You pay less with a Vacation travel club

It really is simple. Most consumers will scour traditional booking engines in search of the best vacation deal or special offer in order to afford their next break but recent laws have ensured such “offers” are no longer available through the same channels. Today the only genuine way to find discounts for travel are through closed user groups and the best way to reduce the cost of your next vacation even further is to join an affordable travel club.

That is, a recently introduced law called rate parity has meant that Expedia, Orbits etc. are no longer permitted to offer the discounts they once did in the past. Stipulating that travel brands must advertise the same cost across all channels of distribution, this new law has greatly damaged the value on offer from booking engines and in effect, removed any real reason to use them at all. Although this does not apply to closed user groups.

Vacation travel club

But wait, what is a closed user group?

Closed user groups were first introduced by telecom companies as a means for their customers to access cheap calls with each other. Many businesses were able to replicate this arrangement in a similar fashion including travel clubs who began offering their members huge discounts on a full range of travel services.

Interestingly, rate parity laws do not apply to closed user groups and so these travel clubs were enabled to offer their members travel discounts which were otherwise impossible to find.

Finding affordable vacations with an affordable Vacation travel club

You may be wondering how this process works exactly but honesty, there is so little to understand. In many ways, the process with a travel club is little different to that of a conventional booking engine. In fact, the booking engine is central to the process as this is the convenient, fast and user friendly method in which you will find the deal.

What you do not see during this process is the behind the scenes efforts in which the vacation travel club will negotiate the amazing deals at your fingertips but don’t worry about any of that, after all, this is exactly why you pay a small membership fee. Simply log in, input your destination and dates, and then wait for all the best deals to appear right in front of you. If unsure regarding the value of these vacation discounts by all means you should compare them with a standard booking engine.

vacation discounts

Although you will see, there is no comparison.

Affordable and easy to use, a vacation travel club is the best way to find vacation discounts and more online. The sign up process is hassle free, the online support is second to none and when it comes to the options available, the quality of services far exceed the monetary value of a member fee.

Still unsure? You can sign up for Hotels Etc. here today and see for yourself.

sharks punta cana

Two lesser known Reasons to visit Punta Cana

Why visit Punta Cana when you can visit any beach nearby? Well, here are some unique action and thrills that you can enjoy on a Punta Cana vacation but not at the local beach itself.

Two lesser known reasons to visit Punta Cana

sharks punta cana

Snorkeling with Sharks

Tourists taking a Punta Cana vacation can enjoy a thrilling underwater activity through Reef Explorer tour. In this tour, one can enjoy the thrills of snorkeling with sharks and sting rays in a huge marine park. This tour lasts for four and a half hours where tourists leave for the Reef Explorer Island in morning and afternoons batches. They are taken to the island first by bus and then by boats. Once they reach the destination, they can choose their own activity. On offer are different types of massage, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle surfing etc,To keep their energy levels replenished, a health bar offers juices and light snacks. Alcoholic drinks are not served. Those who are interested in these “close encounters of the underwater kind” should remember to take these items with them: bathing suit, beach clothing, towels, sunscreen lotions, underwater camera and some cash. The tour operates daily and transportation is included in the package. Point to note, children are not allowed in this tour. Only those above 14 years of age can enjoy the thrills of this tour.

whale watching

Whale Watching by Plane

Now this you certainly cannot do at your neighboring beach! Only Punta Cana offers you this amazing opportunity of watching whales by planes. This is another package tour on offer for tourists coming to this sea-island. The tour’s duration is 12 hours and it is operated on all days except Sunday. Called the “Samana Whale Watching Tour”, this special leisure activity is arranged only for three months in the year; from January20 to March20 when hundreds of humpback whales travel from the North Atlantic and reach into the Caribbean’s warm waters. There are some 300 such whales in the Bay of Samana, providing an awe inspiring view to whale watchers. Visitors can take a private plane from Punta Cana’s Airport to reach Samana’s Arroyo Barril Airport. From here, they are transported to Samana Bay for an amazing whale watching adventure. The tour also includes a journey to Cayo Levantado, a tropical island which is so beautiful that some people call it a paradise. You can relax here on the white, pristine sand or swim in the gorgeously turquoise water. After whale watching activity, tourists are fed a delicious lunch at a Dominican ranch. Then, after a short rest, a new adventure starts where visitors are taken on horseback to a nearby, famous Limon Waterfall. This spectacular waterfall gushes down from a height of 52 meters from a mountain river. In between all these activities, you are served meals, snacks and juices. No alcoholic drinks are allowed. In one day, you get to ride a horse, watch whales and visit a paradise on earth. Professional guides, private plane ride, ground transport and unlimited thrills- What more you could have asked for?

