Air Canada to Antigua

Every time I get the chance, I ask a flight attendant about which Caribbean island is their favourite. I figure, they should know, right?  Antigua comes up over and over again.  So, I keep it on my radar looking for a bargain. It’s usually 30% more expensive than Mexico and twice the price of Cuba.  But…. what if it is twice as nice?  Well, finally a bargain. Someone should go and report back to the group!

AND take a look at Air Canada’s NEW price match guarantee. 

From Air Canada Vacations. NOW with price drop guarantee

Or, January 12th, if you can go right away!

Overnight in YYZ required, but you really will get a full 7 days of vacation on the beach. Great flight times

Ultimate budget bargain

You know that feeling when you’re desperate to leave the cold weather behind, but your budget screams Raman noodles? But you STILL want to go, so groceries be damned.

Can you compromise a bit?  5 night vacation instead of 7?  Can you book and go at the last minute? Eat granola bars, and buy your own bottle of rum, but still live on the beach? Then, tropical vacation might just be do-able after all. Check this one out. It leaves Winnipeg on Saturday. (Yes, this Saturday).  How’s $555 tax & flight included?

screenshot Jan 3, 2017
From selloffvacaktions.com

Everyone’s version of “worth it, is different.”  I think there’s a vacation for everyone and everyone’s budget. But it’s about compromise. Of course, we all want luxury 5 star vacations for $500 but that isn’t reality.  Value is probably the best word for me to describe what I find a worthwhile vacation. I like to feel like I’m “getting what I pay for” and maximizing my dollar. You know, 5 star vacation, at 3 star price. And it’s very possible, simply by compromising on the dates. Go when others are not. Don’t go at Christmas, but instead go two weeks before.

As always, check the recent TripAdvisor reviews for honest, current, relevant feedback. And only YOU can determine what is good value for your hard earned money.

Current Trip Advisor reviews for the Melia hotel as shown above.

Add insurance, whether on your credit card or not. A bargain can turn into a financial disaster when you go without a safety net. And less stress. Manitoba winters can throw a wrench in things. So can a flu or sudden illness.

Think Honolulu on Wednesdays, Brandon!

Before you say, “that’s not the best bargain I’ve ever seen,” stop and look at the flights!

You casually drive up to YBR, Brandon’s convenient little airport about 11AM and hop aboard your Westjet flight just after lunch. One stop in Calgary for a plane change and then you’re directly off to Honolulu. You’re there that evening. Extremely convenient.

Now look at the way back. No over night in Calgary.  Like it now? I feel like you can see the savings adding up. No gas to Winnipeg, no parking fees and no overnight in Calgary.

There are hotel packages less expensive, but I like the location of this one. We were there two years ago and stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki which is just about a mile further on this same stretch of beach.

This package from Westjet Vacations. Many other hotels available, some as low as $1700pp from Brandon
Sunset over the iconic Diamond head
View of the hotels along the Waikiki beach on a November afternoon

Jamaica-me-crazy for a holiday trip

Not a bargain this time, but ALWAYS a good value for your hard earned money.  You can count on the weather, the hospitality and quality food in Jamaica.

The Montego Bay airport is large, modern and well run. Once through security, your tour package shuttles will pick you up and deliver you to your selected hotels.

Beaches in Ocho Rios are gorgeous.

Montego Bay is just a few miles and a short shuttle from the airport.

Negril is known for its popular beaches and nightlife.

And on a personal note, our last family vacation (2015) was to the Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica. A family-friendly hotel with great food, activities and a small but nicely groomed beach.

Start your research here, http://www.visitjamaica.com/canada

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Screenshot from Redtag.ca Prices and availability subject to change.

Post Christmas Cuba $1387 tax in

With the school holidays starting late and going into January this year, a lot of people are looking for a post-Christmas getaway. There isn’t a lot of deep discounts out there. You can expect to pay between $1500 and $2500 for most hot beach vacations. The good news is that most are all-inclusive and most with Sunwing and Air Transat do offer direct flights.

So, if your significant other is just too hard to buy for or a trip browsing the mall gives you panic attacks, this might be the perfect solution.

Give a luggage tag with the destination written on it, as your gift under the tree, then pack and enjoy the trip together just a few days later.

I’ve spied these options at Redtag.ca

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Screenshots from retag.ca on December 8th. Prices and availability subject to change

 

Here’s the ‘big picture’ post-Christmas holiday price grid. It will give you some of the options still available to book. The prices DO include taxes.

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The handy price comparison grid from RedTag.ca