All-inclusive vacations can be more alluring than your typical beach vacation for many reasons. Paying one flat rate for a vacation package and knowing that most meals, drinks, and activities are included with your stay is a refreshing sigh of relief for many vacationers. All-inclusives are designed to provide everything you need, giving you little reason to leave the resort during your entire vacation. With a wide variety of resort options throughout the world, you'll want to keep these few things in mind as you plan your trip.
1. Know What's Included
Most all-inclusive vacations offer your room, most meals, drinks (including alcohol), resort amenities, and activities for one package price. However, "all-inclusive" doesn't always mean everything related to your vacation is included. Off-resort excursions, room service, spa treatments, WiFi, golf, and premium restaurants may require an additional fee. Some resorts include standard meals and soft drinks in their pricing but upcharge for high-end liquors and entrees like lobster or steak. Before you book your all-inclusive resort, you'll want to be completely aware of what's included to avoid a surprise bill at the end of your stay.
You'll also want to understand tips at all-inclusive resorts. Some resorts have a strict no-tipping policy, while others include gratuities in their resort fees but allow guests to tip staff for exceptional service.
2. Pick the Right Resort
With over 250 all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean alone, picking the right vacation destination may feel overwhelming. All-inclusive resorts range in theme from romantic getaways to family-friendly fun. When deciding which resort to stay at, understand what you'd like to accomplish during your trip. Do you want to relax by the beach with your significant other all day? Are you interested in watersports and other excursions where you can explore the local area? Will you be looking to bond with your young children?
You'll also want to consider the atmosphere. Would you prefer a small resort with a secluded feel or a larger resort's bustling activity and nightlife? You should also keep in mind family-friendliness if traveling with children. Some resorts require guests to be over 21 or only allow families to book rooms in specific areas of the resort.
Not sure where to start? Just Add Magic Travel® can help you find the perfect all-inclusive vacation destination for you and your family. Get a quote today!
3. Know Your Dining Options
Although meals may be included and unlimited, there are a few things you'll want to remember to ensure you take advantage of every dining option available. First, most all-inclusive resorts offer a range of bars, buffets, and table-service restaurants. While you can walk in and dine at most buffets and bars, some of the resort's fanciest restaurants may require an advanced reservation or an additional fee. Before you arrive, research the various dining options available and get an idea of places you'll want to try. If reservations are necessary, you should make them on the first day of your trip.
Some upscale restaurants require a dress code as well. Often, this means no swim attire, flip-flops, or cut-off shorts in the dining room.
4. Take Advantage of Amenities
One of the best things about staying at an all-inclusive resort is that there is so much to do! From tennis lessons to salsa classes, all-inclusives provide a wide range of activities to keep you entertained day and night. You may even learn a new skill in the process! Make sure you take advantage of complimentary watersport rentals, activities, classes, and live entertainment. For more fun, book an off-resort excursion to explore the local area. At night, listen to bands, jazz musicians, and DJs at the resorts' lounges, or take in a theatrical show or movie. Most resorts will provide a schedule of activities for your stay upon arrival. Keep it on hand to ensure you don't miss out on everything the resort offers!
5. You Get What You Pay For
My biggest tip for all-inclusive resort vacation planning is to understand that you get what you pay for. Some all-inclusive brands are intrinsically more expensive than others but won't nickel and dime. Other brands are budget-friendly but may hit you with upcharges and fees upon arrival. Understand that resorts that appear to be cheaper may end up costing you more in the end.
There are also many ways to add luxurious experiences to your all-inclusive vacation. Budgeting for a few extras will enhance your trip and make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here are my favorite ways to indulge:
Expert Tips for All-Inclusive Resort Vacation Planning
Just Add Magic Travel is a concierge-style travel agency that will help you plan your all-inclusive resort vacation from beginning to end. I'll be with you every step of the way, from choosing a resort to adding on surprise experiences. Most importantly, I'm here to answer any questions you may have about booking your trip. Get a complimentary quote for your vacation. I will be in touch shortly with my recommendations!
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Owner of Just Add Magic Travel