If you’re thinking of planning an all-inclusive vacation, here are some tips so it doesn’t become too stressful in the search for fun.
All-inclusive resorts give travelers great tourist options. Similar to a cruise, your entire trip is planned in advance, but (unlike a cruise) you have flexibility to leave the resort whenever you want. With an all-inclusive vacation, you pay one price and then you are done, which can be really nice for budgeting purposes. It also cuts down on the amount of planning you have to do – a definite advantage if you really want to relax on your trip. Not all resorts, however, are equal. With so many choices available, you might be overwhelmed when trying to decide which all-inclusive resort is right for you. After you have done your research and looked at room choices, meal places, and more, are you still trying to decide between a handful of resorts? Here are five tips for choosing the best one for your vacation:
Tip #1: Choose your location first – Before you start checking out resort options, try to narrow down your vacation destinations. The particular resort you choose might help you make your final choice, but at least have a clear idea where you do not want to go. You may also want to narrow down your choices by area of the world. For example, do you want to stay in the United States or visit another country? Are you interested in a tropical resort or a place in the mountains? Make sure you check out plane ticket prices, as flying to a resort in one location might be hundreds of dollars more than flying to a resort in another location. Your travel arrangements are the one thing never (or at least, very rarely) included in the all-inclusive resort stay, so this could make a major difference.
Tip #2: Consider what you get for your money – ‘All-inclusive’ might sound self-explanatory, but it’s really not. Sometimes, all-inclusive resorts include just a room and three meals per day. Other times, there are special events, free local tours, and complimentary services. Does your all-inclusive resort include free drinks in the price? Does your all-inclusive resort have free beach access? Does your all-inclusive resort have a gym on the premises? Even though the price of one resort might seem like a bargain, when you take into account what is included, it might not seem as special.
Tip #3: Check out the tours available – Whether you have to pay extra for them or not, most all-inclusive resorts have buses that take you to various destinations throughout the area. If there are certain things you want to see, check out which all-inclusive resorts offer tours to those destinations. If they do not, you will have to make your own arrangements, which kind of takes away from the nature of an all-inclusive resort! In addition, if you have to plan the tour yourself, you might find yourself shelling out extra money on top of the money you have already paid for your stay at the resort.
Tip #4: Research special events at the resorts – Sometimes, all-inclusive resorts hold special events on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. These events range from resort-wide parties and singles mixers to large festivals open to the public. Once you have your travel dates confirmed (or at least a general idea), check out what events are going on at the resorts you are considering. Make sure to find out if the events are part of your vacation package – sometimes tickets cost extra or you have to make specific reservations to be on the guest list. Otherwise, you might not be able to get into the event.
Tip #5: Ask for advice – At the end of the day, no matter how much online research you do, sometimes you should just really get the advice of people who have actually been there. Take what you read online with a grain of salt – some resorts pay writers to post good reviews, even though they have never been there. Look instead for user-based websites, or, even better, you can ask a travel agent for advice. Sometimes, a resort could look really nice in a brochure, but not nearly as nice in real life. Get as many recommendations as possible when you are comparing all-inclusive resorts.
There are dozens of all-inclusive resorts in every area of the world. Choosing one for your next vacation can be difficult and a little confusing. With so many choices, you just want to simplify the process so you can have the best vacation possible. By using the above tips, you can make sure that the all-inclusive resort you pick is the right one for you. There are resort choices exclusively for couples (adults only), families with children, single adults, senior adults, or just about any group you can think of. It is important to choose a vacation that has the type of activities you and your traveling companions enjoy – otherwise, even the best resort on the planet will not make you happy. But remember, resorts are in the business of pleasing their customers, so chances are, as long as you choose from a reputable operator, everything should be smooth sailing!
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Cynthia Andrews is a freelance writer who writes about vacationing and the travel industry, often discussing tips and travel deals one would find through working with travel agents.