New Travel Packages from the Midwest Perfect for Spring Break
It seems like all the best spring break travel packages include air from New York or Los Angeles. But there are companies that specialize in moving sun-seekers out of the Midwest's prairie bluster and into warm, beachfront or saucy desert luster with affordable, easy packages.
Funjet Vacations, MLT Vacations, Delta Vacations, Apple Vacations and Allegiant Air focus on packaging travel from the Midwest, offering the best air rates and volume-priced hotel deals. Here's a round up of what's new and noteworthy.
1. MLT Vacations
Edina, Minnesota-based MLT Vacations is one of the largest providers of vacations in the United States and manages multiple vacation package brands with value-driven accommodations, car rentals and other ground transportation to places like Las Vegas, Mexico and Jamaica.
The company offers at least 18 choices of vacations and resorts in Negril, Jamaica including everything-on-a-platter stays at Beaches, Sandals, Couples and Hedonism. A resort-only stay at Beaches for a family of four for four nights runs $3,322 with a single ocean view room or $4,584 for two rooms.
They are expanding their warm-weather offerings for this season as well. For instance, MLT's Worry-Free Vacations has new seasonal charter air service between Detroit and Daytona Beach through April 9. Delta Vacations is also selling packages to Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida while Continental Airlines Vacations is expanding to the islands of Turks and Caicos. And while these destinations may favor certain gateways, MLT's extensive low-fare route system through Delta, United and Continental allow connections into these packages.
2. Delta Vacations
If you are looking for luxury, Delta Vacations also has a new Lifestyle Collection line for deals to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This includes first-class airport check-in, roundtrip in first-class or BusinessElite on Delta, choice of luxury hotels, a private airport meet-and-greet and transfers, Concierge desk privileges, hotel taxes and fees, and 7,500 bonus Skymiles. A sample seven-night package from Chicago starts at $2,040 per person.
Lifestyle customers departing from the Detroit or Minneapolis/St. Paul metro areas have the option of purchasing door-to-door, chauffeured luxury car service between home and the airport. Other options are available for trips to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, the Dominican Republic, Maui, Montego Bay and Las Vegas.
3. Funjet Vacations
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Funjet Vacations is known for its trips to Cancun and other Mexican beachfront resorts, but new for the operator is the offering of Destination Wellness Vacations for that added of edge of focused rejuvenation. The trips include a fitness-focused few days in a holistic wellness environment that transforms a vacation into an invigorating and healthy experience. Travelers can add a one, three or six-day Destination Wellness program to a vacation at either the El Dorado Royale or El Casitas Royale, both all-inclusive beach properties in the Riviera Maya of Cancun. Guests can take a variety of classes, including yoga, Zumba and Beach Boot Camp, plus have access to private trainer time, sports massage treatments and nutritional counseling. Packages with the Eldorado Royale come with a free room upgrade and up to $100 in spa credits. A sample four-night package for two leaving from Chicago in mid-March costs $3,201, including trip insurance.
4. Apple Vacations
Apple Vacations, based in Philadelphia, recently announced expansion of its Jamaica and Cancun inventory with non-stop service on Sun Country Airlines from Lansing Capital Region International Airport. Prices start at $600 for three all-inclusive nights in Cancun including round-trip airfare and transfers.
Costa Rica is also on top of the list for Apple's favored go-to destinations. The company recently came out with exclusive vacation flights from Chicago's O'Hare Airport through April 22, 2011. A seven-night trip starts at $1,299 per person including roundtrip air, a four-wheel drive rental car, seven nights hotel and some meals, letting you see the magical interior of Costa Rica, with its waterfalls, volcanoes and monkeys, at your own pace. For those who prefer to base themselves at the beach, choose seven nights at the RIU Guanacaste, which starts at $1,499 per person including roundtrip air from Chicago, hotel transfers and all meals and drinks.
5. Allegiant Air
If you are looking for more desert than sandy beach, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air offers packages from many regional airports. The airline concentrates its service on underserved cities such as Bozeman, Billings, Duluth, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Grand Island.
A four-night package from Moline/Quad Cities, Illinois, with a stay at Aria and including airport transfers will cost two people $1,391. That might not sound cheap, but the convenience of booking trips from nearby airports rather than heading the distance to gateway airports more than makes up for any perceived rate differences.
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