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Going on Vacation over Christmas Break? (2 Viewers)

Lehigh98

Footballguy
We're considering this for the first time this year and I'm curious if other's have done it and what your experience has been.

We've had a busy summer and haven't really been able to get away for a family vacation. My two sons are 16 and 14 and we're running out of time with them before they're off to college and on with their lives. My wife and I will have our 20th anniversary in October but have had so much going on we haven't made any plans. So, we started considering taking a trip over the only extended holiday we'll have until next summer... Christmas vacation. The downside is that we're expected to attend (and even host) some holiday family gatherings and I'm sure we'll take some heat for skipping those for a trip, but on the other hand... YOLO.

We had been looking into trips to Europe, Alaska, Iceland, etc but those don't seem like great winter destinations. We've done the tropical beach thing in Jamaica, Mexico, etc but my kids tend to get bored just sitting at the beach. We'd probably be more interested in a location with things to do, see, tour, etc.

So has anyone done this before and what was your experience? Any ideas or suggestions for us to look into? TIA!
 

belljr

Footballguy
Im sure you know this if you've looked around. Expect to pay double for flights and hotels.
I have not, was kinda hoping that there would be fewer people vacationing on Christmas than in the summer. :kicksrock:
Nope. I guess it depends where but we go to Florida every few years to stay with family. We drove last time because airfare was almost triple what I normally get
 

MTskibum

Footballguy
We have been going on vacation over Thanksgiving(and will again this year) and while flights are more expensive we have found the resort costs to be both very cheap and empty during that time.

I would assume Christmas is the same since most people want to visit family.
 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
Im sure you know this if you've looked around. Expect to pay double for flights and hotels.
I have not, was kinda hoping that there would be fewer people vacationing on Christmas than in the summer. :kicksrock:

Im sure you know this if you've looked around. Expect to pay double for flights and hotels.
I have not, was kinda hoping that there would be fewer people vacationing on Christmas than in the summer. :kicksrock:
Nope. I guess it depends where but we go to Florida every few years to stay with family. We drove last time because airfare was almost triple what I normally get


yes. it will depend where you go. do a search for off-season locales and research why (don't go to a place in the middle of hurricane season).

if you go tropical, are you restricted to sitting on a beach? we like balancing activities, beach, and pool time.

but, often air and lodging is higher
 

Lehigh98

Footballguy
Im sure you know this if you've looked around. Expect to pay double for flights and hotels.
I have not, was kinda hoping that there would be fewer people vacationing on Christmas than in the summer. :kicksrock:
Nope. I guess it depends where but we go to Florida every few years to stay with family. We drove last time because airfare was almost triple what I normally get
Just checked. not too bad right now.
 

MTskibum

Footballguy
We have been going on vacation over Thanksgiving(and will again this year)
Where have you gone?

...Joe DiMaggio?

My kids are 5 and 7, so the destinations are vastly different than where you would want to look. Two years ago we went to the hill country in Texas and last year we went to central Texas so that we could take the kids on the polar express.

 

massraider

Footballguy
With the current mess of air travel, book your flights early. I mean, early in the day.

I won't fly anywhere with a connection right now, and I won't check a bag, but if you do, during Christmas, I would book by 8:30 am.
 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
I would go somewhere like Costa Rica that has a lot of more active options. Better yet, go to a non-christian majority country to avoid Holiday shut downs. Vietnam? Cambodia? Thailand?
 

beer 30

Footballguy
Disney World
We went there for a week over Christmas when the kids were the perfect age. Stayed at one of the cheaper Disney hotels. Couple of observations:
  1. We were kinda excited to see the parade and maybe get noticed on TV. One of the workers popped that balloon day 1 by telling us they tape that right after Thanksgiving
  2. The parks are understandably packed but the workers were on their best behavior. For all the good experiences you have at Disney, they dial it up to 11 over Christmas. It was incredible to see them smile through all the crap that was being slung their way
  3. I think the 5 of us and maybe one other family spoke English as our primary language. Pretty sure every foreigner in America thinks the place to be in the US over Christmas is Disney. It was pretty incredible to see that many people from literally all over the world in one spot all at once
  4. It was a great vacation with the family
  5. Never ****ing again
 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
We always go to Cancun over that time of the year. You need to book tickets early (too late for that). We got $700 a ticket but sounds like it is doubled now. I also agree you want to leave early, get to the airport very early and avoid connections if possible. It is a super busy time of the year for travel, probably the busiest between people visiting family and people vacationing.
 

Lehigh98

Footballguy
I know that this option tends to be polarizing, especially on this board, but have you thought about a cruise?
We had a short Coco Cay cruise booked just to try something different with the kids but the cruise lines shut down for covid a month before we were supposed to go. My wife and I have cruised twice before (got engaged on one) but it really wasn't for us at the time. I didn't like the fact that we always had to get back on the boat for dinner around the time things were just getting fun at the destinations (happy hour, etc).
 

Wildcat

Footballguy
We are taking our kids out of school are doing our family vacation in January. We never used to do that (take them out of school) and always used to plan our vacations during school breaks. I know other families that always take their kids out of school for their family vacation and it works for them. We decided to try it ourselves in April and it worked well - the kids just made up their school work and it wasn't an issue. I guess my advice is to consider it. It will be cheaper and less people at your destination.
 

