Today’s all-inclusive vacations are better than ever, with many agencies offering a customizable experience that gets travelers out of the resort and face-to-face with the color and adventure of local life. Whether you plan to spend your whole vacation at the resort, or you’re more interested in getting out and seeing the local sights, an all-inclusive trip could save you a lot of money. You’ll also most likely enjoy it more than you would a pay-as-you-go trip, because you’ll be free to focus on how much fun you’re having and not on the credit card bills you’ll be going home to. Here are five ways to make sure you get your money’s worth when you take an all-inclusive trip:
1) Choose the Right Resort
The quality of your all-inclusive trip can vary greatly depending on the resort you choose. All-inclusive resorts usually cater to different types of travelers. Looking for a romantic getaway for two? Choose an adults-only resort that caters to couples. Need hours of daily entertainment for the kids on a budget? Choose a family-friendly resort that offers plenty of kid-focused activities. By choosing a resort that caters to your needs, you can have a truly relaxing vacation – instead of listening the kids whine about being bored 24/7 for a whole week, or putting up with someone else’s rug rats screeching while you’re just trying to enjoy a quiet daiquiri with your date.
2) Do Your Research
Before you choose a resort, do your research so you know what your options and what your “all-inclusive” rate covers. You’ll want to know what meals, drinks, activities, and entertainment are included along with the price of your room, because some of the amenities on offer may cost extra. When it comes to things like alcoholic drinks, find out what brands of liquor are used, and think hard about whether you’ll actually drink enough to make an all-inclusive package with drinks worth it.
If you want to get off the resort and see some local sites, find out whether that’s included in your package – or research custom all-inclusive vacation planners that can help you put together the vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Many custom planners can help you book trips all over the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America, for the Mexico, Belize, Peru, or Costa Rica all-inclusive trip you’ve been daydreaming about for years.
3) Make Meal Reservations
These days, buffet meals are far from the only meal option at all-inclusive resorts. Many resorts do offer buffets – and snack bars for mid-meal grazing – but they also typically offer non-buffet, higher-end dining options. The catch is that meal-time seats at these restaurants usually fill up fast. You’ll want to make meal reservations in advance so that you don’t end up dining on chips and salsa after a long day of sightseeing or snorkeling. If you want to have a picnic on the beach or take snacks with you for a day of off-the-resort adventure, ask if you can take food to go from resort restaurants. Some will let you take doggy bags with you to the beach or poolside. Find out if room service is included in the all-inclusive rate – if it is, there’s no reason not to order up some snacks for a late-night movie in your room.
4) Ask about Amenities
Don’t hesitate to ask for extra amenities at your resort – you’re paying for them, after all! Whether you need a cot or toys for your kids, some bubble bath, a curling iron, a phone charger, or an extra bath robe, ask for it. Most all-inclusive resorts try to keep everything a prospective guest might need or want on hand, so don’t feel bad asking. The worst they can do is say no.
5) Take Advantage of Activities
Most all-inclusive resorts offer guests a wide range of activities, from fitness classes to snorkeling and more. Ask ahead of time about what activities are available to guests. You don’t want to miss out on water skiing, sailing, kayaking, mini golf, or archery because you didn’t know it was an option. Nor are you paying just to sit on the beach all day; you’re going on vacation to make memories and have new experiences, and indulging in some of the activities offered at your resort is the best way to do that.
An all-inclusive resort could be just what your vacation budget ordered – and it doesn’t mean missing out on the fun of your destination. Most of today’s all-inclusive resorts offer great food, lots of amenities, and numerous activities to help travelers have their best vacations. All you must do is book the reservation.