Why should you Contact Us for your All Inclusive Vacation?
1. We book amazing All Inclusive Vacation Packages every, single, day.
2. We've been there (to many of the best resorts) ourselves, or...our colleagues have clients who have been there and can offer us unbiased pros and cons of the resort, location, value, etc.
3. We work with ALL major suppliers who offer us special volume pricing.
4. We have a guaranteed price match on nearly all published resorts.
5. We have numerous colleagues in our network (3,000+) and many available additional resources, to answer all your questions before/during and after you book your All Inclusive Vacation with us.
6. We offer special group vacation pricing for your family, friends, reunion, groups and wedding guests.
7. Why risk your trip through a massive vacation search engine with no after-the sale support?
8. Who can you call to assist you once you've bought from a massive search engine? Do you want to be "on-hold" at the airport, when your having issues? We offer one-on-one, personalized support during your entire vacation.
9. We offer our clients wonderful perks, specials, discounts, gifts, VIP service and superior customer service.
10. We have many happy clients, just check out our Reviews Page!
11. Save Time and Research. We do ALL the leg-work for you, at no additional cost, when you book your All Inclusive Vacation package through us.
Give us a call today, OR fill out our Dream Vacation- Planner tool, to book your All Inclusive Vacation of your Dreams! Call Escape Destinations Travel at: 910.379.4033
YOUR ALL INCLUSIVE PLANNING TIMELINE-
Planning an All Inclusive Trip is so Very Exciting and sometimes as exciting planning as the trip itself!! Here’s your Schedule of what you need to do to plan your dream vacation, and when you should do it all. Don’t worry, Escape Destinations Travel is here to assist you every step of the way! Don’t hesitate to call or email us with any questions, that’s what we’re here for.
9-12+ Months Out-
At the end of the day, if you made it to the resort without a major hiccup, then your vacation is off to a really great start!
My best personal advice: don't stress, relax, and enjoy the memories your making and truly enjoy every moment because it all goes by so fast, it's all worth it in the end!
HAVE AN ABSOLUTELY AMAZING VACATION!
International Vacation Tips & Tricks!
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Here are some tips, tricks and general guidelines that will help to make your international vacation very enjoyable.
When Planning Your Trip:
* Always use a Travel Consultant! Your travel professional will sort through any of your concerns or questions ahead of time, along the way to your destination, while traveling in the country, or when you’re headed home. Should you have a cancelled or even delayed flight, they are there being just a simple phone call away. Should you hotel have issues, be over-booked (yes sometimes it happens with a few), a medical emergency or other situations that can happen, they’ll be right there to assist you immediately and help you quickly get back on track to your destination!
* Do you have a group tour or cruise you’re trying to get to? Always plan on arriving to your destination in advance. We recommend at least a day before you need to be there. Let’s say you have a dream cruise you’ve saved up for a while for, and you chose to arrive the same day of embarkation. Should you inevitably get delayed due to weather, flight cancellations or a flat tire, you may not be able to board the cruise in time. Or, if your flight was cancelled and you were re-booked, your luggage may have gotten lost in transit. A 24-hour window allows your luggage to catch up with you, or a delay to not de-rail your dream trip. And always consider insurance, trip delay or luggage lost is normally covered by most travel insurance companies.
* Reconfirm all those fine details long before you depart on your vacation. If you are traveling over several time zones or even the International Dateline, remember to verify the arrival date(s) are the correct dates that you will be arriving at your destination. It’s imperative to pay very close attention to any overnight flight schedules regarding connections and arrivals that may interfere with your travel itinerary, group tours, cruises, etc.
* Booking your trip across several airlines can be confusing, is very stressful while traveling, and can even be potentially more expensive to your budgeted vacation dollars. It’s good to hire a travel professional who will be certain to review your itinerary when it’s first issued as well as prior to your date of travel. They can advise you as to whether it's really do-able as far as connection times, baggage handling, and other issues/concerns. The consultant can also serve as your one-call contact, should something unfortunately go wrong.
