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How do you put a trip together?

Springfield...
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How do you put a trip together?

Determined to make our first visit to Vieques arriving the first week of August. As I see it, here is what needs to be done. I'm interested on feedback on the following:

Getting there: booking a flight and two rooms for our arrival. Always used Expedia and have no reason to change now.

Villa: have a property in mind and have been in contact with owner. Available for our chosen week.

Getting to Vieques: checked flights on VAL, all good.

Vieques: need a 4wd seating 5 people.

In what sequence would you book the above? Travel insurance? Other comments?

Lancaster PA
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1. Re: How do you put a trip together?

I personally would lock in the villa, then the flights. The villa was available when you inquired but won't be held for you unless you've committed to the dates usually with a deposit. The flights I would book directly through the airline and not on a weekend as purchase prices are usually lowest Tuesday afternoon thru Thursday.

I'd book the car next (i'ts not high season so availability should be good) and last the VAL flight which doesn't need to be booked this far ahead.

Enjoy Vieques!

NYC
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2. Re: How do you put a trip together?

i personally do not think travel insurance is any good. they always seem to find a loophole.

aside from that, I'd say the rental car first then flight to San Juan first then the lodging then the VAL trip. Travelgirls advice is sound and makes alot of sense. especially when considering that you are extremely likely not to have any car rental issues in August. However, I see flight prices change within hours and if price makes a difference, a higher priced flight may make you leave a week later. If something happens and where you want to stay gets booked(less likely in August than the cars being all booked), you will find another place similar enough not to matter. Thats just how I would do it. But either way I think would be fine. especially if you do it all in one sitting.

Vieques
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3. Re: How do you put a trip together?

Agree,flights to SJU first,there are dozens of nice villas in every price range and you can certainly find one in August.Getting from PR to Vieques can wait awhile as schedules will change and there is always a way. ( for a family of five it makes sense to take a taxi or car service to Ceiba and fly from there or take the ferry)

I disagree with Frankie on travel insurance, because many villas do not refund ( a few will allow you a credit to a future stay) and that is chunk of money but the good insurance companies charge a lot.

Since Avis arrived here the shortage of cars is not very severe. Avis does not require a credit to book either so if you need to cancel there will be no penalty.

Chester County, Pa.
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4. Re: How do you put a trip together?

There are 4 door jeeps available. To have one gives you more confidence during rainy season when you can't judge how deep the puddles are.

Chester County, Pa.
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5. Re: How do you put a trip together?

This in regards to the outermost beaches.

6. Re: How do you put a trip together?

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Roswell, Georgia
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7. Re: How do you put a trip together?

I have to disagree slightly with the order proposed here. I generally do lodging first because we tend to prefer smaller inns and guesthouses, and they can fill up fast. With the number of people you will have, a villa makes more sense. I looked at cottages and villas for Vieques too and didn't find a huge inventory in Esperanza which is where we want to be. Of course there will only be two of us so your situation could be different.

I start looking at flights at the beginning of my trip planning, but if the price seems too high I just watch for a fare drop. Use Kayak or Bing travel for fare predictions and email notifications, but buy your tickets at least two months in advance. I think you can wait a couple of months to book a jeep for August, but go ahead and make arrangements two to three months before you travel.

I also think travel insurance is worthwhile in some cases. It all depends on lodging deposit amounts, refund terms, medical considerations, etc. I don't usually get it in the States, but more remote locations I do.

NYC
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8. Re: How do you put a trip together?

will travel insurance cover lodging that isnt an official business? just someones house that they rent out?

Vieques
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9. Re: How do you put a trip together?

frankie ,yes they should .and in Puerto Rico anyone who rents a house out weekly is supposed to have a business licence and pay PR tourism their 7% room tax. Or work with a broker who has a licence. Working with an owner who obeys the laws or licenced business is a good practice because you know they are legit and not fly by night.

You might check VRBO, Homeaway and Flipkey, I know they offer several types of insurance against damage and double booking , they may also offer trip cancellation insurance.

Edited: 20 March 2013, 10:52
10. Re: How do you put a trip together?

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