: Tropical Vacation Ideas for end of October?

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2007-06-13, 01:05 PM
All I know is my wife wants to go somewhere with our kids (will be 6 and 2.5)

Family vacation, lots of kids stuff. No or very little risk of hurricanes. ~$3000 ALL INC.

Most obvious is non hurricane side of Mexico.

Any ideas? Places too avoid?



2007-06-13, 01:20 PM
Hurricane season ends at the end of November (peaks August to October) so there is no place around the caribbean that has little risk of hurricanes in that timeframe.

BTW: There was nine named hurricanes after Oct 1 in 2005. Last year there weren't any after October 2nd.

If you have to go at that time then Mexico is a lot safer, from a hurricane perspective, than the middle of the Caribbean. i.e/ DR or Cuba.

2007-06-13, 01:43 PM
I pick the battles with the wife. To me waiting till mid. Feb. makes a lot more sense.

She was thinking hawaii as well but I doubt we can do it for $3K

2007-06-13, 01:48 PM
Hawaii is probably closer to $4000 or $5000 for 4 people... the flights are the killer.

2007-06-13, 01:55 PM
We're going to Aruba in October. It's outside of the hurricane belt. If you book something closer to the time you might be able to do it for your budget. We booked 4 months ago at the Holiday Inn for $3000 for a couple.

2007-06-13, 01:57 PM
Hurricane season ends at the end of November (peaks August to October) so there is no place around the caribbean that has little risk of hurricanes in that timeframe.

Actually for the past decade the end of october/beginning of novenber has been pretty safe. This is also the cheapest time to head down to the Myan Riviera/Cancun. If someone intends to go during the end of november and into december, the prices start to rise quickly due to the upcoming christmas vacation season.

Q, if you want to check up/read up on Mexico and various things to do while down there, then you should check out the Trip Advisor forums. There are hundreds of user reports on the area.

We booked 4 months ago at the Holiday Inn for $3000 for a couple.

You can get better deals for the Myan for about a grand less (for two people, all Inc., 4 star + and up including all the taxes too.... but you will have to book within a month or less of going). The cheapest prices are about a week before departure, but you also risk losing out and not getting a spot if you wait too long to buy.

2007-06-13, 02:22 PM
I would like to see the ruins so the mayan trip would be awesome for me.

not so sure the kids would enjoy it and may be pestering me.

i think cancun is in the hurrican belt so not sure thats a go.

2007-06-13, 04:35 PM
The later you can get into October, the lower your risk of hurricanes.

The west coast of Mexico will be better than the east side or the Carribean.

The further north you can be, the better.

Having said all of that, October is a transition month. I have been in the Zihuatanejo area in October pretty much ever year for the past decade. I have had Octobers with only drops of rain. I have had Octobers with rain for days in a row.

I was in the area in October 1997 when Pauline went by. The Mexican news coverage of the effect in Acapulco was frightening. (Mexican television does not "sanitize" the news the way Canadian and American stations do.)

I was there a few years ago when it rained almost non-stop for a couple of days. (I have photos to prove it if you like. :)

While October is not peak tourist season, this doesn't mean it is necessarily a good time to get good rates. For example, our house has been reserved almost 100% in October for the past several years. We live in a good surfing area and surfers love the October storms.

Low cost and charter flights and packages tend to be much less available and to fewer locations than later in the season.

When friends ask me about Mexican vacations, I almost always suggest they go in early to mid January. There seems to be a significant lull in tourism to Mexico during the two middle weeks of January. (The weeks that follow the school breaks.) I have seen package operators selling two-week (air and accommodation) vacations for the same price as one-week packages.

I ordinarily suggest that people hold off, then during Christmas week, buy something for those two weeks in January.

Alternatively wait for a last minute special and go during that same time frame. The drawback for some people on that option is that they may have a particular area where they want to go and that area may not be available at the last minute. But most people just want to go somewhere hot and the specific location is not important.

2007-06-13, 07:41 PM
The later you can get into October, the lower your risk of hurricanes....

Having said all of that, October is a transition month. I have been in the Zihuatanejo area in October pretty much ever year for the past decade. I have had Octobers with only drops of rain. I have had Octobers with rain for days in a row...