Packing For Your Trip:
* Don’t forget to carry your passport, important medication, emergency contact information (especially your travel professional’s contact info) and other critical information with you at all times. Never pack your important documents and medication in your suitcase that’s checked! Your carry-on, or on your person is the best option.
* When packing your suitcases for your vacation, consider opting for two smaller suitcases over one large suitcase. Many airports abroad are not equipped to easily handle a full cargo of luggage, and may be in a constant state of “catch-up”. Your luggage may not arrive with your flight (as it should) but could even arrive on a later flight, instead. This frequently occurs when you have several connections. When a flight is overweight, the first things to be off loaded are those heaviest bags. If your suitcase is not light, but is an overweight massive bag, it could be one to be off loaded first.
* Pack your itinerary, to include your travel professional’s full contact information and your own contact information while traveling in each piece of luggage you plan to bring on the vacation. This will help the airlines catch up with you and coordinate the delivery of your luggage during your trip, should this need arise.
* Pack everything that’s absolutely necessary into your carry-on. This could include the following: a full change of clothes, toiletries, and medication should your luggage not make it to your destination or be delayed. Pack items not readily available in stores at the destination and that you need. Also, some other items that may be handy: gum, candy, nuts, granola bars, that may help you with your energy in case a store/restaurant is closed whether in transit or when you’ve reached your final destination!
Have a Wonderful Vacation!!
What's essential to you when you travel Internationally? Comment Below.
International Toiletry Essentials to Pack for Your Next Trip-
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Packing for your International Trip doesn't mean you have to go all out for your next vacation. With a few ideas, shared below, you'll be well on your way to being completely prepared with all your toiletry items needed.
· Place your travel size toiletries in a hanging toiletry bag or jewelry. Hotels have limited counter space. This can easily be hung over your bathroom door at the hotel.
· Bring any dual voltage, compact folding hair dryers/curling irons/flat-irons (if needed) on your vacation. Dual voltage appliances are practically the norm, now, and can easily be found at many local stores. If you can go without, this would be much better, and lighter!
· Most 3+ rated hotels will have hair dryers. But, what could be better than air drying your hair!
· Even with dual voltage appliances, you'll need an adaptor plug for the sockets. Of course, if not bringing dual-voltage appliances, you'll need to bring an electrical converter, as well, but be aware even the smallest of these can add as much as 5 lbs to your luggage weight.
· Many of the nice hotels abroad will provide at least a small bottle of shampoo, so be prepared. Bring a couple with you, at least, or fill travel bottles with your favorite products.
· Pack a cheap, dozen washcloths or handy facial/makeup wipes. They don't exist abroad (that I could find). Use one a day and simply toss.
· Pack a micro-fiber "turby towel." This is helpful to dry your hair, body, etc. I always carry my "turby towel" with me on my travels as it helps dry my hair quickly.
· Purchase double-purposed type products: shampoo/conditioner-in-one; tinted moisturizer instead of packing foundation + moisturizer.
· Don't forget the travel-sized products come in very handy while traveling overseas.
· Tweezers, nail polish remover pads (definitely not the bottle of liquid); emory boards, toothpicks, dental floss.
· Manicure scissors, small needle and thread kit (with common colors).
· Safety pins, in various assorted sizes.
· Barrettes, bobby pins, ponytail holders, hair clips, stretchy headband (good for cold weather, too).
· Perhaps consider packing a very small roll of duct tape (hey...it may come in handy to mend clothes, bandages, luggage if it's ripped, etc).
And remember, unless you’re planning on camping during the "Wild nights in Munich, during Oktoberfest" about anything you need, can be very easily purchased along the way!
3 Super Quick Tips for Traveling Abroad!
Don't laugh...but these have to do with paying attention to Your Precious Feet!
1. DO NOT SKIMP ON FOOTWEAR! Your feet are so worth it!
Vacations abroad are by their nature, very much walking, climbing and touring vacations. So many times you'll find yourself off the beaten path. The center of many towns are traffic free, so walking is how they are seen. Think of all of the cobblestone streets in Europe!