You can find all the best vacation discounts on Hotels Etc in order to get the most out of your next vacation in 2017.

Hotels Etc

Lesser known but amazing resorts in Punta Cana

Everyone knows Punta Cana is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for 2017 and likewise, everyone knows it is home to some of the most amazing resorts the world over. But what about the places you have yet to hear about? What about the lesser known yet amazing resorts in Punta Cana which will make for the perfect vacation in the Caribbean this year?

Here are three of the lesser known yet amazing resorts in Punta Cana.

punta cana

Secrets Royal Beach

This luxury resort is situated on Playa Bavaro Beach, on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The attraction of this resorts are nightly live entertainment, a spa and an on-site casino. The resort is just a 6 -minute walk away from the beach. Even though the scenic resort is away from the commotion of big cities, luxurious trappings of a comfortable city- dwelling are provided in all rooms of Secrets Royal Beach resort.  These include a flat-screen TV as well as a fully stocked minibar. Rooms also have fully furnished terrace or balcony. The decoration is carefully done in tropical hues. There are three on-site restaurants in Secrets Royal Beach and five bars. Additionally, guests also enjoy access to 9 bars and seven more restaurants at a nearby resort. For resort guests, various aqua-activities are arranged on the beach such as snorkeling, free-form pool or they can have fun windsurfing on the beach. For those who do not want to get wet, sporting-facilities like tennis, bowling and volleyball are available too. If anyone wishes to, they can also avail of dance lessons. The resort is in the close vicinity of Palma Real Shopping Village and Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course. The resort is rated by many tourists as “best value for money”. It has 373 rooms and has various in-house amenities for guests such as Free WiFi, spa and wellness center, fitness center and free parking. The rooms are non-smoking.

  • Melia Caribe Tropical Resort:

This is family-friendly, all-inclusive resort which offers guests access to a top-class golf course, an exciting, full casino and a brilliant, bright seashore. The resort is only 13-minute walk away from the beach and provides many different facilities for its guests including 10 outdoor pools as well as 8 brightly lit tennis courts. After spending their days on the beach or on sight-seeing trips, guests can enjoy a relaxing massage at the resort’s any of the two luxurious spas, or better still, try their hands at winning in casino. For kids, the resort provides a kids’ club where various fun filled activities will keep them engaged while their parents can challenge themselves on wall climbing sport. Tropical Meliá Caribe has a number of in-house restaurants that serve delicious, authentic Caribbean cuisine as well as international flavors. The resort also has 10 bars, where guests can enjoy their drinks after the dinner and relax watching nightly entertainment. The resort has 1110 rooms and has many popular facilities. These include free WiFi, family rooms, various restaurants, spa and wellness center, bars, live nightly entertainment and fitness center. Its rooms are non-smoking.

caribbean vacation

  • Paradisus Punta Cana Resort:

This resort is close to the Punta Cana International Airport, only 25-minutes’ drive away. It is close to the beach and features 5 different pols and a spa. This is an all-inclusive resort, offering tennis and golf courts and a casino. It also has 12 on-site different restaurants.  Gusts can indulge in various creative activities such as sushi making, tango lessons and wine tasting. All rooms have private balcony, a minibar and a coffee maker. Cable TV is also available in rooms. It location makes it a preferred choice for busy travelers. It has 821 rooms and its popular amenities include free WiFi, airport shuttle, in-house restaurant, spa and wellness center and fitness center. The resort’s rooms are non-smoking.

