Category Archives: All-inclusives

Book online, Keep your local support

book onlineThere are so many options out there for booking that at times, it can feel overwhelming. That is why it’s great to use a travel agent. We can help narrow down what works for your destination, budget and travel needs. Put our expertise and experience to work for you. Plus, by booking your vacation package through us – you can put down a deposit and then your final payment isn’t due until 60-45 days prior to your departure instead of having to pay it all upfront. Of course, if you’re booking something within 60-45 days of travel, the total is due at the time of booking. Or, if you’re booking something over the holidays, they do tend to want payment sooner but we’ll let you know when that is.

But, if you like doing your own research and booking things online; we have that too. Check out our BOOK IT NOW page on our website. It takes you directly to some of our favorite travel companies’ websites  – like Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations for example. They have flight/hotel packages to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe and more. If you’re looking for Sandals’ resorts, we have that too whether you’re a newbie or a specialist. We also have the Globus Family which has escorted tours throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, South Pacific and the Middle East. They also have river cruises. This way, you can check out all the different aspects of your trip but still have our local support to help answer questions or take care of certain details. And, in the event of a problem with your trip, (the best laid plans and all), we’re there to help get things back on track.

If you have questions about any of these companies or their destinations, give us a call. Let us help you find the best deal for your dollar, needs and dreams. Or, book it online and have us as your backup should you need it.


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Filed under All-inclusives, Caribbean, Cruises, Family Travel, Florida, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Tour Packages, Traveler Tips, USA

Jamaica’s Intimate All-inclusive Resort

Let the sea breezes and the calming sounds of a lush, tropical forest lull you into a state of serenity at Sunset at the Palms. While providing all the amenities of an all-inclusive resort, the size of it (at 85 rooms for a maximum of 170 guests) will leave you feeling pampered within this quiet and serene backdrop. Adjacent to Jamaica’s largest and best-preserved wetlands, the most common sounds are frogs and birds.

Their accommodations only enhance this immersive experience with luxurious tree houses made from local wood with king-size beds, stocked mini-fridges and private balconies. These tree-top suites offer two floors with two outdoor spaces – one has a hammock.

They have a pool with a swim-up bar, an open-air spa, tennis courts and exceptional dining. There’s an outdoor buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If buffets aren’t your thing, they have the elegant Lotus Leaf for a multi-course Caribbean-fusion-feast. There’s also the Chef’s Showcase where the chef presents 4 courses of locally sourced and inspired dishes – all under the stars.

Besides the great location of a garden setting, their private beach club allows you to stroll Jamaica’s beautiful, undisturbed white-sand beaches. If that’s too sedate, they also offer water sports, free Wi-Fi service, tennis, live music nightly and weekly guest cocktail parties. For those needing more pampering, they also have an on-site SPA.

Rediscover the all-inclusive thing at Sunset at the Palms. Call us today to feel pampered at this hidden gem with an intimate ambience and it’s warm and gracious staff.

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Filed under All-inclusives, Caribbean, Couples Only Resorts, Jamaica

Finding the Right All-inclusive Resort

Each all-inclusive resort comes with its own special mix of specialties. Some are focused on romance, catering to couples who came to connect. Others are family oriented, providing a well-balanced diet of adventure for all ages.

The key is finding the right mix of fun and relaxation, and whether that mix includes multiple pools, a private beach, water sports, kid and teen centers, family rooms, nearby attractions, indulgent spas, championship golf and fine dining options.

According to our Travel Tips Quarterly, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect all-inclusive resort for you and yours:

Where to Go
Paradise can be found in many locations, and each will have an all-inclusive resort nearby. If a picture-perfect beach lapped by turquoise waters is the one ingredient you can’t live without, set your sights on the idyllic islands in the Caribbean. If you want to explore your locale a bit more in depth, then chose a resort near grand attractions, such as Jamaica where you can go hiking up Dunn’s River Falls, or Cozumel, where nearby Mayan ruins are waiting to be explored. Other resorts are on or near championship-quality golf courses, offering packages that include a few rounds.

When to Go
Like all popular holiday spots, summer, spring break and Christmas are peak times for all-inclusive resorts. Going at those times may be the most convenient for your schedule, but be prepared to deal with more fellow guests. Also, June through November is technically hurricane season in the Caribbean, so lower-priced packages come with a slight risk. Don’t worry; many resorts offer weather guarantees, giving you credit for a future stay if a hurricane is on path to disrupt your dream vacation. And we also have several travel insurance options.

How Much
The cost of an all-inclusive package can seem high at first glance, until you take into consideration all that the package provides. Included in the cost of your stay is typically all meals, premium drinks, numerous sports and activities, social functions and often tips. Some resorts pride themselves in telling guests to bring little or no cash, for it’s not needed as long as you stay inside the resort.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, All-inclusives, Bucket List Ideas

60 Second Geography – Jamaica

Jamaica is a world apart. Few locations on earth have been so graced with amazing natural beauty, wonderful climate, crystal clear water and rich culture. The Jamaicans say their land is the “biggest little island in the world. Indeed, one trip is not enough. To fully take in Jamaica you must travel there again and again. And why not? There are tropical rainforests, waterfalls, wonderful sand beaches, shimmering sands and a turquoise sea, a wide variety of resorts, and a culture with a rhythm all its own.

