When You Shop Vacations, Compare Apple’s to Apple’s

We understand that travelers are looking for the best value for their dollar when making a vacation purchase. We know, because not only are we working with package prices all day, but we compare pricing when we vacation ourselves. That’s how we know that when you compare package price to package price you are getting THE best deal!

Sometimes saving up to 40%

When you look are purchasing a “complete vacation package” from Apple Vacations, it typically includes round-trip airfare, hotel  accommodations,  transfers to and from the resort and all taxes and fees. When you package everything together you get the best price with Apple Vacations.

If you take each component of that vacation and price it individually, and add each item together, the price will be more. The value is when you put it all together in a package. When we run a sale or a special, the sale is also typically based on package pricing.

For example, I just now priced 2/15 for 7 nights from Philadelphia to Cancun at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. Individually pricing airfare, hotel, transfers and taxes, the rate is $4,668.00 for 2 people. However, the package (featuring the exact same date, hotel, transfer, taxes) is on sale, and it equals $3,098.00.

That’s for the same exact inclusions.

Individually pricing airfare, hotel, transfers and taxes for JFK to Cancun on 2/22 for 7 nights, the rate is $4,798.00 for 2 people at Now Sapphire Rivera Cancun. But again, the exact same date, flights, hotel, transfer, taxes is on sale at the package price of $3,198.00 — for the same exact inclusions!

Which price would you want to pay?

Why is this? It could be for many reasons. A hotel may offer a “special rate” that only applies to packages. The airline could be doing the same. And when they both do it at the same time, you really save!

The value is in the package price! So when you are making your vacation purchase, do yourself a favor and price the entire package together. Make your hard-earned dollar go further and get the BEST vacation you possibly can.

Contact your favorite travel agent or visit www.applevacations.com and pick out your vacation package right now!

  • Prices sampled were per person, based on double occupancy and available on 1/28/14 via Apple Vacations leisure flights. Cancun flight from Philadelphia was on Frontier Airlines 1/15. JFK was on JetBlue Airways 1/22.  Prices included government taxes and fees. 

Puerto Vallarta – Enhance the Experience

Puerto Vallarta has become a hugely popular international vacation destination.  Somehow, it magically combines all that is wonderful about Mexico; its people, its diverse cultures and architecture, its sheer beauty and its food and drink! From the bustling old village to the plush resorts of Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer. So when I visited last September, I knew I was going to have a lot of “MUST- DO” activities.  Without question I knew I was going to the Malecon. I wanted to take a walk on the cobblestone streets and visit the iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe that is on nearly every post card from Puerto Vallarta.  I made a promise to myself that I would really embrace this destination and get out of the resort. I usually opt for the infinity pool or nice spot on the beach under a palapa. Not this time – I booked 3 excursions during my 4 day trip. (Plus a spa treatment at Pevonia while I was at Secrets Vallarta Bay).

Small Fishing town

Sayulita – Small Fishing & Surf town

My first excursion was to a fishing town on the coast of Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit/Nuevo Vallarta. We drove alongside the Banderas Bay, the Sierra Madre Mountains and arrived in Sayulita. It’s a laidback seaside surfer town. While walking around I saw tortillas being made from scratch for fresh fish tacos, visited a shop with some majorly cool Day of the Dead gear and had a piña colada on the beach while I watched blue-green waves crash in front of me.  Excursion #1, success!

 

Turtle Release

Turtle Release in Puerto Vallarta

It’s not just tourists that like the beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Sea turtles love them, too. I couldn’t wait to check out the Turtle Release at Dreams Villamagna Resort & Spa – Here’s how it worked…. A staff member explained how to handle the turtles with care. Everyone lined up parallel to the ocean and was instructed to walk 3 feet toward the water. Everyone was to release their turtle and step back to watch. It was hard not to smile as everyone observed these tiny turtles make their landmark journey to the sea. Excursion #2, success!

 

For my last excursion, I really got out of my comfort zone! I swallowed my fears and tried to brace myself for what I just agreed to with the Canopy Tour – Ziplining!  I could handle riding a mule back up the hill, it was getting down the hill on a metal wire that was freaking me out! O.M.G. I was so nervous, excited and filled with adrenaline at the same time.

Puerto Vallarta Ziplining

Puerto Vallarta Ziplining

“fly through a thrilling series of zip-lines, rappel down waterfalls, traverse jungle bridges and finally splash through streams and natural river pools. With some of Mexico’s highest and longest zip-lines, at almost 1,000 ft long and 250 ft high, it’s no wonder we call it one the greatest adventures on earth.” -Amstardmc.com

I still can’t believe I actually went through with it! But I have proof. Excursion #3, success!

Needless to say – I LOVE PUERTO VALLARTA. I highly recommend going and I can’t wait to go back. But please take my advice; get out of the resort and experience all of what this destination has to offer!

