10 ways to Vacation Better this winter
Whether you want to plan the perfect romantic getaway or a vacation that everyone in the family will love, we’ve put together hundreds of tips to help you Vacation Better this winter. Here we’re sharing ten of our favourites to get you started. All you have to worry about is how much sunscreen to pack and where to lay down your beach towel!
We all know that keeping the kids busy on vacation without doing some serious damage to your wallet is not always easy. One way to save money and ensure endless splash-worthy fun is to book a resort with its very own water park. Choose a SplashWorld® resort and you'll benefit from unlimited free access to a water park that is either onsite or nearby, so you can focus less on keeping the little ones entertained and more on whether you can conquer that vertical water slide.
Where to stay: When you stay at Grand Memories Splash in Punta Cana, you can whoosh down water slides as many times as you want with unlimited complimentary access to one of the largest resort water parks in the Caribbean. Race your family and friends down the four-lane slide, test your need for speed on one of the freefall slides or simply kick back and relax poolside. Plus, the world-famous shores of Bavaro Beach are just a short shuttle ride away at Royalton Punta Cana Resort and Casino next door!
One of the best parts of vacation is the food, from trying signature dishes from your destination to indulging in international favourites. We recommend choosing a property that offers unlimited reservation-free dining at à la carte restaurants, so you won’t be restricted to set dining times and you can spend your time exploring the resort instead of worrying about making your restaurant reservations. With reservation-free dining, you can decide that day what you’re in the mood for and when you want to eat – whether you want to spend a few extra hours by the beach or enjoy an early meal.
Where to stay: When you book your getaway to Riu Ocho Rios with Sunwing, you’ll get exclusive RIU-topia amenities like unlimited reservation-free dining! This recently-renovated resort in Jamaica offers a host of dining options, from the beachside jerk hut serving this local specialty to a new grill and steakhouse and a delicious international buffet.
As the saying goes, “early bird gets the worm!” While there are plenty of last minute deals to be found, booking a family vacation last minute might not be the best option for every traveller. You may have budgets to stick to, specific departure dates that coincide with your work schedule and suite preferences (especially if you’re travelling as an extended family). By booking early, you can make sure you get the best vacation that works for your family – whether that means family suites for five or more or resorts with a complimentary kids club.
Where to stay: The whole family can stay together comfortably at the new Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica! This entertainment-themed resort in Costa Rica offers plenty of accommodation options for families of five or more where you can Vacation Like a Star™ – like the 2 Bedroom Director’s Suite that sleeps six and the STAR Class Producer’s Suite that sleeps eight.
Looking to avoid the peak-holiday family crowds? Trade the noise and splashing for peace and relaxation at an adults only property. Lots of adults only resorts are designed for quiet romantic retreats for couples as well as fun social events for group getaways—so you can relax or party as much as you like! Plus, depending on the resort you choose, you can look forward to grown-up amenities such as a welcome bottle of liquor in your room, unlimited à la carte dining for romantic dinners and discounted spa treatments so you can enjoy a day of pampering together.
Where to stay: The luxurious Adults Only Club at Lopesan Costa Bavaro is the ultimate destination for a romantic escape with your special someone. This Punta Cana resort-within-a-resort offers amenities geared towards adults only getaways including a stylish pool area just for Adults Only Club guests where you relax on a shaded lounger while sipping on your favourite cocktail.
If you’re eager to see a lot on vacation, cruises are as close as you can get to ‘seeing it all’! When you book a cruise, you get to explore multiple ports of call and exotic destinations you might not otherwise visit. There’s plenty to keep you busy on board the ship as you sail between ports. Whether you indulge in some duty-free shopping, splash around a water park or enjoy a gourmet meal overlooking the sparkling sea, you’ll never be bored on board. You get multiple vacations in one, but you only need to unpack once!
What to book: You can explore unique ports of call on board the Marella Discovery 2, offering itineraries around the Caribbean and South America. Departing from Montego Bay, you can choose from a variety of itineraries with stops in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and more. Plus, make the most of your time at sea with daily gratuities and the All Inclusive Beverage Package included in your stay! Sip on soft drinks by the pool, enjoy a glass of wine at dinner and toast to your time away over beers at one of the ship’s bars.
While soaking up the sun by the resort pool is great, there are certain things you can only experience by leaving the resort. Immerse yourself in your chosen destination with a Sunwing Experiences excursion to see the best your destination has to offer! Adventurous vacationers can test their wits on a zipline tour or a Jeep safari, while those looking to soak up the local culture can take advantage of a sightseeing tour and relaxation-seekers can soak up the sun on a desert island for the day. Not only will you get to see amazing sights but you’ll get to explore a whole new side of the tropics beyond the beach.
Perks of booking: Pre-book your excursion in Canadian dollars to save on currency exchange fees and higher prices in destination, so you get the right excursion at the right price! Plus, if you’re travelling as a bigger group, by booking early you ensure that there’s room for everyone on the excursion and you may benefit from additional perks.
Many parents would agree that it’s hard to please everyone on a family vacation. It helps when the resort you choose has something for everyone – and it’s an added bonus when it comes at a great price! Many of our resorts offer Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals all year round! Kids will have the time of their lives making new friends at the resorts’ complimentary kids club and dedicated kids pools, while parents can enjoy some well-deserved relaxation time soaking up the sun by the pool.
Where to stay: Everyone in the family will have a blast at Memories Varadero Beach Resort, where Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE! Little ones can enjoy an array of activities at the Kids Club, including special character visits from characters Toopy and Binoo™. The resort is also home to its very own twisting water slide, which the whole family can zoom down.
Vacations are better together! When you book your vacation as a group with as few as 10 adults, you often receive exclusive perks such as reduced deposits, special pricing, free air seat, hotel room and transfer and other benefits depending on the hotel you choose and the number of people you’re travelling with. Many resorts also offer great packages that are designed just for group getaways—such as destination weddings, birthday parties, bachelorettes, family reunions and more.
Where to stay: To get even more, we recommend booking your group getaway at one of our Top Resort Picks for additional savings and perks. Resorts such as Riu Republica offer even more amenities and savings for groups including rooms in the same area of the resort, a welcome cocktail reception, group dinner reservations and more. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, add on one of the Social Packages by Riu to make your group getaway unforgettable, whether you’re hosting a big birthday bash or your bachelor/bachelorette party.
Did you know that pre-paying for upgraded amenities can help you save in the long run? For example, depending on the resort and package you choose, you could vacation like a VIP with lavish amenities such as butler service, swim-out suites, beachside and poolside wait service, 24-hour room service and much more. Treat yourself on vacation and take advantage of being waited on hand and foot!
Where to stay: Plan the ultimate luxury getaway when you stay in one of the Chairman Overwater Bungalows at Royalton Antigua Resort and Spa! The only overwater bungalows in Antigua, these spacious accommodations offer world-class butler service, a swim-out infinity plunge pool, an overwater hammock and a Jacuzzi soaker tub. Enjoy dinner in your bungalow while you admire a spectacular sunset or order breakfast in bed from the upgraded 24-hour room service menu.
One of the best ways to plan the ultimate getaway is by taking advice from the travel experts themselves. Our Vacation Better blog is full of inspiration on planning your next tropical escape. You’ll find articles like top influencers’ tips on how to take the ultimate vacation Instagram shot, guides on how to choose the resort or destination that fits your travel style, vacation advice from celebrities, top excursions to take your getaway to the next level and so much more. Plus, check out our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for hundreds of Vacation Better tips from our resident travel experts!