Last minute bargain?

Availability as of 12:05pm December 16th, for travel December 20th. Price shown PER PERSON, double occupancy.

There is a common misconception that waiting until the very last minute can net a travel bargain. That absolutely isn’t always the case.

The above shown screenshot for travel to Puerto Vallarta is less than 4 days away. To go, you would have to pay about $3500 per person.

Similarly, if that was booked in June the cost to plan early was approximately $2600 per person, depending on hotel. And, you would have received Price Drop Protection as part of your early booking bonus.

Yes, there are sometimes genuine bargains on short notice. But it pays to ask someone in the industry. For example, your travel agent might know of recent activities or changes that make a property less desirable and thus cheap at the last minute.  Or she might know of an absolute gem that’s available (Majestic Elegance,  Playa Mujeres OR Barcelo Maya Riviera) because they just recently opened and weren’t widely sold earlier because no one could be positive about the Grand Opening/ construction process.

In my opinion, the last minute bargain for Manitoba departures is about 2 weeks before take off.  And/or before the temperature drops to -30C. Then demand spikes and availability is scarce.

 

 

Gift of travel

At this time of year, you might be tempted to buy someone a trip.

My suggestion is to consider a gift card,  a travel fund, a piggy bank or a gift certificate rather than committing your recipient to dates and a destination that might not be suitable or might be very costly/difficult to change.

If someone has no desire to go to destination “xyz” and you’ve committed them, the intended gift is now instead a burden and harder to return or regift than ugly socks.

You might see 4 nights in Vegas as a generous $700 gift, but the reality is that with resort fees, transportation, entertainment and meals, the recipient will have to spent about another $700 to actually fulfill the trip.

My suggestion is to stop by the travel agency, pick up a brochure and wrap that, with cash or gift certificate and give your loved one the opportunity to dream & select for themselves.

Anniversary post!

Four years ago, in a hotel room in Montreal, I decided to  make the commitment to host my own blog and pursue a career in travel. I was on holidays, and had been thinking a lot about my goals, and just decided to go for it. (I call it my light switch moment.)

There were several names and domains considered, but SheTalksTravel was available, and was vague enough that I felt it would give me opportunity to be flexible and adjust to changing times.

Hosting a website, and owning two domain names isn’t free. I pay about $300 a year to have SheTalksTravel.ca and SheTalksTravel.com. I make the conscious choice to host it without google ads or sales pitches from outside companies.

Every year when December 1st hits I have to make the choice to keep it or let it go.  I start reading old blogs and I see the progression and evolution of this project. I get nostalgic and think, “this is a good thing we’ve got going. Let’s keep it rolling.”

So I make the conscious choice to throw another $300 at it, skip the shoes, the new purse and the spa day and instead invest in myself and my readers.

I’m still having fun. I’m sure the best adventures are yet to come.

SheTalksTravel is here for another year! Where to next?

Black Friday Travel Sales

I’ll be brief. It’s a very busy time of year for all of us.

If you are looking to capitalize on a travel bargain….whether it’s for Christmas or sometime in February, black Friday sales are a great time to buy. (Notice that I didn’t say “shop.”) It’s imperative to do your research in advance. Know what you want and be ready to buy. Bargains go quickly!! You’re definitely not the only one looking for a travel deal. It’s literally the busiest booking day of the year!

Here are 3 tips to help you nab a bargain, and avoid total disappointment.

1) Know exactly where you want to go. Narrow it down to 3 resorts, maximum.

2) Be ready to book on the spot. If you wait to think about it, or call to chat with your mom you just might miss the last 4 seats on the plane.

3) Passports & payment. Exact legal names & full payment are required to book.

Have fun!! Then rejoice in the savings.

Screensaver worthy!

I have to tell you,  the moment I saw this photo on my friend’s Facebook feed I was absolutely awestruck.

Naturally, I complimented her on this remarkable photo of what I easily recognized as Waikiki Beach at Oahu, Hawaii.

My friend told me that her 10 year old daughter, Livia, took the photo on an iPad. Pretty incredible eh?!!

I made Livia an offer and paid her for the use of her photo on my blog. I told her that I’d love to show her talent to the world. Aren’t you glad I did?

I asked Livia if she had a review of the hotel or anything to tell our readers about Waikiki Beach or Honolulu. She reported that her family really liked their hotel, the Outrigger Reef. It had a fantastic location, view of the ocean, crafts, activities and even a Starbucks! One more unique offering of the Outrigger Reef  is that twice a week, at sunrise, they do a complimentary vow renewal ceremony for couples.  (Wow!! That’s something I had never heard about before. Livia’s going  to make a brilliant travel writer AND professional photographer someday!)

Special sincere thanks to Livia & her family for sharing this brilliant photo & glimpse into their family holiday.

 

 

Restorative detour

You know how ‘they say’ that travel can change you?

You know how ‘they say’ that sometimes when you get lost you actually find yourself?

You know how ‘they say’ that it’s not the destination,  but the journey instead that’s most important?

I think ‘they’ might be right.

I’ve been on dozens of trips, some good, some great, and some I’ve probably even forgotten about. But, I have to say that Costa Rica 2019 was a pivotal moment in my personal journey.

My dear friend Christina won a trip & invited me along.  We had the privilege of going to the newly opened, five star, Planet Hollywood Resort in Costa Rica. (It’s amazing, by the way!)

We left the kids, our husbands and our worries behind us. For 7 days we simply rested, recharged and restored ourselves. We read books by the pool, swam, went on nature hikes, did yoga, sang karaoke and watched 90s movies. And we laughed a lot!  (Of course it certainly helped that it was all-inclusive and weren’t worried about the expense.)

It was probably day 5 when I started to feel energized and ready to tackle my 5 year plan. I started thinking about my career goals and where I wanted to be in 2020 & in 2024.  The trip itself, was critical in giving me the chance to let go of life’s stress and regroup.  By day 7 I couldn’t wait to go home, to  see my family and to start working on making changes.

Shortly thereafter I made a big career move. It was a calculated leap of faith. I consciously decided that starting over was going to be the best way forward.

6 months later, I’m thrilled with my decisions. And reflecting back, I see how much that restorative vacation put me back on track to happiness and self-fulfillment.