It's so important to purchase quality, well fitting, supportive and comfortable shoes. Make it a huge priority. Don't go "cheap" on the shoes, invest in something that will reap you healthy benefits. Buy them in advance before you leave for your overseas adventure and walk in them often, before-hand. Blisters or super sore feet can ruin your entire time abroad. You want to make memories, not nurse sore, aching feet.
2. INVEST IN GOOD SOCKS-
Do invest in good socks and good footwear.
Wool or synthetic blends will tend to help to cushion your feet, even when wet and easier to rinse out and wash by hand while abroad. They dry more than twice as fast, because they breathe well and wick moisture. Cotton will soak up sweat and moisture, and this isn't great when walking (especially if you're going long distances).
Such a quick, simple little tip, but worth so much! Trust me please. Your feet will thank you.
3. BRING (2) PAIRS OF COMFORTABLE SHOES-
Pack two pairs of comfortable, well-broken in walking shoes. Each day switch to the other pair if possible. Your feet will thank you. Find some that are versatile and can be worn with anything in your suitcase.
I try to remember to pack a pair of black flats and a pair of flat-soled boots, often, but sometimes even instead, a second pair of slip-ons in place of the boots. In either case, they can both be worn with slacks, jeans, or dresses. You can even switch them back and forth from day to evening-should you have a nice night on the town!
The reason has to do with various pressure points on your feet. No matter how well-fitting a pair of shoes may be to you, your feet tend to rest differently within them. By switching off shoes, you can give those pressure points in your feet a much needed break. This will lessen your chance for blisters or sore spots.
It’s another simple little traveling tip, but worth so much! Trust me. Your precious feet will thank you.
Do YOU have any particular shoe styles, or brands that have worked well for you on your travels, please share below!
Sometimes getting the “cheapest deal” isn’t always the Best Deal! By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
We had an existing client phone us the other day saying their “cheap” All Inclusive Deal wasn’t such a deal after-all. They had decided to go with one of those online discount travel sites, to book their All Inclusive Deal, because it was hundreds cheaper than we could offer, only to find out (they realized a month out from their trip) that it did NOT include their flights nor did it include their transfers. The client was in an absolute panic because all she had now, was a resort (hotel) booked to a beautiful tropical destination, without flights nor a way to get there once they arrived to the airport and also didn't have a way to get back to the airport from the resort, when the trip was over. And they didn't bother to compare our "vacation package" to the online discounted travel one at the time of booking with this competitor! Yikes!!!
With their vacation resort being nearly an hour+ away from the closest airport, the transfers would cost them over $200 each, and then the flights were roughly $600 a piece, round trip. So that “bargain trip” was not such a bargain anymore. She now needed to scramble to find airfare. But, thankfully we were able to recommend a few flights to her and add in the transfers into a sweet little packaged deal. We saved the day and felt like a hero!!
I completely understand getting the best bang for your buck (hey....I've been called frugal by my own family)…but cheapest is not always the best! Our original trip that we quoted the client months prior, actually ended up costing them less with our company, when you added in the all important round-trip airfare and round-trip transfers. It really helps to have the complete picture when you’re comparing prices. It’s important to compare apples-to-apples to get the best price. And...it's super important to have a professional on your side, who can decipher what's really needed for a "complete packaged" vacation.
AND one more thing….did you know we Price Match? Yes, many times should you find a lower price, we can match it for you (as long as it's the same identical trip/room type/flights, etc.)!! So do your homework and understand the price your seeing may not include all the other things that can quickly add up costing you more money in the end.
We think our client learned her lesson and we sincerely hope they will continue to use our business in the future!
Do I Really Need Travel Insurance?
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
Yes, I hear it ALL The Time. Just last week I had a travel client call me in a panic because her friend could absolutely not go on the All Inclusive Trip they had planned for NEXT MONTH! YIKES! For only a few extra dollars....get the insurance!
Why, because it can protect you from illness, sudden changes in your plans, an unexpected death in the family and also affects the other people traveling with you. You don't want to end up with the extra cost as the one getting "stuck" on the trip which was one together, but now you have to pay more to travel solo.
