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Ask any traveler and they’ll tell you there are tiers to vacationing, with all-inclusive resorts being at the top. All-inclusive resorts specialize in providing an experience unlike any other, but unfortunately, that can come at a high price tag. Moreover, resort vacations are often overlooked in the planning process due to expense expectations. However, the reality is that all-inclusive resorts can actually save travelers money when done right. So, before you skip that resort vacation, continue reading to learn how you can book an all-inclusive trip for cheap.
What's An All-Inclusive Resort?
All-inclusive resorts are speciality hospitality groups that provide an all encompassing experience to guests. Typically, it is standard that costs like meals, drinks and even entertainment are included in the price of stay. Popular all-inclusive resorts cater to guests ranging from honeymooners to family vacations.
Why Are All-Inclusive Resorts Expensive?
Staying at an all-inclusive resort has notoriously carried a higher price tag than other travel accommodation options — that being said, the reason for their increased rates is justified by service and convenience. When booking a resort vacation, many travelers expect a certain level of detail and care from hospitality staff as well as the accommodations themselves. It’s not unlikely to find all-inclusive resorts with amenities such as butlers and chauffeurs. Essentially, when it comes to paying for an all-inclusive vacation, the cost markup comes with peace of mind that you won’t encounter hidden costs while maintaining a certain level of quality when traveling.
How To Save On All-Inclusive Resort Vacations
Follow these travel hacks the next time you book an all-inclusive vacation and you just might be surprised at how easy it is to save.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
Contrary to other vacations, booking a stay at an all-inclusive resort last minute could actually be beneficial. Just as it pays to understand how to book flights for cheap, understanding a resort’s busy season can tremendously affect what kind of deal you’re getting. Because all-inclusive resorts or vacations such as cruises are popular family vacations, booking during spring break and summer times will likely cost more and offer fewer promotions to entice travelers. Moreover, popular honeymoon resorts are more likely to charge higher rates during peak wedding season times. Shoulder seasons and off seasons are generally cheaper times to book travel in general, plus, it’s more likely you’ll have the resort to yourself.
Look For Bundle Options
Many resorts partner with booking sites to offer bundle deals to travelers. If you’re considering a resort vacation, make a note to check out travel sites like Kayak, Booking.com and Expedia. These travel websites are known for gathering travel information (flights, hotels, excursions) that can easily be compared to find the best deal, but the savings don’t just stop there. Many resorts partner with travel sites to offer customers exclusive bundle deals on hotels, flights, rental cars and more options that can be tailored to your trips needs.
Choose The Resort That Best Fits Your Needs
This might sound a bit simple, but it’s a common travel mistake that can easily be avoided with a bit of research. These days, with the powers of social media and editing, you can easily find yourself in accommodations that looked a lot different online. Not only the mere facility itself, but other factors such as whether the premises is adults only or family friendly are important to note. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your vacation, picking a resort that most closely aligns with your needs will help narrow down a budget and avoid additional costs upon arrival. For instance, if you’re looking for a quiet and romantic getaway, you may not want to choose a family friendly resort.
Go With A Group
Following along with planning a vacation based on what you envision the time spent away looking like, it could save you big time if you’re open to group travel. Many resorts offer suites and even full houses to accommodate large parties. Renting a larger room or guest house may be more money upfront, but it will pay off when split between guests. If you’re planning on going the group vacation route, calling the resort ahead of time is also important and could even reward you with group discounts on outside excursions, tours and more.
Don’t Forget The Kids
No, we don’t mean pulling a Kate McAlister a la Home Alone and actually forget your kid (but seriously, how did they afford a trip to Paris for That. Many. People? So many questions) but rather, don’t forget about their needs, too. If you’re planning a family vacation or have little ones tagging along, they could actually save you money on vacation. Depending on the resort, kids entertainment options like day camps and age appropriate excursions could be entirely free to guests. Many resorts that allow children understand that it’s the parents vacation too and thus offer affordable options for those traveling with kids. Additionally, it’s not unusual for resorts to offer free kids meals and other discounts for children under certain ages. On the flip side, resorts that cater to families may actually cost more (think bells and whistles) than other all-inclusive resorts. Keep in mind that while some resorts are adult only, others have separate family friendly areas for the same (or less) cost. Pro-tip: check out the airline’s fine print on children under the age of 12, as many offer discounted rates.
Explore Rewards Programs
Just about every aspect of the process of planning a vacation can be tied to a rewards program. From the airline you fly to the credit card you use for your bookings, all these factors likely have loyalty programs and thus savings attached to them. Savvy travelers are likely already signed up to earn points for booking through the same airline, hospitality group or travel site. If you are not signed up, take a word from the wise and do so, even if you’re unsure of if or when you’re traveling. Not only can loyalty programs help save money through exclusive member rates and point redemptions, but you can also be alerted of upcoming promotions or flash deals that make it financially possible to go ahead and book that trip. Worst case? You have to unsubscribe to an email or two — totally worth saving hundreds on a vacation.