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Affordable Family Christmas vacation travel is still possible!


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Although availability for Christmas travel is becoming tight, there are still some good values out there! My research goal was to find reasonably priced family resorts, cruises, and airfare and I compiled a list of several very popular destinations with pricing. The pricing criteria I used were for a family of 2 adults and 2 children staying 7 nights (except Disneyland) with roundtrip airfare from Seattle. Dates I used included Christmas, and a few days before and after.

One of my favorite destinations, and a very popular choice among families, is Hawaii. Honolulu, with Waikiki Beach, and great shopping, restaurants, and activities, is one the most affordable of Hawaii’s locations. I found a handful of family friendly hotels available for 7 nights with non-stop flights for less than $5500 for a family of 4. These hotels are not beachfront but they are centrally located a block or two from the water and several include complimentary breakfast. Christmas in paradise!!

Maui, the Valley Isle, is an option that many families prefer because it is less busy than Waikiki while still having plenty of activities, shopping, and dining opportunities. Maui boasts some great condominiums which are perfect for families with full kitchen facilities, including all of the necessary cooking and eating utensils. Eating a couple of meals “in” can help with the budget and many condos also have washers and dryers. There is very limited space over the holidays but I did find some options in Maui for less than $6500 including airfare, 7 nights in a 1 bedroom condo with a mid-size car rental for a family of 4.

Disneyland is always a big hit with the kids, but with mom and dad too! In the past couple of years Disney has made improvements to the hotels, the parks, and many additions too. CARS Land opened last summer, and is a smash! While there is no beach like Hawaii, all of the hotels have pools, and there are plenty of water attractions at Disneyland and California Adventure. A 5-night Christmas vacation at Disneyland can be done for less that $3700 including airfare, hopper tickets, airport transfers and accommodations in a “Good Neighbor” hotel and if a Disney hotel is more to your liking, Paradise Pier is about $4600.

Another option that I particularly like is a family cruise especially the cruises from Los Angeles. Convenience rules! Fly from Seattle to LAX in 2 ½ hours and board the ship at 2pm the same day! There are three cruise lines sailing from LAX to the Mexican Riviera over the holidays and ports of call include Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. A family of 4 can cruise for 7 nights including airfare, meals and entertainment, port charges and taxes  for less than $5500 and there are so many activities and events for everyone on the ship. You won’t be bored and neither will the children with complimentary “Kids Club”, games, crafts, parties, and other activities.

Mexico is well-known for family friendly all-inclusive resorts. Many folks believe that all-inclusive means one buffet and that’s it! Not so! Most all-inclusive resorts boast 3-8 restaurants, with several different cuisines including favorites like Italian and Seafood. All meals, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, entertainment, and non-motorized water sports are usually included. Again, space is very limited but I did find has several resorts with availability in Puerto Vallarta with airfare, transfers, 7 nights at an all-inclusive beachfront resort for under $6300 for a family of 4! That’s really hard to beat!

I hope that I have added optimism to your Christmas vacation search, and I look forward to helping you and your family find the perfect fit! Please email me at sandi@totemtravel.com, or feel free to call at (425) 821-4100 or (800) 321-7907.

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