Jen Savedra 
editor in chief

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Sam Ion

Sam Ion is the single best resource tool you can find on All Inclusives. She knows more about them than pretty well anyone on this planet. She is well known, well respected, and writes informatively, interestingly and irreverently. She keeps readers up-to-date on specific resorts and on all inclusives in general. She knows what to look for, and tells you how to best keep your clients informed.

And, as for resort weddings –  she's got first hand experience. Sam recently swapped vows with her first husband for the second time at Sandals in Jamaica.

Her column Ion: Not Just All Inclusives runs on alternate Wednesdays.


02 OCT 2019: The classic 5-star Royal Hideaway Playacar is better than ever. It sits on the best part of the gorgeous beach of Playa del Carmen and is just a 20-minute walk into the lively town affectionately known by the locals as Playa. Guests can indulge in the designer shops on 5th avenue, and take in the huge souvenir emporiums, perfect for take-home gifts. A cab is $8-$10, or guests can use a bike provided by the resort. It is now adults only. MORE

Roatan is nirvana for divers
18 SEP 2019: Sunwing, Transat and now Westjet are flying direct to the island of Roatan this winter. Great news for your clients who love to be on, in, and under water. For years divers kept this stunning island a secret, now the secret is out. MORE

These are a few of my favourite things
04 SEP 2019: This is the year to support Cuba, when you're helping your clients choose a "sun and sand" holiday. Canadians have always loved Cuba, selling it should be easy. Our neighbour to the south has tightened the rules yet again, keeping Americans from visiting, so Cuba tourism is down. MORE

21 AUG 2019: Australia, even the word conjures up mental pictures of beaches, of sunshine, of kangaroos, Koalas and wombats. I’ll bet most people including your clients and me never think - oh penguins. Who knew, I sure didn’t. MORE

Take the pets
10 AUG 2019: Taking your pooch on a driving holiday can beat the heck out of travelling with your kids or grandchildren. “Rover won’t whine” Are we there yet, are we, huh?” and any field is a restroom when Fido has to go and you have a bag. MORE

And the feeling is mutual
26 JUN 2019: Five hundred years. I’ve been to many CubaFit conferences, including the one in 2016, when the first American Cruise ship arrived in Havana Harbour. The city was thrilled, and when we wandered the streets, locals would stop and ask us if we were Americans. Back again in Havana this year with all the turmoil over the new laws coming from the US, I wondered what the atmosphere would be like, and I suspect your clients will wonder as well. No need to wonder MORE

29 MAY 2019: This year my daughter and I went on a Mother and Daughter getaway, to Melbourne. I've been wanting to go for 25 years. I've always had a feeling I'd like it. Well, I was wrong, I didn't like it, I loved it and so will your clients. Next time we go to Oz, we'll try Air Canada's flight from Vancouver to Melbourne. It is direct just 14 hours. We'll stay a few days and then head for Sydney. MORE

11 weeks in Australia
01 MAY 2019: “Have a nice vacation.” Everyone says it to you and to me too. I’ve learned to resist the temptation to explain how far from a vacation the trip really is. But, this time we were actually going on vacation. MORE

17 APR 2019: I get asked a lot what my favourite resort is, and my favourite destination. I’ll bet you do, too.I have lots, but one of my very favourites is Pineapple Beach Club Antigua. It is a very special resort of 180 rooms tucked away just 30 minutes from the airport on the north east coast. It is roomy on 30 acres, but the way it is built it feels intimate with the buildings clustered together. And you won’t have the urge to call a cab to get to the beach, because it is right there. MORE

06 MAR 2019: The best part of writing a column is getting to know many of you. I’ve travelled with you, become FB friends, asked for advice, learned about your kids, and my favourite story is Jackson, a 10-year-old, opening a savings account and then encouraging his class mates to do the same. I do of course run on about my children. It’s been special. Some of you I met years ago on FAM trips, and when you meet me again, you remind me that we were together in Panama, or Mexico, or Margarita Island. I love being invited to agent’s fam trips and spending time with you.   MORE

20 FEB 2019: My first visit to Mexico was in 1993. Signature Vacations had sent me on a week-long fam to discover Cancun, and the Riviera Maya. I fell in love, and am still in love, in spite of occasional  reports regarding local crime. MORE

As you like it
06 FEB 2019: The English countryside is just how you and your clients imagine it, right out of Downton Abbey, the movies, and books. The visitor falls over history at every opportunity. But how to access it? In England, they drive on a different side of the road, the roundabouts are scarier than a roller coaster, the roads don't look big enough for any car, let alone one going each way. Divorces have resulted in driving through the countryside. MORE

