This year we headed out on a trip for Thanksgiving. Here are all the details of our family trip to Mexico this year including where we stayed, what we did and what I wore.
We started a destination Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago (read about that HERE) and this year we traveled to Mexico! Here’s a breakdown of all the details on our trip, including where we stayed, what we did and of course – what I wore!
All about our trip to Mexico
What we did in Mexico
What resort did you stay at?
- We stayed at the Hyatt Ziva in Los Cabos. It was a gorgeous hotel with so many fun activities and amenities. I’ll share more about them below!
Did you stay at the resort the whole time or venture out? Did you feel safe?
- We stayed at the resort the whole time. There were restaurants on the streets right across from our hotel, but since everything was included at the hotel, we didn’t feel any need to go there. We also considered going on an excursion to see the Cabo Arch, but it was a 40 minute drive, then a 30 minute boat ride to the arch, and we decided not to spend half a day going out to see it. We’ll be back another time and stay somewhere closer to the arch and go then! The boys didn’t care about seeing the arch in particular, so it wasn’t a priority for us.
- The security at the hotel was really good — lots of security guards around the beach area where the beach met the resort property (but not obvious or intimidating), and a guarded gate to get into the hotel. Everyone had to check in and be on a list to get in or out, and all the employees had to go through security to get in. We felt very safe!
Was it kid friendly or did you feel that it was more geared towards couples? What kinds of activities were there?
- The hotel was VERY family friendly, but also could be great for couples! It had two big family pools, and then a very quiet and beautiful adults only pool. We walked over to the adult pool a few times because they had the best tacos at their bar, and it was so gorgeous and never crowded. They had some adults only activities there…we saw them fill the whole pool with bubbles and do some kind of beach ball challenge, but we never stayed over at that pool so we didn’t join any of the activities.
- It had seven restaurants (including one buffet), plus several bars, snack shops, and coffee shops, so there was always something different to eat and try. And they had a whole staff for activities and events, and they’d be out at the pool doing BINGO, basketball shooting challenges, kayak races in the pool, Name That Tune, water aerobics, flag football and volleyball on the beach, and so much more.
- There were a lot of locals on the beach selling hats and bags and other goods, and several people who had horse rides on the beach. We did that one morning and took a 30 minute ride on the sand. It was beautiful and a fun activity that the boys loved.
- They have a gorgeous central area by the pool with fire pits and couches, and each night they’d have live music, and several of the nights they had other activities like an art show, a family night with outdoor games like ping pong, ladder ball, corn hole, and even a giant screen set up where the kids played Mario Kart. There were always things to do, but never any pressure to do anything, so you could be as involved or relaxed as you’d like. And the staff was SO incredibly friendly and hospitable. Even though the resort was full, there was never a long wait for anything, and they always made it seem like you were the only people there!
- Philip and I have been to one all-inclusive resort before, on our honeymoon, and we decided that we’d probably only do an all-inclusive again as a family, but not as a couple. Although the resort is great for couples, the benefits of an all-inclusive (endless food, lots of fun activities on property) are more appealing as a family than as a couple.
What was your budget for a trip like this? Was the resort all inclusive?
- Yes, the resort was all-inclusive! So the rate you see on their website is for everything, including food, and the rates are actually pretty good! The price during the holiday week wasn’t much more expensive than a normal week, but we got a family suite instead of a single room (or two) so that increased the price for us. A normal room is about $600/night as a Hyatt member, and that includes your food and drinks as well.
- Airfare is more expensive over Thanksgiving, so that was our biggest cost, but we booked months ago so we got a decent rate. My sister and her family were actually supposed to come with us, and had booked their hotel room last year when we did (we got a Black Friday deal in 2021 so we booked a year in advance). But as it got closer and they hadn’t booked their plane tickets, it was going to be like $1500 per person to fly there, so they decided to stay home.
Did you miss time with extended family? Was your family was upset, how do you navigate doing something like this?
- We love doing Thanksgiving with family, and we’ve gone to our parent’s houses a few times over the years, or had family members come to our house to celebrate with us. But we did our first destination Thanksgiving in 2015 when I was pregnant with Sanny (we went to San Francisco) and it was so much fun that we decided to do it again, and again. We’ve done Seattle, Washington and Galveston, Texas as well, and it’s so fun to take advantage of a week off of school to spend time as a family.
- Next year we’ll have family in town for Thanksgiving so we won’t be going anywhere, but it’s fun to have a special destination Thanksgiving on years that we’re not spending it with family.
- None of our family minds that we spend Thanksgiving away — the rest of the family is not necessarily getting all together every year since we’re all spread out over the country, so it’s not like we’re missing a huge family celebration each year. But we make plans a long time in advance so everyone is aware, and family or destination plans can be arranged and everyone is happy. If your family does do a big family celebration each year, I think it there would be more pressure to go with the family, but it’s your time off and your money, and if you want to do a destination Thanksgiving for one year, tell everyone far in advance and let them know that it’s just one year, and you’d love to spend another holiday with them, or visit them another time. I think (I hope) that most families would be understanding of that!
- Also, it’s so wonderful to take time off of work and have my kids be out of school, and just spend time together as a family with no other interruptions or distractions. I know this can’t happen every year, but it’s really special and sacred to me when it happens!
- I talk all about our destination Thanksgivings in THIS POST, if you want a full run down.
What do you eat for Thanksgiving dinner? Do you miss a traditional meal?
- I love traditional Thanksgiving meals, but when we do our destination Thanksgiving trips, we’ve decided to eat the food from that area as our Thanksgiving dinner. All the locations we’ve been have had places that did turkey dinners, but we skip those and go for a seafood or Mexican or other location specific dinner instead. It’s fun!
- And then I always get a turkey on sale when I get home and make a traditional Thanksgiving meal the following week for Sunday dinner, cause I love stuffing and pie too much to miss out on that!!
How far in advance did you plan? What made you choose Mexico?
- We have a ten year rough travel plan that is always being adjusted and shifted, but it gives us an idea of what places to start researching (not me..Philip does all the research). But as far as booking things, we usually start booking about a year in advance. We booked this trip last Thanksgiving, and we decided on Mexico because we were in Galveston at the gulf of Mexico, sitting on the beach, and we decided we wanted to spend the next Thanksgiving at a nice beach. We thought about Florida and California, but we had a Florida trip planned already for 2022 with Philip’s family, and we’ve been to California so many times (and lived there for 6 years), so we decided on Mexico! It’s a quick flight from Dallas (only 3 hours), and has lots of great family resorts to choose from.
Did you use a travel agency or book it yourself? If so, how did you go about picking a resort?
- Philip loves planning trips and doing tons of research on hotels, so he did all the research and decided on the Hyatt Ziva. So we did not use a travel agency, but if you don’t like doing the research, that may be the way to go!
Everything I wore in Mexico