Where in the world would you travel to next?

Iao Needle Maui Funky Junk Interiors

A visit to the Iao Needle in Maui

“I want to go to Fiji!”

That comment came so out of left field from my son, I didn’t even know which way to turn to catch it.

Let me back up just a smidgen.

My son isn’t very well travelled. I flat out couldn’t afford it all his life. I was busy with my nose to the grindstone, plus being a sole parent kinda threw a wrench into finances for a good long time.

Well, I can see this slowly changing… and it excites me! Last summer we flew to Maui, which was such an eye opener for both of us. I’m afraid he didn’t really fully get it while there… but once home, he now appears to know what he had.

I think the first one was just one big whirlwind ride in a plane, landing somewhere cool, sleeping a few nights near an ocean, then flying home again. You really don’t get deep down what you just did when you’ve never done it before, and it clips by so quickly.

Sandy beach on the ocean at Papakea Resort Maui FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Papakea Resort – stunning beach and sunset pictures

But I did.

Every living second I was there, I wanted to stop time. I was actually in tears every day, sitting in front of crashing waves against the shore with kona coffee in hand. It was very humbling and overwhelming to go back after 15 long years.

And then this past Christmas to Disney. It was still a push to get him out the door… but once he was plugged in, he truly had a blast! And constantly asks when we will go back.

So when this Fiji request came, I had to laugh… I mean, that location is so random!

I’ve personally never flown outside of North America before, but I sure would love to. So I sat down tonight and tapped a few keys…

“Who flies from Vancouver to Fiji how long how much?

17 hours plus.

Nearly 4k for just flight.

OUCH.

We were restless with 5 hours to Maui! ๐Ÿ™‚

Palm trees towering over Napili Point in Maui / FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Napili Point in Maui – the gardens, condo and beach

And then I looked at a map. Do you have any idea how close Australia is? And New Zealand? That would drive me crazy to not see it all. Which is completely out of the question.

Here’s the part where I talk myself out of it… indecision and being overwhelmed hard at work. Take heed.

But I have a little secret to share with you. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. From the accents to the green rolling hills, to take a bike tour, or just mill around the pubs and quaint shops… I’d just die. DIE.

Have you watched PS I Love You? Yeah… THAT Ireland.

But I realize my son’s eyes would glaze over with a trip like that, so I shall probably do that one… well, maybe never. Who knows.

I mean, all these places are incredible. But I can’t use my free companion ticket (LOL), and… well… there’s more.

It’s very far away. For me. ๐Ÿ™‚ You know… without a well travelled companion for emotional support. Yes. I kinda need that!

Wouldn’t I?

Sunset on the beach at Papakea Resort Maui  / FunkyJunkInteriors.net
The best way to snorkel and snuba in Maui

So anyway… next I typed in Kauai… which is where I wanted to go last time we were in Maui, but I played it safe so my boy would be busier.

5 hours. Companion ticket. Translates to under $500 for flight. And maybe if we go half Maui and half Kaui… maybe. It’s certainly way more do-able and affordable from where we live.

Ever type in Kaui then select IMAGES? Do that. Breathtaking.

And then I thought, Mexico… on the Caribbean side.

Never been. I want to go and experience it. I want to drive to villages and take in authentic food. I want to safely stay in an all inclusive. All that.

But can I be perfectly honest? Mexico scares me. Maybe if we went with friends or something… I don’t know. It’s just not a comfort zone. I think we are still in the ‘getting our feet wet’ zone and I’d just like to know we were perfectly safe in everything we do and eat and all that.

For those that have been to Hawaii AND Mexico, care to chime in what we may be missing out on? Other than a much better deal so I hear… so there’s that. Hmm…

Funky Junk hits Disneyland with Splash Mountain
So here I sit, pondering where in the world to go next. 

‘A next’ is very important to us, because my boy is 15, and his time with me is shortening at an alarming rate.

But for just today? I’m just thrilled he’s even agreeing to this! It feels like a lottery win…

So my friends… I live near Vancouver, BC Canada. Where in the world would you take a 15 year old boy over spring break or summer, knowing what we have already done?

And if we did the Kauai thing, where would you stay?

Thank-you for holding my hand, like only you can do… ๐Ÿ™‚

Visit the 7 part Maui series HERE

Visit the 3 part Disneyland series HERE

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google+ RSS

Categories: Travel
Tags:
36

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. How I envy you, having a son that wants to go with you! Yeah, not much longer. A friend of mine goes to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to an “all inclusive” resort and loves it there. I think she goes through Apple Vacations online. They have other “all inclusive” packages also.

