Imagine sitting on the edge of a sandy beach with warm, temperate winds providing a cool reprieve from the sun’s piercing rays.
Marlin Travel senior travel consultant Janet Anderson says winter is a great time to go away to the Caribbean. She does, however, recommend booking sooner rather than later. Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
Now imagine scraping frost off your car windshield as you try to thwart off continuous blasts of cold, arctic air smacking you in the face.
Which situation would you prefer?
Unfortunately the latter situation is the one Saskatchewanians will be forced to endure during the long, cold wintry nights that will soon descend on the province.
Fortunately, there is a chance to get away and relax in an open space without snow, overlooking some giant body of water.
“We always have direct flights to Mexico — Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco — out of Regina,” said Marlin Travel senior travel consultant Janet Anderson. “Those are some of our more popular winter destinations.”
Other popular Caribbean destinations people can cure the winter blues at includes Jamaica’s Montego Bay, Cayo Coco in Cuba, plus many resorts along the Mayan Riviera.
In order to make sure you can travel to your destination of choice, Anderson recommends booking early. The ideal time to book those winter vacations is between June and August, and often there are early booking bonuses dolled out to customers.
However, if you fail to book your winter vacation early enough you can still spend a few days relaxing on and exploring some of the best beaches in the world even at the last minute.
Sears travel consultant Hansini Sooben doesn’t recommend a spur of the moment booking, especially if money might be an issue.
“It is a gamble to book at the last minute because prices do tend to fluctuate,” said Sooben.
Anderson reiterated Sooben’s words, saying last minute sell offs aren’t as prevalent.
One reason for this is because Anderson is finding more people are booking early, and thus many flights and hotels are fully booked. This is especially true in January and February — the two months more Canadians tend to temporarily escape our freezer-like weather for sauna-like Caribbean temperatures.
More travellers are also booking their trips with all-inclusive tags attached.
“I’d say nine out of 10 people are booking all-inclusive trips,” noted Anderson. “The convenience is worth it and it’s hard not to find all-inclusive trips.”
And if you’re hesitant to book a vacation during February break because there will be an inordinate number of college students living it up in the Caribbean at the same time, Anderson says not to worry.
“A lot of resorts are cautious about spring breakers,” said Anderson. “Many of them are putting on restrictions so that there has to be at least one person age 25 or older in a room.”
“College kids tend to stay at lower end scale resorts with their tight budgets.”
She recommends resorts along the Mayan Riviera, or Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for families with kids.
For adults who want a peaceful getaway, Anderson said the El Dorado Seaside Resort offers tremendous service and is very peaceful.
If you’re looking to be part of a getaway, Anderson said she has four spots still available for trip to Huatulco starting on March 4.
“Winter is an important time to get away,” said Anderson. “We all need time to re-energize ourselves and saving up for a trip in the winter is worth it.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks.