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Trip Report: Cancun, Mexico

SmarterTravel

Who: Copyeditor Jaclyn Liechti, 27, and boyfriend

Where I Went: Cancun, Mexico

When: February 2012

High Points: What’s not to love about a beach vacation in the middle of winter? This trip was all about relaxing, and Cancun is the perfect location to do just that. An entire week with nothing to do but lounge by the pool or on the beach was the perfect remedy to Boston’s cooler temps and hectic lifestyle. Plus, the sushi bar’s cream-cheese confections, the poolside daiquiri delivery, and the Jacuzzi bar’s warmth on overcast days—all part of our hotel’s all-inclusive option—made us feel like celebrities rather than workaday vacationers.

The Caribbean Sea was incredible. The water was warm enough for swimming and shallow enough to walk out quite a distance while still being able to feel the sand beneath our toes. There were lifeguards stationed up and down the beach, and flags posted to advise about the swim conditions for the day, so we felt safe jumping right in. And, of course, the view of the many shades of blue water from our balcony was simply breathtaking.

Low Points: Unfortunately, traveling during high season can put a damper on things. In our case, it took us more than two-and-a-half hours to make our way through customs and immigration, and our plan of arriving early to snag an extra day at the beach was dashed. The line was so long that it traveled back from the corrals through a large room, up a flight of stairs, and into the airport terminal! However, other travelers in the crowd noted that this was the only time they had ever seen such a mob of people at the airport in years of going to Cancun, so it seems that it was just a fluke.

Savings Strategy: We booked our room through our sister site, SniqueAway, saving about $500 off the rack rate for the entire trip. We also added the all-inclusive option, which proved to be a great value compared with buying meals (and drinks) at the hotel’s overpriced a la carte costs.

Where I Stayed: We stayed at the Omni Cancun, which is located in the middle of the Hotel Zone. The hotel has several restaurants, including a beach restaurant and a poolside buffet with nightly shows; two pools; a Jacuzzi bar and a large hot tub; and a beachfront location. We booked a spacious oceanview room with a balcony, an upgrade from a lagoon-view room that was well worth it.

If You Go: If you can only spend so much time on the beach without going crazy, consider participating in watersports like jet skiing or parasailing, or joining an excursion to the beautiful Isla Mujeres or to amazing ruins like Chichen Itza or Tulum.

Have a question for Jaclyn about her trip to Cancun? Planning a trip yourself and need advice? Want to share your own experience? Leave a comment below!

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