So, the story doesn't end yet for my client, she's scrambling to find someone to join her on her trip to Mexico, very much last minute. And the cost to change the flights (think supply and demand means higher price) for the new person will be higher, and the friend who now can't go, she's lost her entire vacation money! To the tune of over $1,800! So the moral of this story....pay a tad bit extra for the peace of mind that comes with having travel insurance. It really IS worth it in the end- I promise!
WHAT IS BETTER ABOUT TRAVELING WITH A GROUP?
With our busy lives and careers, it's hard to have meaningful time with anyone we care about. One of the best parts of booking a group trip is for connecting with your family or friends. There are a million reasons to plan a group trip someplace dreamy!
It's more fun. Isn't that why we go on vacation- to enjoy ourselves? Imagine ... The first day of your group trip, we organize a welcome cocktail party where everyone traveling in your group meets in a designated area for an hour or two to connect, relax, have fun and begin planning all of the fun times they will have!
Can you see yourself having wonderful, exciting days, exploring with your family and friends and then meeting your entire group for dinner each night to share fun conversation and great activities that were enjoyed that day along with a super delicious meal! There’s almost always little bonuses for booking a group, whether it be a free amenities and upgrades only given to a group. Things like welcome baskets of treats, bottles of wine, or even sometimes a complimentary amenity like spa visit, free golf, etc! The group leader can even get a reduced or FREE Room for all the effort and work they spent coordinating the vacation with one of our travel experts.
Whether it's your family or a fitness group, we will help you get those hard to reach people interested in the vacation as a group! We'll provide you with all the resources you'll need to motivate, educate, and excite people to enjoy their group vacation together. As a group leader or group organizer, you may need support in deciding on all of the little things. That is where our experts come in. They can help you select the right departure date, itinerary length, and activities which lead directly to staying within the budget you require for you and your group! Your group agent will help you to identify the needs of your group and will be sure to clearly understand your expectations. We handle all the fine details, so you look like the Rock Star and we're working behind the scenes coordinating dates, collecting the money from each travel participant, etc.
Why vacation with a group? It's a great value. It's time well spent with family and friends. It's an adventure. It's safer in numbers! But- the number one reason we think it's better to travel with a group? It's just more fun!
FRIENDS & FAMILY GROUPS-
Class reunion? Family Reunion? Church Group? Wedding? Club or Hobby? Any reason to bring friends and family together for vacationing is a good one! Let Escape Destinations Travel be your guide to the greatest memories ever! With 8 cabins or more, our Group Travel Experts will lead the way.
COMMON INTEREST GROUPS-
Love to Run? Have fun Scrapbooking? Want to vacation with an Elvis impersonator? Karaoke? You can even bring your Fitness Boot Camp with you on vacation! Let us help you pull everyone together. People you know, people you don't know - let's bring them all together! We can support you and your group that share the same passion! We can arrange your dining times, reserve meeting space, and even orchestrate your special events and meeting space.
CORPORATE & INCENTIVE GROUPS-
Would you like to reward your employees for a job well done? Would you like to celebrate a great fiscal year at work? What about your top sales people? Even a corporate retreat or seminar! Vacationing as a group is an incredible way to provide your best employees with an experience second-to-none without a-la-carte pricing. Pay one bill, one time, for your corporate trip and let Escape Destinations Travel take you there!
Planning a Reunion? You can strengthen your family ties by spending quality time with loved ones, or reconnect with classmates during a vacationing high school or college reunion.
Call us today for further details! 910.379.4033
Quick Ways to save for Vacation!
By Jen Campbell of Escape Destinations Travel
In a perfect world, we'd all have fully funded vacation accounts full of lots of money to pay for our annual family getaways. The reality is that most of us are just now starting to think about this holiday season and next summer's vacation. Here are some fast-track ways to save for your big trip.
1. Start with a spending plan
Decide upfront how much you'll spend on your vacation. Get specific.
