Answers for all those questions you might still have
Planning for and departing on your next trip often comes with a few questions. We've compiled our most frequently asked questions in one spot so you can quickly find the answers you need. Click the tab below to find the questions relevant to where you are in the travel process.
Last Minute Travel Changes
A: As Vacation Express continues to monitor the information coming from the CDC about the novel coronavirus [COVID-19], we want to keep our travelers' best interest in mind and ensure everyone is well informed concerning their bookings with us. We recognize that there is uncertainty about traveling abroad, so we have an updated final payment due dates along with new cancellation policies for those scheduled for travel in the near future. Further information and details can be found on our Travel Updates page.
A: In response to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has announced that the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test will be expand to all air travelers entering the U.S. starting January 26, 2021. Travelers are required to get a test within 3 days of their departure time and provide their negative test results [paper or electronic copy] to the airline. More details and in-destination testing locations can be found on our Travel Updates page and on its In-Destination tab.
A: While most countries and hotels have re-opened to visitors, several continue to adjust their opening dates. Also, many are requiring submission of negative Polymerase Chain Reaction [PCR] tests for each traveler before arrival. For more details specific to hotels and countries, please see the Destination Updates and Hotel Updates tabs on our Travel Updates page.
A: As one of the largest tour operators in the Southeastern United States, Vacation Express has provided air/land vacation packages for over 30 years. We work with hotels and resorts in over 20 different destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica to bring you the best deals possible. Whether you're looking to travel last minute for a romantic getaway or looking for early bird specials for the whole family, we're sure to have the perfect hotel or resort for you. Be sure to check out our interactive map of the beautiful destinations we travel to, browse our hotel partners by brand, or check out our best limited-time offers. You can also read more out more about us here.
A: In an effort to provide you the lowest possible prices, Vacation Express charters airplanes to offer our own non-stop flights that depart from select cities across the U.S. Our flights always leave in the mornings and return in the afternoons to maximize your vacation time. See a full schedule of Exclusive, Non-Stop Flights here.
A: Here at Vacation Express, Non-Stop is just that — a non-stop flight from your departure city to your destination, on one of our Exclusive, Non-Stop Flights, as described above. Direct flights make a single stop to pick up additional passengers; you do not disembark to transfer to a different flight or plane. Round-Trip flights are trips booked on regular scheduled flights on various airlines and could possibly include a layover or transfer to a connecting flight.
A: From time to time we will offer coupon codes that can be applied to new bookings for instant savings. Our coupon codes often change so be sure to check our Coupon Code page often if you're planning a trip to see if there's something for you!
A: We do. Please review our Price Match Policy for details and instructions on how to get the best possible deal on your dream vacation.
A: You must cancel your vacation within 72 hours of departure. More details on our cancellation policy can be found in your documents or in our Terms and Conditions.
A: Every hotel has different age requirements that are considered for child pricing. For most hotels, child rates are applied to children aged 12 and under at time of travel. Other hotels specify a child's age limit to be 11, 14, or even 17 years of age. A hotel's maximum kid's age can be found on its hotel page.
A: Each of our hotel pages, which can be found by destination under the "Hotels" drop-down menu at the top of this page, has all the information you'll need for every hotel, including its star rating, meal plan, kid's ages, room categories, available services, amenities, restaurants, activities and more. Feel free to explore our extensive list of hotels and resorts in each of our beautiful destinations to find the perfect match for you.
A: Resort Credits/Coupons are promotions offered directly by the resort to add extra value to your vacation package. Your resort credits can be used for services provided by the resort that usually are provided for a cost, such as spa treatments, motorized watersports, golf fees, etc. The credits usually have limitations, caps or a maximum amount of resort credit that can be applied to each applicable activity or service. Please note that resort credits ahve no monetary value, nor are they transferrable, redeemable for cash or able to be saved or used on future stays.
A: Along with your accommodations, all-inclusive hotels and resorts include all meals and drinks, as well as daily and/or nightly entertainment and activities, all in one price. Other services, such as room service, spas, premium restaurants, child care, or premium meals and top-shelf alcohol may incur additional charges. All of our hotel pages,which can be found by destination under the "Hotels" drop-down menu at the top of this page, list what is and is not included in their packages. Every hotel is a little different, so be sure to choose the right hotel for you.
Additionally, packages offered through Vacation Express may include amenities or upgrades not offered elsewhere, so be sure to explore all of our exclusive limited time deals!
A: Hotels offering Breakfast Plans include only breakfast with your room accommodations, as well as their daily and/or nightly entertainment and activities. Additional meals, snacks and beverages are usually available for purchase. Bookings made at hotels offering European Plans include only the accommodations of the room along with their entertainment and activities, if applicable. All other amenities, such as meals and drinks, are not included but are also usually available for an additional charge. Each hotel page on our website itemizes what their specific packages include. Every hotel is a little different in what is/is not offered, so be sure to choose the right hotel for you!
