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Travel consultants make booking Southern trips easier

As winter drags out I start looking for last-minute deals to warmer climates. Last January I picked up an all-inclusive bargain trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I played some golf, soaked up the sun and enjoyed the ambiance of the Grand Bahia Principe Resort.

With three months or more left before we start seeing anything close to beach weather here, there is still time to look for a southern trip to get a break from the cold.

Some people go on the Internet to look for deals and do all the booking themselves. I used to do that but I soon realized travel consultants do a far better job. After all, they are the experts. For this article I asked two travel consultants to offer information for seniors planning to travel, Joanne Bent, branch partner and senior travel consultant with Maritime Travel in New Minas and Kim Nixon, personal travel planner with CAA Atlantic in Dartmouth. I have personally booked trips through both of these experts and the results were excellent.

Bent says it can be difficult to predict what will go on sale in February, March and April but one way of staying on top of deals is to sign up to Maritime Travel’s Holiday Club Newsletter on their website and get emails on last-minute holiday specials.

“Also, we have a watch list in our offices for our clients too. They give us an idea of what they are looking for and we contact them when deals come up,” says Bent.

Maritime Travel is in the midst of its annual Worldwide sale which ends March 31, 2018. Travel is anytime this year.

“Generally it applies to long-haul destinations with our preferred suppliers such as Air Canada Vacations, Avalon Waterways, Collette, Cosmos, Trafalgar etc., and select river cruise lines. We will be offering $100 off per couple, with a minimum of $2,000 per couple,” she says.

Bent noted that there are a lot of solo travellers among seniors and Maritime Travel has “been trying to promote appropriate product for this growing market.” She provided a link to some solo traveller specials at https://www.maritimetravel.ca/solo-travel.

Kim Nixon says CAA has launched its Travel Winter Sale which features specials with Air Canada Vacations, with savings per couple if you book by the end of April. There are also vacation specials with Walt Disney Resort in Florida, Disney Cruise Line, WestJet Vacations and various other cruise lines.

Kim noted that Air Canada Vacations, Transat and WestJet Vacations offer the convenience of direct flights from Halifax to the Caribbean and Mexico.

“This offers the ability to fly direct without any concern of plane changes and missed flight connections. The packages also offer the convenience of a local tour representative and included round trip transfers from the airport. Typically these run from February until early May,” she said.

She added that the direct south packages can offer great variety from destinations that can provide a better value for those looking for a lower priced beach holiday to a more upscale, 5-star resort that will appeal to those looking for a higher quality resort option.

There are also ongoing promotions on these packages but it is always based on limited availability.

She noted that there are good value packages to Florida, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and places in Europe such as Portugal that not only offer resort accommodations but in some cases condos and townhouses.

So travellers have lots of options — beach resorts, cruises, golf packages — judging from the information and tips provided by these two travel consultants, there is still plenty of opportunity to beat the cold, at least for a week.

Tom Peters is a freelance travel and golf writer from Halifax.

Article source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/more/thriving-50/1539522-travel-consultants-make-booking-southern-trips-easier

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