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When To Book Travel Arrangements?


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#1 nattiegams325

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:10 AM

My date is confirmed at Dreams Riviera Cancun which means my next obstacle is figuring out when to book! We are leaning towards a travel agent (I've been working with Wendy from Wright Travel Agency) to get the group perks, but I'd rather wait until air+hotel packages are posted.

Past brides- when you booked, if you did the group rate, how far in advance? I know the hotel can lower in price and they'll adjust it, but the downside is that once you do the air rate, you're locked in to that. VS everyone booking individually, no group perks plus I'm stressing over if the hotel overbooks or sells out.

Advice?

Edited by nattiegams325, 01 April 2014 - 09:11 AM.


#2 csho

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:21 AM

I definitely recommend using a travel agent. They will make everything so much less of a hassle for you and so much less of a worry.



#3 acw271011

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

I totally agree, and you couldn't get any better help than working with Wright Travel! You won't get all of your perks if you don't stick with the group booking through Wright Travel. Definitelty get Wendy to help you out. She knows her stuff!


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#4 TammyWright

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:48 AM

Dreams Riviera Cancun (and the NOW resorts, Azul Sensatori) are SUPER popular and close out (meaning rooms are sold out) really early.  Sometimes 8-9 months early.  We even have closeout dates for 2015 already!  

also, the rates you are locking in are most likely much lower than what will become available later on.  AMResorts is very consistent with their pricing so it usually goes up as you get closer to travel dates.

 

Also we have a pretty close relationship with them so we are able to reduce rooms if you find that you no longer need the block.  Better safe than sorry because we have had many brides on here not have rooms for their guests.

 

Regarding air rates, usually once you book air, you are locked in whether you book in a group or as a package so I am not sure what that has to do with your decision?  Air rates are controlled by the airlines.  

 

Additionally, you can wait to see what the air + hotel package rates are but there is no guarantee that this rate will stay unless you block your air which is difficult and not usually cost effective.  The package rate can change within the hour and usually they only have a set amount of packages at that rate so it isn't like you will have 20 people book at that rate.


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#5 MrsSheppardToBe

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:17 AM

@nattiegams325 I would book at least 1 year in advance!  That way all your friends and family can start saving money for the trip and also book time off work if they need to!



#6 nattiegams325

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:57 AM

Dreams Riviera Cancun (and the NOW resorts, Azul Sensatori) are SUPER popular and close out (meaning rooms are sold out) really early. Sometimes 8-9 months early. We even have closeout dates for 2015 already!
also, the rates you are locking in are most likely much lower than what will become available later on. AMResorts is very consistent with their pricing so it usually goes up as you get closer to travel dates.

Also we have a pretty close relationship with them so we are able to reduce rooms if you find that you no longer need the block. Better safe than sorry because we have had many brides on here not have rooms for their guests.

Regarding air rates, usually once you book air, you are locked in whether you book in a group or as a package so I am not sure what that has to do with your decision? Air rates are controlled by the airlines.

Additionally, you can wait to see what the air + hotel package rates are but there is no guarantee that this rate will stay unless you block your air which is difficult and not usually cost effective. The package rate can change within the hour and usually they only have a set amount of packages at that rate so it isn't like you will have 20 people book at that rate.


Thanks Tammy, so what you're recommending is to book the group rate and then have people book air on their own?

#7 NJBride2014

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:19 AM

Thanks Tammy, so what you're recommending is to book the group rate and then have people book air on their own?

 

That's what I did.  I locked in the room rates with my travel agent and I'm having my guests book their own flights.  Some people are coming 3 nights some are coming 7 nights and traveling from different airports/airlines.  This gave them the freedom to book their flights when they could find the best deal or use their airline points.  Its worked out better this way for me and my guests. 


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#8 girlinthecity97

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:45 AM

@nattiegams325 - I agree with @Tammy Host, @acw271011 and everyone else - you & your guests should book your rooms through Wright under the group block & handle air independently. I did the same & are having my guests do this. To help guests find the the best airfare, I added links to my fave fare watching sites on my wedding website.  

 

Although my wedding isn't until 2015, my group rate locked us in at 2014 discounted rates so the likelihood of my guests finding a cheaper package is HIGHLY unlikely. Another benefit to having everyone book under our group rate (aside from the perks) is that my TA can keep track of everyone's air (they have to provide it to her), which helps us get a sense of when everyone will be arriving and we can plan a welcome event accordingly. 


Edited by girlinthecity97, 02 April 2014 - 11:52 AM.

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#9 acw271011

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:56 AM

Now having said all of this, it should be noted that canadian brides have a slightly different way to do things with a travel agent. in canada there are the charter packages - sunwing, red tag, sunquest, Transat, etc. - which aren't available in the US. While still highly recommending a travel agent to make your life much less complicated, doing a room block and separate flight in canada is much more expensive than what is offered by the vacation companies, and really not cost effective. For canadian brides, it's generally automatically done with a vacation supplier.


I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

 

 

http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

 

 

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#10 nattiegams325

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:27 PM

Now having said all of this, it should be noted that canadian brides have a slightly different way to do things with a travel agent. in canada there are the charter packages - sunwing, red tag, sunquest, Transat, etc. - which aren't available in the US. While still highly recommending a travel agent to make your life much less complicated, doing a room block and separate flight in canada is much more expensive than what is offered by the vacation companies, and really not cost effective. For canadian brides, it's generally automatically done with a vacation supplier.


That's a good point. I was wondering why I kept seeing these amazing reasonable prices for people going to pretty expensive hotels, now I realize it's because they're from Canada! Most of us are coming from Chicago.

Thanks to everyone for their input, this has been so helpful!




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