  2. Well, I’ve been to Hawaii and Mexico and liked them a lot, but I of course think you should come to Australia. There’s plenty for a 15 year old to do here. I even know a fabulous resort you can stay at (wink). How exciting to be thinking about and planning these wonderful adventures.

  3. At this point in time….ANYWHERE with sunshine, warm temperatures, sand between my toes, and drinks with little umbrellas! This St. Louis weather is making me stir-crazy!

  4. I just found you r website and love it. Good for you! Your story of traveling with your son is so sweet. What a great mom you must be. Sounds like you like exotic places! The southwest of the U.S. is pretty exotic, some of the national parks, Zion was my favorite!! Incredible. Could be great for Easter vacation because it’s not as far away. Have fun!

  5. How wonderful to be able to travel – and that your son is interested in going with you! I lived near Mexico for a long time. The only reason anyone ever went there was because prescription drugs were way cheaper. There are so many horror stories about things happening in Mexico – some from people I knew personally. I wouldn’t go there if it was a free trip. You definitely aren’t safe there!

  6. Your photos are beautiful. I haven’t been to Hawaii, but I have been to Ireland. My husband and I went a little over a year ago and we loved it so much we are going back in October. The people are so nice and yes, the pubs are great! We only had reservations for the first 2 nights in Dublin. After that we hit the road and just winged it the rest of the trip. It was great! I have a friend who treated herself to a trip to Ireland after her divorce. She went alone with no plan and also winged it. She had the time of her life! If you decide to go. Let me know and I’ll tell you about my favorite places!

  7. I’ve been both places. I lived in Hawaii for nine years (hence the Hawaiian Husband and children ~ lol). I was on Maui, Kihei-Wailea side of the island. There are nice condos to rent on that side: Maui Sands & Maui Kamaole are both nice and in an area of super nice beaches. All the beaches are nice on that side, awesome sunsets. You’re close to Big Beach (Makena)… Great snorkeling (Ulua Beach), and turtles in front of the Maui Prince. You would love Keawalai Church. It’s a tiny church built in 1836… I think that’s the year. Kalei and I were married there. Take your camera. Gorgeous setting right on the water. If you go to Kauai, I’d stay in Poipu. There are breath taking places to hike on the island. It is MUCH more quiet than the other island but I haven’t been back there in years. All inclusives are the way to go if you go to Mexico. In all seriousness, I’m not sure I’d go with one of my kids. I felt VERY safe within the all inclusive resort, but it’s definitely questionable outside those limits. I love love love all inclusives though. We stayed in Huatulco. Awesome trip, fantastic food, very affordable. We did leave a few times to do excursions outside the resort. My favorite ~ white water rafting. It was AWEsome! Feel free to message me if you have any questions, especially about Hawaii, I can probably point you in the right direction.

  8. I’ve been to Hawaii, Maui…Kauai…Mulaki…and the Big Island. There were no fancy hotels that long ago on the Big Island but the stay was amazing. An eye opener to experience things I has never seen before. South Point is the southern most tip and is almost to the equator. I did not expect the extreme heat and wind. Trees growing straight across the ground 40 ft because the wind blows constantly. Walking HUGE lava fields, flying over the active volcano, the majesty of the cliffs and Massive waves. The smaller islands are pretty but the big on is both beautiful and educational. An experience I will never forget. I am now traveling to Europe with my fiancรฉ and am star struck by the architecture. Germany is my new found love. In answer to your problem of how do you afford all of this…tell your son to get a great job and take care of his momma in the manner she would like to become a custom to! LOL Love from another single mom. My son will always be my treasure and I treasure all of the things we experienced together. These experiences will stay with him forever. Happy travels

  9. We travel a lot. If fact we are staying where you did in Maui in April One of our best vacations ever was to Arizona. We stayed in Sedona where you can take a pink jeep ride to see all the fantastic rock formations. HE would love the ride and you would love the photo ops. Just north of there is Slide Rock State Park. It is the original slip ‘n slide – all the way down the canyon!
    The Grand Canyon is a 3-4 hour drive north of Sedona. We drove up, took an introductory helicopter ride, saw all the viewing spots on the south rim, watched the sunset and then drove back. A long day but unless you want to hike into the canyon it’s all you need.
    Hoover Dam is another day trip well worth the time.
    Lake Powell has an all day excursion to Rainbow Bridge. It starts about 9am with a 2 or 3 hour boat ride. The you hike to the bridge, then they serve you lunch and you ride back (Can’t get there by car)
    I can’t wait to see what you choose! Whatever it is – have fun!
    PS – I live in PA.

