Top 5 ways how to save your guests money.
Now that you’ve decided to have your dream wedding in a tropical paradise, it’s time to consider how to keep your guests’ travel costs manageable. That part is easy if you have a game plan and take the advice of an expert to ensure that you’re getting all of the added benefits that may be available to you.
TIP #1 – Work with a travel agent – specifically, one who specializes in Destination Weddings.
Take the guess work out of when you should book, whether group rates apply, and stopasking yourself, “is there a better/easier way to do this?”. A seasoned expert will know when the tour operators are likely to come out with group promotions, what the flight schedules will be, and whether there may be some other ways to book the trip that will save money for you and your guests. They’ll also know which resorts have typically been offering the best rates and value for money. If you’ve got guests departing from different cities, a travel agent may be able to combine their packages, sharing a hotel room to get double occupancy rates and saving each person 40% or more over regular single occupancy prices.
TIP #2 – Don’t let your friends book a nearby hotel thinking they’ll just ‘pop’ in for the wedding.
Most resorts in Mexico or the Caribbean offer fantastic all-inclusive rates. Since all of your meals and drinks are in essence prepaid, anyone who isn’t a hotel guest and comes onto the property must have a Day Pass pre-arranged by your wedding coordinator. These are payable locally for around US $80-$100 per person for 8-hours access to a resort. This will allow them to attend your wedding but won’t allow for a lot of wiggle room to mingle with the guests before the ceremony or as the reception winds down. If a guest has a really tight budget, a seasoned travel agent will look at options, such as a shorter duration trip or staying at a nearby cheaper resort for part of their trip and just adding a few key nights at your wedding resort so they don’t miss out on any of the wedding festivities.
TIP #3 – Choose a resort that offers activities for everyone.
Obviously it’s hard to please everyone, but if your wedding resort caters to all ages, you’ll save your guests from seeking fun and adventure elsewhere. Many resorts have a disco on site – these may not in any way resemble Coco Bongo, but will give younger guests something fun to do in the evening and save them transportation costs and cover charges. Nearby shopping eliminates the need to taxi into town for souvenirs, and having a complimentary Kids Club will give parents a few hours of down time while their children make new friends.
TIP #4 – Ask your guests for input on a group excursion.
Most people will take at least one tour or excursion while they’re at the resort, so why not save them 20%-30% or more and have it as a fun group activity? Whether you’re looking at doing a snorkelling catamaran trip, a tour of ancient ruins, or a fun day at a nature park like Xcaret or Xel-Ha, tours can be arranged as a private group for only your wedding guests, at a huge savings over regular resort prices. You can customize the tour as you’d like and include extra shopping, a lobster bbq on the beach, or just extra beers on the bus. Your guests will talk about your wedding trip for years to come – why not enhance the experience with a private group trip that saves them money at the same time? These are easy to arrange but generally take a few weeks to coordinate and should be pre-arranged and pre-purchased through your travel agent for the best rates.
TIP #5 – Encourage your guests to purchase travel insurance.
Even if your destination wedding doesn’t take place during hurricane season, you want your guests to have a worry-free holiday. No one ever plans for bad things to happen, but knowing that your guests will be covered if they lose their passport, have a piece of luggage delayed or misdirected by the airline to some other foreign country, or cut their foot on a shell on the beach & need stitches, will mean that everyone can relax and focus their energy on looking forward to the big day!
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