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Sunday, October 22nd 2017

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YQT." - Chris Myden



2013
15
February
Thunder Bay to Cuba | Getting The Best All Inclusive Deals


Guides >> South & Warm >> Caribbean >> All Inclusive Vacations from Thunder Bay to Cuba

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best All-Inclusive Vacation Deals From Thunder Bay To Cuba

Ydeals logo There are thousands of travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on all inclusive vacations from Thunder Bay to Cuba. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there is really only one source of unique prices on all inclusive packages to Cuba.

This guide will remove the noise and show you what that source is, so you can stop wasting so much time when searching for the best deal.

What exactly is an 'all inclusive vacation' anyways ?

An all-inclusive package is exactly the same as a regular flight and hotel package, except that all your meals, beverages and alcoholic drinks are included in the price. Shuttle bus transfers to and from your resort to the destination airport are usually included as well.

From Thunder Bay, the most popular all inclusive destinations are typically Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and to a certain extent, Jamaica. There are certainly other destinations with true all inclusive resorts, but the destinations listed are where you'll usually get the most for your travel dollar. Destinations with a lower overall number of all-inclusive resorts can be a lot more expensive.

There are not really any true all inclusive resorts in North America (yes, that includes Hawaii), and you sometimes see the term 'all inclusive' being used incorrectly to describe vacation packages that really include only the flight and hotel (no meals or drinks) in the price.

What are the unique sources of prices on all-inclusive vacations to Cuba from Thunder Bay ?

Unique Source #1 - The Canadian Tour Operators

4 of the 7 Canadian Tour Operators offer all inclusive packages from Thunder Bay to Cuba, and they are: Air Canada Vacations, Signature Vacations, Sunwing, and WestJet Vacations.

Where should I look to get the best all-inclusive deal to Cuba?

Well, you could search all of the Canadian Tour Operator's own websites individually, but that would be time consuming.

There are *many* Canadian-based travel sites and brands that sell the all inclusive packages available from the Canadian Tour Operators and search them all at once. This is the noise.

You may already be familiar with some of the sites & brands that spend the most on travel advertising, such as:

RedTag iTravel2000 Flight Network Sell Off Vacations Tripcentral
Flight Centre Signature Vacations Sears Travel Escapes Marlin Travel

This is by no means a complete list of all the Canadian-based travel sites. The only important thing you need to know as someone searching for the best all inclusive deal to Cuba from Thunder Bay is that they are all retrieving their prices from the same Canadian Tour Operators, and all trying to sell you the exact same vacation packages at the exact same prices.

One travel site or vacation brand can't offer a lower price than their competition, and they can't legally change the package prices themselves anyways.

In other words, it is a huge waste of your valuable time to check any more than one of the travel sites for Canadians. A large number of travelers have been fooled into thinking they are comparison shopping, since no travel site or brand will ever admit that their prices are identical to their competition.

You may also have seen a search tool right here on YQT Deals, called the Ultimate All Inclusive Deal Finder.

Since all travel sites rely on the same data provided by the tour operators, the prices generated by the Deal Finder may end up being the same, but this proprietary travel search tool has some innovative features found nowhere else but here.

In addition to the ability to search extremely wide date ranges, it analyzes your specific requests and travel desires, then correlates virtually millions of TripAdvisor reviews and price variations to produce a short list of true all-inclusive deals.

This ensures you get the best value for your money, not just the cheapest option out there at some one-star dive. It can even plot those finely filtered quality resort results on Google Maps for you.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent here in Thunder Bay?

If it's through a travel agency in Canada, or a Canadian travel agent, you can think of them as being identical to the websites mentioned. They're accessing the exact same prices, from the same Canadian Tour Operators as the sites above, and trying to sell you the exact same vacation packages. And they can't offer a price that's any different than any other vacation site or brand.

When should I book my trip to Cuba to get the best price from the Canadian Tour Operators?

This is never an easy question to answer, as the prices of travel packages are not 100% predictable. The tour operators start by setting their price at a level they think will fill the maximum number of seats, based on the demand they expect to see.

If they experience less demand than they expected, they may decide to lower them. If they experience more demand than they expected, they may raise them. Unfortunately, a lot of factors that influence demand can be unpredictable.

But from studying price movements over the years, I can tell you that there are some general patterns when it comes to all inclusive packages from the Canadian Tour Operators:

9 to 12 months before departure:

All inclusive package prices are released, generally at their maximum price.

4 to 8 months before departure:

Prices come down a bit, but not usually a whole lot, and generally show little to no price movement. Prices are pretty static.

2 to 3 months before departure:

Price cuts start to happen on a large number of resorts. This can be a good time to book for those that are looking at a specific resort or are picky about where they want to go.

1 month before departure:

Further price cuts to some resorts on some dates. Certain dates and resorts may now actually be higher if there was a lot of demand.

2 weeks or less before departure:

This is where the craziest of deals can occur, and are the 'amazing last minute deals' that you hear travelers talk about, *but* the important thing to remember is that they usually only happen with a few select resorts.

You need to be open to going to whichever specific resorts happen to get a drastic price cut, and of course be able to travel with relatively little advance notice. There are also usually only a small number of seats available on the plane by this point, making it difficult for larger groups of friends or family to take advantage of this type of deal.

