All inclusive holidays are a fabulous choice for a wide range of travelers. And these types of vacations have risen in popularity in recent years due to their convenience and affordability.
Clearly people like to know what the total cost of their trip is going to be when they book; with all meals, drinks and activities included in the price, you don’t have to worry about going over budget while you’re away.
But there are many different types of all inclusive vacations, some with varying levels of ‘all inclusive’ than others! So the following tips will help you make the most out of your upcoming holiday.
Making the Most of an All Inclusive Holiday
Book Your Own Flights
Once you’ve chosen a quality all-inclusive resort, organize your flights yourself. Many resorts offer packages that include both flights and accommodation, but it’s usually a lot cheaper if you organize your own airfare, and you retain much more flexibility.
This way you can choose an airline you’re comfortable with, have control over the flight time, connecting flights, and perhaps schedule strategic layovers. When someone else is organizing your flights, they don’t think about things like having to be awake at 4am for a 6am flight, so avoid the hassle and plan it yourself.
But let the resort handle your airport transfer if they offer it. Many times there will be a complimentary shuttle included, though others you’ll have to pay a fee for a private transfer on top of the base rate. So confirm this before you agree.
Read the Small Print & Inclusions
It’s important to note that “all inclusive” doesn’t always mean “all inclusive”, and many resorts will have tiered packages which will determine what is actually included (for instance top shelf alcohol, fine dining restaurants vs buffet). So be sure to read all fine print.
While breakfast, lunch and dinner are always covered at the resort, if you’re planning on sightseeing and heading off site to explore, you’ll have to budget for extra meals.
To make the most of an all-inclusive you should try and have breakfast and dinner there, and if you’re really penny pinching, you could leave the breakfast buffet with a couple of fruit stowaways for lunch later in the day.
Most onsite facilities and amenities are included, for example Beloved Hotels – Boutique all-inclusive suites has a spa and fitness center onsite. Spa packages and beauty treatments will usually be optional extras.
Sightseeing Off Site
While there are always fabulous amenities and activities onsite, and you would be forgiven for not wanting to leave the resort, you’re never a prisoner! Day trips and excursions are incredibly easy to book, with many resorts now prioritizing tours offered by local outfitters.
For instance, all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana give you options for catamaran trips, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, surfing, banana boats, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, water skiing, parasailing.
In every other destination tour operators in the lobby will be happy to whisk you to famous dive sites, ancient ruins, a rainforest, perhaps a volcano, and whether you leave on quad bike or the back of a horse, they encourage you to venture out and explore the local culture.
These packages usually make sure that you are collected and dropped back at your hotel too. If you want to organize activities independently, Viator is a great place to make comparisons and generally see offerings and price ranges.
Advise of Dietary Requirements Ahead of Time
When looking into all-inclusives, call ahead and speak to staff about your dietary needs. If necessary, ask them to put it in writing so that you can guarantee you’ll be able to follow your diet regime, detox, or avoid foods you’re allergic to.
While you can research to your heart’s content beforehand, once you’re away the only way you can really win at all-inclusives is to relax and say yes to everything!
One word of caution, however: you needn’t say yes to every glass of alcohol offered to you, it’s easy to get carried away when the sky’s the limit on food and drink.
Most of all do try new things, talk to hotel staff about their recommendations, and encourage those traveling with you to do the same.
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