Tips for Taking a Vacation during Hurricane Season

July 17, 2015 at 8:34 am

Budget conscious travelers are often tempted by travel companies to take their vacations “off-season” with cheap flights, resort prices and little extras. Resorts, cruise-liners and airlines all hop onto this bandwagon. With cheaper flights, shorter lines, and better prices for all inclusive packages you might wonder what, precisely, makes off-season… well, off season? Contrary to what some people think it has nothing to do with the school vacations and everything to do with the weather.

You see from June 1st to November 30th is the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane season! Though the peak season for hurricanes is actually August to October so travelling at either end of the season is slightly lower risk than in these months. Nonetheless it is still a risk so you should have a contingency plan in place, just to be sure. The media attention surrounding hurricanes should give you an idea of what to expect should one hit while you’re away. Here are our top 6 tips to ensure that your Caribbean or tropical vacation isn’t ruined should a hurricane land when you’re due to get away.

  1. Check the small print for cancellation options
  2. Until recently it was pretty common for resorts, vacation rentals and other such places in the hurricane belt to have, what were commonly called, “hurricane guarantees”. In recent years, however, these have become less usual. When a hurricane is on its way and flights are grounded most flights will waive the usual change fees and allow you to rebook your travel within a certain time, so make sure that where you’re staying will allow you the same provisions. Ask your resort or hotel about their hurricane guarantees.

  3. Determine how to abandon your trip (should you need to)
  4. It’s one thing to cancel your trip before you go, if you have the right insurance it shouldn’t be an issue, is one thing, but it’s entirely another thing to be on your vacation when a hurricane lands. Look into the details of your accommodation and flights before you go to find out just what you can and can’t do in the event of an evacuation or hurricane. You’ll probably be safe sticking where you are if one sneaks up on you, but you certainly won’t have the vacation you envisioned.

  5. Invest in good travel insurance
  6. The right level of travel insurance coverage can make vacation nightmares much easier to deal with in the long run. Basic coverage for hurricanes will ensure that you’re reimbursed for all pre-paid costs should your accommodation be rendered uninhabitable. If you’d like to option to cancel should a hurricane look likely you should pay a little extra for “cancel for any reason” coverage which will guarantee you full reimbursement no matter why you cancel.

  7. Do a little forward thinking
  8. A little planning can go a long, long way if you come face to face with an emergency situation, or weather hazards:

    • Make sure you have a simple travel medical portfolio for everyone
    • Make up a basic travel medical kit in case someone needs basic medical attention and there’s no way to get to a doctor’s surgery.

    Of course staying well out of the path of any hurricanes is the best plan of action for anyone, but there are times when they can catch you off guard. For this reason it pays to be prepared.

  9. Pay attention to the weather
  10. Keeping one step ahead when it comes to hurricane season is absolutely essential when it comes to being able to get out of the way in good time. The following things can be indicators of oncoming hurricanes: unusually heavy rainfall, storm surges, high winds, and inland flooding. The National Weather Service is, of course, always keeping an eye out during the season, and will put out warnings, but you should never ignore any signs you see.

  11. Have a plan B
  12. If you’ve invested in “cancel for any reason” coverage then you should have a backup plan in effect. This means that if you think a hurricane is on its way you can cut your losses, cancel and book a backup vacation to make sure that you don’t miss out on. After all, vacation time is precious.

Destinations in Mexico offered by The Villagroup

July 13, 2015 at 8:24 am

If you’ve recently become a Villagroup Villa Preferred Access member, or are considering becoming one, then you probably have some questions about the destinations in Mexico you can visit. You know all about the resorts; the services, the facilities, and the accommodation provided to you will all be world class, but do you know much about the places these resorts are situated in? If not, and you would like to, then you’ve landed in just the right place. This blog post can give you more information about the destinations in which the Villagroups’ resorts are found.

Villagroup Destinations in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta

Sea Food Market

Puerto Vallarta is the original Villagroup resort, and when you consider the outstanding charms of the city and the surrounding area it’s easy to see why this city was chosen to be the very first Villa Group destination in Mexico. The surrounding area is mountainous, covered in lush jungle and boasts some of the most stunning beaches and crystal clear waters in the area! You can go whale watching between November and March, but there’s plenty else to do in Puerto Vallarta. You could go paddle-boarding, diving, kayaking, snorkelling or even zip-lining if you like to be active. Alternatively you could take a tequila tour or go on an adventure aboard a pirate ship. The possibilities are endless! One of the best destinations in Mexico for adventurers and families.

Nuevo Vallarta

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Nuevo Vallarta is just half an hour or so from Puerto Vallarta and the nearest international airport which means it’s in a prime location for those who want to keep travel time to an absolute minimum. It’s also home to some of the very best hotels in the area, and is on the doorstep, so to speak, of Bucerias and some of the most iconic beaches in the area. This is a fairly quiet getaway for families and couples looking for a romantic retreat in the Mexican coast. The Villa Group also offers real estate opportunities in Nuevo Vallarta through their Villa La Estancia resort and program.

Cabo San Lucas

Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas

Those who are looking for a bit of luxury will love Cabo San Lucas where the wealthy and well-known can sometimes be spotted. Marine wildlife lovers, seafarers and foodies alike will love the Cabo San Lucas Marina where you can hire fishing boats, take day cruises, and find the very best gourmet restaurants in the city. From November to March you can see the whales that call these coasts home and El Arco, also called Lands’ End, is home to wonderful marine wildlife throughout the year which can be enjoyed from the shore, while diving, and even from a kayak! A great destination in Mexico for those who like the comforts of North American living.

Cancun

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Cancun is a mecca for party-goers, sun worshipers and adrenaline fans alike. One of the biggest tourist hotspots in the Americas, Cancun is an unbeatable destination in Mexico in no small part due to the diversity of activities, experiences, and attractions on offer. From the raucous fun of Coco Bongo to the quiet splendour of Mayan ruins, Cancun is a launch pad for every kind of adventure, and the fun is only enhanced by having a regular pad to return to. The Villagroup resort is located in an exclusive area aways from the hotel zone, giving you the best of both worlds. Tranquillity can be found without too much trouble too. A visit to Isla Mujeres, Cozumel or Holbox should be high on the list of any nature lover who lands on the shores of Cancun.

The Islands of Loreto

loreto sunrise

As one of the most naturally beautiful destinations in Mexico, the Islands of Loreto offers peace and tranquillity are always in stock here, and the stunning scenery on land is matched only by the beauty and vibrancy of the Sea of Cortez in which the islands sit. Sometimes called the Aquarium of the World, the Sea of Cortez is a hotspot for divers, snorkelers and marine biologists alike. Nevertheless those who prefer to stay on land will not be left without things to do. Here you can find some of the oldest and most unusual cave paintings in the world.

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