How to Book the Best All-Inclusive Resorts
Tropical vacations are a luxury that everyone can enjoy. Toes in the sand, swimming in crystal blue waters, a drink in your hand — it’s absolute paradise. Planning the perfect tropical vacation can be stressful and confusing, though. What country do you go to? Will your hotel have great food? What about extra activities? What if you have kids? If you’re looking to truly relax on the beach, an all-inclusive resort vacation may be for you.
Below, we’ve outlined tips on how to book the best resorts and where some of them are, so that you can spend less time stressed and more time daydreaming about your upcoming vacation.
WHERE TO GO
The first step in booking your all-inclusive vacation is deciding where you want to go. Every destination has its merits, so you really have to know what you want. Most all-inclusive resorts are visited because of their sun-and-sand offerings, but even within that segment there is a lot of competition. Some resorts are couples-only, some are adults-only, while others still are well-suited for families looking for a bit of warmth and escapism.
A few great options that won’t break the bank are in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico.
The Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana is one of the highest-rated family-friendly all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. It has 658 gorgeous suites and can cost as little as $1,760 for a family of 4. This resort is a great choice if your idea of fun is going on exciting excursions. With ziplining, ATV tours, and fishing, you’ll never have a dull moment. Ideally, your tour operator will be both knowledgeable and fun, and will clue you in to things that you may be unaware of, from interesting local sights and scenes to local social customs with respect to greetings, tipping, or general politeness. As the Dominican Republic offers some of the least expensive all-inclusive resort options, you’re apt to find a fit at more than just the Majestic Colonial.
Another paradise destination is the El Dorado Seaside in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This is an adults-only resort and has exceptional reviews. From butlers to world class entertainment, the El Dorado Seaside comes across as a heaven on earth. If you’re into a vacation filled with sports, fitness, and activities, the El Dorado Seaside is a good fit, as it boasts a spa, coconut painting (which people rave about), beach volleyball, yoga classes, and more. The food is rated as sensational, and the white sand beaches are a sight to be seen. For two adults, this beautiful all-inclusive resort costs around $2,500 for a 5-night stay. If you don’t have enough alone time with your significant other at home, perhaps slip away to the El Dorado Seaside or a similar adults-only resort to indulge in some grown-up time away from the world.
Flights can cost nearly as much as lodging, and some people tend to forget this. All-inclusive resort deals often offer the option of bundling the flight into the resort deal, which takes even more stress out of vacation planning. Statistically, Sundays and Tuesdays are the best days to buy tickets, and the best days to fly as well. If you’re savvy at the internet, you can turn on price alerts to notify you when prices surge or plummet within a certain date range, increasing your chances of getting the best flight deal. Time of day is a good thing to watch for too. Not everyone wants to fly at 5:00 in the morning, but if you do, you may be able to save a considerable amount of money.
Booking websites like TravelZoo, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz will all have around the same prices for resorts. However, occasionally one website will have a better deal for the resort you’re looking at, so we highly suggest comparison shopping.
If you’re traveling with a larger group, you can definitely save by booking all together. Many resorts have deals for larger groups, and no one will get left with a room separated from the others!
Off season times like January and February, or after Spring Break (April, May, and June) can be the best times to look for a deal. You’ll also enjoy more privacy with fewer people around.
If you’re a great planner, you can save thousands of dollars by locking in your vacation months ahead of time. Alternatively, if you get some time off and want to hit the beach in a week, you may be able to get great last minute deals at half the price. Either way, a bit of prudence and patience will undoubtedly result in a fantastic beachy time.
When you’re at your resort, make the most out of your vacation by familiarizing yourself with the property, the staff, the customs, and everything else you may not know. Some people forget that the staff exists for your questions as well as your needs, so don’t hesitate to ask for some tips on how to maximize your relaxation and take full advantage of every facet and feature you’ve already paid for.