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Vacationing During Christmas: Tips for a Successful Trip

About this time in 2017, our family made the decision to vacation over the Christmas holidays.  As an avid lover of all things Christmas, I was shocked and worried that my family wanted to give up their Christmas traditions in order to vacation during this time.  Our trip to Cabo San Lucas in May made the decision on where to go super easy!

After a lengthy discussion, we decided that we would celebrate Christmas early at our home and have all our traditions, and then take small gifts to exchange on Christmas Day in Cabo.  With those questions settled, we started to plan our Christmas Vacation.  We knew we were going to have to plan a little differently from our normal vacations.

One, since we were going to be gone on Christmas I knew that I would need to take holiday decorations. I shopped at our local Dollar Tree and purchased wall stickers (the kind that peel off), garland, holiday posters, and light up necklaces that I used for Christmas lights.  Since we were only taking carry-on luggage, I knew that I would be packing light for my clothing. The decorations took up about 25% of my luggage space.

So, two, I would need to take clothing that could mix and match. We were gone for 7 days and so I took half of what I needed, shorts, tees, a lightweight sweater, a pair of lightweight pants, jeans, and three nicer tops, with plans to use the washer and dryer located in our room.  I took 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of flip flops, a swim suit and cover up, and two dresses for nights out. I felt that I was adequately dressed, but I did get bored with what I had to choose from.

With those two changes, our Cabo trip was planned and ready!  We flew from St. Louis to Phoenix and had a overnight layover. This meant a hotel stay near the airport.  Although it was an extra cost, we ended up saving money over a direct flight from STL.  We also were able to leave much earlier from Phoenix than we could in STL, so we arrived in Cabo four hours earlier.  Over all this meant less hassle in Customs, as there was a much smaller crowd.  We decided that this was a great way to fly to Cabo, and since we will be back in November over Thanksgiving, we will be repeating this.

Once we made it to our resort and got checked in, I immediately began to decorate for the holidays.  I hung our garland and put up the stickers, arranged the lights and made the front room of our condo as festive as possible.  I missed having a tree, but there was a beautiful tree in the lobby that I saw every day.  We put our gifts on a small table in front of a decorated mirror and waited for Santa to come!

We did all manage to sleep in a bit for Christmas due to all our travel, but we were together in time to open presents and make breakfast together.  After gifts we played games until about lunchtime. That's when things were noticeably different.  We were in swimsuits, cover ups and flip flops. We had just left Missouri in the middle of an arctic blast.  It was 82 in Cabo and we were in shorts!

Tips for next time:

1.  Bring a strand of colorful lights for the balcony.  It is easy to plug them in and it looks amazingly festive!

2.  Find a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to be the tree.  I missed not having a tree.

3.  Make the gifts we exchange adventures in Cabo.  We gave physical presents, and then the recipient has to pack to take them home.

4.  Make a playlist for your Christmas tunes, as it is hard to find Christmas music in English when the locator thinks you are Mexican!

Once Christmas was over, I cleaned up and threw away all the Dollar Tree decorations.  That left me room to pack my souvenirs and shopping bags.  

My overall feelings were that our early Christmas didn't really "feel" like Christmas, but we were together and were able to continue our traditions (the Santa sack, stocking stuffers, major gifts) and make a special breakfast. Christmas in Cabo didn't really feel like Christmas, either, but we got to see lots of awesome decorating on cactus and buildings that was different from what it looks like in Midwest America.  Would I do it again?  Yes!  It was a wonderful experience, just different from what I am used to for Christmas.

Stay tuned for next week's post on our ratings of the activities and resort!

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