Travel is back: Here’s how to make your next getaway a breeze

Travel is back: Here’s how to make your next getaway a breeze

Want to extend that carefree summer feeling but worried about the current travel landscape?

 

The travel industry has seen a booking boom this year, with demand quickly outpacing inventory. It’s no secret that these days even a quick getaway requires a fair bit of planning and a lot of patience. The good news? You can travel and have a great time doing it—here are some tips and tricks to help you make your next getaway a breeze.

 

Check your passport before you book

 

You’ve likely heard on the news that there are significant delays with passport processing. Even I’ve been affected by this, so I know how stressful it can be!

When planning a trip—before you even start looking at destinations, you should check your passport’s expiry date. This will not only relieve anxiety leading up to your getaway, but you can rest knowing your passport is in a safe place and you’re not searching for it the night before you depart for paradise.

Travel tip: You should always ensure that your passport expires long after your planned return date—ideally, no shorter than six months of your planned travel.

 

Pack light like a pro with a carry-on

 

Save on checked baggage fees, skip the baggage carousel line and no stress about lost luggage!

I’ve challenged myself to pack only carry-on for all trips since travel picked up again. Packing light will save you time in the airport (just think—no baggage drop-off or pick-up!) and give you peace of mind, knowing you have everything physically with you.

Travel tip: Wear your bulkiest clothing on the flight (running shoes, a light sweater, etc.) and pack a solid-coloured clothing capsule to make the most of your wardrobe in destination.

 

Use an airport fast-track service

 

Save time and feel like a VIP with airport fast-track services. For example, if you’re heading to Jamaica, consider a service like Club Mobay. With their arrival and departure service bundle at a price point of about $100 per person, you can be personally escorted through private lines at security and customs and end up in an exclusive lounge sipping on a rum punch before you know it.

I’ll be honest—before using Club Mobay, I wasn’t sold on it…and then I tried it. I loved bypassing the massive line at immigration upon arrival, and I appreciated being able to make the most of every moment before returning to Canada in their all-inclusive departure lounge, complete with Red Stripe and beef patties.

Travel tip: Book this service early—it often sells out months in advance.

 

Pre-arrange private transportation from the airport

 

Another great way to save some time and get to your destination faster? Booking private transportation to and from your accommodations. While many travel operators will include transfers as part of your package, the thought of being crammed on a bus full of people is not always appealing. By booking a private transfer, you can say buh-bye! to waiting around and get to your resort faster—and often beat the rush at the check-in desk.

Travel tip: The best way to find reputable private transportation is through referrals—ask family, friends or a travel advisor.

 

Use tech to your advantage

 

While it’s great to disconnect from our smartphones, they provide some valuable tools while travelling. Aside from staying connected to our family and friends back home, it’s helpful to store boarding passes in our Apple Wallets or check-in online via the resort app we just downloaded.

You don’t have to let technology interrupt your need for downtime—use it to make the most of your plans.

Travel tip: Before you leave for your vacation, download your airline and resort app and, of course, the ArriveCAN app.

 

Give yourself extra time—and patience

 

There’s no doubt that we see more delays and cancellations than ever. That’s why planning and building buffer time into your schedule is essential.

For example—when clients are heading out on a cruise, I always advise them to fly out earlier than needed—an extra day or two can be a trip-saver when it comes to flight delays. And, if you’re relying on connecting flights, schedule longer transition times—a couple of hours at least.

Travel tip: Where possible, you should book the first scheduled flight in the morning.

 

Protect your trip

 

Travel is an investment. It’s always wise to purchase trip insurance if you have a lot of money invested in your getaway.

In addition to trip cancellation and interruption, most travel insurance plans include coverage for trip delay, missed connection, lost or delayed baggage, medical expenses, and more. Not only that, but 24-hour assistance services can be included to help the traveller with emergency medical assistance, lost baggage tracking, emergency cash transfer, emergency or last-minute travel arrangements, and assistance with replacing lost travel documents.

Travel tip: If you’re a frequent traveller, consider multi-trip insurance plans for the best value.

 

Now…go plan that getaway

 

Travel is still very much a go—with the proper planning, you can enjoy your getaway (and start planning your next one!). Connect with Pink Palm Travel for a free consultation about your next trip.

Bon voyage!

Jamaica 2022 FAM Trip Report

Jamaica 2022 FAM Trip Report

To sum up my last trip to Jamaica in one word—WOW! The Playa Hotels & Resorts Jamaica FAM trip was truly a memorable one. 

If you’re wondering what a FAM trip is, you’re not alone. A FAM trip – or familiarization trip – is an opportunity for travel advisors to learn more about destinations, experiences and properties, so that we can share this information with you and provide first-hand recommendations from our own experience. Plus,  it’s a great way for those in the travel industry to build relationships with brands and staff on-site at resorts. 

My trip by the numbers

  • I met 10 amazing travel advisors from across Canada
  • Toured five Playa all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica over the course of four days
  • And, got one killer tan 😉

Travel in style

First things first, the trip started out right with Club Mobay’s expedited airport arrival service, a stop at the Hyatt Lounge and private transfers to the resort courtesy of Thompson Tours & Transfers

When it comes to my clients, I will always suggest you secure Club Mobay arrival and departure airport service upon booking your Jamaica vacation. It’s truly the best way to begin—and end—your vacation. Besides the expedited service, you have access to incredible airport lounges offering complimentary food and drink (and even showers or spa services – at a cost – if you so please!). 

Getting from the airport to the resort was a breeze with my trusted driver from Thompson Tours & Transfers. Renford always welcomes me with a smile and remembers all the little details about me from my last visit—making me feel like a real VIP. Service is always punctual and professional.

