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Enjoy All-Inclusives, Save Money and Time
Have you ever wondered why an all-inclusive vacation is so appealing to many travelers? It’s because they have less travel planning to worry about, and they know they can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a dream vacation. With businesses that specialize in providing you deals on a seamless vacation from start to end, such as Apple Vacations and Southwest Vacations, you can enjoy yourself more while taking out your wallet less. Although there are variances, an all-inclusive resort provides luxury accommodations, as well as your meals, drinks and snacks for one low price. Yes, in most cases that does mean alcoholic beverages are included.
Most hotels have a minimum of several restaurants to choose from on site, serving scrumptious, quality breakfast, lunch and dinner at no additional cost. Hanging by the pool, or in between meals and you want a bite to eat? Undoubtedly, you’ll find a place or two on the resort grounds to get a quick snack to recharge you for the rest of your day. Not all restaurants will be buffet style, many offer full service a la carte meals where everyone in your party receives individual attention from your server. Most of these kinds of restaurants will require you to make a seating reservation, and you may be limited by the number of visits you can dine at the restaurants, but you should be well aware of any of these restrictions by the time you arrive. Look for gourmet restaurants specializing in steak, seafood and regional fare prepared by skilled chefs. Popular ethnic cuisine might include Italian, Mexican, Greek and Asian food. And these sit-down meals are all included in your price!
Many beachfront properties also offer free watersports, in addition to entertainment that other non-waterfront resorts provide such as nightly shows, on-site nightclubs, and other fun activities. With a quick sign-up and some brief instruction you can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, water trikes, and sailing, or a game of beach volleyball. Night time fun is sometimes a stage show, skit or movie at the theater on the premises. And to kick it up a notch until the wee hours of the morning, you’ll frequently find a disco pumping out the latest jams to dance to.
What usually isn’t included in an all-inclusive vacation? Excursions away from the resort grounds, visiting attractions, and taking day trips are often extra. You can also expect to pay for pre-packaged foods and everything in the gift shop, spa and salon services, as well as some food add-ons, such as lobster served with your dinner in the on-premises steakhouse. Upgraded rooms that offer a better view or more spaciousness will probably also cost you a little extra. Airfare may or may not be included as part of your vacation package, but the travel website you book through will likely clearly detail this information for you, and provide discounted rates if it’s not part of the price. When you’re ready to make your travel plans, it’s essential that you explore what is and what’s not covered in your all-inclusive vacation; but you can be assured you will still save a bundle and have much less stress and planning to do!
Don’t Skip the Hotel Transfers When You Plan Your Trip
When planning your vacation, don’t forget to budget money for transportation from the airport to your hotel, as well as back to the airport when it’s time for your return trip home. Unless you’ve booked with a travel website like Apple Vacations, hotel transfers are usually not included and will cost extra. That means you’ll have to do some research before you go if you aren’t willing to shell out two or three times the rate of another type of transportation.
Shuttles and mini buses will often be your cheapest bet and are charged on a per-person basis. Each person in your party will be charged a flat fee for the ride, so if it costs $15 per seat and you’re a family of four, a one-way trip will cost you $60 for the ride - plus tip, of course! Airport shuttles generally make stops at several hotels, so that means you will frequently not get direct airport to hotel service. Because of the multiple stops, you will have to plan for additional pickup or drop off times, meaning it’ll likely take longer to get to your hotel, and you might have to be ready for departure as much as an hour or two before you think you should. Shuttle services require reservations for pickup from your hotel – and they’ll tell you what time to be ready in the lobby or pickup point. Be aware that some also require reservations from the airport to the hotel. Do the research to discover how transportation transfers operate at your destination, as your hotel may offer its own private shuttle service.
Shared rides are also economical. While the ride-sharing term has taken on new meaning these days, we’re referring to its original meaning, catching a ride with someone going to the same destination as you. A one-way cab ride to or from your hotel might cost you $40, but you’ll also pay the same amount if you have your spouse and child with you; so in cases with multiple travelers, a taxi cab ride can be cheaper than a shuttle. Although it’s ideal when you can get straight to and from your hotel at a cheaper price, the way to save more money on shared rides is to have an additional paying party split the cost. Another couple going to the same hotel, or heading to the same airport at or near your planned arrival time, can save you half the fare – your $40 cab ride is now only $20 out of pocket!
Often, the most expensive mode of transportation to or from your hotel will be a taxi ride. While you’ll zip in and out of lanes with quick as possible door to door service, you’ll pay for waiting at stop lights, slow-moving traffic congestion, as well as a set rate per mile. A $45 cab ride to the hotel at 7:30pm may cost you $52 during morning or evening rush hour, so you’ll need to consider that, too. And, as already mentioned, if you’re the only occupant of your cab, the fare is entirely your responsibility. Where you get picked up is also a consideration in cost – some hotel lobby pickups will cost you $10 or more than if you were picked up on a main street a half block away. If time is a factor for you, or you have special needs, transportation by taxi may be the most reasonable choice, though, so don’t rule out a cab ride without first looking it.
That’s the main point, do the research on airport and hotel transfers to find the solution that works best for you and others traveling with you. What’s cost effective in one situation may cause a time delay you’re just not willing to compromise on, and it makes a difference if you’re on a trip by yourself or with young children. Or, to avoid paying extra for transfers, look for all-inclusive hotels that indicate transfers are part of the package, or book with a travel website that always includes the cost of transfer fees.
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