We love going to all-inclusive resorts. We know what our price is up front and there are endless activities at most of the resorts including everything from biking to kayaking, scuba lessons, ping pong, great shows, language lessons, water activities, and casino nights. With everything packaged into one price there is no room for stressing about money, and most of the planning is done by the resort. Below are a few insights about how to make the most of your all-inclusive vacation.
- Pick the right resort. There are many to choose from including family-orientated to adults only.
Make sure it is close to a beach, if that is important to you and has the number of restaurants and type of entertainment you enjoy.
- Be realistic about your expectations. Yes, it is all inclusive, but you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a bargain vacation, don't expect a fancy resort. Staying at an all-inclusive resort means that the food, drinks, and gratuities are included. However, there are several amenities that usually are extra including spa, specialty dining, and some water activities, including scuba diving.
- The better you treat the staff, the better they will serve you. Do you need help finding a great shopping area? You'll get plenty of help if you treat the staff with respect. Also, gratuities are included, but it pays to tip a little extra. The bartenders at the swim up pool with give you better service as well as the waiters in the dining areas.
- Be careful with the amount of food and drink you consume. It is easy to go to the bar or restaurant at almost any time and get something to eat or drink, but you'll be kicking yourself later with your weight gain. Be wise with food selections. Several all-inclusives have wonderful restaurants. Make is a special vacation by treating yourself to lunch and dinner at the finest eateries.
- Be ready for the unexpected. You might have to make dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant, but the time you wanted is already taken. You'll need to be flexible. Also call in advance to make reservations as early as possible. Some resorts don't require reservations as the the RIUs, but most do. Or, your room may not be exactly what you expected. You can always ask the hotel to change rooms, but you may have only paid for a garden view when you really wanted an ocean view. If it is low season, you might be able to get an upgrade, but in high season, don't expect it.
- Don't sign up for a time share presentation. They usually last a couple of hours and this is taking special time away from a relaxed, low pressure vacation. Most of the time share presentations are high pressure and can leave you with a bad feeling. If someone calls you with a really low vacation deal over the phone, always ask if you are required to listen to a time share presentation. Listen carefully as they answer. I've had several people say, “No,” and then when they are reading the final disclaimers, they say the words, “time share presentation.” Those are the words that trigger a No Deal to my answer.