SERVICE FROM THE HEART

My host hotel was Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, a luxurious resort that’s situated 15 minutes from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The sister resort, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall (adults only), sits adjacent to the resort. 

There is no real divide between the two resorts, with the exception that the Ziva side allows all ages. That being said, if you’re with your family at Ziva for a vacation, you can drop your kids at the Kidz Club and head over to the Zilara side for some fun. That goes for adults heading over to the Ziva side as well. Win-win!

This stunning resort was previously a Ritz-Carlton—and it shows! It’s opulent, but with a non-pretentious feel. The resort layout is well-planned and never quite feels at capacity. Dense foliage makes the landscaping very attractive. Swim up suites on both sides of the resort make it feel very tropical. 

“Service from the heart” is the motto of all Playa Hotels & Resorts, and that customer-oriented approach is felt as soon as you step foot on the property!

Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

Great for: All ages, beach lovers, pool lovers

What can you expect at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall? Clean, spacious rooms with great views. Incredible pools with high-end lounge chairs. A beach that’s clear and swimmable, with sand that is powder soft. Entertainment on the Ziva side included a silent disco, a Moroccan-themed rooftop bar, live music and dancing. Restaurants were also plentiful, with great options to choose from including Italian, Asian and international cuisines. Who is the perfect client for Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall? I hesitate to call this a family resort. It’s more of an all-ages resort—perfect for multigenerational families, groups and more. 

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall

Great for: Adults, beach lovers, pool lovers, gym lovers

This adults-only resort is paradise found. With one of the best gyms I’ve seen at an all-inclusive resort, an innovative spa concept with hydrotherapy and massages on the beach, and entertainment every night—Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is a great getaway for a weekend or a week. Jamaican, French and fusion restaurants are among the culinary offerings, in addition to those restaurants available at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. Stunning suites with perfect sunset-viewing vistas are abundant. There is truly not a room that isn’t clean, modern and in a good location.

Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa

Great for: Adults, beach lovers, those looking for a lower price point

This adults-only all-inclusive resort is located in Runaway Bay, about an hour and a half from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. With tidy rooms, colourful buildings and a great beach, Jewel Paradise Cove exudes pure Jamaican vibes. It also boasts repeat visitors who come back for more—time and time again. 

Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa

Great for: Large families, beach lovers, those looking for more space

With villa-style all-inclusive accommodations, Jewel Grande is an Insta-worthy resort with awe-inspiring views. You can book hotel-style accommodations or three-bedroom butler suites. Some suites even include in-room laundry, which is a huge bonus for families with small children. The entire property offers gorgeous ocean views and breathtaking suites.

Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa

Great for: Families, waterpark lovers

Modern and sleek, Hilton Rose Hall is a hidden gem in the Montego Bay area. It is all about simplicity. The rooms are great for families of four and are functional, but the common areas and waterpark is where this resort really shines. With a lazy river, waterslides and swim up bars, it caters to both the young and young at heart. To be honest… I could spend a whole week in that waterpark!

That’s a wrap!

With such an incredible FAM trip in the books for me, it’s probably easy to believe that I am already planning my next one. As you can tell, it’s so valuable to book with a travel advisor with on-the-ground experience as we have so much first-hand experience with various travel suppliers and can give you authentic recommendations.

Book with Pink Palm Travel

If you’re booking directly with me, you can do so with $0 down when booking your a la carte all-inclusive resort stay at Playa Hotels & Resorts. Final payment is due 30 days prior to travelling and you can cancel up to 14 days prior to your trip start date. I also can access pricing with tour operators such as Air Canada Vacations and WestJet Vacations which includes airfare.

Let’s chat! Connect with me today for a free travel consultation.

Sandals Royal Curaçao grand opening

Sandals Royal Curaçao grand opening

For 40 years, Sandals Resorts has continually re-imagined the luxury Caribbean experience. And, now, there is another jewel to add to the crown of the all-inclusive resorts in the portfolio—Sandals Royal Curaçao

The 16th and newest property in the Sandals family features eight signature restaurants, three food trucks, free PADI scuba diving, a spa, and much more. 

You know I’m your Sandals girl, so connect with me if you have any questions about it!

Disney Wish sets sail

Disney Wish sets sail

The Disney Wish is the newest ship to join the Disney Cruise Line family. 

This ship is infused with more storytelling than ever before and filled with one-of-a-kind entertainment and innovative “firsts” from bow to stern.

These include family dining adventures themed to “Frozen” and Marvel, an immersive tour of the Star Wars galaxy, interactive virtual quests that unlock hidden magic around every corner, original Broadway-style stage productions, signature fireworks at sea, imaginative clubs for kids of all ages, and an expanded collection of experiences exclusively for adults.

Connect with me to learn more about this new ship. Itineraries are available for booking now through September 2023.

Make your airport experience a breeze

Make your airport experience a breeze

There’s been a lot of chatter in the news recently about travel—particularly about delays at the airport and with Canadian and American airlines alike. While these can be challenging times, there are things you can do to be better prepared. 

  • Pack light (I am a fan of only packing a carry on- it can really help you expedite the time you spend in the airport, departing and arriving).
  • Ensure your carry on liquids are properly packed.
  • If possible, check in online the day before. 
  • Download your airline’s app and allow for push notifications so you can be updated on any schedule changes. 
  • Make sure that all your passport and personal information is readily available.
  • Get to the airport as early as possible. 
  • Use self-serve kiosks if available.

Also, the federal government still requires use of the ArriveCAN app for travellers returning to Canada. Be sure to download it, and upload your information to it prior to travelling to speed up your return.

If you’re travelling soon, rest assured I am watching for any changes to your flight schedules. If you have any questions about your upcoming trips, please email me!