Vacation is the best time of the year, no matter how frequently you go. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more interested in traveling, exploring and vacationing as much as I have the time (and money) for. If you ask me, traveling is just as important as having a steady job, if not more important. It allows you to challenge your mindset, learn about new cultures, surprise your taste buds, expand your knowledge on foreign languages and be in places that you may never see again. So, if you’re interested in vacationing, or as I like to call it working, more often, here’s a great way to start.
Nothing says vacation more than a tropical location, am I right? Spending your time in the hot sun, watching the waves crash, sipping that cool Pina Colada and reading your book under a palm tree. The ultimate relaxation.
Well, if this is enticing to you, then I suggest an all-inclusive resort be your go-to. I’ve just experienced my first all-inclusive resort and to be honest, it was one of the best vacations I’ve had.
Here’s 3 pieces of advice when booking an all-inclusive resort:
1. Do Your Research
Like visiting any location, it’s wise to research and compare. It can be overwhelming with all the different travel sites, pop-ups, suggestions and packages that are offered. It wouldn’t be a good idea to just choose a place after looking for 5 minutes, because there could be so many better deals you’re neglecting to see. First, start off by picking the country or city. You’ll find out pretty quickly, which locations are more expensive than others. Once you’ve narrowed down the exact place, you can look at resorts in that area alone. This could take a few days to efficiently work your way through each resort, but it’s also the most effective because you’re educating yourself on the good from the bad.
Here are some questions you’ll want to have answered in your search:
- Is it a family resort or adults-only?
- Is it for partying or relaxing?
- Is it in close proximity to the ocean?
- Are you able to swim in the ocean?
- What restaurants are included/not-included in the package?
- Is transportation included?
- What activities are included? Jet-skiing, kayaking, sailing, hiking, etc.
- Does it have good reviews?
These are all great questions to keep in mind when narrowing down your choices. Once you find a good candidate, contact customer service and ask as many questions as you want. Getting your money’s worth means being super persistent and getting the most accurate information. Also, be sure to check out Groupon for deals, you may find a good one! My boyfriend and I sure did 🙂
2. Tip Your Servers
This is the key to success once you’re there. Even if when booking the amazing all-inclusive resort that you’ve selected says “TIPS ARE INCLUDED!”…tip anyway during your stay. It took us about 2 days to realize that once you tip your server, you’re set for the rest of your stay. Of course, the service was amazing to begin with. We happened to stay at a 5-star hotel with the most accommodating customer service I’ve witnessed, starting as soon as we stepped off the plane, but still, it goes a long way.
Waiters will most likely be walking around the resort, by the pool and near the beach chairs, taking orders and asking if you’re comfortable. Thanking them with a smile and a few bucks can assure advanced service. They’ll come around twice as often and will make sure you aren’t empty-handed whether that be with food, drinks or fresh pool towels.
3. Leave the Resort.
So if you go to Mexico, like we did, everyone will tell you “don’t leave the resort.” That’s not always accurate advice, however. Sure, it probably isn’t a good idea to go roaming in areas you’ve never heard of or aren’t educated about, but off-site is where you can experience a little more adventure. You probably won’t want to leave the resort, considering they probably have everything you need, but relaxing can get boring. Save aside one day of adventure and you’ll be glad you did.
Zip-lining, cave swimming, ATV riding, repelling, bungee jumping, para-sailing, etc, are all activities that you can experience in adventure sites near, or even further away from the resort. Not only do you get to get a little dirty, a sense of fear and adrenaline and a sunburn, you’ll also experience the culture of the people who live there and who run the adventure parks as a living. You’ll find out what they talk about, what excites them, what they do everyday and what they like to eat. You’ll surely find out that they aren’t so different from us, and you probably will laugh the entire time. At them and at yourself.
- Choose vacation dates wisely. Resorts and flights can vary drastically, depending on the days you choose.
- Bring a first aid kit with band aids, aloe, Tums, Motrin, and cold medicine.
- Bring your own suntan lotion in travel packs, as the resorts tend to hike up the prices.
- Buy bottled waters for the room if the resort does not already provide.
- Make sure to triple check if all food and drinks are included, you don’t want to get ripped off.
- Find out what the policy is with dinner, sometimes you need a reservation.
- Setup transportation ahead of time. We used USA Transfers in Cancun and the service was amazing and cheaper than going through the resort directly.
- Be smart, be prepared and have fun!
Happy travels 🙂