Seven Tips to All-Inclusive Resort Deals and Steals
All-inclusive resorts offer a worry-free vacation. Once you arrive at the property, you can ditch your wallet and focus on relaxation, dining and activities. It's a lot like a cruise ship, but on land.
All-inclusive resorts typically bundle everything into one price: lodging, meals, snacks, on-site activities such as tennis and water sports, and extras such as beach chairs or beach towels that add up at a la carte hotels.
"There's wide range of brands," says Scott Jones, owner of travel website EZTravelPad.com. "And some are going to include much more than others."
For example, he says, some all-inclusive resorts roll out an expansive buffet, some resorts offer five or six upscale-to-casual restaurant choices with a variety of cuisines, and others may have just two restaurants serving mediocre food.
Finding a deal at a great all-inclusive resort can be a little complicated, unless you're dedicated. Here's a guide to finding the best all-inclusive vacation deals for an upcoming trip.
Pick the Right Time
You'll find better deals when the kids are in school. Prices are lower with less competition. However, expect top prices during peak seasons. When winter lowers a blanket over the northern U.S. and Canada, the populations flock to resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.
"Our favorite time for the Caribbean resorts is that gap between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas," says Pablo Solomon, an artist and frequent all-inclusive resort vacationer who lives north of Austin, Texas. "A good time to go to resorts in Europe is the week following our Labor Day. You can often get savings of over 60% if everything stacks up."
Great tip: Some of the lowest prices are during the short window between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Jones says. "People (go) shopping, and parties are on their minds. It's a really good time to be away."