I often see articles suggesting that you should plan to book your
Honeymoon 4 to 6 months in advance and often that is fine, but
frequently it is far too late!
Depending on the destination you
have in mind, and the type of experience you desire, reservations
should be confirmed more like 10-11 months in advance
you are headed to Orlando, FL or Las Vegas, NV for example there are
dozens of flights that can get you from where you are to where you want
to be at decent rates even 30-60 days in advance, but if you are
interested in something a bit more off the beaten path such as St Lucia or
Grenada or Bora Bora then you had better reserve your spots several
months previous or be prepared for overnight layovers and significantly higher prices
The Pitons in St Lucia- view from an open wall suite with in-room infinity pool at Jade Mountain
if you are thinking you would like to enjoy something really special
such as a swim-up suite or a private plunge pool or even an overwater
bungalow then you need to remember that those are the first to be reserved,
often more than a year in advance so plan accordingly!
best advice is to get with a travel planning specialist at your
earliest convenience, as soon as you have your wedding date
established, so that you and your Honeymoon specialist can work through your best alternatives
EZTravelPad is a travel agency specializing in Honeymoon and Destination Wedding planning. If you are not currently working with a travel consultant then get in touch with "Your friends....in the travel business" at EZTravelPad
I just returned from a local business professionals networking event where I had a brief conversation with a fellow member about her time-share situation and how much she loves it.
Funny thing was, I can't understand why...
During the conversation she related that a trip to Hard Rock Punta Cana (a fantastic all-inclusive resort nn the Dominican Republie) will cost her only $2793 for the mandatory all inclusive add-on to the time-share value she and her husband already possess. If they were taking the kids then $3593 for all 4 of them....
Now I know that the Hard Rock Punta Cana is an excellent resort, but that struck me as just a bit higher than I would have expected so I came back to the office to see what my price would be (without the time-share value it must be significantly higher, right?)
So what was the retail price I pulled up if EZTravelPad were booking it? $2944 or with adding in 2 children then $3302
So what was the price going directly to the Hard Rock website? $2984 (yep, $40 higher)
Both prices (not sure about the time-share though) also include $1500 in resort credits (free money in the casino, spa, golf, tours, room upgrades, etc)
To be fair I do not know some specific details about the time-share cost she related, for example-
Were they in some sort of high end suite?
What specific dates?
Was she talking about 2 weeks instead of just 1?
Are there monthly maintenance fees involved?
Is there a booking fee per trip?
Do they pay her to retain the time-share in exchange for her paying more than she otherwise would on her vacation? (ok, that's just my humor coming out)
Seriously though, this is just another example of the effectiveness of a great sales pitch convincing a consumer that by pre-paying for vacations that they may take sometime in the future they can save a ton of money - when if fact it is just not the case.... I've seen it over and over again
Do yourself a favor - find yourself a good travel consultant who you trust and respect. The odds are that they will help you find the best solution to your unique vacation wants & needs - plus probably find it at a lower price than you could yourself - thus, get you the best "Deal"
If you do not currently work with a travel consultant (agent) then consider giving EZTravelPad a call... and check out the video below for more info!!
Recently the Sandals Grande Riviera resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica has reclassified many of the villa suites up on the hillside of the Manor section and now they all include butler service!
This is a huge deal - especially since it does not appear that prices have increased...yet
If you have experienced the Butler service at Sandals you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you haven't yet experienced it now is a perfect time to see what the fuss is all about at a very affordable rate
To learn more about how a butler can enhance your vacation experience check out this link
Imagine, a villa on the hillside at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios - with a semi-private pool and butler service at a price comparable to an entry level room at a competing resort....unbelievable!
The Sandals Grande Riviera resort is an excellent choices for either a Honeymoon or a Destination Wedding - and these semi-private poolside villas can be a perfect solution for guests in the wedding party - talk about a party to remember!
The Sandals Grande Riviera is a lively, fun and social resort that additionally offers the type of privacy shown above....plus great dining choices, many entertainment choices, gorgeous tropical gardens and a nice beach with beverage services all combine to make this a must visit resort - see more at the video here
For more info get with an expert who has been there and can guide you to your best choice - contact "Your friends....in the travel business" at EZTravelPad
EZTravelPad Group Sailing April 6, 2013 - Come Play With Us
Do you have your Spring Break plans all set yet?
Are you like me and concerned that THIS winter we're not going to get off as easy as last year and you feel like you will be wanting to get away in early April?
Want to get away during the week of The Masters golf tournamet?
Have you been procrastinating that long awaited and well deserved vacation lomg enough?
Then join EZTravelPad on a Caribbean cruise this coming April as we experience the most anticipated cruise ship of the year - Celebrity Reflection. This Solstice Class ship will be cruising Eastern Caribbean and porting in the highly desirable ports of San Juan, St Thomas and St Maarten. Sound interesting but want to learn more?