Apple Vacations Fall 2012 Tradeshows and Educational Presentations – Let’s Get Personal

Apple Vacations #AVTS13 – Trade Shows

 

 

Apple Vacations is in the final stretch of our Fall 2012 Tradeshow and Educational Presentation series. Our events are for travel agents only. Over the past 3 months we hosted over 30 different events across the U.S and were able to meet with well over 5,000 travel agents.

One-on-one time with agents is very important to us. It is not only putting a face with a name, but we also get to know agents personally. Just as no two clients and vacations are alike, no two agents are alike! At our events, we get to provide agents with personal education based on the hotels, airlines and destinations they sell and want to sell. We get to show them what’s new, what’s hot and why Apple Vacations is THE tour operator to book with! We distribute all of our new brochures and personally show the unique features of each – did you try our new IR codes yet?  We also bring along some of our key hotels, airlines and tourist boards as well.

Just as an agent provides personal attention to their client, we like to provide personal attention to our agents. Check out some of our photos from the road. Did you attend any of our events?

 

Money saving tips for booking your winter vacation

Here are some of our favorite travel tips for keeping you and your family traveling this winter while still keeping your budget intact.

  1. Look for a vacation package – Often times, you’ll get a better deal when you buy a package that includes your airfare, hotel and transfers, and you’ll save your own time by not piecing your vacation together from several different travel sites. Apple Vacations packages can include round-trip air, hotel accommodations, hotel transfers, all meals and drinks and taxes and fees. You’ll know the entire cost of your vacation up front.
  2. Make sure you’re comparing Apples to Apples – most online travel companies do not include hotel transfers, which could add another $100 each way. With Apple Vacations, hotel transfers are always included in international destinations.
  3. All-inclusives are the way to go – today’s all-inclusives have great dining options. A la carte restaurants, room service and your beverages are all included. There won’t be any unexpected bills at check out.
  4. If you know the dates you want to travel or have a particular hotel in mind, buy your vacation as soon as possible. This winter, we are seeing the best dates and hotels selling out already. So while you may have gotten a great last minute deal in year’s past, this winter you may not get your first or second choices unless you book early. Apple Vacations AVOK vacation protection offers a cash-back feature, where if the price of your vacation goes down after purchase, we will refund the difference so you know you’re always getting the best price.
  5. Your time is valuable too – Spend more time on the beach and not in the airport with Apple Vacations’ nonstop vacation flights. This winter, Apple Vacations will have 130 nonstop vacation flights to sunny destinations.
  6. Shop the sales like Apple Vacations SuperSale – Each November, Apple Vacations holds its biggest sale of the year, discounting brand name resorts like Iberostar, Riu, Secrets and Dreams for winter travel dates. SuperSale ends Nov. 22nd.

 

Looking for a Spa Getaway? Try Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort

Photo Credit: Eileen Herncane Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort - Spa del Mar

Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort is perfect for a relaxing Spa Getaway for so many reasons.  When I visited Sandos,  I was amazed at how big the Spa was and the variety of treatment options available.  Sandos Cancun is a luxury resort so you feel pampered the moment you step in the resort. It is also a smaller resort – a boutique resort  – with a quite feel. Sandos Cancun is a perfect resort to relax, enjoy gourmet dining and tropical drinks.

Sandos Cancun offers a 15,000 square foot European spa with 14 individual treatment rooms for a full range of spa services, including seaweed applications, Swiss showers, massages, hydrotherapy, Celtic Showers, facials and more.  They have indoor and outdoor sections of the spa including Jacuzzis, saunas and relaxation rooms.  The spa is easy access right off the main lobby / by the pool of the resort.

If you need some R & R, or are looking for a perfect place for a spa getaway, Sandos Cancun Luxury Resort is a really great option.

Check out our gallery of pictures to get an up close look at the Spa:

River Expedition in Puerto Vallarta

Recently I had the opportunity to try Zip Lining while I was in Puerto Vallarta. I need to preface this blog – I have never done anything like this before; no sky diving, no extreme sports, no bungee jumping. Ever. So boy was I a bundle of nerves -  I mean …in for a treat.

Photo Credit: Christine May, Canopy River in Puerto Vallarta

 

Photo Credit - Canopy River. Zip lining over the Cuale River.

Our group included 2 tour guides, 1 co-worker, 2 journalists, 1 photographer, our rep from Amstar Dmc, a rep from the Puerto Vallarta tourism board and 1 travel agent. We opted to try the all new River Expedition tour which combines the canopy zip lining with hiking, 2 rope bridges, 27 meter rappel or 24 meter free fall, inner tube river ride and mule ride – enough to satisfy any adrenaline junkie! Again, please note, that I am not and adrenaline junkie. I was trying something new and feeling both excited and nervous. We had wonderful, experienced tour guides that helped us get ready, strapped in our harnesses, and secured our helmets on. We went through a basic training with them, essentially just how to stop, which I never managed to master the art of this until the last zip! The guides were really funny, making silly jokes to lighten the mood, and it helped put everyone’s nerves at ease. Then we all did a test run and were ready to do our first zip by ourselves. I couldn’t believe it, the zip lining was so amazing! After the first zip, my nerves calmed down, the adrenaline kicked in and I was psyched to have a whole day of fun ahead of me!

