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Booking a Resort during Vacations

Book a wedding travel or honeymoon package with us and you AND your guests will save with our Wedding Travel Rewards program! Get a 5% rebate or upfront discount on the TOTAL price of your package -- including airfare, hotel, taxes -- EVERYTHING! Some restrictions apply. Ask one of our wedding travel planners for details.

Booking Resort, Vacation Packages, Wedding Honeymoon Package, Discount Vacations

Should I stay at a resort that just opened?

This is a question we hear often. There are new resorts opening monthly in Mexico and the Caribbean. That trend will continue for the next 12 - 18 months.

New resorts are a great way to stay at luxury resorts at discounted prices. The first season a new resort is open, the rates will be deeply discounted so that they can get good press and lots of buzz about the property. Just make sure that it is a well known hotel company. They will generally bring in great staff from other more established properties to kick off the Grand Opening. Most resorts have a 4 week soft opening. I always suggest that staying during this time is a risky proposition. The service will most likely not be perfect. The menus may not be set. The staff may not be trained properly. Always ask our agents.

My favorite new property in the Riveria Maya is the Valentin Imperial Maya - just spectacular!

Book your Apple Vacation dream honeymoon to Cancun, Cancun's Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Jamaica or Puerto Vallarta and the lucky bride and groom will receive two FREE roundtrip air tickets for the same time next year!

This promotion is valid for new air and hotel bookings, only on USA3000 Airlines or Apple Charter for travel August 15 - October 31, 2008. After original reservation has travelled, a copy of your marriage certificate and the Apple honeymoon form have been received, an Apple Vacations/USA3000 Airlines certificate for two air seats will be sent to the honeymoon couple. Marriage certificate must be dated August 15 - October 31, 2008. Return air seats are valid for anywhere USA3000 Airlines flies through Apple from August 15 - October 31, 2009. Tickets are non-transferable. Call us at (800) 510-5642 and let us plan the perfect wedding or honeymoon for you.

Remember to fill out your travel preference form and enter to win a $250 travel credit and special gifts in your birthday and wedding anniversary months!

Planning your wedding and/or your honeymoon at a vacation destination from start to finish with an experienced travel wedding planner will give you the peace of mind that all the right decisions are being made for one of the most important events of your life. We will help you make your wedding and/or your honeymoon all that you dream it will be.

Call us today at 1-800-510-5642. We look forward to saving you money and planning the wedding/honeymoon of your dreams!

Call one of our vacation agents at (800) 325-2485 and let us make this reservation for you.


Booking Your Vacation Then and Now

Booking hotels and flights has changed remarkably over the past 20 years. The Internet has made it possible to do it all yourself.

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When I was a kid, my family would take an annual vacation. Dad would tell mom when his vacation days were and mom would go to the local travel agent office and make the hotel arrangements.

Mom had to rely on the agent's info and a handful of brochures. Once in a while we would get a hotel based on a friend's recommendation. But most of my hotel visits were sight unseen. Dad also relied on AAA auto club to get the most current maps which had some hotel and restaurant recommendations.

As I got older, I traveled while in the Army. Most of those flights were military aircraft or the on-base travel agent booked everything. We had little or no say in the matter. Once we arrived, we were either placed in on-post billeting or housed in an approved hotel.

Now, when I plan a business trip or a vacation, I do it all myself and never talk to anyone. It is all done online, safely and securely.

I can compare airfares with the airline, a travel company or my local travel agent's web site. I can look at different prices based on different arrival and departure times. I can see the layovers, how long I will be stuck at the connecting airport, and see airport layouts.

Seat selection is easy with many sites have diagrams and showing the good, bad and ugly seats. I can even order a special meal just by clicking my mouse.

My flight can booked and confirmed instantaneously. Once I make my purchase, my E-ticket is emailed to me immediately. All I need to do is print it out and bring it with me to the airport to get my boarding pass.

I can also book my hotel online. Before I book, I make sure that I check the hotel's web site and check the price and compare it to a site that offers many hotels. Most of the time, the multi-hotel site can beat the direct booking price. I can also see pictures, read reviews, and find exactly what I am looking for.

