I've always fancied a winter holiday, but it has never happened for various reasons (no time off/money/other holidays).
DH and I have decided to have one next year. Currently pg with dc1, he will be nearly a year when we go. The plan is to go either early jan (to escape the post Xmas blues) or maybe even over NYE if it's not too dear.
Once place we've thought about is the Caribbean, as it seems the best in terms of the temp we are after. Quite fancy an all-inc resort (had first AI holiday this summer, wouldn't want to do it very holiday but it was relaxing,& thinking we probably won't be venturing as far of we have our son) but still be able to venture beyond it.
Aside from getting the weather in the winter, what the selling points of heading there? Is it just an AI resort that could be anywhere?
It is a lot of money (relative to an equivalent summer holiday in Europe), so don't want to feel like we've wasted it on something we could get elsewhere, iyswim?
Carribbean is fab, beautiful beaches, great snorkelling, mountains, rain forests, great food, lots to see, interesting towns , harbours and markets, sailing trips.
If you just sit in the resort for a week you could be anywhere but get out and explore the island whichever one you go to.
Have to say much as I love it there it would have been too hot for my one year old and we probably wouldn't have got out and about much. If I was taking a baby I would go somewhere with a crèche and enjoy the beautiful views, sea and beaches.
Thanks, I would definitely get out and about, even if I was in a resort. Glad there's more than just a hotel to enjoy, the heat is my concern though.
Choose your island carefully depending in what you want to see and do.
It is very hot at that time of year, my dds would have been grumpy that is why a crèche with air con is a good idea. Take own car seat for sightseeing with baby.
we have been considering a few nights in Dubai for the shopping and the vibe and then on to Mauritius. bit different from the Caribbean.
I was also looking at Dubai, as that was another consideration. The flight would definitely be shorter as most Caribbean flights seem to be around the 8-9 hr mark.
I did look at Mauritius and the Indian Ocean but it seems to be most expensive in January.
I love the Caribbean (and the Indian Ocean but in a different way).
The islands vary so spend some time choosing the right one.
Bequia is my favourite ever, but there aren't direct flights so might not be the best choice with a baby.
St Lucia is luscious & green but the hotels in the north are a long bumpy ride. Sugar beach is perfect if you have a healthy budget.
Grenada is pretty & laid back.
Antigua wasn't my favourite but lots go people love it.
Jamaica has a great vibe and tends to be a bit cheaper.
I preferred Barbados to Mauritius - more personality! However, I would go to Barbados in early summer (July) - rates much lower and weather is still very good,
We took ds to Barbados when he was about 1 or 2. Lovely place but due to the time difference, ds was waking up for the day at half 3 every morning .
For this reason alone I recommended going somewhere with less of a time difference!
Oh and he got horrible heat rash even though I kept him out of the sun.
Try middle east ??? I'd recommend abu dhabi, oman and the uae.
I go to Barbados 4-6 times a year. January is very high season so will be expensive. New year everywhere i imagine will be insisting on minimum 7 or even 14 night stays and there will be little choice over restaurants because lots will be booked up (even AI hotels will have best restaurants reserved by repeat visitors who know which ones within the resort are best). Temperature across whole of Caribbean will be 30-32 which sounds fab but with a baby you may prefer the 24-27 of Dubai (or even the 22-25 of the Red Sea)
Personally I think Caribbean far better between April-July and early december when quieter and far better value. I would look at Dubai, Red Sea and Zanzibar as better value for money alternatives. If you are going AI I think you will get the same experience in any of these alternatives (disclaimer:- always go to the same place - Ras Nungwi - in Zanzibar, so have no idea if there are any AI places in island).
Saying that I lurve Barbados at Christmas.
Sorry to high jack your thread OP, lucky you going in Jan when the winter blues will set in..
we are thinking of Carribean for hols at Xmas but can't now as DH can't get time off work.
thereshallbeasprin (great name), would Barbados be rubbish weather wise in late Jul early Aug? restricted by school hols and don't want to go for 2 weeks then if it's going to rain heaps or be too hot (although I am partial to 40 degrees and used to cyclones where I grew up but DS's not so keen). Is there anywhere you can recommend for a family of 4 (ds1 9, ds2 7)? Thanks
The Tamarind is a fantastic hotel for families in Barbados. We went early July for two weeks and it wasn't too hot at all - the weather was fab. However, the second week was a little more changeable.
Barbados - coast is everything! go for south east - beautiful, close to fun for nights out, you can swim (not the case further up the east coast, where the sea is dangerous) but doesn't have the malarial stillness and soupy sea, not to mention hideous overdevelopment of the west coast. <nails colours to mast>
Sandgroper the weather is never rubbish, really. see above for the heat factor.
OP we took DD to Bim when she was 8 months and it was a lovely holiday.
Rootypig, I should have clarified re "rubbish weather" comment. Was meaning hurricanes and lots of wet weather. Have heard differing views about the weather in the Carribean in Aug.
don't mind the odd day or two but don't want to fork out £££ and have it rain for most of it. otherwise we would try to go in April when less risky.
Yes that's what I mean. Lived there for years. Bim doesn't really get hurricanes.
The other thing to say is, the weather is much more unpredictable than it was. Rain in January, and so on. The locals have really noticed.
Summer holidays are officially hurricane season but Barbados is right on the edge of the hurrican range and hasn't had a hurricane since 1955. We've been in July and had a fab time. The temp is still 30-32 but very slightly more humid and higher risk of rain. But we've had worse weather in December, so you never can tell. Tamarind is a nice place. One of the highest recommended hotels is called Beachview in Paynes Bay where rooms have kitchenettes so you can self cater if you want. I wouldn't personally go anywhere near st Lawrence gap as I think that's a bit 'torremelinos'. East is lovely and beautiful but some beaches are no-go areas (sea very dangerous). West coast is the most fashionable place but mostly villas. PM me if you want to stay in a nice villa at vairy naice MN price and I will send you tripadvisor link to my place!
I wouldn't go to the Caribbean in the summer as it's their worst weather time and you may as well go to Europe for better weather and a shorter flight.
Barbados is the 1st island you get to so shortest flight and lots to do so I always think it's a good intro. I think west cost is best for Barbados.
April is great for the Caribbean IMO as it is lovely to get away from the European chill and swim in the sea, plus in some places off season prices (sometimes half the peak price) kick in after Easter weekend.
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