So my mom wants to do something different for Christmas this year. My husband will be overseas visiting his family, so that leaves my mom, my sister, and me with no plans.
We all have very different ideas of what a vacation should entail - my sister wants to shop, my mom wants to pass out drunk in a pool, and I would rather do more sight-seeing type stuff (snorkeling, hiking, visiting tourist traps, etc.).
We all agree it must be cheap, however.
So what do you recommend? What trips have you enjoyed in the past? Also, if you could give a rough idea of price, that would be great.
Quite a distance from OK, but Christmas before last, we took the family to Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia.
They had a package deal that was somewhere around $1,500.00 (I hope I’m remembering correctly), for: a family suite at the new Colonial Williamsburg Inn that offers suites, tickets for Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown settlements, one free lunch at a Colonial tavern of our choice (lunch included an appetizer, entree and sides, non-alcoholic soft drink, and dessert for each person), a walking tour of the Colonial decorations, a keepsake hardback “coffee table” book of the decorations, and lots of special programs they put on for the holidays. Oh, the price was for a 4-night, 5-day stay, and a “deluxe continental” breakfast was included each morning.
All in all, we thought it was a bargain, had a delightful time, and would definitely go again.
I have been on two- a Carnival cruise in the Caribbean years ago, and Holland America in the Mediterranean a few years ago. Both were nice, but very different. Carnival was very much what you’d expect from their commercials- big party, lots going on, tons of people. HA was quieter, smaller ship, more mellow, which is what we prefer.
The Carnival cruise was cool because over 7 days, we were on a different island every day we were in a port (St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Puerto Rico, etc) so there was always a new fortification to see, a new beach to lay on and new places to shop!
Cruises leave from lots of ports on the eastern seaboard- you could find one that works for you pretty easily. Mexican cruises departing from west coast cities can also be VERY affordable. Costs depend on staterooms, itineraries and length of cruise. An inside stateroom (no porthole) will be cheapest (and I have done this, it’s not too horrible), outside with a porthole is a little more, then you get into balconies for bigger bucks (although on many newer ships, most or all staterooms have balconies or large windows). Shore excursions are also extra (tours, etc), as is the spa, beauty salon and any gambling you do in the casino. But all food and beverage (except booze, IIRC) is included.
Certainly, on a cruise you can fit everyone’s vacation style- the adventurous people could run around an island, the spa types could get a massage, and the lazy types could hang out on a deck chair and get tan all day!
Winter’s not a bad time to visit the desert, so I’ll suggest Palm Springs and surroundings. Not too far from OK (no, not close, either). In December, the weather may be desert cold, but still nice. Really, if you check into it, you’ll find that there’s lots of middle class hotels around.
Swimming pools, check. Shopping, well, duh, check. Sightseeing and hiking - there’s a few desert trails around, and weather permitting, there’s a tram that goes to the top of nearby Mount San Jacinto.
December is also a pretty nice time of year to go see Death Valley - but it does lack for shopping. Or skip on over to Las Vegas. Hint: you don’t really have to go into even one casino.
No, it’s his first visit home in 10 years. I will probably go next year.
The desert might be a neat idea. I’ve heard that the Grand Canyon gets a lot of snow - is that unusual for the desert? I’ve never been to that part of the country.
Has anyone used worryfreevacations.com? I hear that advertised frequently, but it doesn’t seem to have any December schedules available.
We booked rooms at the Yosemite Lodge last year. It was great. You should have some snow, there is a small slope nearby (and a bus from the lodge). The park is relatively empty as well (none of the camping spots are filled).