 

Photo Credit: Canopy River. Kim Pack and I swinging Tarzan style over the Cuale River.

We did 12 platforms stretching from one mountain to another.  We were up to 600 feet in the air with the longest line stretching over a quarter mile long! This makes up the longest, highest and fastest zip lines on the west coast of Mexico. I felt so exhilarated gliding through the jungle while gazing in awe at the Cuale River far below. I could even see the Pacific Ocean from one of the zips! One word comes to mind.

Breathtaking.

 

After our tour, we met the original homesteaders of the area and enjoyed refreshments at the Los Coapino restaurant, located high atop this beautiful mountain range.  A little tip:  An optional DVD of your actual tour will be available for purchase so you can remember it forever!

 

Photo Credit: Canopy River. The group getting together on a boulder before zipping into the Cuale River.

 

I highly recommend trying Canopy River!!! Especially for those of you that love nature and adventure.  Canopy River is definitely for you.

Photo Credit: Canopy River - Being challenged to cross over two bridges, as we made our way across the side of the mountain.

Here are some more details about Canopy River

Duration: 5 Hours including orientation and transportation.

Includes: Canopy Tour, Free Mule Ride (optional), Bottled Water, Snacks, Soft Drinks

You’ll Need:

  • Sunblock and Insect Repellent
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Hair Tie for Long Hair
  • Cash for drinks at the bar, photos, and souvenirs.

Kids:  7 Years and Older.

Restrictions: Maximum weight is 275 lbs. (125 kg). Do not drink too much alcohol before this tour – you won’t be allowed to go for safety reasons. This is an active tour, and not recommended if you are pregnant, have a serious back injury.  There is some hiking involved, so be sure to wear good walking shoes.

Check with your Apple Rep at your hotel in Puerto Vallarta so you can try this amazing Zip lining Adventure!

Please check out my pictures and leave comments if you have any questions on this tour.

Photo Credit: Canopy River, Jerry Nunn hitting the cool clear

 

 

Photo Credit: Canopy River - Kim Pack taking her mule back to the top of the mountain. Giddy Up!

 

Photo Credit: Canopy River - Dennis Jacobs zip lining over 600 feet in the air!

 

 

Family Vacation in Punta Cana

It’s that time of year again for our annual family vacation.  I have vacationed in Punta Cana before and completely fell in love with the people and the culture in the Dominican Republic. Warm smiles friendly attitudes and a care free environment are the staples of Punta Cana and I was not going to chance losing that going elsewhere. The hardest part about planning an all-inclusive vacation with a family of 10, is choosing the right resort.  It’s a bit of a task finding a place that caters an age disparity that ranges 10 to 65 years old.

Set on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana, this resort offers 13 different outdoor pools with gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea and a secluded lagoon.

With activities that range from arcades to casinos, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was really a ‘no-brainer.’  The moment we stepped off the Apple Vacations van and set foot on the property the whole family was blown away by the aesthetics of the place. Flashy, yet controlled; spacious yet completely decorated in rock memorabilia, the Hard Rock is really a sight to behold. All the rooms are full blown suites equipped with Jacuzzis, personal balconies and stunning views. It really has a way of making you feel like a rock star. Something tells me that’s exactly what they were going for.

 

 

The Hard Rock features luxurious accommodations, fine dining at nine restaurants, seven bars, thirteen pool with four swim-up bars, casino and spa.

 

The resort also offers a magnificent state of the art Spa and an elegant full service Casino. And when you're hungry, you'll have a choice of 9 different restaurants, wireless Internet service, a sports bar, 24-hour room service and much more.

The resort is home to 9 restaurants, 3 deli/snack bars, 15 bars, 15 pools, lounges/nightclubs, arcades, a spa, a casino, and a variety of shops.  Plenty to keep a large family like mine completely entertained. There are also a plethora of excursions available through the Apple representative on site.

 

When the sun goes down, Hard Rock knows how to rock. The fun has just begun. You can go check out a rock show, or bet against lady luck at the casino. Perhaps you want to test your own rock and roll voice at the Karaoke, dance the night away at the club, or sit, relax and have a drink at one of the many lounges. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun.

 

The majestic Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana brings the Palace brand of uncompromising, all-inclusive luxury to its newest destination - one of the most beautiful beachfront locations in the Caribbean.

 

This vacation reminded me why I love Punta Cana so much and why its growing in popularity as the years pass. With great people, great food, spectacular service, beautiful scenery and incredible beaches its not hard to see why Punta Cana is becoming THE place to vacation.  Don’t overlook this destination next time you are in need of a great vacation!

Happy travels…