A: All Vacation Express packages include a Local Representative to help you, free of charge, with anything you may need during your stay: room transfers, local recommendations, airport transportation, tours and excursions, and more. Information on how to contact your local representative will be included in your travel documents or in a packet given to you by Nexus Tours before your transfer from the airport. Make sure to attend your welcome meeting if scheduled to confirm any pre-booked excursions, to confirm your return transfers or book any additional excursions.
A: A Vacation Express future travel voucher is an e-voucher that will be emailed to you approximately 7 days after you cancelled your booking. Your future travel voucher will contain the balance of your canceled vacation with any fees removed. You can use your future travel voucher like any form of payment for your next trip. Validity dates are included on your voucher at the time you receive it. Vouchers issued between March 10 - August 31, 2020 are valid for travel until December 31, 2022 and can be used for a deposit on your next trip.
A: A Shared Transfer is transportation between the airport and your hotel that is shared with other travelers. Depending on the location of the hotels each traveler is staying, you may have to make stops to drop off/pick up other passengers before arriving at your destination. A Private Transfer carries only the travelers within your party, so your trip between the airport and your hotel is faster and non-stop.
A: It is important to acknowledge that different countries adhere to their own regulations and standards for a variety of things, including food safety or facilities for those that are disabled. However, while the standard of accommodations, amenities and services differ between countries, you should expect your hotel to be comfortable, clean, safe and secure. If this is not the case, you should speak to our Local Representative in your hotel. Their available hours on hotel property may vary daily and by location.
It is also good to remember that many conveniences you might expect at home may not be available in other countries which have their own products, services, and types of food. For example, "domestic beer" to you means something completely different in another country. Also, things you may consider standard practice at home may not be available in your destination.
Additionally, keep in mind that every country has its own laws, customs, culture, sense of time, pay scales and views as to what is considered rude or polite. The way you dress, how you act, how you speak and how much you drink often labels you, either positively or negatively, and could impact the quality of your stay. Do your best to leave a good impression that reflects positively on your own person, culture and nationality.
A: Of course! Whether you're planning for 20 guests or 200, our Weddings & Honeymoons page has all the information on destination weddings that you'll need to begin making your special day as perfect and stress-free as possible.
A: Welcome to the family! Travel agent/agency profiles can be created here.
A: Any questions on making a payment with a future travel voucher can be sent to email@example.com.
Before You Leave
A: Great! Just sit tight and we'll send you a confirmation email with a summary of your booking. Review it as soon as you can, and make sure all the information and spelling of names is correct! If not, let us know immediately; airlines have strict policies regarding the correct spelling of names. We will also send occasional reminders in the months or weeks leading up to your vacation to remind you to choose your seat, pre-pay extra baggage or for anything else you may need to make your vacation easier. Then, your travel documents will arrive via email twenty-one (21) days before your departure date.
For security reasons, we never mail or ship airline tickets. Most major airlines allow you to log onto the airline's website to check in and print your boarding passes, or you can check in at the airport ticket counter at least three hours prior to your flight to receive your boarding passes then.
A: Simply log into your account via the Sign In link at the top of the page. Here, you can view and print your eDocs/travel documents, choose/upgrade your plane seat, add special requests to your booking, purchase trip insurance, excursions, transportation and more.
A: Directions on how to log into your account to apply a payment are located at the bottom of your invoice. You can also to contact our Contact Center at 1-800-309-4717, Monday-Sunday between 6:00am - 9:00pm ET.
A: Of course! Just log into your account via the Sign In link at the top of the page to access your account. There, you can view all the tours and excursions we offer to select what you like best.
A: Almost all hotels, resorts, and commercial/retail stores accept credit and/or debit cards or even U.S. dollars. However, you will need local cash for tipping waitstaff, housekeeping, tour guides and other services, or for purchasing merchandise and souvenirs from smaller markets or vendors. Most airports have currency exchange locations, and ATMs can be found on property for many hotels, as well as within tourist districts. ATM transaction fees can occasionally be expensive, and not use the most current exchange rates.
A: While the majority of your vacation will be covered if you book an all-inclusive resort, here are a few additional expenses you could expect:
- Some airlines charge for checked baggage or additional carry-on luggage.
- Some destinations require visitors to purchase a Tourist Card upon arrival.
- Ground transfers to get from the airport to your hotel and back again if they were not part of your package.
- Hotels that have Breakfast Plan or European Plan dining options require the purchase of additional meals and drinks.
- Tips for housekeeping, restaurant waitstaff, bartenders, bellmen, tour guides, taxi drivers, etc.
- Some hotels have a small charge for top shelf alcohol and premium meals if you want to partake in them.
- Most hotels charge for premium amenities, such as spa treatments, rounds of golf, wine tastings or other offerings, but these are optional.