My hotel booking is also done in an instant. Email confirmation just has to be printed out and I am all set.

I can even book a domestic flight in a foreign country online. All of this is done online with no human contact at all.

Just yesterday, I booked a flight from Honolulu to Bangkok and found the best price at China Airlines web site. They had a better price than my travel agent or the big name travel sites.

I then went to a multi-hotel site that specializes in Thai hotels and booked a room for one night in Bangkok. This was confirmed in a flash.

My next step was to book a flight from Bangkok to Khon Kaen. I went to the Thai Air web site and got the flight I wanted. I booked my return flight at the same time.

It still amazes me at how much has changed in the travel industry to make the booking experience easy and money saving at the same time. A couple of mouse clicks and my Asian vacation is completely arranged.


Vacationing Outside The Big Box Hotel

The Internet has proven to be a natural tool for potential real estate buyers. You can check out homes now through MLS listings that provide multiple photographs, room sizes, heating and cooling features, landscaping and more. Gone are the days of getting in a car and driving to home after home with a real estate agent who is guessing at your tastes.

The same is proving true with vacation rentals. Resorts have long marketed their facilities online, but the use of the web f...

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The Internet has proven to be a natural tool for potential real estate buyers. You can check out homes now through MLS listings that provide multiple photographs, room sizes, heating and cooling features, landscaping and more. Gone are the days of getting in a car and driving to home after home with a real estate agent who is guessing at your tastes.

The same is proving true with vacation rentals. Resorts have long marketed their facilities online, but the use of the web for individual seasonal rentals is just hitting its stride. It has proven to be sufficiently successful that venture capital has entered the arena and a number of homegrown websites for vacation rentals are being acquired and consolidated.

The biggest player in the consolidation market thus far is HomeAway, a two year old company that is backed by $160 million in VC dollars and has engaged in a number of acquisitions, quickly building critical mass in the online seasonal rental business. Homeaway's most recent and biggest purchase has been VRBO, or Vacation Rental By Owner.

VRBO claims 60,000 individual listings and more than 20 million site visits per year. Other acquisitions that created the HomeAway business structure include,,,, in the United Kingdom and in Germany. These and other properties give HomeAway a catalogue of 60,000 rentals in 90 countries. In two years, they have grown very quickly.

Vacation Home Rentals remains a web presence with over 14,000 listings, principally in the sun-n-fun states of California, Arizona, Hawaii and Florida. Vacation Rentals also remains a strong web presence, with a hefty investment in search engine marketing. Their home page lists virtually every state and several continents with countries listed beneath them.

On all of these sites, seasonal rental property owners pay a fee to list their property and post photographs, floor plans, fees, etc. On HomeAway, the cost is $300 to list your property for one year. There is no charge to customers who wish to rent. Generally, the sites simply provide referrals and the rental arrangements are negotiated between property owner and vacationing tenant.

An example of such a listed rental property is Moose Back Lodge, which maintains listing on HomeAway and other major rental sites, as well as its own website: Many owners maintain their own websites in addition to securing listings on rental directory sites, allowing them to provide a kind of online "business card" for the propriety that isn't tied to a particular directory's formatting. Direct, owner operated websites provide opportunities to allow the personality of the property to show through in the design and information presented on the site, as well as the ability to better control the content.

There are also real estate agencies that provide regional rentals in popular vacation areas. States like Maine, North Carolina, Florida and many others will have realty companies that handle vacation rentals as a sideline - managing properties for absentee landlords. These websites usually have excellent photo and text descriptions of their properties, along with a calendar of available dates. In many of these cases, rental arrangements are made through the agent.

Then there are facilities in tourist areas that handle their own marketing. These include major and minor resorts and B&Bs. Often a small facility such as a B&B will link to a regional B&B marketing web site or a local chamber of commerce. There are also large developments built around recreational facilities such as lakes or skiing facilities that handle seasonal rentals for the people who buy the condos and houses built as part of the development.

Planned developments in recreational areas are often second homes for their owners, but also income properties. In the larger ones, the developer will often have a permanent office for both sales and seasonal rentals. In these cases also, the rental agency acts as property manager and handles both rentals and maintenance for the owners.


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