As you may know, before I found my calling as a Travel Counsellor, I made my living as a teacher. The beauty of that job, as everyone constantly reminds you, is lots of holidays; the downside (that is never mentioned) is that these are confined to the most expensive times in the travel calendar. It was during this life that I came across the amazing revelation that travelling long haul over school holidays often gives you much better value for money. It’s one of the first options I ask clients about when discussing their travel requirements, and nine times out of ten clients often think (incorrectly) that long haul travel will exceed their budget.
What I love about Mexico is the fact that it truly does have something for everyone. Our first visit was as a newly married couple of twenty somethings who primarily just wanted to sunbathe in the day and party at night. Whilst we based ourselves on the white sandy beaches of the Mexican Riviera we also made time for several visits into the hedonistic mayhem of Cancun. If nightlife is on your radar, Coco Bongo (made famous in 90's box office hit The Mask) is a must visit. I don’t want to give too much away but never before or since have I been partying the night away while Spiderman flew overhead!
Our subsequent visits were much more chilled, thanks largely to the two small people we brought with us. For these holidays we found ourselves selecting from an endless choice of 5 star all-inclusive options offering everything from onsite water parks, surf machines and even a Ninja Warrior course. Again most of these hotels have prime beach front locations and crystal clear Caribbean seas. As a destination popular with Americans, you really can expect the highest of standards and service here. That and the fact that in it’s tourist areas English is widely spoken, make it a perfect option for anyone travelling with additional or medical needs.
If all of this sounds too exhausting, chaotic or, dare I say it, family orientated, I’d recommend looking at some of the smaller hotels, some of the adult only options or even perhaps a hotel on the beautiful paradise island of Isla Mujeres where life is more laid back and tranquil…..Robinson Crusoe style.
For those who want more, Mexico offers a whole host of trips which celebrate the country’s rich culture, nature and history. My must-dos for families are the eco-parks of Xel-Ha or Xcaret. Both of these are like giant theme parks created by Mother Nature offering amazing snorkelling experiences, rainforest treks and zipwires; just don’t let your 9 year old convince you to jump from the “cliff of courage”, especially if you plan to hit the water side on! Mexico also offers plenty of historical areas of interest based around the Mayans but be sure to plan these visits with your travel professional as many involve long transfers which can be exhausting in the heat of the rainforests and not all local operators adhere to the safety regulations that you expect and deserve.
Like the rest of the Caribbean, the best time to visit Mexico is during our winter so it makes a perfect destination for half term or Easter holidays. However, we have also been during August and bar the occasional shower (which actually provides some relief from the humidity) the weather has been glorious. So if Mexico isn’t already, make sure it’s on your radar for a holiday in the future.