This post may contain compensated links. Please refer to my disclaimer here for more information.        

Now that we’re happily settled in Las Vegas for the next six weeks, it’s time to sit down and plan out our next round of travels. I had great success asking you all for advice on our summer travel plans. Our Hawaiian island hopping and Pacific Northwest road trip were incredible thanks to a lot of the advice I got from you all!

I’d love your input and help planning out a rough itinerary for our winter travels.

Here’s what I’m thinking about doing so far:


A Caribbean Cruise

I’ve wanted to try a cruise for a while now. It sounds like a great, low stress way to travel quickly, get a glimpse at a lot of countries whilst keep kids happily entertained. There are some really good deals on Caribbean cruises around, particularly just after Thanksgiving.

For all you cruise aficionados out there, I would LOVE your input!

What’s the ideal duration for a first time cruise? 7 days? Would an 11 day cruise be too long?

Here are some of the cruises I’m considering:

  • Carnival Valor from Puerto Rico – Visiting the US Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts and St Maarten
  • Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas from Puerto Rico – Visiting Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and the US Virgin Islands
  • Celebrity Summit from Puerto Rico – Visiting Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and the US Virgin Islands

I’m looking for one that focuses on the Eastern or Southern Caribbean, departing from either Florida or Puerto Rico.

Have you been to Puerto Rico? How many days would you spend in San Juan prior to the cruise?

Same goes for Fort Lauderdale / Miami. How long should we spend before/after the cruise?



Central America

Lee’s parents are flying over from Australia to meet us for the holidays. Their only directive for planing so far has been “somewhere warm” and in “Central or South America”. Doesn’t really narrow things down!! We’ll have about 3-4 weeks to do something with them.

Option 1: Mexico & Cuba

I’m thinking that Mexico and Cuba might be a good option. It would be easy for us to fly to Cancun after our cruise, meet them and rent a house somewhere in the Yucatan.

Where would you suggest we go in this part of Mexico? Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum?

Lee’s parents have wanted to go to Cuba for some time, as have I. Cuba is accessible via air from Cancun so it would make sense for us to go for a week or so whilst in the region.

Option 2: Guatemala & Belize

Alternatively, we could spend our time together in Guatemala and Belize although logistically this is a bit harder as internal flights are so expensive in these countries as are flights back to the US from Belize.

We could fly from Florida into Guatemala City and head to Antigua to rent a house for the holidays. Maybe see Lake Atitlan and Tikal before heading to Belize for some beach time.

For all the Central American experts, how would you go about doing this? Bearing in mind we’re travelling with two small kids and two (active) older people. What’s the best way to get around Guatemala and Belize?

Option 3: Colombia

Colombia is another country we could get to cheaply from Florida. Where would you go for 3-4 weeks? Is it safe? Family friendly?



Winter Road Trip to the Snow

We’ll be leaving our car in Las Vegas while we travel around in December so we’ll need to return to collect it sometime in the early new year and give ourselves enough time to road trip to our next destination.

Our plan has always been to spend the ski season in Whistler, Canada for 2-3 months. Arriving mid-January after the holiday travellers have departed makes sense to us as prices decrease then. We’re 90% set on going to Whistler as Lee has spent a winter there before and loved. We are open to other ideas and are also thinking about Park City, Utah. Any other ideas?

Where would you pick to spend the ski season? There are so many option in North America for great skiing.

Driving from Vegas to Whistler, we could route through Utah and Idaho then either west through Washington and Vancouver (1500 miles), or continue north up to Calgary and west to Whistler via Banff (closer to 2000 miles, a lot more driving). Which route would you take?


Recent Posts
Showing 5 comments
  • Amanda Kendle

    Oh I LOVE the planning part!
    Unfortunately you are talking about the very part of the world where I have basically no experience so I have no tips except that I think you should do EVERYTHING! I look forward to reading the tips others provide and seeing where you end up. Very curious about the cruising idea. Happy planning! xx

  • Sally@Toddlers on Tour

    I think the Yucatan area is fantastic and something so different to what you will see at home or anywhere near Australia/NZ. Playa Del Carmen is a lovely white sandy beach but you can find those in lots of places.

    So my suggestion is if your parents have travelled so far and no doubt at a reasonable cost see something special and unusual.

  • Sharon

    Lots of exciting plans.
    We absolutely loved our Caribbean cruise. I was worried if it would suit our one year old as they didn’t really have many activities for young ones – and they dont allow non toilet trained kids in pools so definitely look for a ship with a water play area so Hazel can have a bit of fun. We went for 7 days and could easily have done more.
    Miami is much more interesting than Fort Lauderdale which I found just like being on a quiet part of Australia’s Gold Coast. You could spend as long or as little as you like really. Lots around to do.
    For Latin America, I think your Mexico is the best option. I have spent a lot of time in Guatemala and been to Belize a couple of times and it would be hard going with little kids. Mexico is much nicer and easier. I do prefer cities like San Cristobal and Oaxaca to the Yucatan, but with young kids the Yucatan would be a great plan as theres lots of places relatively close. We loved Playa del Carmen, Valadolid, Merida… lots of great places. If you can be bothered going as far as Palenque that is great! I actually have a whole post on my site dedicated to planning a trip out of Cancun that you might find useful.

    We considered Colombia for our trip at the start of the year but distances are so far between places that I didn’t really want to do that with young kids.

    Dominican Republic was great with kids and easy from Miami. It was probably the easiest Latin American country I have been to in many ways. I did not enjoy it as much as places like Mexico though. Cuba is awesome!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Pin It on Pinterest