and living areas. Still, the 4-star hotels in Goa are mostly quite good, and excellent value at Christmas time. Especially if you are going to stay for more than a week, it pays to look into an apartment rental instead of a hotel. The best tourist city in Vietnam is Hoi An, which is between the two big cities. I am a teacher so budget is important.
In other words, they are not the prettiest beaches, if that matters a lot to you. One challenge could be that you might have to take two or three total flights and then a ferry ride to reach them. Or you could go to Santo Domingo, which is the large capital city. Especially for travelers from warmer climates, a white Christmas can be a real treat. Speaking of that, your dates are prime travel dates over the Christmas holidays so the airfares will be kind of expensive and they will only go up from here.
The other main non-beach option in Thailand is the city of Chiang Mai, which is wonderfully inexpensive with quite a bit to see. We will be travelling with a 12 year old so a place that is safe and family friendly above all. There is One King bed and a sofa bed. As there will be a lot of kids, we need to keep them entertained as well… Thank you so much for your help and have a great day! Let me know if you had something else in mind and I can try again. Hi Roger, This is a very informative thread and I see that it can be of great help to a lot of people. Please note that while we have advertising clients promoting destinations, products, services, trips and tours on Solo Traveler and that we endeavour to only work with companies in which we have confidence, we are not responsible for the delivery or quality of their products or services.
Thank you in advance for your advice and help! Aside from Phuket you should also look at Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Phi Phi. You might also consider an Airbnb or other apartment rental. You can see that the price range is wide from cheapest to most expensive. You could potentially combine part of your trip on an island and the other part in mainland Thailand or nearby Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex. We have a budget set for 5 nights. How do you spend 2 years abroad? There is a wide variety of natural sights, not to mention the Arenal Volcano and hot springs around there.
Parents in their 30s, kids will be 5 and 1 end of December when we are planning to travel. Simons Sound, Atlantic Ocean and the Plantation Course. My 8 years old boy and I want to travel in December to a warm country and I am a little bit nervous to be only two of us since my hubby could not join us. Hi Roger, First of all, this is probably the most informative travel advice I have ever read. Belize is pretty easy as well, although there is far less nature to enjoy. You have done a great job man! It's still hot most days, and quite dry as well, so it balances nicely. If you are looking for something far less developed than Phuket or any other Thai island, Boracay might be for you.