Just a fantasy

Darlene Cooper

Photo By D. Brian Burghart

Jonesing for a trip away from the cold, I did what any red-blooded American would do and called travel agents to see if I could manifest the fantasy. Not a chance. Still, Darlene Cooper of Welcome Aboard Travel, 1296 E. Plumb Lane, was kind enough to indulge me. She can be reached at 828-4000.

Where are people going these days? It’s cold out, so I presume there are a lot of south of the border type vacations?

Cruises, tours, Mexico. South America has become very popular. Europe. Hawaii.

How about South America? What places are people visiting there?

Mainly like Machu Picchu or the Galapagos Islands.

Are prices cheap in Europe, right now, since they’re still having more serious economic issues?

Europe right now is kind of winter. Prices kind of vary. Depends on what the availability is. That’s kind of where you’re at with that. Availability is a big thing.

What do you mean when you say availability?

Depending on what the flight loads look like. It’s kind of hard to tell. If they have a lot of things going on over there, they might be higher. It just kind of depends. If they’re having big conferences, it might be a little higher.

And what kind of cruises are people taking these days? Sunny climes, again, I would presume.

Right now, a lot of Caribbean and Hawaii. I think that’s what we’re doing right now, mainly Caribbean and Hawaii.

What’s the best deal right now?

The best deal? The best bang for your buck? I would say a cruise.

I’m kinda thinking I’d like to go someplace Spanish-speaking, got any good deals for Mexico or South America?

Mexico—Riviera Maya is always very, very nice. That’s just outside of Cancun.

What would that cost me?

Again, that’s kind of hard to say. It depends on availability and if you wanted to do hotel-only or if you wanted to do an all-inclusive property, which would include all your meals and drinks and everything.

But could you ballpark it within $500?

For two I would say … let me look real quick. And you wanted to leave soon, like in the next couple weeks?

That would be great. I’ve never actually been to Cancun.

I like Riviera Maya much better because it’s off the beaten path. I think Cancun is kind of like overpriced.

So it’s off Cancun, it’s not Cancun?

It’s just on the outskirts, yeah.

Are there little villages around there or is it all water?

This is an all-inclusive land package. To do a cruise, I’m actually leaving on Saturday. I’m going out of Galveston, Texas. Just to give you an idea of that one, a cruise out of Galveston, you’re looking at about—with air and everything—probably about $1,500 apiece.

So $3,000. How long would I be gone?

Seven days.

Oh, that sounds like heaven to me.

We’re going to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.

That sounds awesome.

It’s going to be.