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Vacation Packages

Updated: Oct 26

To package or not to package?

A vacation package comprises transportation and accommodations advertised and sold together by a vendor known as a tour operator. Other services may be provided such as a rental car, activities or outings during your vacation.

Packages to all-inclusive resorts include the following destinations:

* Jamaica

* Cancun

* Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Maya

* Punta Cana


In addition, packages are available to three adults-only, all-inclusive Temptation resorts -- Temptation Cancun, Temptation Miches, and Temptation Grand Miches. If you would prefer Jamaica, check out Hedonism II in Negril.


There are pros and cons to this approach. If you are flying to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean, the pros usually outweigh the cons.


For example, you will have a U.S. contact for your accommodations. Also, when you arrive at your destination airport, you will have reliable transportation to your resort.


However, there are potential cons to booking both your flights and accommodations through a tour operator instead of booking your flights directly with the airline.


* Suppose that you miss one of your flights -- either departing or returning. Because you booked the package, including your flights, through a tour operator, you cannot communicate directly with the airline. And to contact the tour operator entails spending at least an hour on hold, which can be expensive if you are using your cell phone outside the United States.


* Round-trip tickets or two one-way tickets? If you prefer to use the same airline each way, a round-trip ticket is usually your best option. On the other hand, if you are booking your hotel separately, why do you have to book both flights with the same airline? Instead, you should evaluate the cost of each flight departing and returning, especially if the destination is served by multiple airlines.


* Booking through a tour operator, if you have earned airline points from credit cards or previous trips, there is no way to apply your points.


* If you are 65 or older, you may obtain a senior discount on the hotel, airline, or both by booking them separately.


As an alternative, you could book your flights and hotel/transfers separately. The process is:


1) Make your hotel reservation. For all-inclusive resorts, see https://www.diy-travel.com/post/all-inclusive.


Before making a payment, check the resort's cancellation policy. If you need assistance, contact me at jerry.tubbs@roadrunner.com.


2) Book your flights with your preferred airline, thereby maintaining control of your flights.


3) If your destination is in Mexico or the Caribbean, you should prearrange airport transfers. You do not want to place yourself at the mercy of an unknown taxi driver.


4) Because you booked flights and hotel separately, you should consider booking travel insurance separately. Whether or not you package, if you are vacationing outside the United States, consider Covid-19 travel insurance in case you have to quarantine before returning.


What's your opinion? After logging in, enter your comments below. If you have any questions, send them to jerry.tubbs@roadrunner.com.


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