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A Girls’ Getaway For Less Than $500

It’s been far too long since I’ve responded to individual travel questions, and this question in particular reminded me that a vacation is not only about finding a great deal, but about bringing people together to experience something new. I felt compelled to help the ladies find a tropical beach where they can reconnect and relax.

CZARICOR writes, “We are three best friends who have been together through thick and thin. We take an annual trip usually around one of our birthdays. This year we want, and are in need of, a relaxing, fun, and entertaining getaway to a beach not in the states. We want it to be a four-night all-inclusive beachfront vacation to help reduce any financial stress. Price range per person $600 tops. Need to go September 10, 2010, and return September 14. Two of us would like to fly out of Shreveport and the other one out of Waco or Dallas. We can’t wait to see what the detective has in store for us.”

I applaud you and your friends for maintaining a travel tradition in this busy world. Since this is something you like to do annually, I’ve decided to share a few tricks of the trade with you so you can plan for all future vacations, too.

Many vacations are like equations just waiting to be solved. Now before you run away screaming because you think this is some sort of math lesson, hear me out. There are several key ingredients to every trip, including budget, travel times, departure cities, type of destination, and extra perks (all-inclusive).

Start searching travel providers such as Pleasant Holiday, Cheap Caribbean, and Funjet, particularly for deals to tropical locations.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice Cheap Caribbean is offering up to 60 percent off all-inclusive vacation packages to Jamaica. Prices start at $449 per person (without taxes and fees). The deal includes round-trip airfare from Miami (other departure cities are available at a higher cost), four nights’ accommodations, Trip Mate weather insurance, and a $100 coupon if it rains during your stay. Travel is valid from August 15 through October 31, but you must book by August 9.

This deal meets all of your initial criteria, and would be my pick for you. It’s an all-inclusive stay at a tropical destination for four nights in September. The only drawback could be that you might spend extra for departing from a city other than Miami, as well as the additional taxes and fees. This may put you over your budget. 

If so, don’t despair. Move onto the next deal or travel provider, and you’ll eventually find something within reason. Just remember, flexibility goes a long way in planning a vacation. And sometimes even shifting travel dates a few days or stretching the budget just a bit can make all of the difference.

I wish you luck in finding your perfect vacation for this year, as well as all the years to come.

Your Turn

Do you have any suggestions for CZARICOR? Where would you send her and her friends? Please leave a comment below!

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