Planning a trip can be a time-consuming endeavor–from finding the best flights to choosing a hotel to planning an itinerary, many people opt for the ease of the all-inclusive package. All-inclusive travel deals seem to promise the world to its consumers: included meals? activities? hotels? transportations? The deals seem to promise travelers that little more is required of them then a credit card and showing up. Yet, all-inclusive travel isn’t always what it seems and often does not include everything you’d expect it to. Here, we explore the world of all-inclusive travel deals and the 5 things you should know before signing up for one.
1. Your all-inclusive package is not actually “all-inclusive”
The first misconception of all-inclusive deals is that they have everything included. On the contrary, such things as shelf liquors, airport transfers, motorized water activities and spa treatments are usually not included in your package and tend to cost extra. In some cases, hotels will offer special tours and excursions to its all-inclusive guests but more often than not you can expect to pay extra. It always pays off to carefully read what you are signing up for and to know what you are really getting for the all-inclusive price.
2. Expect your hotel room to look different from the pictures
Probably one of the worst things that can happen during your vacation is the realization that the “dream” hotel you booked online looks nothing like you expected it to. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common problem with all-inclusive deals where standard rooms are not often shown in advance. Always double check the hotel you are planning to stay at and don’t forget to check various travel forums for information about the real condition of those rooms.
3. It’s difficult to connect with the local culture
All inclusive hotels and resorts are often built away from city centers thus creating a division of sorts between the tourists and the locals who live there. In most all-inclusive hotels you’ll be hard-pressed to get an authentic local experience or truly discover the country you’re visiting. All-inclusive stays tend to prioritize ease and comfort and therefore everything you could need—restaurants, spas, activities—are found on property to encourage guests to spend their money with the hotel.
4. All-inclusive packages are often non-refundable
When you are buying an all-inclusive deal you are agreeing to a non-refundable package regardless of weather, personal emergencies, cancellations. etc. Your best bet is to make sure to read all the fine print of your all-inclusive deal, do your research on the destination and plan for weather or any other variables that could affect your trip.
5. Remember: Tips are not included
From your bartender to your housekeeper and every other person who helps create your perfect stay abroad, tips are not included in your packaged deal. Tips are an extra cost that incurs and should be budgeted for during your stay.
And a little something extra…
Now, one of the major perks of all-inclusive resorts and hotels are its security and safety. If traveling with expensive equipment, you can rest easy knowing that your belongings are looked after on property–whether staying at an all-inclusive resort or all-inclusive cruise. If headed abroad and in need of a good camera or other travel accessories, we love the discount site, Chameleon John, which offers an array of Amazon discount codes to save BIG on everything you’ll likely need for travel.
For more about all-inclusive stays, check out the post WHY I’LL NEVER STAY AT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT AGAIN. Now, your turn! Share your thoughts on inclusive travel deals below!