  10. I would skip going back to Hawaii altogether. You’ve been there. Check. The world is too big to keep traveling to the same corner of the world. Personally, I would go to Ireland. It’s where you really want to go and I truly believe that your son would really appreciate it and everything it has to offer.

    It would take you out of your comfort zone since you’ve never traveled outside of N.A. and that’s what every human being needs: A challenge. Because that helps to us to experience things that will allow us to grow emotionally and spiritually, not to mention it how it expands our world-view.

    I will confess that I have a bias. I’m not much of a beach girl although I can certainly appreciate how its beauty can make you feel closer to a higher power. But I think once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I told you, I have a bias. lol If you visit Ireland, you would have so much to see and do, the culture, the beautiful rolling green emerald hills, it would be unforgettable!

    I don’t know how much time (or money) you will be spending on your vacation, but you could really maximize your time and money by visiting several places while you’re there. Scotland is north and England is east of Ireland. You could travel between all three countries relatively easily and there are several cool accommodations that will make your stay special like monasteries/convents, castles….all can be rented on a per night basis. I run a travel blog and my core belief is if I am going to cross an ocean, I am going to make it count!!

    You may want to check google.com/flights for cheap airfare whatever you decide. Here’s wishing you lots of wondrous joy and discovery in whatever you choose.

  11. How exciting! Isn’t it fun to dream of places to go- and then make a plan to get there!!
    We went to Fiji – a couples only island. We decided if we ever go back we’ll not stay on an exclusive resort- however there on mainland we got taken advantage of $ wise. People act like they don’t understand and won’t give you correct change. I knew that going in & tried to get small bills at airport bank but even the worker there refused to give me smaller bills. Also for the expense & LONG flight, I would like to have more time going back and go to Australia and New Zealand. So maybe you should wait until you have a longer holiday. Overall I would recommend going to Fiji and it is so beautiful! We found a travel agent who knew the best/cheapest time to go and got buy one get one half off flight tickets through fiji’s airline. The seats were more comfortable than normal planes & those Fijians really take care of you to make your flight comfortable!
    I also plan to go back to Hawaii but I don’t have recommendations other than to not stay at a hotel and instead find a vacation house to rent. We took 3 kids the first time we went and they were surprisingly so good without lots of planned activities. I’m sure they all would go back in a heartbeat.
    I will not go to Mexico – haven’t heard much good.

  12. We have friends who LOVE vacationing in Costa Rica…..great beaches, jungle zip lines, pretty inexpensive to fly to, and a laid back lifestyle, warm weather. Perfect vacation spot. We plan to go there soon.

  13. My sister and I visited Acapulco probably 20 years ago and even then the locals warned us DO NOT RENT A CAR AND GO OFF EXPLORING BY YOURSELVES. We had guides everywhere we went.

    P.S. If it’s these darned ads that make your site so difficult for my old computer to navigate that are enabling you to take these trips….

    • Hi Teddee, Thanks for your advice.

      Regarding the offending ads, I don’t see them because they don’t show in Canada. I’m sorry for the issues. Can you please screen shoot where they are coming from and send them to me? It’s the only way to report them. There should be no ads ruining your reading experience. Thanks for your help!

      donna@funkyjunkinteriors.net

  14. Ireland is *my* place, too, Donna…always wanted to go, but haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll keep my fingers crossed we both get there someday! Hawaii is really lovely, but can be expensive for a tourist…but then, you and your son may really enjoy taking in the local culture which, to my mind, along with the beautiful views, makes it a “must”. If you go to Mexico, you’d be best not to leave the resort where you are staying, just to be safe. Have you ever considered Cuba? The beaches are lovely as are the people and you couldn’t be in a safer place. Wherever you decide to travel next, I know you and your son will make the most of it!

  15. Hi Donna

    With this 30 below weather here in Ottawa, I am dying to go on a vacation with my husband.LOL

    I have been to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and stayed at an All Inclusive Resort with my husband. (There are all kinds of last minutes deals out there so check that out if you are looking to save alot). I would stick to the main roads, and go to the popular sites around your resort. Or go on organized excursions. I had alot of fun and brought home some great pieces of silver jewelry and souvenirs.(Important know about silver before you buy it, as there lots of plated and fakes out there. Even if you have to bring a silver tester.)

