Here in Member Services, one of the many things that we help our members with is planning vacations. I’ve been helping plan some really cool ones lately, including my own. If you haven’t read about it already check it out here, https://vacationmor.com/2015/12/04/indigo-in-paradise-my-puerto-vallarta-vacation/

Here are some tips on how to go about planning your own vacation using your membership! And remember, we’re here to help you if you have any questions along the way

1.  Decide where you would like to go.

I decided that for my first vacation ever that I would go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have been overseas before but I had never been to Mexico before and I had heard that Puerto Vallarta was beautiful.  I did some research and it is a safe, friendly, and accommodating place to be in Mexico. If you’re dreaming of going overseas like Andrea is in the picture, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to get or renew a passport. This can take a couple of months sometimes so make sure to start planning early!

2.  Decide when you’d like to go.

For me, the best time to take time off is when the parks are closed so I knew that my best window for securing time off would be during November-April. Your dates may vary but it is best to be flexible. Keep in mind that most condos check in on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and that they run for a week. It’s best to have a few weeks in mind that you’d be available to go.

3.  Check for availability.

With both Hopaway Holiday and Condominium Travel Club, you can search for and book condos up to a year in advance of when you are going to travel. I booked mine about 8 months in advance using Hopaway Holiday. It is important to make sure that you choose a unit that will fit the size of your party. As a general rule a Hotel or Studio unit sleeps 2, a one bedroom sleeps 4, a two bedroom sleeps 6, and a three bedroom sleeps 8 but any exceptions will be listed on the website. Once you find a unit that fits your dates and party size, you’re ready to book!

*Important note, if you are going to a location you need to fly to, you’ll want to check flight prices around this time too. The flights for the week before or after you’re looking to go may be significantly cheaper and you may want to book your condo accordingly. Setting up flight alerts is a great way to watch the price if you are getting ready to book. Also, look at driving to larger airports to save even more! We drove the 6 short hours to Denver and saved a significant amount of money on our tickets and were able to get a nonstop flight versus flying out of our hometown.

4.  Get everything booked!

This step can be a little bit more spread out depending on if you are flying or driving to your destination. I booked my condo 8 months before traveling and I booked our flights about 6 weeks prior to departure after having watched the prices for a few months. If you need a rental car you could go ahead and book this now too.

5.  Get ready to go!

If you are going overseas, be sure to make a few copies of your passport and leave one with someone at home and put one in a safe place in your luggage other than where you intend to keep your passport just in case you were to lose your passport in a foreign country. You’ll also want to let your friends and family know when you’ll be gone and when you’ll return and make plans for the care of any pets and or plants while you’re away. You may also want to look into how to use your phone overseas. Most major carriers have a Canada & Mexico plan that you can add for a small fee and some also have Cruise Ship plans available too. You should also do some research on the weather before you start packing so you have an idea of what you’ll need to take. Make sure to have your bags labeled and easy to spot. Print any boarding passes, itineraries, and the condo conformation page.

6.  Have fun!

Now that you have everything planned, booked, and packed, you’re ready to have some fun! Whether you spend your first day relaxing in the condo or out exploring the area, you’re bound to have a good time! Make sure to take lots of pictures and tell us all about it!

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