‘Deal of the Day’ room

So, what IS the ‘Deal of the Day’ room? You’ll often see it come up on last minute travel sites…. and 9 times out of 10 it’s a heck of a bargain.

So, what IS it? Well, honestly, it could be the worst room at the resort. It could be at the end of the  hall, or over the nightclub or facing the parking lot. But…. what if it’s not?  What if it’s just a way to sell off some perfectly amazing vacant space at an amazing hotel?

It’s a gamble, that’s for sure. However, I think it’s worth it.

If I was offered ANY room at a resort like DREAMS, NOW, ROYALTON or SECRETS, for $500 less than the normal price, I would say hell yes. Put me in a closet at the end of the hall if I get 100% of the value of the restaurants, location, service and relaxation. Honestly, at that kind of savings, I’d make my own bed & help supervise kids’ activities. Lol Give me a name tag & put me to work!

The ‘Deal of the Day’ Room is NOT for you, if a view of the ocean would make or break your vacation. The ‘DOD’ is NOT for you if you fuss and rant trying to get a better deal or something you didn’t pay for. The DOD is NOT for you if don’t like taking risks or trying new things.

The DOD is perfect for happy, optimistic people who make the most of life, and value the unique opportunities that sometimes present themselves.

If your travel agent is a friend & knows his/her average prices, AND he/she tells you it’s a legit deal, you should believe them.

I saw a DOD the other day & hollered across the room to my colleague, “OMG you have to see this!! We should go!!”

The resort was NOW Sapphire. (Look it up!)  And the savings was $500 per person off the normal rate.

Manitoba March Break


It’s fairly commonly known that Manitoba has a late school spring break (end of March) while Saskatchewan  has theirs in mid February.

This creates an opportunity for Manitobans to find a travel bargain at the end of March, by departing from Regina instead of Winnipeg. (As their airport is not busy, as it is a regular work week, not a holiday).

Did you know there is a Sunwing flight on Saturdays to Los Cabos, MX out of Regina? (Reflect Krystal Grand Los Cabos $3k per couple, Tax included)

Did you know there is a flight to Varadero, Cuba  on Sundays from Regina?  (And really good flight times!)

If you can sneak out of school a day early (Friday March 27th) you could go to Mazatlan MX, which is typically the most affordable direct flight to in the sun.

A family of 4, (2 kids under 12) could stay at the Riu Emerald Bay resort,  in a family room, for $4572 total (taxes included).

The Riu is a good choice because it is a family friendly resort, right on the beach. It also has a newly built waterpark, plus kids’ clubs and nightly entertainment.

 

 

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.

Why is this a bargain?

Prices and availability subject to change without notice. This screenshot was valid for booking Aug 4, 2019. The further past this publishing date the less likely the bargain is still available.

This Air Canada vacations package came up in a recent search. It is priced for two adults and two children under age 12.

To have the total cost under $4000, (or 1000 per person) is remarkable when considering your package includes flights, bus transfer, checked luggage, plus a week in five-star accommodations, including meals and beverages. Wow!

Why is it so cheap? These are quiet travel dates, halfway between US Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Dreams Resorts are part of the AMResorts chain and are known for their family focussed entertainment, accommodations, and unlimited luxury.  Unlimited luxury refers to 24 hour room service, snacks, no limits on a la  carte restaurant reservations, free kids’ club programming and much more!

To go to this resort with your family over Christmas, expect to pay about $2400 a person.

I’d love to book this, or any other Dreams Resort, for your family.  If you live in western Manitoba, please do track me down at SellOffVacations in Brandon.

Where do you buy a bathing suit?

You’ve been busy planning and preparing for your trip, and then you realize you don’t have a bathing suit.

Sure, you’ve been to the pool, but that was to take the kids to swimming lessons.  You didn’t go in the water.

Sure, you’ve been to the cabin recently, but you’re too busy preparing meals and looking after guests to go in the lake yourself.

And suddenly, you’re stressing about a bathing suit for your Vegas pool, or anniversary cruise.  Bathing suits can be a hassle. The ones that are pretty, aren’t too practical, and the ones that ARE practical, aren’t too pretty!

So where do you buy a nice bathing suit?   If you’ve got two weeks, for shipping, try CUPSHE.COM Their bathing suits are well made, well priced and there’s a style for everyone. The only challenge I’ve had is sizing. I feel like I’m between a small and medium, but each time I’ve ordered a medium, they’ve been a little bit too big. I should confidently err on the smaller size in the future.

Secondly, La Vie en Rose has surprised me with good quality, style and affordability. They have a new store open in Brandon’s Shopper’s Mall, so you can even go in there and try on bathing suits.

Thirdly, if you’re in a pinch and want something plain and $40 or less, go to Superstore. Their Joe Fresh clothing line is affordably priced, well made and it would certainly do the trip for any hotel pool or waterslide.

Is it the same hotel room?

 

I had the opportunity to answer a great question at work today.

“If Air Canada and WestJet and the other travel companies are selling the same hotel at different prices is it the same hotel room or different rooms?

My answer came in the form of an analogy. If you were buying a jar of Kraft peanut butter from Safeway or Sobeys, No Frills or Giant Tiger  it would be exactly the same Kraft peanut butter from the same Kraft factory. So it is also quite likely the same hotel room just being sold by two different vacation retailers.

Of course, different companies will feature or advertise that jar of peanut butter using different words (marketing descriptions). And each grocery store will put it on sale at different times or in different ways that suit their marketing agenda. But it would still be the same jar of peanut butter.

For example, a $1 off coupon, or buy 3 get 1 free promotion. Same peanut butter, and essentially the same savings, just presented to the consumer differently.

However there are some cases where hotels will block off a certain section of rooms and give them to one company to sell, exclusively.  Those rooms might have a unique view or exclusive proximity to the pool or entertainment area or something like that.  A privilege of this exclusivity is the airline/vacation provider can claim they have something to sell/feature that no other company has. So, yes, it absolutely could be a (slightly) different hotel room.

Ultimately the more buying power a company has the better deal they can negotiate with the hotel provider. So it does pay to shop around and focus on your own personal needs and situation when buying a vacation package. Prices can vary for exactly the same room. Or rooms could vary based on exclusivity rights.

To sum up with the analogy….you may not need four jars of peanut butter, even thought the deal seems attractive. The better deal for you personally, might be $1  off ONE jar of peanut butter.

So my advice is to not get hung up on the marketing words in the hotel description, but in fact analyze the description based on amenities and compare that way. “600 sq feet, balcony, king bed, mini fridge, and garden view.” That tells me what I am getting in the hotel room.

Whereas “modern, island oasis, perfect for your family, sleeps 4 and features unique herbal rainforest shower products” does NOT allow me the same insight. Yet both could be describing the exact same room.

Marketing and price are two ways that retailers can differentiate themselves in an attempt to earn your business. What YOU can do is to research, fact check, and enlist the help of an experience travel agent in order to wade through the marketing and online verbiage to get to the vacation best suited to you, at the best price.