When it does rain in the Mayan, it's usually not for very long (30 min to an hour at the most), and then the sun comes out and dries everything up.

I would like to see the ruins so the mayan trip would be awesome for me.

Last year around late october early november the prices for the Mayan was around $700->$1000 per adult (depending on the resort), and that included all the stuff like taxes/all inc/ transfers to/from the resort...ect. I even saw that some of the deals had the kids stay free, all you had to do was pay for their airfare (around half the price of the adult). Some of the resorts in that price range were the Riu's, Barcelo, and the Moon Palace resorts (the Moon is the nicesest of the bunch imo, but it's geared more towards couples). All these resorts are not cheap rundown places either. It's just at that time of year they have a lull in tourists/visitors. Imo, for overall comfort and kid friendly resorts, I would recomend for you look into the Riu resort chain. They have quite a few resorts in that area. They are also located within a 5min $5 taxi ride of Playa del Carmen (PDC), where you can go shopping and also have a nice night on the town. Cozumel is only a short 25 minute boat ride from PDC as well. All of the Riu resorts have their own beach front, except for the Riu Lupita, which you'll have to take a short bus/golf car ride to (hence a lower vactaion package price).

Btw, the area was devistated by the last hurrican, but most of it has been rebuilt since then. (ie... beaches have been revamped with new sand that has been pumped in from the ocean, new cabannas have been built to sit under, ect.)

The Mayan ruins (depending on where you stay) are not that long of a bus ride (30 min or around 2 hours away). The place my wifes calls the "chicken" ruins (Chichen Itza) is a much farther/longer bus ride than the closer Tulum. (Tulum is also much smaller in area and height that Itza)

There is a Tulum/Xel-Ha combo day trip that you and the kids would probably love. You visit the ruins of Tulum in the morning (when the sun is less intense), and then Xel-Ha water park/natural wildlife reserve for the kids to have fun in the afternoon.

Most of the following things are a no brainer for most people, but just in case.... things I would suggest to you and others visiting the area....

1. Don't buy any of the trips/excursions/souvenirs from your resort. You can and will find much better deals for the same trips in PDC. (but watch out for the timeshare guys offering those deals, they are everywhere) :rolleyes:

2. Don't bother exchanging your money in the resort. PDC has a much better exchange rate overall. (don't change more that $50-$100 at a time). They can exchange Canadian money in the resort as well as in PDC. So there is no need to get US $'s before you go down. With our high flying Loonie you should be able to get around the same as you would with the US greenback. (I would still suggest for you to have $20-$30 US for each person just in case)

3. Haggle. If they quote you a price, offer 1/3 or even 1/2. Then haggle from there.

4. Stay away from PDC during the day until 3-4pm.... that's when the cruise ships visit port, and the prices for things magically jump. :rolleyes: You will see what I mean if you visit the area. They have little "post it note" price signs that cover the real (or should I say lower prices) when the cruise ship passengers are in the town. The prices usually go lower when they leave. (this is also when you are more likely to get better deals when haggling)

5. Hide your resort wrist bands from veiw. The store owers know which ones are the nice/expensive resorts, and if they see those wrist bands they probably won't haggle with you. Their thinking... if you can afford a nice resort, you can afford to pay the price I'm asking for that souvenir you want to buy. If thee won't budge on the price, try moving on to the next guy. They all sell the same stuff, and evetually you will find someone willing to let it go for cheaper. When I'm down there I always cut off my wrist band and then put in in my pocket. When I head back to the resort I ask the front desk for a new one after handing in the old one. But they might get wise after the first two times though. lol

6. Leave all expensive jewellery at home (that incudes expensive camera equipment too). Don't take them down with you. Bring a small point and shoot digital instead.

7. Use the hotel safe for everything else. Don't leave stuff in you luggage (like passports).

8. Get a set of two-way radios to keep in touch with the wife and kids. (it makes it easier to find them later on when they go off on their own to find deals). I wish I had broght mine down the first time. (look at the nice stuff I bought hun) :rolleyes: lol

9. Make sure you bring suntan lotion and creams, as well as Imoduim, Gravol, Tylenol, OFF bug spray, ect... from home. All of that stuff is pretty expensive down in the Myan.

