Gem of a deal on Grace Bay

There’s a great site called They have a chart that can show you the lowest prices based on dates. Using this, I often clue into the destinations in my price range. For example:

A quick summary of destinations and their starting prices.

From this point I chose the Turks and Caicos. (For me, it would be a repeat destination.) I’ve been there twice and absolutely love it. It’s first world caribbean and very safe, casual and beautiful. I wish for the Turks when I’m exhausted and just want sunshine, in a laid back and relaxed tropical paradise.

So, once you click on the destination of your choice, you will see then next chart. I quickly spy the best price in April. I see it’s at a 4 star hotel with a great reputation. In March that same hotel package will cost you twice the price.

Clicking on the $1753 it takes you to a new chart which shows you the specific dates, plus the package carrier. I see that the deal is a Wednesday to Wednesday vacation, by Westjet.

A 7 day vacation, with an oceanview room, by Westjet at the low price of $1753

So, with three clicks, you can hone in on the best price and lowest priced dates.  At 40% less than the same hotel, same airline, in March I consider this a bargain. Thank you Trip Central.

Bombarded with inspiration

Ever feel overwhelmed by travel planning? I’m feeling it right now. Travel planning anxiety…is that a thing? TPA?

Here’s the thing, I want a vacation. I need a vacation. But there seems to be a veil of social media pressure to have an AMAZING vacation. And right now, it clouds the view on everything. There is an air of pressure to have THE BEST vacation, a hey LOOK at my photos vacation. And every single time I open my email there’s a “LIMITED TIME OFFER that is EXCLUSIVE” for me.

I’m tired of being shouted at. I just want to go somewhere quiet and lovely and relax. Am I right, or am I wrong? Can’t anyone just casually tell you about their happy place?

I opened an email this morning from KLM Airlines. I’m a fan. They definitely know a thing or a million about travel. Today’s sales lead was about the new Dreamliner planes flying from Toronto and Calgary four times a week (as low as $685 direct and tax in). I found myself clicking links and looking for flights that suited my budget and wondering when I could go to Amsterdam and with whom. And then I started to feel stressed.

And then I started to think about the Tropicana Hotel in Vegas, because it’s been over a year since I’ve been to Vegas, and Vegas is my default (quick, cheap and always a good time) getaway. And I truly love Vegas, because when I’m there, I’m bombarded with lights and activity that I forget about work (which is admittedly very hard for me to do). And I like that feeling of “forgetting about work.” The Tropicana is alluring for me because it smells like coconuts, and is so small that you can get to the pool from your room in 2 minutes, and there’s a Starbucks on the way and right now I’m so tired (from work) that a two minute commute to a lounge chair is all I have energy for. And their rooms are pretty and white and tropical, which I love. BUT my inbox also has invites and “exclusive offers” from The Wynn (which I have never been to, but is definitely on my list) and The Bellagio (which is my favourite but is expensive and I don’t know if any visit can ever compare with the time I was upgraded to the Bellagio Suite, so why bother) and Caesar’s Palace (which is celebrating their 50th anniversary and I love their Laurel pool) and Monte Carlo (which is so central and has a great pool and I could stay practically free) and lastly (probably not lastly, I ignore a lot of emails) The Cosmopolitan Hotel (where I would love to stay to try to be hip, but I probably wouldn’t fit in, but still, “see Bruno Mars at the Chelsea” at the Cosmopolitan Hotel is on my Bucket List).

And I desperately want to go back to the Turks and Caicos because it probably IS my happy place. And I even see great flight prices right now, but I can’t get the time off work. And I probably don’t have the budget for it right now. It’s expensive, but less so in the summer. And honestly, there is no wrong time of the year for the Caribbean.

So there it is, dear travel diary, my cluttered, overwhelmed travel thoughts and why I’m stuck in the mud right now and desperate to go, but overwhelmed with offers and flat broke in time.

I have TPA. Travel planning anxiety. And I’m going nowhere.

Do you feel it too?

Best of 2015

The ultimate resource for the people by the people, Trip Advisor, has posted their comprehensive ‘Best of 2015‘ lists.

Curious as to the best all inclusive resorts? What about the best beaches? It’s all there! Defintely check it out.

One of my all time favourite beach holidays has earned the number two spot on the world’s best beaches list. Congratulations once again to the Turks and Caicos islands! We stayed at the Ocean Club Resort, located right on Grace Bay beaches. It was glorious!

If you’d like to go to the Turks and Caicos islands, both Westjet and Air Canada will take you there. A round trip flight from Winnipeg will cost about $550 at an average sale price.

Since the Turks and Caicos main tourist island of Providenciales is a developed island with services and standards similar to North America and Europe,  you will not see all-incluvice packages offered as the norm. Here, except for the Beaches Resort and Club Med which ARE all inclusive, you will pay as a european style vacation, sourcing your own food and beverages.

Did your favourite beach make it to the list? Where would you recommend? Please do tell us in the comments. Have a question about the Turks and Caicos… just ask! I’ll do my best to answer or find you resource that can.

The signature pink umbrellas of the Ocean Club Resort on Grace Bay beach, Turks and Caicos
The signature pink umbrellas of the Ocean Club Resort on Grace Bay beach, Turks and Caicos.