November 9, 2015
By Emily Jones

Are All-Inclusive Vacations Budget Friendly?

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

There are some resorts and cruise ships with all-inclusive packages that will help you save money while enjoying a fabulous vacation. Whether an all-inclusive vacation is also a budget-friendly option, however, is all in the details.

Before you buy a vacation package, you will need to read the fine print and do some research to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

“All-inclusive” seems like a pretty straightforward term, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Few vacation packages actually include everything you could want during your trip.

Premium items and services, for instance, are rarely included in the base package. If you want to dine on lobster, enjoy top-shelf alcoholic beverages, and relax with morning massages, then you will probably have to pay extra.Some resorts will let you add extras to the base package. A drink package that includes soda, wine, beer and cocktails, for instance, might cost an extra $40 to $50 per day.

If a company doesn’t specifically say what it includes in an all-inclusive package, then you should contact them to clarify. You don’t want to reach your destination only to find that you need to spend more money to get the full experience.

When you’re traveling on a budget, you need to compare prices. You will need to do a little research to make sure you’re getting the lowest price. Once you have a full list of the services and products actually included with the all-inclusive package, you should contact the resort and ask for the individual prices of the “extra” things that interest you.

For instance, if you know you want a room for five days, three meals a day plus snacks, then you should ask for those prices. Other things you might want to ask about include beverages, spa services, equipment rental and events (like musicals and exercise classes).

Once you get this information, add the prices together. If the result is lower than the price of the all-inclusive package, then it is not a great deal. You’d be better off buying the things you want individually.

Even if an all-inclusive package costs slightly more than buying services individually, you may still want to opt in. Many people enjoy the convenience of all-inclusive packages. Since they don’t want to spend time booking rooms, researching local attractions and reserving flights, they don’t mind spending a little more money.

Bottom-line, all-inclusive packages can be convenient, budget-friendly deals. If you mainly like to eat and drink at your chosen resort, all-inclusive is a great option. However if you like to venture out a lot, skip the all-inclusive option so you can taste the local flavor without feeling like you’re losing money. 

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