  • Tourism in Jamaica is well established and the resort infrastructure is excellent with a wide variety of accommodations at every end of the budgetary scale. Properties range from independent hotels to all inclusive resorts. My favorite is Couples Resorts.
  • Most of the hotel development is on Jamaica’s North Shore at Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. Jamaica is home to many all-inclusive resorts, but also offers alternatives from locally owned properties to luxury villas.
  • The mountainous interior of Jamaica provides an idyllic setting. The island’s Blue Mountains contain a wide variety of plant and animal life and ecotourism here is seeing a healthy interest.
  • Contemporary Jamaican culture, epitomized by the music of Bob Marley, expresses the national pride in the island’s heritage.
  • The English wrested Jamaica away from the Spanish in the mid-1600s and used the island as a base throughout the Caribbean. They permitted pirates to hold sway over some areas of the island like Port Royal to continue to threaten Spanish interests in the rest of the Caribbean.
  • Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other place in the world. Every denomination finds a home here, as well as Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Rastafarians.
  • Most resorts and hotels will arrange for guided drives around the island for visitors. It is a great way to get off of the beaten path, see the real Jamaica, and to slowly acclimate to a side of the island not found behind the gates.

Contact Thunderbird Travel IL and start planning your Jamaica vacation.

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Filed under All-inclusives, Bucket List Ideas, Couples Only Resorts, Family Travel, Holidays, Honeymoons, Jamaica

Book Online with Us

Without a travel agent, you're on your own.We know there are lots of you that book online and we want you back. We want your business. Our updated website now has a BOOK IT NOW page. If you’re looking for a package deal with air and hotel plus car or a shuttle – I would take a look  at Funjet Vacations or Apple Vacations and get ‘er done. They can get you to almost anywhere here in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, or Central and South America. Looking for a DisneyWorld vacation to Florida or heading to California to visit DisneyLand? Funjet has you covered – from flights to hotels to shuttles along with theme park tickets. Both Funjet and Apple have charter flights (non-stop flights) to Mexico and islands in the Caribbean. There are so many wonderful places to discover. Book your vacation online on our website and have the local support you need in case you have questions or need help making a booking. Plus, in the event you need help while on the road – you have a familiar name to call on. Keep your peace of mind with our online convenience and local support.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Activities, All-inclusives, Bahamas, California, Caribbean, Central America, Costa Rica, Disneyland, DisneyWorld, Europe, Family Travel, Florida, Hawaii, Holidays, Honeymoons, Jamaica, Las Vegas, Mexico, New York City

Reasons to use a travel agent

     In watching a show on Discovery last night regarding the embarkation of cruise passengers, I saw several reasons to use a travel agent. The most apparent one to me had to do with documentation. People were almost denied boarding because they did not have the proper identification papers to board the cruise.

The one that stood out the most was of a honeymoon couple where the bride was listed on the manifest with her new married name. Unfortunately, her documentation had her maiden name and she did not have a copy of her marriage license with her. If they had booked this through a travel agent (and I’m guessing they didn’t), the agent would have advised her to book it in her maiden name unless she had had ample time to get all her identification changed over to the new name prior to departure. Or, at the very least, have advised her to take a copy of their marriage license with her.

Another one, is where a family is traveling with a child (anyone under the age of 18) whose last name does not match that of the rest of the group. In this case, I would have advised that they needed a letter from her father stating that it was okay for her to travel internationally without him present. The cruise line could be held liable if that child is then reported abducted.

This is just one of the reasons to use a travel agent –  a lot of little snaffoos and stress that can be avoided.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Airfare, All-inclusives, Cruises, Europe, Family Travel, Holidays, Honeymoons, Miscellaneous News, Safety Issues, Travel News, Travel Trivia, Traveler Tips

Best Couples resorts – Swept Away

Couples Resorts JamaicaLocated on Negril’s sparkling Seven Mile Beach, Couples Swept Away has 312 Caribbean-style suites. This resort is great for water sports and fitness fanatics. They have an olympic-size pool in a 10-acre sports and fitness complex including tennis, squash and racquetball courts. Aerobics, Pilates and yoga sessions are also available. For beach and water-lovers, an excellent selection of gear such as sea kayaks, snorkeling fins and masks, sailboats and wind surfers, as well as private instruction is readily available. Additionally, more swimming pools and 5 Jacuzzis are dotted throughout the property for your enjoyment. Whether you want a 4-course meal or a snack, their 6 unique restaurants can give you what you want including The Palms – an open-air beachside dining room. What more could you ask for? It doesn’t get more romantic than having a gourmet meal while listening to the waves crashing on to a sandy white beach looking out across the Caribbean Sea with beautiful blue waters stretching for miles. Along with the sunset catamaran cruise, they also offer the shuttle to Margaritaville, a glass-bottom boat tour and a 2 tank dives per day for certified divers – offered at all resorts. If you’re not a certified diver, don’t worry mon. They offer a resort course that can certify you for a tank dive. I’m telling you, it doesn’t get any better than this. Give us a call for your next romantic getaway.

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Filed under All-inclusives, Caribbean, Couples Only Resorts, Honeymoons, Hotels, Jamaica, Weddings