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jamieirene

Useful Travel Pricing Information!! If you want to save check it out!

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So today at work I was bored. So I decided to do some pricing research to figure out exactly when the best time to book is. I have come across some VERY interesting information. I started off looking up flights plus room on expedia.com. I am getting married july 28th 2012 so I am not sure when the best time to book inorder to get the best price. Here is what the pricing was on expedia... *Note* For each month I planned travel from the 8th through the 15th since today is the 8th for 2 adults jr. Suite at the all inclusive riu caribe and coach airfair. 12 months in advance: Prices not available 11 months in advance: Prices not available 10 months in advance: Prices not available 9 months in advance: Prices not available 8 months in advance: $1485.00 7 months in advance: $1472.00 6 months in advance: $1051.00 5 months in advance: $1008.00 4 months in advance: $951.00 3 months in advance: $948.00 2 months in advance: $890.00 1 month in advance: $907.00 Next I went directly to the hotels website riu.com to research. I kept everything exactly the same the 8th to the 15th of each month 2 adults jr suite plus coach airfair. 12 months: Prices not available 11 months: Prices not available 10 months: Prices not available 9 months: Prices not available 8 months: $2816.35 7 months: $2607.00 6 months: $1089.21 5 months: $1002.21 4 months: no flights available 3 months: no flights available 2 months: no flights available 1 month: no flights available So this brings me to a few questons...how was my first travel agent (whom we are no longer working with) able to give me this way high unrealistic price for hotel and airfair when its not even avalable 9 months in advance on the hotels website? My current travel agent said we have to wait till atleast on year (12 months) in advanced tone able to book. She seems vet honest and nice so I going to run this by her and ask some questions. Because I do not understand how if you can not book a year ahead of time on the hotels actual website how can she book me tha far in advance. Also now that I researched it more im trying to figure out when the best time to book is? Clearly I would love to book when the price is best but then I would worry about waiting too long to book. The riu caribe has over 550 rooms so chances of selling out are slim bit this is my wedding we are talking about im not going to take huge chances to save 100.00 Bucks. Im thinking about 5 months in advance might be the best price yet safest time to book so I am not freaking out. Once I get a response from my ta I will let everyone know what she says. In the mean time anyone have any opinions suggestions concerns or comments? Loved to hear from you ladies!!

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Jamie, 

 

Travel agents have access to the rates before the general public and the discount sites.  The hotel websites often are not update and though the "online" booking is there will say not available, if you were to call the hotel I am sure you could book but because many if not all All Inclusive's are sold through Tour Operators the hotels don't do much booking independently.  Online the rates for Canadian departures are not available until anywhere from 10months to 1 year before.

 

Do your research and get a GOOD travel agent.  This was the hardest part about our experience.  Finding a travel agent you trust, who responds to you and who is knowledgeable is key!!! Also, someone who specializes in Destination weddings is a good way to go as they have more experience working with brides and large groups of guests.  The first few TAs we dealt with had our guests from different departure cities flying out at all different days some of them only being there for a day or two while we were.  This was so frustrating and they did not understand where I was coming from requesting that we all be there around the same time.

 

Now in regard to pricing.  There are many many many tour operators providing flights and packages to your destination and hotel.  Find out who the different providers are (your TA can help with this for sure!) and look into the policies etc.  Not sure where you are located but in Canada, Nolitours (not sure if they service the US) does a 1 time price match guarantee.  This should give you piece of mind knowing that if the rate goes lower you are safe.  Be sure to look into what rules and regulations surround these price guarantees.  

 

So many brides are opting for destination weddings these days that it truly is a business for TAs to specifically specialize in them.  You have over a year until your wedding but now is a good time to get a great idea of what different tour operators offer and finding a TA that works for you.  I know with our "group rate" we had to put our deposits down in order to "hold" an additional 30 seats for 90 days.  Remember booking 5 months or less out does not give your guests much time to save or plan.  Also I would be nervous of the risk of not getting the space in the hotel (I have heard horror stories) with DW being so popular this is a reality!

 

Sorry the post is so long, I know this was one of my big issues when determining everything and I wish I had found a resource like this forum earlier on.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the info!! Our actual wedding is already booked with the hotel and they already have received save the dates... so they have plenty of time to save and they can book whenever. However I am concerned about the sell out aspect. I mean it's not worth saving a little and the hotel being sold out.

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That would be my biggest fear for sure!  Are you planning on securing a rate and inviting your guests to take advantage of it or are they all on their own?

 

Since your wedding is in July of last year I would take a look at what rates are right now... know that next year they will be slightly higher but it is a great comparison to satisfy that "Will I get a better deal one month before".  We did this in December and January (Feb wedding 2012) and our rate is comparable to what we saw last minute.  Also you have the piece of mind that you are getting on a plane and to your hotel and not worry 2 months before that your trip isn't booked!

 

 

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Our wedding is scheduled for Feb 2012 and my planner went online to quote me prices. Flights from NY for that time she quoted as $770 round trip. Quite excessive if you ask me. I've flown to DR twice on vacations and never paid anywhere near that much. I then tried looking on my own and couldn't find prices in the states (did find some on British Airways for £400 which isn't bad at all). Now, I'm going to call group travel at the airlines directly to see if they can offer a great discount if people buy in advance. Figure it's worth a try. I'd rather everyone fly in together, if possible. Saves me from having to run down and greet people all day. 

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.The TA that I am working with has told me to not even bother booking my flights for my April 2012 wedding until October/November as that is when the pricing will go down.  It is nice that we don't have to book our flights through her, but I am still going to check it out with her to see what she can do for us.  And flight schedules are not out until typically 330 days before the date of travel.  So I am not sure why/how your TA was quoting you that far in advance

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My TA gave me the same advice, and flight prices actually increased this month! Now, all the TAs I've contacted said the flight prices are unpredictable this year because of gas prices, merger of major airlines, etc. Not sure when to book now.

 

Originally Posted by merrylee View Post

.The TA that I am working with has told me to not even bother booking my flights for my April 2012 wedding until October/November as that is when the pricing will go down.  It is nice that we don't have to book our flights through her, but I am still going to check it out with her to see what she can do for us.  And flight schedules are not out until typically 330 days before the date of travel.  So I am not sure why/how your TA was quoting you that far in advance



 

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