Travel Blog

Tips & Thoughts from your Travel Agents

  • South of the Border

    10/2/2013 11:51:23 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    mexico, Trip Planning, vacation, winter

    I guess we have to face it. Winter is coming. No, this isn’t Westeros (Game of Thrones anyone?) but Minnesota winters can rival even the best of fiction. And with that, it may be time to start thinking of migrating south, even if it’s just for a week or two.

    Falling under the “somewhere hot and with a beach” theme, there really is no better destination than the Riviera Maya. This stretch of white sand and turquoise waters spans 6,500 miles along the Caribbean Sea, beginning on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. From Minneapolis, you can get direct flights on Sun Country almost every day December through April. Once you arrive, you’ll get a transfer directly to your resort. And if you don’t feel like stopping at every place with the rest of the plane, you can opt for a non-stop or private transfer, which is an additional cost, but major time saver.

    From north to south, there are five major vacation areas, all amazing and unique. First, Puerto Morelos, a small fishing village, with an excellent snorkeling reef offshore. This area is the closest to the Cancun airport and hotel zone. Next, we have Playa Maroma, a golf mecca, and also voted to be one of the Top Ten Beaches in the World. THE WORLD. And it’s in North America, a direct flight from Minneapolis. And you’re still “not sure about Mexico”?  

    Third, is probably the most familiar Mexico experience, Playa Del Carmen and Playacar. This area has been frequented by spring break college kids since your mom was in school , but the trends now have limited the accessibility for this demographic to party through your vacation. There you can catch a ferry to Cozumel or enjoy fabulous shopping. This area also has a reputation for being outstandingly safe, for Americans, women, everyone.

    Still moving south, we next arrive in Puerto Adeventuas. For those whose vacation ambitions are to swim with dolphins—this is your destination. Keeping with the water animals theme, Puerto Adventuras is an excellent launch point for fishing tours. The area is a bit smaller than Playa Del Carmen/Playacar, but still will leave you with the feeling that you’re not going to have enough time to do everything.

    Our last stop is Tulum. If you’re planning on staying in this furthest destination, it may very well be worth your while to get that non-stop or private transfer. You’ll spend less time watching everyone else jump start their vacation and get right to your resort. Tulum is also the home to the iconic ruins—so for you history and culture buffs, you can get a spot right in the middle of the action.

    So there it is—the Riviera Maya, so much more than just “CANCUN SPRING BREAK!” Did I mention the part where it’s easier to get to, and relatively less expensive than most Caribbean islands? If that’s not enough to change your mind, maybe this is: 

  • Somewhere hot and with a beach....

    8/30/2013 10:29:00 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    It’s almost Labor Day, and with it, the beginning of the end. Of summer that is. And with the close of Minnesota’s short vacation, it is time to start thinking of your winter getaway.The request comes in: send me somewhere hot and with a beach.

    Well…where? Hawai’i? Mexico? The Caribbean [which in itself has a myriad of options, each island varying in beach types and activities offered]? Doing a little research will get you a long way—but before you can do that, consider what type of vacation you like to go on. Do you like to sit on the beach for hours? What about snorkeling? Scuba diving? Are you interested in all-inclusive options, or do you like to stray away from the resorts to immerse with local cultures? Knowing the answer to these types of questions can easily help narrow down which hot, beach location is best for you.

    Dates are important too—want to avoid throngs of 18-21 year olds? Maybe stray away from Cancun in February and March. Traveling over holidays can be more expensive, not to mention that if you don’t book early enough, you may be outta luck when it comes to snagging that perfect ocean view room at the resort you’ve had your eye on for the past year. For us, dates are key—it’s difficult to price out a request of “anywhere from December to March”.

    Having a solid idea of dates, and a few expectations of what you’d like on your vacation, will help us help you get exactly what you’d like out of your vacation. Even better than letting us know what you like, is letting us know what you don’t like. Have you stayed with a specific hotel chain and had a terrible time? Or want to get away from going to the same place every year? The more information you give to your travel agent, the better.  

    Planning a trip is a daunting task—which is why we are here—but it shouldn’t be a deterrent from getting that much needed winter break. And if you truly have no idea where to begin, stop by and pick up a few brochures. Sometimes a little visual inspiration is all you need.

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