- Many hotels also charge for motorized watersports, such as jet skiing, parasailing, etc.; these also are optional.
- Most hotels have free Wi-Fi somewhere on property, but there may be a charge if you want it in your room or faster speeds.
- Car rentals or bus and taxi fares if you desire to leave the resort property and see the local sights.
- Tours and excursions are extra, but worth it! If you're visiting a foreign country, you'll want to experience their culture, sample their food and see the sights!
- Some excursions don't include transportation to the pick-up/drop-off site if it's not at your hotel, so you'll need to take a taxi or bus to get there.
- Some excursions don't include meals, so food and drinks will also have to be purchased, if you don't eat at your hotel beforehand.
- Also, water excursions can incur small dock fees/environmental fees or equipment rentals, especially if you want to SCUBA dive.
- Shopping or souvenirs.
A: Each of our destination pages, which can be found under the "Destinations" drop-down menu at the top of this page, has a "Travel Tips" link near the bottom. This links to a page that has tons of useful information, such as the time zone the country is in, the currency used, its electricity voltage, transportation assistance, climate and more.
A: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides comprehensive health information for specific destinations, required vaccinations, information for travelers with special needs and updates about other health news. You can also visit the U.S. Department of State's travel website and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP] website for additional travel information.*
A: If a child under the age of 18 is traveling with only one parent/guardian, or with someone who is not a parent or legal guardian, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires that the accompanying adult have notarized documentation from the non-traveling parent(s) stating their approval for their specific travel dates and destination.
If there is no second parent with legal custody of the child (e.g., the second parent is deceased, one parent has sole custody, etc.), relevant paperwork such as a court decision, birth certificate naming only one parent, death certificate, "sole custody" or "Father Unknown" documents, etc., would need to be presented.
Please see additional information for single parents traveling with minors here, under "General Information & Web Links".
A: Unfortunately, very few hotels are pet friendly, however, certified service dogs are accepted by many hotels with certain restrictions. Information on whether a hotel does or does not allow pets/service dogs is found on our hotel pages. Please keep in mind that many airlines are also beginning to restrict and even ban the travel of pets, including undocumented emotional support animals (this does not include certified service animals).
Also, while there are no duties on entering the U.S. with pets, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has more information on their website regarding the requirements of entering the U.S. with cats, dogs and other animals, even if they originally came from the U.S.*
A: Checklist: For your convenience, we've compiled a comprehensive checklist for your all-inclusive vacation.
Clothing: Planning on what to wear depends on your destination, the season, and what you plan on doing. Additionally, some hotels and resorts have dress codes for restaurants or public areas. Along with a bathing suit for the beach and comfortable clothing for walking around hotel property, you definitely don't want to forget to bring sunglasses and a hat — the sun is more intense the closer you get to the equator. Most people bring at least one dressier outfit for elegant dining and nightlife. If you are traveling during the winter, you may want to bring a light sweater or shawl because it can sometimes get cool at night. For your convenience, each of our destination's Travel Tips pages states its climate information.
As far as shoes go, sandals/flip-flops are ideal for the beach and around hotel property, but if you plan on doing a lot of shopping, exercising or active tours and excursions, make sure to bring comfortable, closed-toe shoes (these are a requirement for many outdoor excursions) along with clothes that can get dirty and/or muddy. Also, tours and excursions that involve water activities often require water shoes. Many people also bring dress shoes and heels for their eveningwear outfits.
Toiletries & Medicines: Other than your standard "of-course-I'm-bringing-that" items such as shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream and razor, a comb and/or brush, hairspray and/or gel, and a toothbrush and toothpaste, you'll want to remember to bring insect repellent, bio-degradable sunscreen (another requirement for water excursions), lip balm with a good SPF rating, dental floss, baby powder, skin moisturizer, hair bands/scrunchies/bobby pins, safety pins, rubber bands, tissues, a small washcloth or hand towel, an eyeglasses repair kit and a small sewing repair kit.
Be sure to pack a small first aid kit in your checked luggage with wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tweezers, small scissors, eye drops, cotton balls, cotton swabs, moleskin, adhesive bandages of various sizes, polysporin, various medicines for mild illnesses (such as headaches, muscle pain, indigestion, heartburn, fevers, and allergies) and especially sunburn ointments. Many people also bring motion sickness medication and ear drops.
Land Gear: Although not necessary, many people like to bring these things with them when on vacation: waist pack/money belt, small backpack for day trips, travel towel, GPS device, portable clock, mini flashlight, handheld fan, small mirror, raincoat/poncho, sleeping mask, travel pillow, earplugs, translator and/or language dictionary, binoculars, clothes pins, stain remover stick, playing cards, extra luggage locks, a portable USB external battery charger and a good book.