23 JAN 2019: Honeymoons are supposed to be the trip of a life time, creating warm, happy memories that last forever. But all too often they there can be disasters that most of us will confess after a glass or more often a bottle of wine. I’m pretty good at planning honeymoons, I’ve had three. MORE

09 JAN 2019: Women in business have come a long way in the last 50 years. I remember way back when my daughter announced in ‘show and tell’ that Mummy worked, Mummy went on airplanes, travelled with men and wore a long gown. My parent interview was immediate! MORE

Once is not enough
27 DEC 2018: We spent our first honeymoon in Niagara Falls. This honeymoon capital of the world welcomes eight million people every year. They come to ooh and ahh over what should be a wonder of the world. This time we’re here because we belong to Trustedhousesitters and came across a request for a couple to care for two cockapoos in a lovely home that has a hot tub and it was just a few blocks from the falls. It seemed a perfect way to spend Christmas. The appeal was not only the dogs, but also the destination.   MORE

11 DEC 2018: Punta Cana’s beaches are among the most glorious I’ve seen - mostly calm water and hard packed sand lined with palm trees that beckon you to sun, swim or walk for hours. This area of the Dominican Republic, often called the Coconut Coast has been developed for tourism over the last 38 years from a mostly deserted stretch of empty beaches lined with coconut palms.   MORE

Coach tours have something for everybody
28 NOV 2018: Are you selling lots of coach tours these days? If not, why not? There’s a tour for every taste, age and budget. One of my beloved nieces had the time of her life on a Contiki tour, several of my cousins still years later talk about their Insight trips. MORE

14 NOV 2018: Most of us see summer as the time to visit Europe but some parts of the Old World are wonderful places to spend the colder months of the year. More and more of us, for example are discovering that Portugal, which dates back to the Romans and the Moors, is hard to beat if your clients are looking for a value-for-dollar vacation.   MORE

Tips for travelling with tots
31 OCT 2018: When you fly a lot, you get to hear and see a lot of babies, most of whom seem to be objecting to going on holidays. It brings back memories. Once on a flight, when the babies cried in shifts and the Club Transat-class passengers all asked for ear plugs, one parent said loudly. “Why aren’t they more understanding?” MORE

17 OCT 2018: It was so quiet we could hear the leaves falling. Where were we? In Knowlton, a little town in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. We belong to Trusted Housesitters International who connect people who need their pets cared for with people who want to see the world and are happy to take care of their animals, in return for free accommodation. MORE

03 OCT 2018: That horrible moment when you realize you have the code to the house, but not the address is a lasting one. We drove to the little town of Merrickville, Ontario and were charmed. A pretty artist's community we were told. Well we see a lot of those "too-too cute" towns and villages, and often they aren't what they're touted to be, often finding over- priced antiques, fridge magnets and done up bistros with so-so food. But this was not the case in Merrickville.  Go see, have a bite and stay over-night. Who knows? You may be tempted to pick up and move there. We were. MORE

Just what the doctor ordered
05 SEP 2018: Bonaire just might be the perfect destination for clients who want to brag they've found a little known quiet sun get-away. Once after a car accident, I was advised to lie in the ocean to help heal my neck injury. At the time, a clever agent taught me about the single supplement, and that I didn't need a long transfer on bad roads. She suggested I pay a little more and be in a better resort, and visit a quieter destination. That trip sent me to Bonaire, and it was exactly what I needed. MORE

Vacation options for the furry family members
22 AUG 2018: It is hard to leave our best friend behind when the family takes a vacation and more and more of your clients want to take their fur baby along. The good news is that it is getting easier and easier to do just that. Type in ‘travelling with a dog’ on the internet and you'll see what I mean. MORE

Not just a drive by on the way to Niagara Falls
09 AUG 2018: Book your clients into Hamilton, when they're coming to Ontario. It's a great place to start any holiday to the Niagara Peninsula. Back in 2004, the Ontario government put out a report that said Hamilton would become a key centre of a huge growth area on the Niagara Peninsula. And that has certainly come true. MORE

St. Kitts and Nevis are very special
25 JUN 2018: St. Kitts and Nevis are special islands. Very special. They are just waiting to be explored by those travellers who long for the Caribbean of novels, movies and history. If your clients talk of wanting to see swaying palm trees, glorious vistas of dramatic mountain peaks, fields of sugar cane, brilliant flowers, verandas and a slow and easy pace, St. Kitts and Nevis are the islands for them. MORE