O where, O where shall we go??
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Aug 5, 2013 10:32 PM Last Post By: marlajfish
Jul 30, 2013 8:26 PM
O where, O where shall we go??Hello,
My husband and I are trying to figure out the best place to go for about 2.5 months this winter (most likely Jan.-late March) with our 3 year old son. Thailand is my husbands top pick but we were thinking to maybe stick to this side of the Atlantic...we are in Maine. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated! Here are the main characteristics we are looking for in our perfect winter getaway:
-BEACH...we basically want to kick it on the beach for a few months, so this is the #1 requirement.
-Perhaps near or in a small town, not too touristy, but don't mind a bit. Locals are welcoming, and a sense of community is always a positive.
-My husband is thinking of getting his scuba certification, so that would be a plus.
-Centrally localized...just in that it would be great to have a few accessible day trips, where we don't need to take a 15 hour overnight bus.
-Pretty cheap....we ideally want to rent a bungalow, apt. or whatever on the beach...we were thinking of having a budget of around $5000 total for rent, food, entertainment, excursions, etc. for 3 months..
We are open to any ideas....we were thinking Honduras, Costa Rica, Columbia, & Mexico...but again, pretty open! Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions!
Jul 30, 2013 9:06 PM
Jul 30, 2013 9:31 PM
2Jen--You will be fortunate to be able to leave Maine for a tropical destination at that time of year.
But. If I've done the math right, three months equals about 90 days, Dividing that into $5,000 would only give you about $55 per day, for all expenses for the three of you. I don't know what your personal travel styles and comfort levels are, but you might find it challenging to stretch your money for that long at a Mexican beach location, especially one that has good scuba opportunities.
I've read that staying in Thailand is much cheaper. But, of course the air fare costs to get there would be higher and flying across both the USA and the Pacific with a three year old might not be everyone's ideal "vacation". I personally would prefer to take a fifteen hour bus trip rather than make that flight. Mexico has some of the world's most comfortable long distance buses.
How much travel have you and/or your husband, previously done in Mexico, Thailand, or similar places? Also, how much Spanish or Thai do you speak?
Living costs can be reduced by living somewhat like the locals do, especially if you stay away from tourist areas. Costs in Mexico, both for locals and visitors, tend to be lower in small towns rather than in cities, and in highland areas instead of down on the coast. Both Mexico's coasts and also it's beautiful highlands will generally be sunny from January through March, and both will be much warmer than Maine would be at that time of year. (I sometimes go to Mexico for three weeks at Christmas to escape Kentucky's winter darkness.)
If you go to Mexico this winter, consider dividing your time between a relatively costly coastal community that has scuba available and a scenic mountain village somewhere (sunny,, culturally interesting, with good hiking, probably much cheaper). Or, simply anticipate spending more money per day to enjoy your adventure in the sun.
Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico's central Pacific coast, attracts many wintering foreigners. It's also close to attractive mountain areas.
Jul 31, 2013 4:11 AM
3As with others, nowhere near enough for Mexico considering you want to dive and are travelling with a three year old. Mexico could meet all your other requirements, but not your budget.
Also, it isn't clear if the $5,000 includes the cost of airfare to Mexico (or wherever). If it does, you'd best stay home.
Jul 31, 2013 5:36 AM
4Bump that $5000 up to $7000 or $8000 and you've got a much better chance.
Renting places by the month in beach spots such as the Oaxaca Coast, Sayulita, Zihuatenajo etc. can give you nice places at $25 or $30 per day, but remember that you're thinking about going for at least the beginning of high season when prices are at their highest.
Jul 31, 2013 8:37 AM
5I spend the winter in a small beach town where I rent a house for 6 months and the cost comes to about $ 20.00 a day, plus all other expenses on top of that. Of course there is the additional expense of getting there.
As has been said by others, the HIGH season begins around the beginning of November and goes to about March, with the two weeks at Christmas/New Year even higher.
As an aside, I knew a Vietnam vet who rented an open air Palapa in a very small beach community for under $ 100.00 per month. But that is not my idea of living!
Jul 31, 2013 2:13 PM
6With a 3 year old and coming from Maine (I guess depending if you are closer to Boston than some Canadian city), think about a shorter/cheaper visit, which also has a shorter, cheaper, direct flight out of Boston--like to Cancun--and a beach nearby, like maybe Tulum or Akumal (yes, not the cheapest at high season), maybe renting a house, and lots of cenotes nearby to dive too as well as ocean. Get yourself familiar with the possibilities, maybe in some small village on another part of the coast, and try a longer trip next year.
Jul 31, 2013 2:27 PM
Aug 1, 2013 10:06 AM
Aug 1, 2013 12:01 PM
Aug 2, 2013 7:31 AM
Aug 2, 2013 7:39 AM
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Aug 3, 2013 5:30 AM
Aug 5, 2013 8:14 AM
14As with the others, I would suggest taking a shorter trip if you're going to Mexico. Though I am certain you could find what you are looking for in other areas of Central America. Have you considered Nicaragua? It's very affordable there is diving certification offered on the Corn Islands. I guess it all depends on how rustic you are willing to get.
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