NutterButter

Footballguy
I know that this option tends to be polarizing, especially on this board, but have you thought about a cruise?
We had a short Coco Cay cruise booked just to try something different with the kids but the cruise lines shut down for covid a month before we were supposed to go.
Same. Looked ideal for the kids where I could just hang out and they had plenty to keep them occupied. Was gonna be my 1st cruise and also a test run to see if I liked cruising before moving on to the longer alaska cruise. So bummed didn't happen.
 

NutterButter

Footballguy
We are taking our kids out of school are doing our family vacation in January. We never used to do that (take them out of school) and always used to plan our vacations during school breaks. I know other families that always take their kids out of school for their family vacation and it works for them. We decided to try it ourselves in April and it worked well - the kids just made up their school work and it wasn't an issue. I guess my advice is to consider it. It will be cheaper and less people at your destination.
If I had my choice, would've always done this once a year rather than fighting the mobs during the breaks. I never felt like it would be an issue with school work. Perfect time to do it if you're from a cold climate to give you a break from the winter.
 

Wildcat

Footballguy
We are taking our kids out of school are doing our family vacation in January. We never used to do that (take them out of school) and always used to plan our vacations during school breaks. I know other families that always take their kids out of school for their family vacation and it works for them. We decided to try it ourselves in April and it worked well - the kids just made up their school work and it wasn't an issue. I guess my advice is to consider it. It will be cheaper and less people at your destination.
If I had my choice, would've always done this once a year rather than fighting the mobs during the breaks. I never felt like it would be an issue with school work. Perfect time to do it if you're from a cold climate to give you a break from the winter.
That's the case for us - live in Nebraska - cold winters. We are going to Maui in January.
 

Drunken knight

Footballguy
I also agree you want to leave early, get to the airport very early and avoid connections if possible. It is a super busy time of the year for travel, probably the busiest between people visiting family and people vacationing.

I could be mistaken, but i believe the initial post about traveling early was related to other benefits:
- early flights have a higher probability of being on time (fewer delays ,etc)
- sometimes fewer travelers

but yes... over the holidays i would agree that giving oneself extra time at the airport would alleviate some pressure.
 

NutterButter

Footballguy
We are taking our kids out of school are doing our family vacation in January. We never used to do that (take them out of school) and always used to plan our vacations during school breaks. I know other families that always take their kids out of school for their family vacation and it works for them. We decided to try it ourselves in April and it worked well - the kids just made up their school work and it wasn't an issue. I guess my advice is to consider it. It will be cheaper and less people at your destination.
If I had my choice, would've always done this once a year rather than fighting the mobs during the breaks. I never felt like it would be an issue with school work. Perfect time to do it if you're from a cold climate to give you a break from the winter.
That's the case for us - live in Nebraska - cold winters. We are going to Maui in January.
That sounds wonderful. I'm doing Costa Rica this January (just girlfriend) but all this Hawaii talk has put that on the top of the list for Jan 2024. Have a great time.
 

Eephus

Footballguy
Flew to Europe on Christmas day 2015. I had no idea that families getting dressed up in matching Xmas outfits (e.g. pajamas and ugly sweaters) for their flights was a thing. The airports seemed a little less crowded than usual but the flights were still pretty full.

We've been to Las Vegas during the week between Xmas and New Years. It wasn't bad and the hotels were cheap as long as you got out of town by New Year's Eve.



ETA: I enjoy staying home in SF over the holidays. A lot of people who live here are from somewhere else so they go home to visit family and things are less crowded and busy as a result.
 

Galileo

Footballguy
Holiday travel always ends up more pricey, and it is peak season for those tropical destinations. Kids are out of school. People take time off work. Lots of travelers. My wife and I are both educators, so we have done several holiday time vacations since we have the time off and just bust the lock off the wallet for the higher costs. We even spent Christmas in Jamaica for our honeymoon. Our kids do not really like to be away on actual christmas day. They like the family gatherings and such, so we often would go somewhere after christmas and celebrate New Year's eve somewhere. We have done Dominican Republic, Riviera Maya, Carribean cruises during the holiday time. It is nice to get away from the cold weather climate.
 

waiver wire

Footballguy
We're considering this for the first time this year and I'm curious if other's have done it and what your experience has been.

We've had a busy summer and haven't really been able to get away for a family vacation. My two sons are 16 and 14 and we're running out of time with them before they're off to college and on with their lives. My wife and I will have our 20th anniversary in October but have had so much going on we haven't made any plans. So, we started considering taking a trip over the only extended holiday we'll have until next summer... Christmas vacation. The downside is that we're expected to attend (and even host) some holiday family gatherings and I'm sure we'll take some heat for skipping those for a trip, but on the other hand... YOLO.

We had been looking into trips to Europe, Alaska, Iceland, etc but those don't seem like great winter destinations. We've done the tropical beach thing in Jamaica, Mexico, etc but my kids tend to get bored just sitting at the beach. We'd probably be more interested in a location with things to do, see, tour, etc.

So has anyone done this before and what was your experience? Any ideas or suggestions for us to look into? TIA!
Any time you travel over a holiday expect higher prices and being crowded in tourist destinations

I am a traveller first and travel agent 2nd
I personally avoid the travelling over the holidays for those reasons
For decent weather : south America ,Africa, southeast Asia and Australia/New zealand
You can explore these on your own or go on a tour and dont have to think about it

If you need help with companies and booking , please reach out to me to as I am travel agent
If you have questions about destinations , ask away as well as i love travelling and helping others to travel
 

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