The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites

Happy couple in hammock.

Planning a vacation can be exciting and exhilarating, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming if you don’t know where to look. That’s why we’ve covered some of the best places to find vacation deals online.
1. AAA Travel Services

If you are an AAA member, you know that great deals and rewards come along with your membership. However, you may not know just how great their travel deals are. Their travel services can help save you money on your next vacation, cruise, or business trip, and help save you time planning it as well.

That’s because you will have your own local AAA travel agent to help streamline the process. They can help you find the perfect services to fit your schedule and budget, without spending much time comparing prices. They even offer last-minute travel deals for any impromptu vacations or business trips. Finally, you can find freebies on the site, like a free car rental for a day, to complete your trip.
2. Costco Travel

You also probably didn’t know that Costco offers some of the best vacation deals online, all with the great customer service they’re known for. You may be eligible for special member perks, like room upgrades, spa credits, and more. Costco Travel also has a Low Price Finder, where it will compare all online coupons and deals to find you the lowest prices possible.
3. Booking Sites

Discount booking sites can help you find the best deals on airfare, lodging, car rentals, food, and entertainment. They can even help you find all-inclusive travel packages that have everything you need, which will save you the stress of searching through various discounts. Some of the most common booking sites include Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Cheapflights.com, Priceline, VacationRentals.com, and Hotels.com. (See also: 40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune)

While all booking sites work similarly, many people prefer Kayak. Forbes also recommends Kayak because it searches a large database of fares to find you the absolute cheapest option. It can even compare months of fares to help you find the cheapest day to travel. Travelers find the interface very easy to use and navigate, taking the stress and guesswork out of planning your trip, all while saving you money. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Online Booking Sites)

If you don’t feel comfortable reserving your flight, hotel, or rental car through a booking site, simply go directly to the service provider and ask if they can price match the estimate you found on a booking site. Most hotels and airlines also place deals directly on their sites, which may be the same deals you would find on a booking site.

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5 Reasons Why All-Inclusive Resorts Are My Favorite Way to Vacation

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My husband and I stayed at Sandals Montego Bay this weekend and it was glorious. (And glorious is not a word I just throw around, people. This place was off the chain.) While I was sitting on the beach drinking cocktails and admiring the view, I decided that I am a total believer in the all-inclusive vacation.

1. The costs are all up front. One of the hardest things about traveling out of the country is that you don’t know how much food, drinks, extra adventures, etc. are going to really cost. But, with an all inclusive vacation, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s all included in the price. When we stayed at Sandals, they even included our snorkeling in the cost!

2. The whole resort is there to make sure you have an amazing vacation. Because everyone working at the resort knows you are there to spend your entire trip inside the resort, all of the employees sort of work together to make sure your vacation is seamless. After all you are on vacation, shouldn’t it be that way? This weekend, we even sprung for the butler service. (Shout out to Carlena and Asha!) On our last night, they snuck into our room and surprised us with flowers everywhere and a fancy bath with a wine and cheese plate. Now THAT is how you vacation.

3. You get to try new stuff. I am a huge wimp when it comes to trying new food and I always worry at restaurants because if I don’t like something, then I am stuck– but not at an all-inclusive resort! We can try three appetizers and two different main courses at a fancy french restaurant overlooking the beach, because WHY NOT?!

4. Speaking of food, your mini bar is free! Room service is free, it’s all included in the price. I can’t tell you how nice it is to walk back to your room, bust open your whole mini bar and drink whatever you want while waiting on room service without having to think of the costs. There’s no need to pack an extra cooler from home, or stop by the convenience store on your way to the resort, because they did all that work for you!sandals montego bay

5. You feel safer. When you travel outside the country, you don’t know where the good parts and bad parts of town are. With an all inclusive resort, you never have to worry about things like that because you don’t ever even have to leave the resort! I like my vacations as worry-free as possible. Gives me more time to wiggle my toes in the sand.

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Phish Announces Riviera Maya, All-Inclusive Concert Vacation in January

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Phish and CID Presents have put together a pretty impressive vacation from January 15-17th. The official website just went live and here are the details:

Phish: Riviera Maya is a 4-night all-inclusive concert vacation featuring 3 nights of Phish in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The stage sits just a few feet away from the Caribbean Sea providing an incredible beach backdrop for the shows.

The concerts will take place at the Barceló Maya Beach Resort, an all-inclusive resort sitting on a mile-long stretch of white sandy beaches.

Several all-inclusive packages at four different resorts will go on sale September 10th at 11AM EST. These packages are sure to go fast. Start counting your pesos!

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Seaweed invasion threatening tourism on Mexico’s Caribbean coast

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It is 2pm and temperatures are rising in Playa del Carmen, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Riviera Maya, situated 70 kilometers from Cancún. The staff of a beach-side hotel are preparing a paella under a huge Spanish flag while loudspeakers blare out music. About 20 guests are enjoying the party but the beach is deserted in this area. A mantle of dark seaweed has covered part of the sand and a nauseating odor fills the air, as if there were a sewer nearby. The ocean has lost its turquoise color and seems to have mixed with the earth.

A few months ago, hotel owners on the Mexican Caribbean coast were surprised by an invasion of gulfweed. Now, rising temperatures and a lack of clean-up resources have turned the situation into a nightmare for vacationers as this brownish-gray algae rots in the sand.

“The arrival of gulfweed is natural but unusual in such large quantities,” says José Luis Prieto Funes, a representative from the Mexican Ministry of Environment in Quintana Roo. “Every two or three years the deep-sea gulfweed arrives from the Sargasso Sea east of the United States or from the mouths of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, but never in such abundant quantities.”

Prieto Funes says the El Niño weather cycle has led to increased water temperatures, winds and strong currents and may be the cause of the problem, which is also affecting beaches in Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Martin, Puerto Rico and Barbados.

“Algae are sensitive to temperatures and the changes in the water may be associated with an increase in gulfweed,” says Daniel León Álvarez, a researcher from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “However, unless we know the causes behind the increase, we cannot come up with a plan to solve it.”

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