When we were kids, our parents traveled a lot by booking last minute all inclusive vacations. For them, it was perfect because they never knew when they would be able to go away, and for us brothers, we loved it because we felt grown up with our own ID badges at the resort. The other thing that really appealed to us was the fact that we could pick what we wanted to eat. In addition to the breakfast, lunch and supper buffets, they had a huge barbecue grill and hamburgers were sizzling from noon until early evening. We just went around the resort enjoying all the activities while eating the food.
All inclusive vacations come in all shapes and sizes. For example, you don’t necessarily have to holiday at a resort. Cruises can be considered all inclusive, as can other trips that you don’t always need to fork out money to do things. Additionally, trips can range from small jaunts of three days to longer stays of two weeks. Because of all the differences, this discussion is about choosing the right trip for you.
Consequently, we have eight tips for you to consider when picking all inclusive vacations and wanting to indulge yourself with no worries.
Regardless of the type of holiday you choose, be it cruise, resort or otherwise, a real all inclusive already has the staff tips in the pricing. It is not necessary for you to try to figure things out when at the destination. If, however, you leave the resort or ship, then tipping is over and above.
#2 Read the Fine Print
This point is really important because some companies advertise all inclusives, but when you get to the location, you find out that what you wanted to do was not included. Your package must list the exact activities that the resort is offering you within that price. If too many things are not included and you are going to have to spend money anyway, then it is not going to be a good deal. Plus, it will be beyond disappointing when you arrive and are expecting one thing but get another.
#3 Expect Added Expenses
There are some expenses that the tour operator does not control. Examples are departure taxes and preservation fees. Typically, these fees go to the government for improvements. Make sure you find out beforehand what fees to expect and how much they will be so that you have the cash on hand to pay.
#4 Last Minute Deals
Literally being able to ring up the travel agency and leave in the next few days is great. Often, planes are not filled or there is still a vacancy on a ship or at a resort. Even hotels have last minute deals. They are all in business to fill spots and will sell off these spaces much cheaper the closer it gets to departure.
#5 Don’t Expect Premium Brew
Although liquor is part of the pricing, you won’t be allowed to choose the most expensive brands. It will typically be the local spirits.
#6 Look For Family Friendly
Obviously, if you have children, be sure to check the maximum occupancy of a room which is sometimes a strict four-person. Also, if you want babysitting services or activities where the staff are involved in teaching your children to kayak, for example, find out about these things before buying the package. Again, not everyone’s idea of family friendly is the same. And it does tend to be a catch phrase to attract travelers.
#7 Check Flights and Layovers
Be careful with flights that have poor connections causing you to stay overnight somewhere and those that have more than one connection. This can be a very tiring and frustrating process especially with kids. Sometimes, having the flight included is not a great deal when it becomes a long drawn out affair.
#8 Research the Property
Along the lines of reading the fine print, before booking, find out about the property. With the internet, you can read what others are saying, watch videos to see how it looks and find out if the staff speak a language you can understand.
Fodor’s are experts in traveling and they have been providing advice for over seventy years. Here are some tips they have for choosing a cruise.