Here is the most recent ship review (but keep in mind that this ship is so new it isn't even in service yet)...
Reviews are great, but wouldn't you rather have a look inside?
Check out this video tour
and here is another tour of one of the cabins very similar to what we have held
Holding Group Space is a great advantage, and we still have some cabins left but you don't want to wait until they are gone - pricing on new bookings is already up as much as $100 per person vs the EZTravelPad pricing currently available in these categories
C2 $984 (Concierge level verandah suite)
C3 $924 - sold out
2B $854 (Deluxe verandah suite)
2D $824 (Deluxe veerandah suite)
Plus not only is the price lower, but there are some additional perks that will be announced later
Lastly, we have arranged for some significant savings (like over 40%!!) in a great hotel pre-cruise
For quite a bit more info on the ship and itinerary check out our earlier blog post that goes into some details on that as well as on the resturants and more
So here is you invitation to join EZTravelPad and friends on this very exciting ship. Come along and find out for yourself why at EZTravelPad we like to think of ourselves as "Your friends....in the travel business"
As I plan my trip to England in September, flying seems to be the one problematic issue in mind. Whenever I imagine my trip, I seem to skip the whole airplane aspect. First, I’m not every familiar with flying. Second, the plane ticket put a huge dent in my bank account and I’m trying to erase that from my mind until I am forced to acknowledge it.
While reading up on what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on, and looking at my destination depart and arrival time, I can’t help but think about the lethargy and exhaustion. While some things are still in the works as far as time goes, I will have left Indiana in the mid-morning, landed in New Jersey, hung out for a few hours, left New Jersey in the evening, and arrive in London twelve hours later. Not including the time-zone jump, this means I will have spent an estimated, roughly 17 hours in an airport or at 30,000 feet. Woo.
And considering the disreputable things I have heard about airplane food, it seems my best bet would be to eat in an airport or bring my own grub. I want to save as much money as possible since I will be in England for four months so even spending money in an airport doesn’t seem like something I want to do at this point.
So, here are some foods that I’ve thought would work well for flying. Consider foods that pack well and that can withstand lack of refrigeration for a period of time. Think temporarily non-perishables. Think solids.
Mixed nuts, dried fruit, trail-mix -- It’s all in the bag. Delicious.
Granola, protein, and breakfast bars -- Easiest meal ever. Zero preparation. Zero clean-up.
Wraps -- Personally, sliced bread can go out the window, I’m all about the flour/wheat tortilla. You can do absolutely anything with those. Stuff them with leftover steak and peppers or cold cuts or peanut butter and fresh fruit.
Sandwiches -- If wraps aren’t your thing, go with the sandwich. You could even cut corners and get Jimmy Johns or Subway. Keep in mind, depending what you get on your sandwich, this could be potentially messy.
Bagels -- Make for great sandwiches or on-the-go breakfasts as well. Keep in mind peanut butter and cream cheese containers must be less than 3.4 oz.
Bottled water -- Bring an empty bottle of water to the airport. After you get through security, fill it up and be on your way.
Fresh fruit -- Stay healthy and fresh before embarking on your trip. Eating something heavy may weigh you down.
Cheese and crackers -- It’s self-explanatory. Remember solid cheeses and not the kind out of an aerosol can. I don’t recommend eating that stuff, period.
Rice cakes, chips, pretzels, cookies, brownies, popcorn -- Make sure the popcorn is already popped
Candy and chewing gum -- Helps with ears popping at higher altitudes
*Again, cream cheese and peanut butter are permitted as long as they are under the 3.4 oz regulation.
**Bring your own plastic utensils and napkins
Hopefully these less-mess snacks will help you stay fresh and satisfied while on your trip and won’t put a dent in your pocket, especially if you’re traveling with children.
Beaches Turks and Caicos is Latest Resort Affected by Illness
Here is 1 more really good reason to (A) Use a Travel Agent and (B) Buy Travel Insurance
For the past 6 weeks government officials and resorts in Turks & Caicos have been dealing with an illness that has recently forced the suspension of new arrivals to the largest resort in this chain of Caribbean islands until June 9.
Earlier the illness, which has apparently been identified as the Norovirus, had forced the suspension of new reservations to the high-end Grace Bay Resort and now government officials have forced the same fate on Beaches Resort leaving many guests set to arrive within the next several days to shift or delay their vacations to the resort.
Would travel insurance cover this expense? Perhaps, depending on the policy
Would a Travel Agent be a good resource to go to for help in a situation like this? Absolutely!
The Beaches Resort (the family friendly brand of Sandals Resorts) issued a statement over the weekend-
BEACHES TURKS AND CAICOS
2nd June 2012
We can confirm that there has been reports of a short-term gastro illness that has affected a small number of guests staying at resorts in Providenciales over the past week.
