Frequently Asked Questions
When should we start planning our Vacation, Destination Wedding or Honeymoon?
This pertains to any vacation package. Ideally one should start to plan at least 8 months from when they plan to travel. It’ll give you plenty of time to work with our travel consultants while the best prices, flight itineraries and accommodations are available! Don’t fret if your not a planner though- our travel consultants will work withyou no matter how close in to date of travel you are to find the best value.
However if your plans fall on a holiday such as over Christmas, Presidents day or one of the local island celebrations or festivals you may want to plan as early as a year. Keep in mind you may not be able to get pricing until 8-10 months before your desired date, but if you are ready to deposit as soon as pricing is released you will be guaranteed the date and room category that you want! These dates are at a premium and unfortunately you will generally pay premium price!
Destination weddings are increasing in popularity and many resorts will allow you to lock in your wedding date 18 months prior to travel. We highly recommend doing so if you are very set on a date as we are seeing many prime wedding dates go quickly!
Why do you suggest certain resorts or destinations over others?
By reviewing your answers in our honeymoon questionnaire, asking the right questions during our consultation and listening closely, we are able to provide our clients recommendations that fit with their wants & desires- within their budget.
In addition to the recommendations we provide our clients with a thorough review of the resort and photo’s. To be sure that I have found the right resort for your vacation and budget I base my recommendations on:
A)- Site inspections done personally by us. We travel to the most popular destinations at least twice a year – more if we can! We meet with management, inspect the property and sample local attractions. We also attend training conferences, webinars and trade shows to keep up to date on resorts, management and up & coming destinations.
B) – Recent consumer reviews and information that we get through trade journals and/or fellow travel agents. There may have been a recent refurbishment or a change in management or policy since our last visit that can greatly affect the operation and moral of the resort.
C)- Reputation of the company (i.e Sandals Resorts win numerous awards for their properties).
This is our personalized service for you and why it’s to your benefit to use our travel consultants! It may take us a tad longer to provide a quote but you can be assured that it was thoroughly researched and found to be the best vacation package for you.
We recognize that each of our clients have different needs, wants and desires- what we recommend for you may be completely different from what we recommend to the next couple!
What about all of those great last minute deals—shouldn’t I wait to get the best price?
This last year has been quite a roller coaster in terms of travel & pricing – prior to the recession, travel was at it’s highest levels since prior to 2001. 2008 and early 2009 has seen some destinations have amazing deals and also rock bottom pricing at the last minute. However, there is a definate down side as the airlines have cut capacity, meaning that there are fewer flights available and very few non stops. To grab the best flights we still recommend booking early, last minute flights tend to have long layovers and lousy itineraries!
A few trends to take note of-
The top suites are selling out very early- so if you are planning on booking a swim up room, oceanfront, plunge pool or other top of the line suite we highly recommend doing it early!
Travel requests and bookings are picking up across the board for all destinations, many are spurned on by great prices, value added offers such as resort and/or spa credits and people are just ready to travel and get away from the stress of everyday life ! This is causing pricing to steadily rise so those last minute deals may again disappear.
So, how can we get a deal?
Early booking discounts still offer great savings. Flexibility on traveling dates will also help you find the best price. Some suppliers will offer a vacation protection plan, for a fee, that if the price goes down you will be refunded the difference. And last but not least—package discounts! Many suppliers offer great pricing when you purchase your air & accommodations together and may even through in a few bonus amenities!
Anything that we should look out for?
Be vigilant about any offers that seem too good to be true, rock bottom pricing and any company that is willing to undercut it’s pricing-in these tough economic times it may be a company’s last gasp effort to make a cash grab before closing its doors. Companies that prefer cash or checks may be another warning sign. Please keep in mind that some companies overseas have always done business that way, so as a consumer you really need to do your homework to see if it is a new policy or a standard.
Where do you recommend for us to go for our honeymoon/destination wedding/ anniversary vacation?
There are so many amazing destinations and resorts please contact us and let us get to work finding the perfect gem for you! We’d love to discuss what you & your loved one desires for your perfect vacation and find you the best vacation package !
Sand & Sun Vacations Travel Consultant Team