You’d be surprised how many people come to me with 5 star dreams and a budget of $1200.
I’d hazard a guess to say that 80% of the time they’re going to be disappointed with the answer. However, there are a few specific times of the year when $1200 will do just fine.
1) the first week of December. You should be able to find 7 nights in Mexico at a 4 star or better.
2) late March, but not school spring break. (Right now, Puerto Vallarta at the Grand Palladium is about $1225 tax in, per person, double occ. Book now for travel this March.)
3) June. There won’t be direct flights but you can typically grab a package to the Dominican Republic for about $1200.
If you are looking for peak winter (February) $1200 will buy 4 star Cuba with a middle of the night flight (arrive in destination 1AM) and, I will advise that you check the weather & be prepared for 21 degree days and sweater evenings. Depending on the weather (remember they are so close to Florida that their weather is similar. Cold spell on main land equals cold spell on the island too)
Alternately, the warmest, cheapest Mexico $1200 will buy you last minute Mazatlán. (Buy on 2 week’s notice.) Ixtapa though similarly priced in quiet weeks, is almost always sold out.
Lastly, I spied a $1200 gem just yesterday. $1200 Aruba. Same day connecting flights, no airport overnights, and at a resort with a decent location. What’s the catch? Dates are May 30 to June 6. The resort is NOT all inclusive. (For an AI, even in summer, expect $2400 per person, double occ) But I surely am calling this a bargain. $1200 plus food & a bottle of rum, would be an incredible chance to see Aruba. It’s definitely on my personal wish list.
Don’t forget your insurance. It’s the best $100 investment in your vacation and your health. Don’t leave home without it.