You can see that there are tradeoffs when playing the waiting game in order to get a great last minute all-inclusive deal. The closer you get to the departure date the more flexible you need to be, both in terms of being able to travel on shorter notice, as well as how picky you are about where you're going.

What's a decent price for an all-inclusive vacation to Cuba?

From Thunder Bay, one week all inclusive packages to Cuba from the Canadian Tour Operators tend to bottom out at around $900 per person, after taxes. This is just a general guideline though, based on average demand periods of the year. And of course it can vary wildly, depending on the quality of the hotel involved in the all inclusive package.

The prices of all inclusive packages to Cuba are highly affected by demand. So anytime you can think of a reason that there might be higher demand than usual for travel to Cuba (such as dates when many travelers from Thunder Bay have vacation time or school breaks) you can expect prices to react accordingly.

Prices are also generally higher during the colder winter months in Thunder Bay, as there is higher demand from travelers looking to vacation somewhere warm.

As for the Christmas holiday period (anything between Dec 21 and Jan 5), that's a whole other level of demand, which means prices are never anything but very expensive relative to the rest of the year.

As a very general rule of thumb, I find you can usually take a decent price from an average demand period and multiply it by 1.5 to get your typical Christmas price. And I'm sorry to say, they pretty much never drop in price.

What about all-inclusive packages from the Canadian Tour Operators with direct flights to Cuba?

Signature Vacations and Sunwing both offer all inclusive packages from Thunder Bay to Cuba that have direct flights.

Air Canada Vacations and WestJet Vacations on the other hand, do not. Their all inclusive packages contain flights that usually have a layover in Toronto each way.

Why are there a lot of sites that don't seem to offer packages to Cuba?

There are many U.S. based sites out there that usually combine flights from the major airlines with the latest hotel rates to generate packages from Canadian cities. You've probably heard of at least some of the ones that spend the most on advertising, including...

Expedia Travelocity Book It Orbitz Hotwire


However, due to the United States trade embargo against Cuba, there are no U.S. based major airlines that offer flights to Cuba, so these sites are unable to offer packages to Cuba. This is why the Canadian Tour Operators are really the only source of packages to Cuba. Some of the U.S. based travel sites are able to search packages from the Canadian Tour Operators (and the prices will be exactly the same).

What about booking flight & hotel separately? Is that cheaper or more expensive than an all inclusive package?

People often want to know if booking an all inclusive package to Cuba is better or worse than booking flight and hotel separately. The answer is, well, that there is no correct answer. One or the other can be cheaper or more expensive for any given situation, at any given moment. All you can do is try both and compare. I do find in general though, it can be hard to beat a really good all inclusive deal from the Canadian Tour Operators.

I'd suggest starting with finding the cheapest flight from Thunder Bay to Cuba that you can. You may want to read the guide: Thunder Bay to Cuba | How To Get The Best Flight Deals.

Then find the cheapest hotel rates you can for your dates. I think some people are surprised to learn that they can book an 'all inclusive' resort separately and on their own, just like any other hotel. You're really just booking a certain room type and rate, that includes all meals and drinks in the cost of your hotel room.

However, it can be difficult to find 'hotel only' prices in Cuba, due to the U.S. trade embargo, which prevents many of the largest U.S. based travel sites from displaying hotel prices in Cuba.

Remember that for a fair comparison, you need to look at the 'all inclusive rate' for the hotel when booking separately, otherwise it doesn't include meals and drinks.

And also remember that you should always keep as many variables the same as possible, including the flight quality (number of layovers, layover length), the number of nights, and the hotel involved.

What about budget priced all inclusive packages to Cuba from U.S. airports within driving distance of Thunder Bay?

Due to the United States trade embargo against Cuba, there are no U.S. based major airlines that offer flights to Cuba, so you won't find any all inclusive packages to Cuba that depart out of U.S. cities.


I think I've found a great deal on an all inclusive vacation to Cuba!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow Thunder Bay travel lovers, they will certainly appreciate it! You can post it in the YQT Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of travel lovers from Thunder Bay are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YQT Deals contact form or on Twitter @YQTdeals or through Google Plus. Great deal finds are always appreciated.


Why should I trust this Cuba all-inclusive travel guide?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my observations of the travel industry over the years, including all the thousands of websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

The goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so travellers can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YQT Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!


I think I have some info that could help improve the Cuba guide for Thunder Bay travellers!

Great! Please post your info in the Facebook group above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

Common Questions Travelers From Thunder Bay Have About All Inclusive Vacations To Cuba

When should I go on an all-inclusive vacation to Cuba?

Well, most vacationers like to go when it's colder in Thunder Bay, which means December through March, and as always, higher demand means higher prices.

There can often be some great travel deals on the shoulders of this demand period such as in the first half of December before the Christmas insanity and in April as the demand starts to die down and Thunder Bay gets warmer.

January can also produce some good deals when more travellers are vacationed out from the Christmas holidays. February & March tends to see a lot of demand (and higher prices) particularly around Family Day and when students have their school breaks.

September is the statistical peak of the Caribbean hurricane season down south (which includes Cuba). The potential for bad weather reduces demand, along with prices.

The chances of a hurricane occurring drop slightly in October, and then further again in November. By the end of November/early December, the chances become pretty slim of seeing hurricane activity, and prices start to rise along with the demand.

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