Depending on the type of vacation you are planning, you will want to consider whether you are looking for an all-inclusive or standard trip. While each has its advantages and disadvantages, each can be made to fit to your preferences.
Reasons to Go All-Inclusive
There are several reasons why you would prefer a package vacation over a standard one, and all are related to the convenience these trips offer.
- Booking Ahead– Booking your trip in advance is not only highly recommended for finding the best bargains, it also helps make preparing for your vacation more stress-free.
- Travelling with Children– Travelling with children, you’ll doubtlessly have your hands full most, if not all the time. With an all-inclusive vacation, there will be less work and more time for family!
- Honeymoons– If you’re planning your honeymoon, chances are the last thing you’ll want to do after you leave is more planning.
Convenience vs. Flexibility
It’s often up for debate as to whether booking all-inclusive can actually help you save money. Depending on what type of traveller you are, it basically comes to convenience and flexibility. Here are some things to consider when looking into an all-inclusive option:
- Overseas ATM Fees– Fees from foreign ATMs can eat into a large part of your travel budget, especially if you decide for a traditional vacation over an all-inclusive one. Because lodging, activities, food and drinks all covered in a package vacation, it’s possible to avoid these altogether!
- Ease of Planning– The biggest draw of the all-inclusive vacation is undoubtedly the convenience. It’s important to do your research beforehand, but once you book, no further planning is required of you.
- It’s Relaxing!– Once you’ve arrived, everything should be taken care of, and all you’ll have to do is enjoy your vacation!
- Lack of Freedom– If you’re travelling to experience local culture, a standard vacation would be better suited to your needs. All-inclusive may be more stress-free, but offers little room for excursions and exploration.
- Paying a Premium– Although it’s possible to save a lot of money by booking all-inclusive, many resorts over-price their offers compared to those that offer standard deals. It is often wise to roughly calculate your food and activity expenses and compare it to the package price to see if you would actually be saving money. During your research you should look for promotions to lower the overall cost, like a Sandals discount code.
- Extra Activities– While most resorts include some activities in the price, they often charge exorbitantly for other things such as massages and additional food and drinks. This is an important thing to research before booking, and review websites are often helpful.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
If you do decide to book an all-inclusive vacation, there are several things that you should keep in mind. Travelling in this fashion can be very different from a traditional vacation, so it’s important to do your research before you leave.
- Tipping– Many places that offer all-inclusive vacations advertize the lack of a need to tip employees. Depending on the establishment, gratuity is sometimes included in the total price.
- Travelling with Teens– While package vacations are great when planning a relaxing trip with the kids, remember that in many countries where all-inclusive vacations are offered, the legal drinking age is 18! If you are travelling with a teen over 18, you may be inadvertently buying their drinks as part of the deal as well.
- Seasons– Many resorts, especially in the Caribbean, offer much lower prices during seasons susceptible to hurricanes and other inclement weather. If you found an unusually good deal on an all-inclusive package, it couldn’t hurt to look up the region’s climate online.
- Proof of Marriage– When booking a honeymoon rate at a resort, it’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the proof of marriage. Most resorts reserve the right to cancel your reservation or hike prices if they can’t see the proper documentation.
As long as these tips are kept in mind, it should be very easy finding the best vacation for your needs! Remember, the most important thing is to ask yourself what kind of getaway you’re looking for, and to book trips by those standards and not the price alone.
For more information on different types of vacation meal plans for different kinds of travel styles, check out the infographic below!
About the Author: My name is Amber Kingsley, and I’m a travel journalist and graphic designer. I’ve have had the great pleasure of traveling all over the world, creating written and visual content about my journeys.