    I have been to many places, but the next thing I would like to do is go on another Cruise, because you get to visit many places as opposed to just one place/country. The last cruise we went on was the Western Caribbean for one week on Carnival. (I am sure your son will have a blast) We left Florida and the first stop was Cozumel Mexico. A beautiful island where we did a Kayaking/Snorkeling Excursion. I heard some of the best diving in the world is in Cozumel, but my husband and I will only snorkel. Then the next port was to Honduras. It was so hot there. The beaches were just beautiful. We just swam and stayed on the beach all day, and the next port was Belize. Very beautiful. We did some site seeing, ate some of the best food, and did alot of shopping too. The last port was Freeport Bahamas. Very nice with beautiful beaches. Little lizards running all over the place. LOL

    There is so much I could have said about the cruise. The cruise is All Inclusive, but you have to pay for your Alcoholic drinks, and you have to pay for a soft drink card for unlimited soft drinks which a couple of years ago was $40-50. Not bad if you drink alot of soft drinks. Also there is a percentage of Tipping you have to give for the people who take care of your room, serve you in the dining room, and some other tips I can’t remember as my husband took care of that. The food was great on the cruise, and there was always something to eat 24 hours a day. Entertainment was great. There were so many activities to do on the cruise everyday. So even if you didn’t get off the ship to visit the ports, you still would of had a great time.

    I think our next cruise will be more Eastern Caribbean, as there are many islands I have never been to yet.

    Where ever you go, I hope you two have a great time.

  16. Donna – Hawaii and Disney (land or World) were always on the top of the list for my kids when they were teens. Actually they still are. One thing we did that has created another thing at the top of their travel list was take a cruise. The point being that you unpack once, have the same place to sleep each night, lots of food (or not as you choose) and a snapshot of a bunch of different places. There were tons of activities that the teens took part in and we found excursions that matched our wish for adventure, culture or whatever. I was totally surprised at how much they enjoyed cruising. The other place that they loved was/is England. By the way – cruising is a great way to travel without that trepidation that comes from going to a spot outside your comfort zone. And – half the fun of any trip is in the planning!!

  17. Come north to Alaska! It’s beautiful in the summer (don’t come for spring break – we don’t have any snow this year) & the food is safe :-D.

  18. Hi Donna;
    You want to travel but still want someone to hold your hand; travel with your son while he still wants to but see stuff you will both be interested in and expand your horizons?
    Have you heard of Rick Steves?
    https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/europe/family-europe-london-florence
    Check out his website; he’s got 2 Family Europe itineraries plus a lot of others geared mostly for adults but the Family ones would be better for you and your son. He’s based in Edmonds/Seattle and has got an upcoming Spring Travel Show, Sat. March 14, for free where you can see presentations, slideshow, travel talks and tips all day long. Check it out. We always go for the day from North Van and always learn something new (we travel lots on our own), our 2 sons, 20+yrs old, use his guide books as well. It’s good to broaden kid’s horizons and visiting Europe makes what our kids learn in school, real. Plus you’d enjoy meeting and travelling with other adults at the same time and your son would meet others his age.

  19. Europe is always my first choice !
    London would be a lot of fun for your son – and you could spend some time in the Yorkshire dales !
    Mexico? Although I always wanted to go –
    I now have no interest – they seem to kill a lot of Canadians for some reason !
    I love Cuba – the people are the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered Donna – truly an amazing experience ( with less than amazing food but….. )
    Walking around Havana is an incredible think – especially for a funky junker!!!.
    xoxo

  20. Donna I dream of going to Figi everyday of my life. not Europe or china or anywhere else in the world just Figi. Someday when I hit the lotto I won’t hesitate. I have been to Ireland on the first anniversary of my breast cancer and it was fabulous GO go to the Cliffs of Moher it is so well worth it and much cheaper than Figi.Susie.P.S. if you want to know great places to go and see in Ireland let me know I’ll tell you.

  21. I want to go back to Japan so badly!!!!!
    Of All of the traveling which I have done, this was hands down my very Favorite place!!!!
    Japan is a very safe, friendly place to visit. The crime level is extremely low, and ALL of the foods are too Tasty!!!!
    The foods, people, and the sights are absolutely Amazing!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I have been all over Europe, and have not felt safe in some places…..Also, if you rent a car you risk being car jacked or worse, in some spots!!!
    I am very careful when I travel, but in Japan I was able to let my guard down and relax and enjoy like no other time elsewhere in my life!!!

