Amazing Rivera Maya

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This was President’s Day Holiday week for most of us. My husband and I were running around like chicken’s with our heads cut off trying to move all of our group from Los Cabos to Rivera Maya due to Hurricane Odile. That was truly a devastating blow to such a beautiful island. But we’ve heard that most of the resorts will be fully operational by the end of November.

At Cater2UTravels, our short break is well over and we are busy as ever. We had the pleasure of hosting our group at Riu Palace Rivera Maya. This resort is decorated in old world Spanish charm. The lobby was decorated in mahoghany wood with brillant colors painted in the cathedral ceilings. The seats was very plush and comfy. This resort is geared towards a much older, affluent class. The suites were very spacious and equipped with all your upgraded toiletries. Every suite was equipped with refrigerator and liquor dispensers.

Without tooting my own horn, I feel great about the direction in which we took our group and have no doubt that everyone had a great time enjoying each others company. Most times it’s hard to find the right people to travel with or have participate in our groups but fortunately we have been blessed with some of the most respectful individuals who know how to enjoy themselves. Most groups consist of singles, couples and girlfriends but we all come together without any drama involved. The anticipation for the next group event is in full effect with individuals booking in advance. We love this type of response because it tells us we are doing something right.

Have a great week!

To your next vacation!

Traditional or Destination Wedding?

The trends are dictating Destination Weddings as the must do now. Tradtional weddings are more for the families that are sticking to their family or religious beliefs. But in many cases many brides and grooms are getting out of the Traditional ways. Most are choosing Destination weddings because they don’t have to worry about the guest list getting out of hand or uninvited people showing up for their wonderful day. I’ve heard so many horror stories about exes or baby mommas showing up unexpectedly to wreck havoc on an what is supposed to be a joyous occasion attended for all. So brides & grooms are choosing to have there wonderful day abroad in beautiful destinations like Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, Los Cabos & Hawaii. Every destination hold it’s own when planning a wedding so choose wisely and be straight with your budget in the beginning. Destination weddings can be a breeze when you have a qualified planner making all the necessary arrangements for you and your family. Happy planning whether Traditional or Destination.

Take care….until next time.

Should I buy Travel Insurance?

I get this question everyday..why should I buy insurance because I know I’m going. OK..you can predict the future. I have many clients who have in the past missed out on so much money because they didn’t have travel protection. What if you lost your job today would you still be able to take that $4000 vacation you were planning and what happens to all that money you just put out for that vacation. I would hate to tell you that you get know of it back because you didn’t protect yourself. Look at it like this way…you pay for car insurance every month to insure your car against accidents but most of us never use it so you think what a waste but when you do need it you have it same way with travel insurance. It’s just a precaution just in event that something goes wrong. Why not insure this investment. Consultants can do most things but refund your money when the unpredictable happens. We are limited to things we can do. On that note…take care until next time.

Why use a travel agent?

This a touchy subject for me. Most people have a misconception of travel agents. Many people do not know the benefits of using a travel with the ease of booking travel today. All everyone has to do is open their computers or phone to search for the next travel deal. Everyone knows the time it takes to research hotels, destination, flights, tours, what to do and what’s right for your budget. But say you did all that research, booked your vacation and get there to find out the hotel is under construction or most lately, have bed bugs. This would ruin most peoples vacation. This is where a travel agents expertise for their knowledge of destinations, resorts, cultures, and a host of other things would come in handy. Travel agents can use their knowledge of the destination and personal experiences of the place to give you the best advice for the perfect vacation. Many do not know the value of having a travel agent on your side except the people who have one.

Do you know travel agents can most times get you better fares and reduced deposits for your vacation? Next time you are thinking of planning your vacation think of us…

Until next time take care..

Don’t Take Sand to the Beach!

You ask…..What I’m I talking about? This is for every person out there that’s thinking of taking someone you just met on a vacation. I tried to avoid this topic for a long time but have found many vacationers return….single. Yes, single. You can’t take a vacation with a newly found significant other or bun bun (as the youngsters say nowadays). Too many things happen on vacation when you relax or just want to be adventourous. How many of you wonder if it’s the right time or should you even be considering this type of commitment? I say if your relationship or friendship is established right from the beginning you’ll have no problems. So if you’re going as friends that’s fine but if one is thinking it’s more serious than what it really is, this can make for very difficult & uncomfortable vacation. Have a discussion so you both are clear on what this vacation means for you two if not, be prepared for the outcome. Have a great vacation…Take care until next time

Don’t overpack or you’ll be paying!