Also, it is a good idea to bring a laundry bag or small trash/grocery bags for dirty shoes and wet clothing, and a few smaller resealable plastic storage bags or a waterproof phone pouch for things you don't want to get sand and water in. And don't forget to bring enough power chargers and converters/adapters (if necessary) for all of your electronics!
Water Gear: Some people like to also bring their own beach and water items, such as an underwater camera, snorkeling or SCUBA equipment, swimming goggles and fins, and toys and games for the pool and beach, like sandcastle building toys, frisbees, beach balls, etc. However, beach toys can potentially take up a lot of luggage space, and since these items can be relatively inexpensive, many people purchase these kinds of items at local stores in their destination, and then leave them for other children at the hotel to play with when they return home.
Miscellaneous: Some people, especially those traveling with children, like to bring chewing gum with them on the plane to help their ears pop when the air pressure in the cabin changes due to altitude differences. Also, depending on the amount of shopping you plan on doing, many people bring an empty collapsible suitcase or duffel bag with them so they can have more luggage space for their trip back home. And don't forget to bring a pen on your carry-on luggage to fill out any forms.
A:Every country has their own laws and regulations regarding the flying of drones. Several countries have changed and/or updated their laws recently. In many countries, you need to apply and pay for licenses, permits and/or registration for each drone before you arrive, with all required paperwork completed upon arrival. You will want to research these laws to the best of your ability or risk having your drones seized at customs and/or have to pay a heavy fine.† If you do decide to bring a drone, it is a good idea to bring documentation or proof that you purchased it before your arrival to that country, so that you are not charged a duty fee on imported products as you re-enter the U.S., as Customs might think that you purchased it abroad.
Keep in mind that many airlines have strict restrictions and regulations on how you bring your drone onto their plane and how it's packaged, especially when it comes to transporting lithium-ion batteries. Also, many hotels have their own additional rules about flying drones for the safety and privacy of their guests. It is a good idea to inquire with both your airline and hotel about how, and if, you even can bring your drone with you on vacation.
At time of this publishing, Mexico prohibits foreign citizens from flying drones weighing more than .55 lbs., and prohibits flying over people and historical sites, among many other restrictions. In the Dominican Republic, drones weighing over 4.4 lbs. requires a permit, but they still strongly suggest you obtain a permit before your arrival even with smaller drones; additional regulations apply. Recreational drone flying in Aruba, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and The Bahamas is legal, and require a permit and registration prior to arrival for all drone use; additional regulations apply. Commercial drone use has its own rules, regulations, and licensing that vary from country to country.†
A: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lists items that are prohibited from being packed in carry-on and checked luggage here.*
While You're There
A: When you land at the start of your vacation, your transportation to your hotel will be waiting for you outside of the airport, after you have gone through Customs if you have purchased transfers with Vacation Express. They will be holding signs or standing behind kiosks that say "Vacation Express" as well as the name of the ground transportation company. Your travel documents will have specific details. From there, they will guide you to the transfer vehicle. If you have booked only your hotel and transportation with us, then you will need to notify us with your flight information, so we can let them know when to expect you to arrive.
At the end of your vacation, the ground transportation company will usually be waiting outside your hotel sometime after you check-out to take you back to the airport. Be sure to meet with our local representative before you leave to verify your pick-up time and location.
Please note, when flying into Cancun, there may be additional costs for ferry rides if you are staying on the islands of Cozumel and Holbox if you have not purchased them in advance through Vacation Express.
A: Your Local Representative is there to help you with anything you may need during your stay. Their available hours on hotel property may vary daily and by location. Information on how to contact your Local Representative is included in your travel documents.
A: Tours and excursions can be purchased from your Local Representative. Their available hours on hotel property may vary daily and by location. Information on how to contact your local representative is included in your travel documents.
A: Just like any other service provided to you elsewhere, tipping is optional, but often expected and highly appreciated.
A: At time of printing, there is no U.S. federally imposed limit on the amount of alcohol you may bring back with you for personal use, however, there are laws and regulations that vary from state to state. Generally, about one liter of alcohol per person (who are age 21 or older) may enter into the U.S. duty-free. Up-to-date information can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website here, here and here.*
A: There are far too many banned items to bring back with you to list here. Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lists restricted and prohibited items here.*
After You've Returned
A: Customer satisfaction is one of our best and most important hallmarks. If you would like to share your positive experience with us, or if you have any concerns regarding your trip, please visit our Customer Care page for assistance.
*Vacation Express cannot guarantee the accuracy of information located on external/third party websites.
†Laws, rules, regulations, and restrictions regarding drone use vary widely from country to country and can change often. The restrictions listed on this page are not all-encompassing and may no longer be accurate. Vacation Express takes no responsibility for damage or seizure of your drone(s), any fines or sentencing imposed, or other loss of property or imprisonment due to the failure of you not knowing the laws and/or requirements of the airline you are traveling with or country you are traveling to.