Along with plane tickets (or gas, if you're driving) and hotel prices, guess what your costs for meals, souvenirs, and park or museum admissions. Total it all up. If the number sends you into shock, cut back on costs -- now, on paper -- until you feel comfortable with what you're spending. If money is super tight, consider a couple of long weekend trips instead of one "dream" vacation this summer. Staycations are always good ideas, take some day trips to areas locally you’ve been wanting to check out, without breaking the bank.
When we started deciding that family memories were essential to our family, I decided what amount we could set aside for our “travel budget” and every paycheck, determined to set this money aside into a savings account. It didn’t break our budget, was hardly missed, and it slowly but surely compounded.
Another idea is to sit down with your family and determine how much you can spend on your trip, then get with your travel agent to actually budget your plans out. Most vacations can be held with a small deposit, and then payments made as often as you like. It’s like a built in savings plan, you have a tangible goal to work towards, and you can then COUNT DOWN to vacation time! The anticipation of the trip is just as fun!
2. Sacrifice now for lots of fun later
Do you belong to a health club or subscribe to a service (such as cable or satellite TV, a cell phone plan, etc.) that you no longer use, or could easily downgrade?
Consider dropping the service now and stash the money away for your family's summer vacation. Also consider cutting back for a few months on nonessentials like kids' dance lessons, your weekly Pilates classes, your husband's trips to the batting cage, lunch/dinner or coffee out, or your family's monthly movie-rental service. When I made a decision a few years ago to make memories with my family and cut costs wherever it was, I was able to set aside some money every 2 weeks to make it happen. So, I cut lunch out with co-workers, and rather than deny them completely, I tried to do 1 a week instead of nearly daily.
Remember: You're just trading today's fun for the fantastic fun you'll have during your vacation. Move what you normally would have spent on these items into your vacation fund. Ideally, that would be a special savings account or an easy-to-track category within your larger savings account.
3. Build cash with a 'Pantry Week'
For one week each month, from now until your trip, stay out of the grocery store and eat only what you have in your house.
You could make it fun by pretending you're on a deserted island and can only eat what you have in the pantry. What unusual meals can the kids suggest? Many families have more staples in their cupboards than they realize. And hey! It really is actually OK to eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner one night.
4. Eat out less, save big
A typical family with kids younger than age 6 spends an average of $239 each month on restaurant meals, according to the National Restaurant Association. That's money that could easily be diverted to your vacation fund.
Some ways to cut back without going cold turkey: Check local restaurants for "kids eat free" nights (often Monday or Tuesday nights), watch newspaper coupon inserts for buy one entree, get one free dining deals or buy discounted coupons (usually $25 certificates for $10) at Restaurant.com.
Frozen dinners or ready-made grocery deli items are much cheaper than restaurant food if all you really need is a cooking break. You could also eat dinner inexpensively at home, then treat the family to a modest dessert out.
5. Make a visual savings wall chart
Kids are more likely to get excited, and you'll stay on track easily, if you make your savings goal visual. Chart a graph on a large poster board. Track your weekly or monthly progress toward your trip savings with colorful markers and stickers.
Set some great milestones along the way: For instance, once you've saved one-quarter of your trip costs, celebrate with a special movie-at-home night or go out for ice cream. Celebrating your success makes the savings process fun and less tedious!
6. Sell your stuff
A garage sale is a great way to earn vacation cash from your castoffs. To attract a crowd, run an ad in your local newspaper, online like craigslist and face book and post easy-to-read signs around your own neighborhood. Check local regulations about posting notices, of course, and write signs in crayon if it looks like rain.
Sales tips: Kids' clothes sell well at yard sales, adult clothes don't -- try a consignment shop instead. List kids' clothing sizes and brand names, if you have them, in your ad. Some parents make special trips to garage sales featuring labels like Baby Gap and Gymboree.
If your kids are old enough to help, let them pick some of their older toys to sell. A cute special kids' table with a sign like, "All proceeds go to purchase of our Disneyland souvenirs," is often a big hit -- and it's a great way to teach your kids about saving money.
7. Use your tax refund -- now
Do you usually get an IRS refund in April? If so, too much tax money is being withheld from your paycheck. Fill out a new W-4 form with your employer right away. Adjust your tax withholding so that it's fairly close to what you will owe in April.