Like other resorts on the island, Beaches Turks and Caicos has agreed to follow a recommendation by the Ministry of Health not to accept new guests at the resort until Saturday 9th June 2012 in order to undertake precautionary cleaning programs and break the 14-hour incubation of the illness.
At Beaches Turks and Caicos, we operate to the highest standards of health and safety in the world and whilst we have experienced a very small number of cases at the resort and in fact now have a fewer number of people affected by the illness. We continue to monitor the situation very closely and are working with the resorts and country’s healthcare professionals to ensure that health and safety practices are followed.
We advise guests booked to stay at Beaches Turks and Caicos over the next seven days to contact their travel agent or call 1-800-SANDALS as soon as possible in order to revise their booking.
We apologize unreservedly for any inconvenience that this may cause and extend our thanks for your patience and understanding. We would like to thank the Government and Ministry of Health of the Turks and Caicos Islands for their help and cooperation.
Is there reason to be overly concerned? No - but there is reason to have someone on your side - someone like a travel agent....Doing things yourself can seem like fun - until something goes wrong.
Unbelievable Special Makes Europe Affordable THIS Summer on Celebrity Cruise
Celebrity Cruises (the Premium brand of Royal Caribbean) has a fantastic special just unveiled this week and sure to stir up some business- Book a balcony stateroom on a European sailing for the summer of 2012 and receive $500 per person air credit if booked with their Choice Air department. This makes a Mediterranean cruise this summer instantly $1000 more affordable!
Combine that with the fact that the dollar has been improving against the Euro (so those activities on shore are also more affordable) and it's a Win-Win situation.
Here's an example- Cruise 11 Nights in Italy, Greece and Turkey from $1865pp including air - Unbelievable!
Here are some specifics-
Hard to believe...
Are you searching for a Destination Wedding location? Thinking you might like to get married at sea? You're in luck - Celebrity is one of only a couple of cruise lines that can make that happen!
Desire to get married at home but thinking you can't afford the European Cruise for your Honeymoon? Celebrity is a brilliant choice for a Honeymoon - the sophisticated vibe and more adult nature of the brand lends itself wonderfully to a Honeymoon couple interested in seeing the Mediterranean!
Also - Celebrity has a fantastic array of drink packages including beers, wines & cocktails!!
So what do you do now?
Call your Travel Agent - now! They know the inside details - they will get you the best deal possible - and they will do all of the legwork for you.
If you do not have a travel agent that you are working with currently then get with EZTravelPad - we're here to help make your life experiences richer (and save you money so you stay richer!)
This is a question that I get all the time - When should I buy? When should I travel? When are prices lowest?
The short answer is simply this- purchase your airline tickets as far in advance as you can, plan your trip early. Below is a very unscientific analysis of the cost to fly from Chicago (ORD) to St Lucia (UVF) - a very popular destination for Honeymoons and Destination Weddings.
I looked at round trip flights leaving Saturday and returning the following Saturday. I looked at departing the Saturday following the first full week of the month. I searched on Kayak. The search took place on February 21, 2012. Prices looked like this-
Mar 2012 $917
Apr 2012 $706
May 2012 $596
Jun 2012 $727
Jul 2012 $677
Aug 2012 $596
Sep 2012 $592
Oct 2012 $662
Nov 2012 $659
Dec 2012 $592
Jan 2013 $621
The conclusions that I come to are- in general pricing is higher as you are closer to travel, and lower farther out. Clearly you don't want to purchase less than 30 days out if you can avoid it.
Pricing is better in May & September as well as in early December (while the kids are in school). In early December Americans have Christmas holiday shopping on their mind, parties they don't want to miss, things of that nature so pricing is a bit lower. In June & July people have summer vacation on their mind while the kids are on break so pricing is a bit higher. In late spring and in the fall you will find pricing moderates (is this why you are starting to see so many weddings moving to September?)
St Lucia is tough to get to so from the standpoint of being able to get the best connection you are best to book early, but the same holds true for most other destinations - there are only a certain number of flights that are direct or with good connections, and those are the first to sell leaving you with little choice and higher prices if you procrastinate.
When it's time to plan your next vacation consider EZTravelPad where the advice is free and the service is priceless.
It's tough to beat a leisurely breakfast at a great restaurant - or a good restaurant in a great location. I'm not sure I have been anywhere quite this good before. Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a bright, warm but comfortable morning in paradise -
now imagine that you are spending your morning breakfast just a few meters away from the dolphin experience at Cancun's Interactive Aquarium
See the video to get a look
The Juga de Limon is located at the La Isla Shopping Center along the "7" in the hotel zone of Cancun, Mexico. It's hard to believe that a good breakfast (full breakfast) in such a great location is available for only $10.50..try it - you will not be disappointed.
When you are ready for more tips and insights into making your vacation the best that it can be, check with EZTravelpad - we are here to help (oh, and there's also that best price guarantee thingy...)