Playa Del Carmen Vacation Packages

…good things sometimes come in small packages…

So my buddy calls me up the other day and says he’s just walked into the travel agent and booked a Playa Del Carmen vacation package.

I was delighted that he was coming.

But when he mentioned the price, I almost fell off my chair

(Okay, I confess. I was a little tequila tipsy at the time.)

Firstly, my buddy doesn’t need a hotel.

If I move the empty mescal collection out of my spare room, then he can stay with me for free.

But more importantly – the travel agent?

When he told me the name of the hotel I had to down the tequila bottle in sorrow.

It’s closer to the highway than the beach!

You can get some amazing Playa Del Carmen vacation packages.

And the prices really can be rock-bottom.

But you’ve got to do some searching.

BUT…

I’ve Done The Searching For You

My buddy is a little impulsive.

The only thing he searches for is chips for the roulette table.

So after he called me, I’ve been doing my own searching.

I’ve compared and compiled offers from the different travel sites so you don’t have to spend hours in front of the internet.

I stuck to my main rule of using the big travel sites.

If you read my article about Playa Del Carmen flights, you’ll see many reasons why it’s best to stick to the big name companies.

The main reason is that they have a reputation to maintain and, to a lesser extent, are regulated by the travel industry.

So they’re not going to keep your money if anything goes wrong.

Some Research On Playa Del Carmen Vacation Packages

I searched the major online travel sites and looked to book a flight and hotel vacation package to Playa Del Carmen.

I checked Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline, Booking Buddy, and Kayak.

I looked at booking a seven-day vacation for three various dates – for a booking in either seven days, 90 days, or one years time.

Finally, for variety, I looked at deals leaving from the US, Canada, and London.

If I had nothing to do for the next three years, I would finish the research for every potential city in the world. (That is how long it would take.)

But I’d rather hang out on the beach / get drunk / make sandcastles / etc etc (sorry…)

So I chose these three to give you an idea of what the different sites can offer.

I also used a bit of common sense when filtering the answers.

So if I got an amazingly cheap deal but knew it was for a terrible hotel I omitted it from the results.

The Results – The Best Sites To Find Playa Del Carmen Vacation Packages

As you can see from the graph there was no clear winner.

Most of the sites are offering similar prices.

Just like flight-only deals, the best packages could be found closer to departure, with “90 days prior to departure” seemingly the optimum time to book.

Ironically, booking a year in advance was actually the most expensive.

Many flights only go on sale ten months before departure, and that could be limiting the number of Playa Del Carmen vacation packages picked up by the vacation search engines.

It could also be that the airlines could never even hope to estimate or predict what will happen with things like gas prices a year from now.

Remember these prices are for Playa Del Carmen vacation packages.

For flight only deals you can look at my article about flights to Playa Del Carmen.

Expedia Generally Offers The Best Playa Del Carmen Vacation Packages When Traveling From The US Or Canada

For most scenarios, Expedia offered the best flight+hotel deal for vacations starting from the US or Canada.

Expedia was $50 – $100 USD cheaper than some of the other sites.

That means a few free nights out in Playa Del Carmen!

The only exception was when booking a vacation from New York to Playa Del Carmen 90 days before departure.

In this case it was the perennial over-achievers Booking Buddy who offered the best deals.

I also found that Expedia was only giving me the big beachside resorts.

They weren’t churning out any bad hotels in these results.

However, the prices on Expedia really jumped up and down.

So to get these prices you must be prepared to be flexible.

Booking Buddy Also Offer Great Deals

The runner-up for Playa Del Carmen vacation packages was Booking Buddy.

Interestingly, Booking Buddy won for flight-only prices.

It is particularly good for people booking trips from London.

Booking Buddy consistently picked up excellent deals, and was often much cheaper than the more well-known Orbitz.

I found that this site consistently gave good offers for top hotels.

There were some deals that I really couldn’t believe.

I’ve walked past these 5 star resorts before, and thought I could never afford them.

However, after checking Expedia and Booking Buddy, I may end up treating myself one day!

My recommendation would be to check Expedia, and then Booking Buddy when looking for a Playa Del Carmen vacation package.

You only need Booking Buddy when checking for flights only.

While I’m not going to say that this research is truly definitive, it should definitely help your vacation planning.

Disadvantages Of The Online Travel Sites

Now I’m going to defend my buddy a little.

A huge disadvantage with these online travel sites is that they offer minimal flexibility.

If you want to make any changes to your itinerary, they’re going to take you to the cleaners.

Expect to pay big bucks for adding extra people, canceling, changing dates, etc…

So the Golden Rule is to know precise plan before you book.

Seeing as the optimum time to book is 90 days before departure, and the fact that you have this website to do all of your research before hand, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

If You Find A Great Playa Del Carmen Vacation Package Then Book It

The information on these sites is changing all the time.

One day an amazing Playa Del Carmen vacation package is staring at you.

The next day it’s been gobbled up by somebody else.

After you’ve found a great price, make your reservations immediately.

That’s particularly important if you plan to come to Playa Del Carmen during high season.

Some Tips For Finding The Best Playa Del Carmen Vacation Packages

As I was doing this research, I started to see some patterns in the results.

So here are some parting tips for your Playa Del Carmen vacation search:

  • The cheapest days to fly are midweek – not weekends.  If you can help it definitely avoid flying on a Sunday as this can bump the price up by $200+.
  • Avoid any important public holidays.  I kept thinking why is this so expensive?  Then I realized I was searching for flights on Easter Monday.
  • Check out independent reviews of the hotels.  Once you’ve found a deal type the hotel name into Trip Advisor and see what people are really saying about it.

Be as flexible as possible – and always check the box that says, “My [departure date, return date, flight time, etc…] is flexible.”

Some Tips For Spending All The Money That You Saved!

Don’t go wasting all that money you’ve saved.

Keep it for your Playa Del Carmen vacation and consider spending it on one of the following:

A tour to Chichen Itza or any of the Mayan pyramids or ruins.

Going to Akumal and snorkeling with turtles.

Getting really really really drunk on one of the many Mexican drinks available to you (beer, cocktails, tequila, etc…).

Go skydiving, ride ATVs through the jungle, or do some fishing while you’re here.

Visit the tropical island of Cozumel.

Sample all 10 cocktails on Rufus’s Mexican cocktail list.

Do a Playacrawl.

Go swimming with dolphins or whale sharks.

Walk down 5th Ave and go shopping for souvenirs.

Drink so much tequila that you can’t even remember coming on a Playa Del Carmen vacation in the first place.

Buy some sunscreen and catch some serious rays on the beach.

Or you could simply try one of the many other activities and excursions available in this area…

Happy vacation hunting and I’ll see you on the beach!

Lots of love,

Rufus

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Do you have any advice about vacation packages here? Please leave them in the comments section below!

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