Your next paycheck should be substantially bigger. Start transferring the extra money into your dedicated vacation savings account or category. Or, if you still get a refund this spring, sock it away, too. Put the money into a dedicated vacation account, so you don't spend the money on anything else.
8. Let credit cards pay you back
In the months prior to your vacation consider using a credit card that accumulates "rewards"(points or cash rebates) for everything you can: gas, groceries -- even day-care tuition.
Let these rewards pile up, then use them toward plane tickets (if you've been banking points/dollars for a while), hotel or rental car discount, or gift cards for chain restaurants you'll visit on your trip. The key, of course, is to pay off your balance in full every month. Vacation debt is not the kind of souvenir you would want to collect.
9. Pay for All of your Trip Up Front
We like to head on vacation with NO Debt owed for the trip. We pay for our tips/gratuities, any extra trips, etc. in advance. I like to go on vacation knowing that everything has been covered, and I can truly relax with no worries about finances! That’s truly a relaxing, worry-free vacation for me.
As a travel specialist, one of the questions I hear most is “Why should I book with a travel agent, when I can simply book directly on the web with the cruise line, resort, hotel, etc?”
Great question! Purchasing a vacation should be a personal experience. All vacations are not alike, & the best vacation experience is one where the vacation is matched to you!
Check out these 6 quick reasons to book with an experienced travel consultant – specifically one that specializes in cruise & land vacation travel.
1. Your Time is Precious. Who wants to spend hours sorting through the hundreds of cruise ship & land options? We're always happy to work for you – it’s what we truly love to do.
2. Reliable Pricing. Have you ever logged on to a web-only site to research pricing on a particular vacation? You’ll see one price & you say to yourself, great – Hey...I think I’ll book it now. Sometimes though, that’s not the only price available; there may be other promotion codes, hidden prices (add-ons) as well, allowing for many different rates for the same choices. A knowledgeable consultant will let you know whether any price discounting is available resulting from any special promotions, group pricing, or whether you might qualify for a past passenger rate, a military rate or other special discount &/or added amenity's offered.
3. Personalized Service. Have you ever been frustrated with the 800-number large web-based agencies, waiting on hold, unreturned phone calls, or simply tons of mis-information? In some cases, the representative you are dealing with has never even stepped foot where you're going & is just relating information from the site's own website. Since you have my cell number (and our other consultants personal numbers) we will never leave you hanging, always returning calls & emails promptly. A really good consultant knows what you’re looking for in a vacation & will make it happen in an expedited, friendly & professional way.
4. Support a Local, Small Business. With thousands of agencies out there beckoning for your business – brick & mortar and on-line agencies alike – competition is very fierce. We're small, independent business – that has access to the same resources as the big web agencies as well as personal experience & unmatched service you won’t find anywhere else. Thank you for making us your travel consultant! Thanks for entrusting us with your vacation dreams.
5. Help Always. Did you know that if you have already booked directly with the cruise line or vacation package company, you can still transfer that booking to our company? Simply let us know, & we will take care of the whole process. Your cruise or vacation package stays exactly the same, you will receive great service, we'll keep you as our guest & as a friend. Everyone wins!
6. We Have your Back. If any problems should arise before or during your vacation, we will advocate on your behalf. Usually with really great results!
So, you may then ask, "Why are travel agents still the best tool to book vacations in the information age?"
The internet won’t call a customer back, won’t wait on hold on your behalf, with an airline or hotel so you don’t have to, adjust plans due to unexpected developments or act as your “mission control” for all facets of your cruise vacation or vacation package – before, during and after. You can't ask the internet questions prior to booking. Travel consultants work as personal advisors to provide their clients with the best travel experience before during and even after their trip.Thanks to their in-depth knowledge, experience and industry connections, travel consultants are able not only to save their clients money, but their most valuable possession—their time.
Being available constantly 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.... Calling clients in Germany, Costa Rica if they need me... It's about being there to create the most perfect experience!
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