All inclusive vacations

By Rebecca Trumbo
Info Guru,

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Atlantis Resort, Bahamas
An all inclusive vacation is a great way to have a stress free holiday
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According to the Legends of America travel web site, over 400 hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico are either all-inclusive resorts of offer all-inclusive packages. Why would so many hotels offer all-inclusive packages?

It's simple: they save travelers time, money, and stress.

When you make reservations for an all-inclusive vacation, make sure to do so with a reputable agency. Talk to other people who have taken these trips and go through the agencies they used. If you book your trip online, make stick to the popular web sites. Vikki's Vakations might "guarantee" a nice rate, but at what cost? The fact that a travel site is popular means many people have used it. They tested the decency of the vacation destinations and accommodations and gave them good enough ratings to keep the sites popular.
  • Orbitz offers round-trip flights and hotel rooms, meals and drinks, tips and unlimited activities for all-inclusive vacation packages.
  • Expedia includes meals, drinks, tips, entertainment, airport transfers and activities with most all-inclusive vacations.
  • Travelocity varies in packages, but it remains one of the most reputable travel web sites.

Cruises - the orginal all inclusive vacation

For years, cruise ships have been offering travelers the convenience and relaxation of all inclusive travel. From the time you board the ship, meals, activities, entertainment and other ammenities are included. Far from the demands of daily life, vacationers can relax, dine and play without worrying about prices on a menu, rental cars or hotel reservations.

Like all travel packages, cruises come in a variety of price ranges, with varying levels of luxury and economy, so do some cruise research before you book your voyage.

All inclusive may not include everything

Pack extra spending cash for your all-inclusive vacation. The term "all-inclusive" leaves out a few fun things. It covers the basics, but you never know when a bonus tour or opportunity to upgrade might arise. You could end up in a hotel on a golf course where everything is paid for except the golf or a tour of a museum that charges extra money for certain exhibits. That being said, ask ahead of time what's included in the vacation. Make sure you read the fine print and know what you have to do to get the best rate for your all-inclusive vacation.

  • Plan to take your marriage certificate if you expect a honeymoon package. You don't want to spend your honeymoon trying to wire money to the Caribbean because you can't prove you qualify for the discount.
  • If you're traveling during Spring Break, talk to your travel agent or call the hotel about Spring Break restrictions. Many Mexican hotels, for example, have placed restrictions on age and the number of people in a party. Some of these restrictions require extra money for deposits.
  • Read the inclusions list, if possible, before committing to the vacation package. If you have to pay for something expensive - such as a sky diving session - that you wouldn't normally purchase, that package might not be the right one for you.
  • As with any vacation, if you leave the country, you might need a passport or visa. Check ahead of time what type of documentation you will need, if you need to obtain a passport, do so a head of time because the process can easily take upto three months. Documentation fees will most likely not be included in your vacation package.
All-inclusive vacations are not for everyone. People who want to explore new places on their own and eat in a variety of places should look elsewhere. Vacation packages usually include meals at set places and planned activities. They allow travelers to pay ahead of time for meals, alcohol, tips, activities, transportation and sometimes airfare.

If you want to save money by eating small meals or snacks, this might not be the route for you. However, if you want to go all out and like to enjoy three full meals a day, paying for a vacation's worth of food and tips upfront could actually save you money.

Another plus: you won't have to worry about the gratuity rules for your destination country because the tips will already be covered. You will be free from worries about arranging transportation or finding a good restaurant – and isn't freedom from worries what a vacation is all about?

If you want to take the guesswork out of your trip, an all-inclusive vacation package might be just the thing for you.

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