You know that something is different when you see Army soldiers in the airport. Post 9/11 everything changed – what started as National Guard soldiers would eventually lead to the dreaded (and incompetent) TSA. Ah, the old days when family could come to the gate and checking took 10 minutes…
My reason for this post is more of an “educational” post directed at so many of my American friends and family who think that an “affordable” holiday means not leaving their state and staying close to home. I’ve been on a few trips to the Yucatan Peninsula and am always astounded at how inexpensive the trips are. On this particular trip I paid less than five hundred dollars for round trip airfare, transfers from the airport to the hotel, a beach front hotel with a very nice room, all 3 meals included and all drinks as well. Yes, I did say drinks included; you plop down at the pool or on a chase lounge at the beach and the cabana boy/girl keeps bringing you drinks until you can’t stand up. How these hotels can make a profit is beyond me. And the food was not bad at all; you had your selection between two restaurants (on left and right side of the pool in photo below). One was buffet style and the other was order by menu.
I also picked up a 4 day, 3 night trip to Cozumel for $350 that included airfare (from Dallas-Ft. Worth airport in Texas), transfers, meals and drinks. That particular vacation was over Christmas and I have found that trips to Mexico and the Caribbean are particularly inexpensive during the Christmas holidays. I’m all for traveling during “low season” and this often means traveling to other countries during American holidays. I’ve posted a bit about it in the Lessons I’ve learned.
In the photo above, you can see the hotel pool and the beach in the background. The hotel grounds were stunning in their beauty; beautiful peacocks roamed neatly groomed gardens and lawns, pelicans snacked on shellfish in the marina and the white sand beaches of Cancun made for baby-blue water near the shore and the darker azure blue at the deeper water. The staff was quite pleasant and the trip was one of the nicer that I’ve had.
The beach has additional activities like kayaking, water skiing and beach volleyball. Even in wintertime, Cancun is far enough south that you can swim comfortably and the air temperature is mild and balmy. There were occasional cloud patches but not a big sacrifice considering that you don’t swelter under the summer sun.
If you decide to come to Cancun or any other destination in Mexico, I highly recommend taking one of the “all-inclusive” packages that include food, drinks, hotel and airfare – you really can’t beat the price and service.
On this particular trip, I met a Swiss man who was on a 2 year RTW (Round the World) trip. He was a bank employee at UBS when the company announced layoff plans following the post-9/11 financial crisis. The company offered severance packages to anyone who wanted to “voluntarily” separate. He negotiated a 2 year severance package, packed his bags and hit the road. This is one of many travel strategies you can use to find the time and $ to travel. I often use MLT Worry Free Vacations book trips heading “south.” They are but one company of many who specialize in last minute and all-inclusive trips.
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