I’ve recently become a big fan of the lazy girl’s way to travel, the all-inclusive vacation. For most of us, holidays are meant to be a time for relaxation and renewal. Knowing the full cost of the entire trip in advance (airfare, transfers, accommodation and all food, drinks, taxes and tipping), is definitely stress-reducing and can actually be a smart way to budget.
Hidden Costs of Airline Tickets
Advertised prices for airplane tickets may seem cheap but there are often additional charges and limitations. The cost shown may be for a one-way ticket, departure and arrival dates may be restricted and the number of available seats may be limited. Airlines are usually responsible for collecting sales tax, airport security fees and departure taxes, none of which they keep for their own use. These hidden charges will be added to the cost of the ticket and can cause the final price to double. A package vacation will include reduce the possibility of unpleasant financial surprises when the final bill arrives.
Hotel Transfers at All Inclusive Resorts
Depending on the proximity to the airport, transportation to and from a holiday resort or hotel can be costly. Tourists who are unfamiliar with a foreign country can be targeted by aggressive touts or over charged for taxi service. In most vacation packages, transfers to and from the airport are included, so remember to enquire in advance about details.
Package Vacation Taxes and Tipping
Hotel rooms are also subject to taxes and additional charges. Keeping track of whom to tip and how much can be stressful for travellers. Changing money into local currency for tips, usually small bills, can be a hassle and mistakes can be made if one is tired or jetlagged. Tipping and taxes are built-in into the price of most all-inclusive resorts, ensuring consistent service and a guaranteed holiday price.
Drinks and Meals at All Inclusive Vacations
Food and beverage costs can take a big bite out of a vacation budget. An all inclusive plan will provide meals and drinks at no extra charge. Generally speaking, the more expensive the resort, the higher the quality of food and drinks will be. Luxury packages may differ from one hotel to another, with some providing unlimited food, brand name liquor and bottled wine while others may impose a small surcharge for upgrades.
Eating at an all inclusive resort also eliminates the need to research, organize and pay for restaurant meals and transportation. Many vacation packages allow visitors to sample complimentary food, drinks and amenities at other nearby affiliated properties.
Special Discounts and Tours
All inclusive vacations will sometimes offer discounted charges for tours, golf rounds and spa treatments, if they are not already free. Before booking, be sure to ask about additional promotions that can save even more money, such as free internet or long distance calls. Travellers unfamiliar with a resort’s amenities may miss out on special deals or items that are included in the cost of their stay.
So far, my experiences have been all postive. But as I just mentioned, a little bit of research still goes a long way towards having the cost-conscious vacation of your dreams.
© 2012 – 2013, Heather Zorzini. All rights reserved.