10. Leave all that stuff behind when you return home. (less room taken up in you luggage... more room for the wife's and kid's souvenirs.... hence the two way radios) lol.

11. Don't stop at the "information" booths in the ariport terminal after you clears customs. They are not info booths, they are timeshare guys pretending to be them.

12. When heading for customs.... you better hope you get a green light instead of a red one. I have seen on more than a few occasions pretty girls getting a red light. (hence a baggage search) Gee, I wonder if the airport security staff have any control over those lights? ; ) (you'll see what I mean when you get down there) lol

It truly is a beautiful area. We have been down there many times, and the wife and I have never felt afriad for our lives. (it's too bad the last year in the news has suggested otherwise).

As for deals during jan/feb, I would also highly suggest the Puerto Plata area of the Dominican Rupublic (there is way more to do than the Punta Cana area). You can easily find last minute deals to that area (for 3+ star resorts oe better) for around $600 per person (and yes, that includes all the taxes too). You just have to remember to save $20 US (or is it $25US?) for the departure tax, or elase they won't let you leave at the end of your vacation. lol

(wow, I thinks that's the most I have typed here)

2007-06-13, 09:36 PM
Some pics.


The pole spinners.


The ruins.


If you like to snorkel or just laze/drift around on an innertube, this is the place for you. (a nice place for an underwater camera... lots of fish)


Again, I would suggest for you to use the Trip Advisor forums for their reviews of the good as well as the bad. (they are pretty acturate)

Some other useful info...

The temperature during oct/nov is around 26C to 30C. It was hotter than that the last time I went.

The exchange rate right now is around 10 Pesos to 1 Canadian $. It's almost 11 to 1 for US. I have a feeling The Loonie will be on par with the US $ by the end of the year.

You can buy a bottle of Corona in PDC for around 7-10 Pesos. (well at least I found that info usefull) lol

2007-06-14, 07:20 AM
Before you decide, check out one of these vacations.....they have Family Styles. You will definitely see more....

2007-06-14, 09:11 AM
Mayan ruins are great. Cancun was battered by a hurricane 2 seasons ago. I was in Cancun last October (Canadian Turkey Day weekend). I would have no problems going anywhere during hurricane season.

The odds are in your favour.

2007-06-14, 09:32 AM
wow..........thanks for all the info and suggestions!!!

2007-06-14, 09:50 AM
For your budget you can go basically anywhere. My biggest advice is: Don't book now.

You can get really great deals a week or two beforehand.

If you're open to anywhere in the Caribbean there will always be deals available. Check out reviews first of the hotel.

I go 2-3 times a year and always book within 3-10 days prior.

Last trip was Cuba earlier this year. Varadero is a great beach spot.

2007-06-14, 10:31 AM
The budget is for 2 adults and 2 kids so there are a few limits.

If it was me......I would have my bags packed and 5 days before trip I would find a place. My wife can't wait that long. Our last trip was about a month ahead.

Unless hurrican season is nonexistant we probably will stay away from the carribiean and save that for a jan/feb trip.

This is going to be first trip with the kids so hopefully we plan for everything.

2007-11-02, 03:17 PM
Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

We have changed it to the first week of DEC. and seriously looking at Myan Riviera.

Have been able to find a bunch of resorts $2700 from toronto for the 4 of us. Have even found some 5* for under $3K

Any other comments are welcome.

Thanks again

2007-11-02, 03:19 PM
Myan Riveria is fantastic. The RIU resorts in Playa Del Carmen area are very nice and most are 5 or 5.5 stars.

2007-11-02, 05:07 PM
I saw an ad for this the other day...Disney is getting into the adventure travel business....cool.....


2007-11-07, 02:13 PM
Anyone know distances from bahia principe to PDC, to tulum ruins, to Chichen Itza ruins? I am pretty sure my 2.5 year daughter would not enjoy a 2+ hour ride but my 6 yr son should be fine.

We have booked Bahia Principe Coba which is 4.5-5 star depending on where you look. Waiting till last week (if you look one week ahead now) would have saved only $100 so the wife didn't want to wait any longer.

2007-11-07, 02:15 PM
From the Cancun area it takes about 3 hours on a bus to Chichen Itza. Tulum is much closer but it's worth the trip to Chichen Itza.