Check out Hotels Etc for all the best vacation discounts on any of the above resorts in Punta Cana.

Mexican Kitchen

5 Foods to try on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun

Cancun is famous for beach time and all-inclusive resorts, but are you familiar with the food you need to try on your Caribbean vacation to Cancun? Many types of Mexican cuisine might be considered fast-food in North America but make no mistake, these local foods are traditional in Cancun and you should absolutely try them on your next Caribbean vacation.

5 local foods to try on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun:

Empenadas

You may have tried them in a fast food restaurant at some point but honestly, nothing compares to an empanada in Cancun. Succulent and crafted to perfection, these hunky wraps are much bigger than what you will find in North America while offering a large variety of fillings including chorizo and chicharon. If you are unsure of which one to choose, try the Quesadilla Tierra Del Sol.

Vacation in Cancun

Tacos

North Americans seem to love the taco just as much as their southern neighbors but again, the quality, variety and scale of this popular cuisine in Mexico is staggering.  There are many taco stands you will find on street corners around Cancun offering a beautiful mix of flavors topped off with cheese, avocado salsa and grilled onions. However, one of the lesser known yet most popular places to eat in Cancun is called Porki’s and the carnitas here are particularly good.

Fish Ceviche

Take a trip down town into the markets some day and you will be rewarded with this local delicacy. Fish Cerviche is very much the traditional food of choice here when it comes to seafood and you can buy some freshly grilled fish here for as little as $1 while it is then accompanied by the most delightful sauce, Tapatio hot sauce!

Nacho Chips with Dips

This was always going to go without saying but just in case, make sure you try them out on a Caribbean vacation. Although the chips will be pretty much the same as what you will find almost anywhere in the world, dips are always freshly made in Mexico which make all the difference.  And then there are the toppings; what do you want? Salsa, cheese, guacamole, minced meats or kidney beans…the options are endless.

Pozole soup

Pozole

If would like to try something a bit more traditional, Pozole is a local dish found all over the country. Made from a combination of lettuce, onion, oregano, chili and corn, Pozole is a soup-like vegetarian dish for the most part but you can also try a version with shredded pork. It may not be as enticing as some of the more fast-food like options on this list; Pozole is absolutely worth a try.

You can try all of these foods on a Caribbean vacation to Cancun but before you do anything, check out Hotels Etc. for vacation discounts to make it all happen in 2017.

Hotel discounts

How to find an affordable Caribbean vacation in 2017

Wondering how to find an affordable Caribbean vacation in 2017?  There are many ways to keep your general costs down during the year to be able to afford a trip but more importantly, there is a very specific way to find an affordable vacation that not everybody is in the know about.

Let us explain.

Changes in online travel

The online world has changed the way we travel but more importantly it has allowed people to do so more often with everywhere being so much more more accessible and affordable. That said, the latter of these benefits has all but disappeared in recent years with the arrival of a new law called rate parity.

You see, until recently most travel booking engines or brands were enabled to offer excellent discounts on vacations, hotels etc and for good reason, customers were lining up to avail of these fantastic prices. Sounds great right? Yes it was but actually, all of these great prices and value have completely disappeared from the market without the consumer even noticing.

Affordable vacation

But how or why has nobody noticed?

Well, naturally if a travel website is perceived as not offering any real value, there is no reason for them being there in the first place. After all, why use a third party when you can go direct to the service provider for the same price? For this reason, a new law called rate parity is little talked about in an industry which is now severely restricted from offering customers genuine value.

What is rate parity?

In a nutshell, rate parity stipulates that travel companies is required to offer the same price to customers across every channel of distribution. Straight to the point, this essentially means these booking engines are no longer permitted to offer customers the great discounts we have seen in the past.

Does this mean the end of hotel discounts or special offers?

Well, no. There was one exemption from this rate parity law and it came in the form of travel membership clubs. As a membership club, you are entitled to negotiate large discounts with suppliers and pass this value on to paying members.

