Choosing an all inclusive hotel is a popular way of saving money on holiday, but there’s more to sticking to your budget than just booking this kind of package. What you really need to do is find a deal on an all inclusive hotel that fits in with your personal needs and preferences.
Now, this might sound pretty easy, but all inclusive packages come in a really wide variety these days. I’ve put together a list of the top ways you can work out what’s right for you below – I hope it helps!
Decide on your priorities
I think one of the most important things to do when looking at package deals is to sit down and work out what your priorities are. Since there are so many all inclusive deals – many of which sound pretty appealing – it’s easy to get distracted by extras you will never really use if you don’t begin your search with a clear idea of what you want.
Here are a few ideas of things to think about before you get started:
- Are you looking for a premium break, or something a bit more budget-friendly?
- Do you want alcoholic drinks included in the price?
- Travelling with kids? Check to see whether any activities or babysitting services are included.
- Are you keen to have the option to go on excursions without paying extra?
- Do you want a wide choice of places to eat, or are you happy with a single restaurant?
Research your options
Once you’ve worked out broadly what you’re looking for, your search can begin. Looking online is the most obvious place to start, but don’t dismiss the idea of speaking to a travel agent over the phone; this can often be a good way of making your final decision and getting a more detailed insight into any resorts that catch your eye.
Do your sums
Most all inclusive deals usually sound great; after all, who doesn’t like the idea of getting things thrown in for free? Before booking, though, you need to look at that golden deal a little more objectively.
Work out which of the included activities/meals/drinks etc you will actually use and, just as importantly, which you won’t (often premium extras like water sports can jack up the overall price). Once you’ve done that, have a think about any additional expenses you’ll have.
Got all that down? Good. Next, add up how much each potential package will cost you overall. This is the best way of finding out whether that fantastic deal is as great as it seems.
Check for hidden extras
In a similar vein, make sure you read the fine print (yes, I know it’s dull) to see whether there are any hidden extra costs. You don’t want any surprise bills when you get back!
Sometimes the simplest tips are the most important, and I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to read reviews written by people who have actually been to the hotels you’re considering. By doing so, you should be able to spot potential problems and see pretty quickly if there’s an establishment you should steer clear of.
That said, it’s worth remembering that no matter how great the hotel, there is always bound to be one or two people who have a grumble about it online. A couple of negative reviews do not a bad hotel make, so take the odd complaint with a pinch of salt.
Packages with flights vs deals without
Some all inclusive deals include flights, while others just cover the hotel and its services. It’s probably a good idea to look at both kinds of package while you’re doing your research but, generally speaking, booking your flight and an all inclusive hotel separately often tends to be better value. This is because you can pick the best value option for both, rather than being restricted to prearranged combinations.