Good news for travelers. Mexico offers great value and Pleasant Holidays (tel. 800/742-9244; www.pleasantholidays.com) has a deal that will put you there for a long weekend. Enjoy three nights from $355 with airfare.
First things first. You may have heard that Mexico is not safe, or that you shouldn't travel there. The U.S. State Department recently updated its travel warning to Mexico, which addresses the situation of violence in the northern part of the country. Note that most tourist areas are generally safe, but that it's always advisable to practice common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
For this three-night vacation, you'll stay at the beachfront Villa del Palmar Beach Resort, in Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay. Cool off in three pools and a waterslide. Enjoy air-conditioned suites with kitchenettes. Not in the mood to cook? Take your pick of two on-site restaurants.
Is this really a deal? According to a recent Kayak search, round-trip airfare from Denver to Puerto Vallarta clocks in at $372 for a Monday in June during this package's valid period, or $496 with taxes and fees. Villa del Palmar's website shows an average daily rate of $79 for the deluxe kitchenette room for the travel period in question (or $237 for the three-night stay for two people). Note that Pleasant Holidays advertises that you receive a third night free. If you were to book airfare and three nights' hotel separately, the cost would come to about $615 without hotel taxes and fees.
For the package, which even with taxes could possibly add up to $124, the total price comes in around $459. With this package, you can expect to save more than $150 when compared to booking each component separately.
You can also upgrade to the all-inclusive Barcelo Puerto Vallarta (from $485 for three nights with airfare) or the Westin Resort and Spa (from $535 for three nights with airfare). Many other popular destinations are available, such as Los Cabos (from $389 for three nights and airfare from Las Vegas) or Riviera Maya (from $445 for three nights and airfare from Atlanta).
Trip Type: Air-inclusive; independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from Denver to Puerto Vallarta, three nights at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, hotel taxes, and airline fuel surcharges. Kids 12 and under eat and stay for free.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Government taxes and fees of up to $124 per person
Book By: June 12
When: Monday departures May 30-June 20
Other Gateways: Los Angeles (add $18), San Francisco (add $59), Chicago (add $114), New York-JFK (add $284)
Other Details: This particular property is available through June 20, but the overall package is valid for travel through Dec. 31. A child's airfare is $238, based on availability and not including air taxes. The kids eat and stay free offer associated with this particular hotel expires June 12.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.