Hence, Travel membership clubs such as Hotels Etc are now returning to the fore of an industry they dominated before the online world and booking engines took over.

Hotels Etc

Hotels Etc

As mentioned above, Hotels Etc have worked within the travel industry for more than 20 years. At one time this membership club was one of the only ways to find a vacation or hotel discount in a world without internet.

With more than 4 million members and a five star rating, it continued to take care of members but was obviously affected with the arrival of booking engines and online travel brands. As discussed already, with the declining value of booking engines, this membership club is now re-emerging to establish itself as one of the few providers of genuine travel discounts.

It makes sense that customers like to stick with the major travel brands which they trust but with 4 million members and some truly genuine value, Hotels Etc has an easy to use booking system in which you can search and compare all of the best online discounts for hotels and vacations.

Why you should choose a Caribeann Vacation over anywhere else

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” –  Albert Einstein.

Picture it – Face up, floating in crystal blue waters while colorful schools of fish swim beneath as you drift back toward the white powder sands of the Caribbean. There is nothing quite like a vacation down south and simply no better way to get away from it all than by hitting the beach for a week or two while the chaos of city life continues back home. But why should you choose a Caribbean vacation over anywhere else?

Stay Longer and absorb the surroundings

Hot sunny weather, sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and enjoyable excursions, it’s no wonder why North Americans return to the Caribbean year after year. While many others will decide upon an affordable cruise ship and stopover in luxurious ports, an all inclusive is often a better option for some given the fact that it allows you to stay longer, to absorb some beautiful surroundings and recharge.

Costa Rica Jungle

Activities, activities and more activities…

And then there are the activities, whether you decide upon Aruba, Mexico or Costa Rica – you can hang out in thick jungles for the day, visit the historic ruins of Chichen Itza or go scuba diving in the clear waters of Mexico. The Caribbean is packed full of optional activities for when you feel restless, not forgetting that if you have children traveling, the resorts are excellent when it comes to kids clubs and activities too. But maybe you don’t have kids? Maybe you don’t have a partner? Maybe you just want to get away to party and let the hair down? Naturally, there are plenty of resorts which are livelier and can cater to all your needs.

Caribbean vacation Caribbean food

Food and accommodation

Now that you have seen the local area and spent enough time tanning by the pool, you can take a step indoors to rest in one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful resorts. These hotels are notorious when it comes to comfort, some more spacious than other and some more luxurious, but all of them are enough to satisfy even the highest standards. If you have had the pleasure of traveling south for a Caribbean vacation in the past, then you will already know just how good the food is too. CouCou and Flying Fish or Rice and Beans with Fish Stew – seafood is naturally a favorite in these parts but regardless, every dish is a delight.

It’s all about Value

But what about the cost? Well, this is exactly where the Caribbean succeeds when it comes to value. Despite the luxurious settings, the all inclusive rewards, the fine cocktails, glorious swimming pools and world class service – this is one of the most affordable vacations in the world, made even more affordable by Hotels Etc. Yes, when you join the travel membership club Hotels Etc, you automatically qualify for huge discounts on Caribbean vacations, hotels and much more. So there you have it, the reason you should choose the Caribbean over anywhere else is summed up in two words – variety and value.

You can find all the best vacation discounts and Caribbean vacation offers on Hotels Etc. The registration process takes seconds, the search facility is even more convenient and the rewards are unrivalled.

