For many travelers dealing with a tight budget, one of the first decisions to be made is whether to book their own travel deals or take advantage of one of the many all inclusive packages that are available.
In most cases, the decision to go with an all inclusive resort will depend on the particular deal being offered. For instance, there are a great many excellent all inclusive resorts that provide considerable discounts in the off season and the shoulder season, so it is definitely worth checking out these options if you get the opportunity.
One of the best ways to decide if an all inclusive resort is really the best deal going is to create a spreadsheet listing all the various costs of a do it yourself vacation. Be sure to include both obvious things like airfare, hotel, rental car, meals and sightseeing excursions, as well as incidentals like tips and gratuities. Then start shopping for the best deal on all these things in the resort location you have chosen. Add it all up, and keep that number in mind as you start searching for all inclusive travel packages.
It is often possible to find all inclusive travel packages that match or beat the costs of a do it yourself vacation. That is because all inclusive tour operators are able to strike deals for substantial discounts with airlines and hotels by guaranteeing them a certain amount of business.
Of course, when booking an all inclusive vacation package, it is important to find out exactly what is – and is not – included in that all inclusive package. For instance, most all inclusive packages do not include alcoholic drinks, while some do include them. If this is a concern, you may want to compare the prices of these two kinds of all inclusive and make the decision appropriate for your needs and lifestyle.
In addition, some all inclusive travel packages do not include airfare, so be sure to determine if airfare is included in order to make an intelligent and informed decision. Sightseeing excursions are another thing that are often not included in an all inclusive travel package, so be sure to get a list of included and optional sightseeing excursions, along with a price guide for those that are not included in the basic price.
If you are traveling alone, it is also important to consider the dreaded single supplement. The single supplement for all inclusive resorts can vary quite a bit, to as little as $100 to as much as doubling the advertised price of the vacation. If you are traveling on your own, it is vital to understand how much the single supplement is before booking the trip.
The decision of all inclusive versus do it yourself is rarely an easy one to make. It is important to compare packages carefully in order to make sure you are truly getting the best value for your money.