Oh boy…this is a topic here. I know the airlines have restrictions on baggage but they aren’t the only ones. Your transfer or pick up service will also have restrictions as well so please call or send them an email the day before your arrival to find this information out. This information will be in your travel documents. It’s not a pretty picture when you arrive at your destination to have to pay again because you were over the baggage limit. Many seasoned travelers know this tidbit of information but for all the newcomers to international travel…beware for you may be in for a big surprise upon arrival to your destination.

What do I need? Passport or ID

We all get excited with the thought of traveling and sometimes forget the most important. What do we need to get there. For travel inside the U.S. we are required to have a State Issued ID or ID that meets Homeland Security’s requirements. For travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Bermuda we can use a passport card as long as it’s by land or sea leaving/returning to a U.S. port. We can not use a passport card to fly to these areas or internationally, you must purchase a passport book in order to fly outside the U.S.

For all first travelers, check with your travel agent or vendor before purchase to make sure you know exactly what you’ll need to pass through airport security & traveling to your desired destination.

Take care….until the next time.

When should you travel?

Everyone’s schedule is different so this will take in effect of what time of year you can travel. Most seasoned travelers are aware that travel during March, June, July & August are typically higher than most other months because schools are out & most families vacation in the summer time due to the weather. March is for the spring breakers and flights, hotels are normally much higher so plan early for this. But let’s explore other options as well. Children get out of school several times a year, plan family vacations during these times. We have planned lots of family cruises during the Columbus Day & Christmas break. So these may be an option since it’s less crowded at the airports & cruise terminals. Try traveling during weekdays Tuesday & Wednesday seem to be less crowded in airports than weekend days. Nightly flights are good as well unless you’re traveling to transatlantic destinations. No matter when you decide to travel just plan ahead and familiarize yourself with your destination. Take care…..until this next time.

What are you paying for?

I receive questions everyday on why the online booking engine prices are lower than agents prices. I advise anyone that wants to book through any online vendor to consult with your personal travel agent before making any online purchases to insure that you know what you’re paying for. Some agents will go over your itinerary with you so you can compare what you’re getting from them & what you getting from the online booking engine. And most times you will find a difference. Flights are either longer or transfers aren’t included on the online booking engines. Please know what you are paying for before you purchase your trip. Most of the time you’ll never be able to speak to a live person when you book from an online booking engine but inquire so you’ll know every aspect of your travel itinerary. Do know that must consultants will try to price match some itineraries so consult with them beforehand.

No..Everything Ain’t Free!

We all expect a little extra every now and again. But for the life of me I don’t understand why do people think just because the pay for what they ask for they’re going to get everything else free! Huh…no your jungle excursion doesn’t come with this trip. Did you ask for it in the beginning so why should you think it was going to all of sudden appear on your itinerary? Okay folks….let’s talk a little bit. It takes hours to research destinations, excursions, airports, transportation and accommodations so if you need something in particular please..please..please tell your consultant in the beginning because it will not magically appear in the end. I would like to say on behalf of most my travel consultant peers we would like to grant all of our clients wishes without charging them but that is impossible when the suppliers are definitely going to charge for their service. Don’t get me wrong sometimes we (meaning consultants) will treat our loyal long term clients to some extras. That’s why it’s truly important for you as a client to clearly list or make sure your consultant knows what’s important for your vacation to be all that it should be. Spectacular!

I’m familiar with getting and giving extras but remember it’s hard to book at the last minute and expect the tour operators or supplier to have your information upon your arrival. I like to prepare my clients itinerary to show them exactly what they should be expecting at their destination. Sometimes they may receive an upgrade due to the supplier not having their room category or maybe s surprise gift or two depending on the occasion but your itinerary should outline the details. If your itinerary tells you to check in with the transportation company 24 hours before your flight do so that’s important because they may need to inform you of their baggage allowance and pick up area. Please confirm your details again with your consultant and with the supplier before you leave for your vacation.

Let’s recap, make sure consultant knows all vacation expectations and firm up details with suppliers 24 hours before you leave. Take care, until next time…