Vacation Places Guides November – December 2017
November – December in the Northern Hemisphere is generally about winter sports or moving briskly between indoor cultural activities under damp and dreary skies.
Of course in the Southern Hemisphere it’s summertime so northern sun seekers need to head south. Easy, good value choices for Europeans lie in Africa – South Africa is particularly attractive, good value and easy to reach fore Europeans, or pricey Dubai for guaranteed winter sun and serious bling – while North Americans just have to nip down to Latin America for incredible, colorful cultures or to Caribbean islands that escaped Irma (check below) for magnificent beaches and sunshine.
Low cost vacation places in 2017
Currently the cheapest long-haul tourist destinations worldwide, based on typical holiday spending are:
1: Tokyo, Japan
2: Cape Town, South Africa
3: Mombasa, Kenya
4: Colombo, Sri Lanka
5: Hoi An, Vietnam
6: Bali, Indonesia
7: Tamarindo, Costa Rica
8: Orlando, Florida, USA (minor hurricane damage, soon to be fixed)
9: Penang, Malaysia
10: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (minor hurricane damage)
US November – December
The ‘activity’ pool of the RIU Palace in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (this is not an advert and we have no connection to the resort, sadly!). Temperatures should be around 58F night – 77F day (14C-25C) in winter. Photo by Clemens Vasters.
Beaches on most of mainland USA are pretty much out of the picture in wintertime, and the best bet – the Florida Keys – were devastated by Hurricane Irma so they will have infrastructure problems for a while. Miami Beach also suffered some damage tho’ it will probably be fixed by November/December.
Temperatures rarely fall below 50F (10C) and usually hover around 72F (22C) with lots of sunshine, so a Christmas dip off Miami beach is chilly but definitely doable, while up the road in Fort Lauderdale dozens of decorated boats cruise around the Intracoastal Waterways during the Winterfest Boat Parade on December 14.
For beaches and decent weather expectations Mexico is an obvious choice, with two coasts offering varied experiences tho’ we would guess that the waters of the east side Maya Riviera will be marginally warmer than the Pacific coast’s Cabo, Acapulco or one of the more bohemian beaches further south.
For winter sports the homegrown Rockies have attractions other than just mind-blowing skiing these days, just get a sniff of what’s smoking in Denver, Colorado.
The Caribbean, November – December
2017 Caribbean, Hurricane Irma route map, approximately. And then came Maria….
This Festival/New Year season is prime time for Caribbean vacations but Hurricane Irma has put a stop to that in some locations, especially when compounded with the Hurricane Maria follow-up. Any destinations near to the hurricane routes would best be avoided unless you have information to the contrary. And don’t necessarily believe island tourist information!
And BTW, don’t forget that months up to and including November are still hurricane season.
These destinations have sustained severe damage:
Barbuda (sister to Antigua)
St Maarten/Saint Martin, 95% destroyed
British Virgin Islands
USVI, especially hotels on St Thomas & St John
Florida Keys, particularly Middle Keys.
Cuba’s north coast (Havana, Varadero)
Turks and Caicos
The Bahamas southern islands
These islands – and more – are still beautiful and untouched by Irma:
Trinidad & Tobago
Latin America November – December
Playa Tamarindo on Costa Rica.
Further south in Latin America the weather and colourful cultures of Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica should be brilliant in November but only the last four countries will still be fine in December, along with Ecuador’s spectacular Galapagos Islands.