  22. Your photos are gorgeous, especially with all this cold weather we’ve been having in NC. I don’t know where I’d go, but it would be tropical. Wanted to let you know that I don’t hear any “commercials” anymore when visiting your blog! YAY! This is a first ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Wherever you dream of visiting, and you can make it happen, then do it.

    As a child with a fascination for other cultures, I couldn’t believe my luck when I traveled for work later on. I’ve been to Europe and Asia a number of times, and traveled around the U.S. and parts of Canada. Among my personal favorites have been Amsterdam, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Seoul, NYC, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, and Tuscany. But the place that stole my heart forever is Bali. It was the most intoxicatingly beautiful location I have ever had the privilege to visit, with the most centered and kind human beings I have ever met. I would go back in a heartbeat.

    Anyway, travel is an invaluable gift you give to you and your son. Enjoy wherever it takes you.

  24. I’m in Scotland. I’ve been to your part of Canada and thought it kinda similar to my country, but on steroids. Travelling from the Rockies to the Wine Country we went from winter snow to spring blossom in a few hours. I have an abiding memory of massive lilac bushes at the time we visited. Its beautiful where you are. But I understand your need to see the world — and your son’s indifference to the whole thing. (Been there; had that 15 year old!)
    Here’s an idea. Come and stay here. We’ve great accents too. You’d land in Aberdeen and we can whisk you to castles, distilleries and the Queen’s summer residence in a day. You are never more than 70 miles from the sea in Scotland and we have spectacular coastline — beaches and cliffs.
    What we don’t have, is consistently decent temperatures. But then neither does Ireland…

  25. When it’s cold, go somewhere warm! My 36 yr. old single daughter and I went to Oahu & Kauai in Feb. 2014 & stayed in a hostel in Oahu ($70 night for both of us 1 blk. from the beach). It was her second trip to HI, my first and we agreed Kauai was were we would return in a heartbeat. Stayed in an older clean motel, packed picnic lunches every day, rented a cheap car, and spent 4 days there, which was plenty of time to see/do everything. Lonely Planet travel guide had great suggestions.

    I’ve been to every state in the US and most of Europe, my daughter and I travel on companion passes, stay in hostels, and we’ve been able to do so because we travel cheap! At the moment my daughter is in Thailand traveling since Nov. 2014 to Figi, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore. She purchased her ticket through AirTreks, did Help Exchange (www.helpx.net) in New Zealand, and is now booking lodging through Airbnb.com.

    My son lives in Sitka, AK and if you haven’t been to SE Alaska, go there in the summer. It’s beautiful and you would both love it. Travel on the AK State ferry system (http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs). There is a reason it’s called “The Last Frontier”.

    Ironically I’m trying to convince my daughter to go to Ireland with me soon!

  26. Hi there.
    I’m a New Zealander who lives in Australia and I had the good fortune to live In Ireland for 7 years. Definitely go to Ireland if you can as they are the friendliest people and you will have so much fun. Every member of my family flew out from New Zealand to see me while I was there and they all loved it and travelled over a few times.
    Saying that, if you do venture down our way, you could do worse than see either of our lovely countries!

  27. Hi Donna: Interesting comments. We just returned from 3 weeks in Mexico, were not at an all inclusive. We loved it and never felt nervous and explored by ourselves on the Mexican buses. The only people I know of who have ever had problems was in Costa Rico where they were robbed. My daughters claim Cuba is horrible. No matter where you go, bad things can happen, you just have to be wise and study where you are. We did not go out a lot at night. I would not go back to Hawaii if I were you, but chose another warm location for spring break or anywhere your hearts desire in the summer weather. I think your son would be bored on a cruise, I went at age 40 and was sooooo bored; no place to explore.

  28. We have done a lot of traveling in the Caribbean and our three favorite places have been to St. Thomas, St Marteen and Barbados. All three have different colored water and sand but all three are breath taking. The most important part is that I felt safe in all three places. We have gone to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen years ago but I just don’t feel 100% safe there anymore. It’s sad but Mexico has just really changed in the last 10 years and I don’t want to have to watch my back. Last year we did a very minimal Christmas and instead went on a 7 day cruise. We left from Puerto Rico and stopped at St. Marteen, Barbados, St Kitts, St Lucia, and St Thomas. We only go on trips every three years so I like to see as much as possible. The cruise was affordable, the food was delicious and we got to see a ton of amazing things.

