Type “winter vacation packages” into your search engine and you’ll receive a long list of travel deals for local to international vacations. Ads for these packages are everywhere—in huge spreads in the newspaper, commercials, social media, email inboxes, and web browsers. How do you know which ones to choose?
You’ll find plenty of options online. For instance, Expedia gives you the option to choose from a large variety of destinations and to either purchase an existing package or build your own and compare all the relevant prices. (For more information and help with navigating these options, check out the Expedia Tutorials on TechBoomers.)
Trip Central has an option for Last Minute Vacations, which can be half the price of the exact same package one month later—you just have to be ready to give your boss short notice and find a babysitter for the kids at the last moment.
Red Tag Vacations has fantastic Canada Wide Deals packages in nearly every province. This site also offers a last-minute deal section promoting up to 50 per cent off vacation packages.
Sunwing Vacations offers a special Weddings section for those hoping to get married at a faraway destination, as well as an Excursion section for those seeking a thrill or a special activity on their vacation. They also have a very useful Travel Guide tool that breaks down the available packages within each country.
While on the surface these sites all provide great pricing and package specials, there are a few things to watch out for. Since many of these packages are sell-offs—meaning the resorts, hotels, and airlines sold the packages off only to be resold by the travel company—there are very specific limitations that must be followed, so make sure to always read the fine print and call a customer service agent if you’re unsure of any wording.
Also be aware of the reviews. If a package or hotel has been given a 100 per cent rating, click to read the reviews. Sometime only one person has reviewed it, making that “100 per cent positive” a little less meaningful. And before you make a purchase, check out the actual website for the airline, resort, or hotel you are interested in. Sometimes you think you’re getting the best deal just because it came from a discounted site, but that’s not always the case. Make sure to do your own background checks so you end up with the best possible deal for your next holiday!