How much does a hot vacation cost?

Here’s a handy, off the cuff guide to escaping Manitoba and going on a tropical, all inclusive, beach vacation.

In order of typical total cost. Least expensive destinations to most expensive: Cost on each island will vary by resort and room category.

  • Varadero, Cuba
  • Cayo Coco, Cuba
  • Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Maya Riviera, Mexico
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Los Cabos, Mexico
  • Mazatlan, Mexico
  • Ixtapa, Mexico
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Huatulco, Mexico
  • Nassau, Bahamas
  • Curacao
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Maarten
  • Antigua
  • Aruba
  • Belize
  • Barbados
  • Costa Rica
  • Turks n Caicos

A rough number, for a 4 star vacation, at a non-peak holiday time starts at $2000 per adult.  $1700 for your Air/Hotel package, $200 insurance, $100 gratuities & incidentals like resort fees/tourist card etc.

Peak travel is:  American Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Spring Break, University Break (2nd week of Feb)  Plan for at least $2600 or more per adult for a 4 star vacation with insurance and incidentals.

Think of package vacation travel like buying a vehicle. There is everything from the Chevy Cruise to the Cadillac available. You just have to find the model, the style and the features that suit you.  Yes, they are all just “cars” but what comforts/conveniences do you need to be happy and satisfied? Travel is the very same.

My bottom line is this:  if the decision comes down to $300 and it’s the difference between being “satisfied” and “happy” choose HAPPY. (Cut out souvenirs or new clothes for the trip to cover the cost if you need to.)

When you feel like you are settling for a car/vacation because you like the price….you will start off on the wrong foot. When you find something you are EXCITED about, you also give yourself the gift of anticipation. Every day you know you have something to look forward to, even if it is 4 months away. Dare I say the hard winter days get easier, when I have something to look forward to and dream about.

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

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-13-36-am
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.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-12-14-42-am
The handy price comparison grid from RedTag.ca

Under $1500, All Inclusive

Looking for a Christmas/school break getaway. Here’s about the best value package I can find from Winnipeg. It’s with Air Transat, includes direct flight, 4+ star hotel and is all inclusive.

Here’s the direct link to the hotel itself. Do check out the resort and make certain it’s the vacation you’re after. Price alone should never be the ultimate decision factor.

You can book on-line, or with any travel agent you choose. Screen shot and bargain were found at www.TripCentral.ca this time.

If you need a hotel at the Winnipeg Airport before your beach getaway, consider the Courtyard Marriott. It’s my favourite and right at the terminal. Very convenient.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-2-14-47-am
Screenshot from Tripcentral.ca

 

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-2-15-13-am
Recent reviews

Last minute Cuba $655

Ten days from now, you could be lying on a white sand beach in Cuba, sipping a mojito, for one heck of a bargain!

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-15-26-amThis all-inclusive Sunwing Vacation is currently listed at $655, all taxes and fees included.

Direct flights, from Winnipeg to Varadero, you will leave 9am  December 1st and return 7:30pm December 8th. So, this bargain gets top marks from me for convenient flights!

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-25-35-am
Price shown here, is a complete package, for 2 adults.

Lastly, before you book ANY vacation, ever, I suggest you read the most recent reviews from Trip Advisor. Having accurate, up to date, first hand information enables you to make the best decision. Price should never be your only deciding factor. A vacation should meet your needs, and provide personal value. That being said, bargains are almost always about the DATES. Go when everyone else is going…. (like school holidays) and you could pay 2-3 times the amount for EXACTLY the same vacation. Go when others are busy and there is far less demand, and you could pay far less for the identical vacation. (Actually, yours could be BETTER. Avoid the crowds and the lineups and have the beach and staff to yourself.)

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-4-18-14-am
Here are the latest reviews of this exact hotel. Make sure you also browse photos to know what things truly look like. Not all brochure photos are realistic.

Prices subject to change, or sell out without notice. Other dates available at higher prices. This bargain was spied at www.itravel2000.com

Book on-line or with your favourite travel agent.

Turks and Caicos Getaway

Work has gotten a little chaotic this summer. And while I DID escape for a few days, I haven’t had a moment to write about it.

I want to do a great job on this series, (since it’s one of my favourite places on earth), but until I can sit down and do a proper job, I offer you these photos.

Each is unedited, taken by me, August 2016. On my Canon camera.

IMG_3194
Grace Bay Beach
IMG_3183
Pier on Grace Bay Beach, near the future site of the Four Seasons Resort
IMG_3162
Sunset on Grace Bay Beach
IMG_3169
Loungers and view at the Royal West Indies Resort
IMG_3202
Parasailing over calm waters