It is that time of year – short days, little sunshine, bitter cold – all of the ingredients for a long, hard winter sprinkled with a good ol’ dose of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even if I don’t really suffer from SAD I am impacted by the long, dark winter months and I know from years of experience that there is only one real solution to fighting the winter blues: A destination vacation in the sun.
I have been lucky enough to visit my fair share of sunny spots over the last few years so I decided to pass along my recommendations to you. If you are looking for an escape this winter, here is a good place to start:
Best for Luxury & Relaxation:
Half Moon Resort, Jamaica
Now, the price point may be a little steep but this resort has it all. From gorgeous beaches, beautiful accommodations, food to die for, a luxurious spa, private stables and even an exclusive dolphin experience just for resort guests you won’t be wanting for anything. My favourite past-time at Half Moon? Floating in the water with cocktail in hand.
Whether with your whole family or as a couples or girlfriend getaway, you can’t go wrong at Half Moon.
I love all of the Beaches Resorts but there is something special about the Italian Village in Turks and Caicos. The accommodations are bar-none the best for a family we have ever experienced.
Top it off with stunning beaches, a to-die for waterpark, the best ever kids’ club with Sesame Street and XBox onboard, family friendly dining that is satisfying to everyone’s palate and you have my top pick for a family vacation. The only downside? Travel time is a tad longer. But, in my opinion, it is well worth it.
Azul Fives, Mexico
This paradise in Mexico did it all well. It may not have been tops in any one category but it was close in nearly everything. I think my whole family would agree that this was one of our all time favourite vacations. At Azul Fives we had a 1500 square foot suite impeccably decorated in a sleek, modern design with a walkout to the pool. This resort is not huge which gave the kids a lot of freedom. They would come and go from the kids’ club as we lounged by the infinity pool or on the beach.
This area is also ripe with excursions which is what really made our stay at Azul Fives rise to the top. Our day cycling through the Mayan Ruins or rappelling and swimming in Mexico’s Cenote’s (underground caves) or our time snorkelling and cliff jumping at Xel-Ha would definitely top the list of Best Days Ever for the whole family. The only downside? Although the beach near the hotel is nice there is really no easy access into the ocean without taking a short walk down the beach.
Cruising is a fabulous way to get a little piece of everything and nobody does cruising like Disney! Every moment on a Disney cruise is magical but the real secret is that each guest gets to decide how. From fine dining to family fun, Disney cruises offer a vacation to satisfy every member of the family.
My family and I have been on a number of Disney cruises and all of them are amazing but nothing tops the new Disney Fantasy. With stops at some of this part of the world’s most beautiful ports and excursions to please anyone you may in fact decide to skip all of that just to explore this amazing floating resort! Every restaurant has a new experience to offer and the kids can’t get enough. The deckside parties are spectacular and the adult’s only area is a fantasy made exclusively with grown-ups in mind. With comfortable quarters and endless areas to explore the Fantasy definitely tops my list as the best cruise vacation.
Are you planning a vacation this winter?