Where to go when traveling with friends is one of the biggest planning challenges of any group vacation. Different people have different ideas of fun. Some are bored standing in line to watch a stage show, while others get along better with strangers than they do their own families.
Not all of us are the adventurous type who enjoy camping out or staying in hostels. Not everyone wants to rough it when they travel. We’ve all had those friends who don’t like getting their hair wet or are terrified of open water. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy an amazing trip together, even if you’re not bonding over rowing a boat or getting eaten by mosquitoes.
In the Caribbean, sand and surf flow like music to the feet of the traveler. Sun, sand, and surf, a beachcomber’s delight. There’s always a beach, a bar, a party. There’s never enough time to enjoy all the fabulous beaches.
- McKenzie Beach
There are lots of reasons why someone would want to visit the country of Panama. The country is known for its biodiversity (there are more bird species here than anywhere else on earth), it’s tropical, and the weather is warm year-round. Panama is also a good place to go to feel disconnected from your daily life, it’s easy to get around, and you can move at your own pace.
You don’t have to fly to Hawaii or the Caribbean to find a beautiful beach. Here in the United States, we are lucky enough to have some of the gorgeous beaches you will ever see, just a short drive away. One of the most stunning is located in Panama City Beach, Florida, and is named McKenzie Beach.
Stunning McKenzie Beach is the crown jewel of McKenzie River and is about as close to perfection as you can get. The sand is soft, the water is clean, and the views are spectacular, ranging from the snow-capped Cascade Mountains in the distance to the river’s roaring current. Surfers can also catch the perfect wave at the popular beach, which runs almost the entire length of the park.
- Salyulita, Mexico
Salyulita is a small town in the Mexican state of Yucatan. For decades, it has been a popular destination for summer vacationers. Still, it is also a great place to visit year-round, especially during the dry season (roughly January to April). That’s when the town’s cobbled streets are lined with colorful colonial buildings and the Atico de Salyulita, a beautiful 17th-century church with stunning murals. Salyulita’s famous market also has a bounty of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
The Salyulita beach is a beach on the coast south of the town of Barra de Navidad. It is a man-made beach, but the sand is so fine that it feels like a real beach. The sand color varies from white to beige. The water is clearer than most beaches giving a very nice view of the tropical fish. The bay is calm and not very deep, so you can walk a long way out.
- Corfu, Greece
The Greek island of Corfu lies in the Ionian Sea, just off the coast of Albania and the western tip of Greece. With a population of just 300,000, Corfu is still one of the most populated islands in Greece and is full of olive groves and lush, green forests, which make it a great place for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The port town of Corfu City is the island’s capital and largest settlement and features the neoclassical architecture of the late 18th century, including Casa Pascalis, a villa built by a wealthy Venetian family in 1856.
This Aegean island has it all: stunning white-sand beaches, azure seas, lush green hillsides and mountains, and bustling Old World culture. All of this is why Corfu is a top pick for emerging Mediterranean destinations and why it is often called the “Pearl of the Ionian Sea.”
When you travel with your friends, you can make the experience a lot more fun. You can also make it easier by coordinating with your friends. The most important thing to consider when planning a beach vacation is the time of year you choose to go. Like the Caribbean and Florida, some places have a very distinct season when the weather is warmest—and you know what that means: crowds. If you’re looking for a more tranquil beach vacation, it’s best to avoid the months of July and August.