If you've never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, it can be a little overwhelming. But don't worry: you can vacation like a pro even for your first time at an all-inclusive hotel or resort. Here are five tips from those who've gone before.
Bundle. Bundling at an all-inclusive hotel is one easy step toward making your trip more relaxing and less expensive. If you have the option, start by bundling your flight and hotel together. This type of combined cost is not only more likely to save money but will also likely qualify you for free transportation to and from the airport—and that can make your trip easier from the start. Also, if you are travelling with others, be sure to book together as a group. Bundling your arrangements into one transaction—even with different payment methods—will help make your whole stay as a group easier.
Choose Your Style. Resorts and hotels often cater to different groups of vacationers. If you have a family, you likely want to look for a hotel with a lot of kids' activities—including pools, play areas, local entertainment, and childcare. But, if you don't want to spend your time watching a bunch of kids play in the hotel pool, you may be best off looking at an adults-only hotel instead. When choosing a resort, look for the amenities that appeal to you personally and reflect your individual style. Consider traveling at a time of year that fits you best as well (such as before school ends in the spring).
Learn About the Resort. Both before and after you arrive, take the time to learn about what the hotel has to offer—especially items that are already included in the cost—so that you can make the best choices about what to do. Learn which meals and drinks are included, what extracurricular activities you can choose from, and what entertainment is available on-site. Knowing what you've already paid for will help you decide where to spend extra money on other activities.
Reserve Ahead. At popular hotels and resorts—and especially during peak times—you may want to make some reservations as soon as possible. Make dinner reservations early, since higher-end restaurants often fill up fast. If you can reserve things like a spot near the pool or seats to a show, do so in order to save yourself from frustration and delays later.
Keep Your Sense of Adventure. Don't feel the need to do everything that's offered or to do what everyone else is doing. The all-inclusive experience is designed to allow you to have your own kind of fun while having to plan less. You can get off the beaten path by doing something as simple as asking for your dinner "to go" and having an impromptu evening picnic outside. If there's something special you want to do that's not offered officially, chat with the concierge about how he or she can help you enjoy yourself more. If it's included in the price, have breakfast in bed instead of heading downstairs. In short, make the experience personal by thinking outside the box on occasion.
By following these five pro traveler tips, you can have the best all-inclusive hotel experience whether you're a newbie or a seasoned world traveler. Check out places like The Caribbean Court Boutique Hotel to get started.