It’s Happening: Big Discounts on Select Hotels plus free vacation

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NEW YORK Save up to $110/night, HAMPTON INN TIMES SQUARE CENTRAL
NEW YORK Save up to $110/night, HAMPTON INN TIMES SQUARE CENTRAL
3.5-star NYC hotel in the heart of Manhattan’s vibrant Times Square
NEW ORLEANS Save up to $143/night, HILTON NEW ORLEANS RIVERSIDE
NEW ORLEANS Save up to $143/night, HILTON NEW ORLEANS RIVERSIDE
Fantastic New Orleans resort on the banks of the Mississippi, steps from the French Quarter
NEW ORLEANS Save 31%, NEW ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER WALKING TOUR
NEW ORLEANS Save 31%, NEW ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER WALKING TOUR
Famous New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour explores the grim and ghastly deeds of the old French Quarter
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES BOGO 60% OFF Second Guest
ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES BOGO 60% OFF Second Guest
For a limited time, save 60% on second passenger rates for select Royal Caribbean cruises!
SAN DIEGO Save up to $98/night, SAN DIEGO MARRIOTT LA JOLLA
SAN DIEGO Save up to $98/night, SAN DIEGO MARRIOTT LA JOLLA
Renovated 4-star hotel in San Diego’s Golden Triangle
HOUSTON Save up to $79/night, CROWNE PLAZA SUITES HOUSTON NEAR SUGARLAND
HOUSTON Save up to $79/night, CROWNE PLAZA SUITES HOUSTON NEAR SUGARLAND
This 4-star hotel provides lodging near Sugar Land Town Square and the Imperial Sugar Company
LOS CABOS Save up to $104/night, THE RIDGE LUXURY VILLAS AT PLAYA GRANDE
LOS CABOS Save up to $104/night, THE RIDGE LUXURY VILLAS AT PLAYA GRANDE
Set on the Pacific coast, this upscale hotel is a blissful oasis at the tip of Land’s End
PHOENIX Save up to $121/night, OMNI SCOTTSDALE RESORT & SPA AT MONTELUCIA
PHOENIX Save up to $121/night, OMNI SCOTTSDALE RESORT & SPA AT MONTELUCIA
Experience the flavors of Spain from a 5-star resort & spa at the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona
LAS VEGAS Save up to 41%, THE WESTGATE LAS VEGAS RESORT
LAS VEGAS Save up to 41%, THE WESTGATE LAS VEGAS RESORT
Attractive casino-resort minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip
MIAMI Save up to $181/night, TURNBERRY ISLE MIAMI
MIAMI Save up to $181/night, TURNBERRY ISLE MIAMI
Mediterranean-style 4.5-star luxury resort with two golf courses
DISNEY CRUISE LINE Save up to $1000
DISNEY CRUISE LINE Save up to $1000
Experience the Magic of a Disney Cruise and save up to $1000
CANCUN Save 25%, JETPACK ADVENTURE (20 MIN FLIGHT)
CANCUN Save 25%, JETPACK ADVENTURE (20 MIN FLIGHT)
Fly over the dazzling waters of the Nichupte Lagoon, with amazing state of the art Jetpack technology
CANCUN Save up to $197/night, FIESTA AMERICANA CONDESA CANCUN ALL INCLUSIVE
CANCUN Save up to $197/night, FIESTA AMERICANA CONDESA CANCUN ALL INCLUSIVE
Lively, all-inclusive 4-star resort offers a family-style vacation experience on an amazing white-sand beach
ORLANDO Save up to $96/night, HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA
ORLANDO Save up to $96/night, HILTON ORLANDO LAKE BUENA VISTA
Official Walt Disney World 4-star hotel, walking distance from Disney Shopping Village and Pleasure Island
DALLAS Save up to 46%, HILTON ANATOLE
DALLAS Save up to 46%, HILTON ANATOLE
4-star hotel in the heart of Dallas minutes from downtown Dallas
ATLANTA Save up to 45%, INN AT CENTENNIAL PARK
ATLANTA Save up to 45%, INN AT CENTENNIAL PARK
Excellent full service hotel at the heart of downtown Atlanta
WASHINGTON DC Save up to $90/night, HYATT REGENCY WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON DC Save up to $90/night, HYATT REGENCY WASHINGTON
Fantastic location in the heart of Capitol Hill steps from the capital’s main attractions
CELEBRITY CRUISES Free Beverage Package and Onboard Credit
CELEBRITY CRUISES Free Beverage Package and Onboard Credit
Discover modern luxury aboard Celebrity Cruises and enjoy incredible savings plus free drinks and onboard credit