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If you’re someone who doesn’t want to do a lot of thinking or planning once you get to your vacation, an all-inclusive resort could be right up your alley. With many of these resorts including all of your meals, activities and even entertainment, you can spare yourself the task of researching what to do and where to go on vacation. And, since everything is at your resort, you don’t have to pay for cabs or transportation elsewhere to drink, dine and party. It’s no wonder that a survey conducted by Wyndham Hotel & Resorts found that 75 percent of travelers believe all-inclusive resorts are the best way to travel. But, these properties are only a “deal” if you know how to make the most of them. Here are all-inclusive resort tips and tricks to help you milk the experience.
Understand What’s Included
When you are researching all-inclusive resorts, make sure to fully read the fine print on what is included before you book. If the whole point for you is doing all the water sports you can for one low price, but those are extra, you’ll be disappointed when you arrive. Or if you find that top shelf alcohol is extra and you love a fancy cocktail, you’ll want to know that in advance. Explore several options to make sure you find the one that will include activities and amenities that are important to you.
Don’t Over Eat
It’s easy to overdo it at all-inclusive resorts when the food feels free and there are so many buffets. You want to get your money’s worth so you stuff yourself at every meal. But, if you over eat, then you’ll feel too full to partake in the other activities you had planned like the yoga class on the beach or your surf lesson. Plus, there are often several food vendors at the resort and you want to try them all. So don’t eat so much at lunch that you’re too full for the complimentary oyster happy hour.
Study the Schedule
If you just start looking into activities the moment you want to try something, you could find it’s too late. Many all-inclusive stays are for a week, and many of the featured activities or shows only happen once a week. So do make sure that you study the entertainment and activities schedule in advance so you don’t miss the Salsa dancing class or the sunset concert on the sand.
Look Into Complimentary Shuttles
Some all-inclusive resorts offer complimentary shuttles to and from the airport, and to and from town. Look into these before paying the hefty price for taxis or other transportation. Depending on where you are staying, taking the resort shuttles might be the safest option as well. Grab a copy of the shuttle schedule when you check in.
Bring Cash For Tips
Even though everything is included in your stay, tips are not, and the staff relies on these cash all-inclusive resort tips to make a living. Be sure to bring tons of small cash to the resort. Ge this where you live, since the exchange rates and fees could be high at your destination. Be sure to tip the staff who drives you around on golf carts or set up your beach chairs. That small tip goes a long way and those staff members might give you better treatment because of it.
Know The Dress Code
Even though most of your time will be spent in a bathing suit or sundress, know that some parts of the resort, like the a la carte restaurants or theaters/showrooms, might require dressier attire. Pack a few nice outfits so that you have options.
Look Into Reservations
You can usually hit the pool or buffet any time you want, but other activities could require reservations – even if they’re free – simply because the resort needs to schedule the proper amount of staff. Ask if you need reservations for anything like fitness classes, live shows or a la carte restaurants. And if you do, make yours early as these can fill up fast.
Pack Everything You Need
This is one of those all-inclusive resort tips that could save you a lot of money on vacation. Don’t rely on the resort gift shop to pick up those little extras like sunscreen or toothpaste. These are often quite pricey at the on-site gift shop. And if your resort is nowhere near a town, then popping into a nearby store for affordable toiletries won’t be an option.
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