So we were supposed to go to New Orleans with friends tomorrow. We went by ourselves a few weeks ago and had a great time. Going again by ourselves would be okay...but not as fun as with friends. Since the friends we were supposed to go with backed out (couldn't get the buddy passes from their source...I can't give them till October 2009) we had to think of somewhere else to go. I had already arranged to have the weekend off from work (not an easy thing to do in the travel industry) and Kelli had arranged for the pet sitter. Staying in town wasn't at the top of our list.
I started looking around or all kinds of last minute vacations. I really wanted to go to the Bahamas. The flight there is on my plane and Kelli has never been on it before. Most of the time the non-stop flight is full...not this week. I listed us on the flight and then began looking for resorts. There are not an abundance of resorts in Nassau. I was close to pulling the trigger on Breezes Super Club Nassau...but then found negative reviews on every site I looked at. The negative reivews and the high price ($160 per person per night) ruled it out. Nassau was a bust. I then looked at Aruba. Flights were slightly more full.....so I passed. I then found Cozumel. The flight to and from (I said 'the' flight...only one in and out per day) was wide open! I looked at El Cozumeleno Beach Resort. Eric and Angela has stayed there and had a good time. The price was good and everything looked fine. I then thought about the whole one flight deal. If for any reason it cancelled we could be stuck for a while. Cancun had several more flights. I found a resort I liked and was happy. I went to bed. This morning I looked on the other side of Mexico. I found a very nice resort from the RIU chain. Kelli and I are planning on visiting a RIU resort in August as we saw an advertisement in the American Way magazine (American Airlines onboard magazine...a very good read!) for just $99 total a night. The resort has it's grand opening in October. Anyways we are off to the RIU Sante Fe Resort in Cabo San Lucas Friday thru Sunday. Three days and two nights in Mexico. The price is decent at $150 per night. It's an all inclusive. The only thing that isn't great is internet access. The El Cozumeleno Beach Resort had free access. The RIU Sante Fe charges for access. I should survive for 3 days. All 3 flights per day are "green" meaning over 30 available seats per flight. We are leaving on the first flight of the day Friday and coming back on the last flight on Sunday. The flight cost will be the highest we will have spent so far at $130 per person round trip. That will get us first class seats though. Coach is $15 less. The cost is higher due to a load of taxes and fees. Most tickets we fly around on are under $25 round trip.
Because I am a worry wort and this is our first international trip (Canada doesn't count), I bought travel insurance. Not trip cancellation insurance. Travel insurance. The insurance will cover any medical bills and pay to transport us out of the country to a hospital in Dallas if anything goes bad. Will we need it? Probably not. Better safe than sorry. I looked at Med Jet Assist (http://www.medjetassist.com). They will fly a private jet with a doctor/nurse on board to where ever you are and haul your ass out. The cost is high for one trip, if we continue flying international the annual plan for a family isn't bad ($350). I have read articles in various magazines and travel websites on how much international medical bills can be and how they insist on being paid upfront...cash. Travel insurance companies can take all the headache and worry out for under $10 a day.
Total cost for the trip (hotel, transportation and travel insurance) excluding air fare is just over $500. Peggy (my mother in law) spiffed Kelli and extra $500 (she paid Kelli back for using our credit card for various stuff while in NY a few weeks ago). This will be our "big vacation" of 2008.