Yesterday we had an appointment with our travel agent to discuss our honeymoon. I was pretty excited to say the least. This will be our first vacation in over 2 years – for longer than a long weekend, that is. After all, we are headed to Deep Creek, MD in 2 weeks. But we are talking about sun, sand and clear water beaches here! Sorry Deep Creek, but you don’t compete with that. We had sat down together one evening and scoured the internet for reviews on the best beaches around. We had discussed what we wanted from our honeymoon and both agreed. We wanted some place south of Pittsburgh (preferably far south), all-inclusive, and we want to swim with dolphins. We had discussed Italy, but decided that would be a trip to take another time because there would be too much to see. We just want to relax on the beach with a cold drink in our hands. This is obviously not for everyone. Some people want the adventurous honeymoon. Just not us.
From our research, we were able to narrow our list down to about 10 places. When we got together with our travel agent, Lisa Dilla from Destination Anywhere (sorry, there is no website, but I can give you contact info if you are interested!), we went through our list and she told us what she knew about each place. This was so helpful. There is only so much you can find out online and frankly, I not sure how much of it I can trust. She had directed us to Apple Vacations in order to get an idea of pricing. However, you cannot see pricing for airlines until about 330 days before travel. It was painful. But finally, the day came where we could see pricing for our exact dates, though it was still early and not as many flights were available yet.
There are definitely some positive points to using a travel agent. The first is that they know a lot about different places. We were able to narrow our list of 10 even more just by asking if they were out of our price range. She was able to give us a general idea of pricing and the of atmosphere the islands. She also had not heard much about one of the locations (Margarita Island, Venezuela) because it hasn’t been as popular in the last few years. This was not the end of it though. She said she’d do some research and let us know what she found. So bonus #2 – they’ll find out if they don’t know the answer. Travel agents use a few different companies to book trips through and often can find better pricing for you. They can see more easily if it would be cheaper to leave on a Monday, rather than Sunday.
We have narrowed our options to 3. Tied for first place is St. Lucia and Curacao. We think both have positives and negatives. We are waiting to find out what other options may open up for us in the next few months. The third option is Cabo San Lucas. It is by far the least expensive, but from other’s reports we have heard it is extremely hot in July (like miserably hot) and since it is on the Pacific Ocean, there are many beaches that are not safe for swimming due to rip tides and currents and all that fun stuff. We definitely want to be able to swim in the ocean, so this is a pretty big negative for us. We are planning to book by the end of October, so I will be sure to post with our final decision! In the meantime, here are a few photos to hold you over 🙂