  29. I was admiring your painted furniture and came across this post. ๐Ÿ™‚ As someone who has been to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji & Mexico I can recommend some great places to take a teenage boy. We took our boys to the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort. They loved the lazy river, wave pool and of course the all you can eat ice cream! While not a foodie’s paradise, the boys loved being able to eat familiar food(pizza/burgers etc). They do have a couple of nicer restaurants. It is a large complex with several resorts connected and if you are staying at the nicer ones you can visit all the resorts. The beach is huge and the water very pretty. No stunning sunset photos like in Hawaii but you will get some of the turquoise water and white beaches. There are several family friendly resorts on both sides of Mexico and I think there are probably some great charter deals out of your area. I used to travel down to this part of Mexico twice a year. As many times as I have been to Mexico, rented a car several times and explored… I have never felt unsafe. There are plenty of places in America I wouldn’t go because I was concerned for my safety! Location, location, location!

    As for Fiji, it might be a little quiet unless there happens to be others his age at the same time. There are resorts that are very family friendly but the flight is rather long. It does make a nice stop over if you happen to be going to Australia or New Zealand. If you don’t have a favorite travel consultant you like to work with, I am happy to recommend some. Find one that will help you make the memories of a lifetime with your son and steer you clear of disappointment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I do believe you’re right Michele, Fiji is a very long way to go on its own… I like the idea of it being a stop over to Australia! ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks for the suggestion on a travel agent, I think for a trip like that, it’s kind of a must. I was trying to do it on my own but I’m lost. LOL

  30. I’ve visited all the Hawaiian islands except for Oahu, and spent my honeymoon in Kauai. We loved Kauai, less people, lots of empty beaches and hiking and no snakes or weird bugs! I have been to Mexico down the coast on a cruise. This is might be a way to feel safer, for there are guided tours and you pretty much stay in a group. I’m with you, it’s hard to feel safe travelling outside USA. I have been to Ireland when I was a pre-teen with my Grandmother on a tour, and it still left an impression on me…it was my favorite country in Europe that I remembered.AAA has good travel books that are free that you can get and look up hotels, things to do etc. I hope to get back to Vancouver area myself some day and bring my photographer husband. My Grandmother was from Calgary and her family instrumental in starting the Calgary Stampede. You live in a paradise area yourself! Being in Upstate NY, I am now closer to Europe than when I grew up in California where Hawaii was closer.
    Enjoy dreaming up your next trip!!

  31. Children grow up, oh so fast!! Within in a blink of the eye. So the saying goes. What fabulous memories you have been making and continue to plan for many more. Your son is a very blessed young man to have such a fabulous mother!!

    Where to go to next? hmmm… I’m with Jean S. on the sand, beach and cocktails. I pick Mexico..Caribbean side. 2004 the year after our only child(son) graduated from high school we decided that every March for our anniversary we would vacation a week on a different Caribbean island every year. So, we started with St. Thomas then Aruba and then Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Yah I know, it’s not an island, but it’s on the gorgeous Caribbean. Close enough. Well I’ve been going to Mexico every since 2006 at least twice a year sometimes 3. With one of the trips as a “ladies Only” trip. We have NEVER stayed in an All Inclusive Resort. Have always rented a condo, beach house or stayed at beach boutique hotel. Rented cars to get from the Cancun airport to our rental. Have had no problems that have kept myself or any of the “newbies” I’ve taken along over the years from going back to Mexico.

    I should add I don’t speak or understand Spanish..we’ll a tad bit now. But at first, nadda.

    I would suggest to start out staying in a small boutique hotel either in Tulum, Akumal or Isla Mujeres. Hey, the Peso is at it’s highest exchange rate against our dollar. Cheaper to eat at the local restaurants now!!

    Really, where ever you choose to go it will be making memories to last a life time with your son. : )

  32. We went to the Cook Islands almost two years ago and took our 14 year old daughter. I can’t ever see myself going back to Hawaii after Rarotonga and Aitutaki. We were going to go to Fiji, but Raro is so much cheaper ($1200 vs $2,000 to Nadi). We have been all over the world and the best snorkeling ever was in Aitutaki. The thing we did different is, not only did we spend time doing the tourist stuff, we also went to four different schools and talked with the kids. The students loved asking my fourteen year old blonde all sorts of questions. We also got invited to things that you wouldn’t have seen. It was an amazing trip and we are having a hard time trying to top it! All our pictures are on our blog as well as quite an itinerary. Feel free to check it out.