I try to find the best deals and get the most of out of any vacation when I travel, and this one was no different. This was my third all-inclusive trip and for a budget friendly person like myself, it is the way to travel to the Caribbean or Mexico!
On this trip, we visited the Excellence Resort Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This is a top resort, and I can see why! The food, alcohol, beach and accommodations were amazing and so were the grounds.
So, here are the best tips I have in saving money when you book all-inclusive:
1. Know where to go
– Some islands are more expensive than others. Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Cancun are among the cheaper places to visit. The British Virgin Islands, Aruba, and Turks and Caicos are among the more expensive options. Just know this before you book!
2. You will get what you pay for
– The cheaper your package, the more it will reflect on the room, the alcohol choices, and the food choices. If you are picky about your drinks and food, I highly recommend paying for a higher star resort. I am a huge foodie and love a good drink, so we always tend to stay in the higher rated resorts. The resorts that I have stayed have offered top shelf liquor, and options like lobster and duck at dinner.
3. Try something new
– This is one of my favorite things about all-inclusive – since you already prepaid, you can try whatever you want, and don’t have to worry about paying for it if you don’t like it. Now, I don’t mean waste, but for me, I have never tried a Bloody Mary or ceviche. This was the perfect opportunity to try both things and decide if I liked them.
4. Book a package
– Its almost always better to book a package on a site like Orbitz, Expedia, or Southwest Vacations. That way, everything is taken care of. We booked through Orbitz, and booked a flight, accommodations and airport transfers for one price.
5. Take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer
– Included with your stay are TONS of free activities, and I do mean free! Yoga classes, bike rides, water aerobics, Spanish lessons, non-motorized beach sports, all free! It totally makes sense to take advantage of these.
6. Eat at the restaurants
– At every all-inclusive I have been to, you have the option to dine at a restaurant rather than at the buffet. Since you paid for it, you definitely should do it. Even if you have to make a reservation, take the time to do it. The restaurants are a perk of all-inclusives and definitely worth the visit. You get attentive service, have the opportunity to order exactly what you want, and the food is delicious.
7. Pack correctly!
– I was dumbfounded at the prices for toiletries and basics at the hotel gift shop. Sunscreen was $29, contact lens solution for $20, and tampons for $14. Definitely not good for someone as budget conscious as myself!
8. Off season
– The Caribbean is most popular when its winter, so it tends to be more expensive. If you’re set on travelling in the winter like I was, travel on off days, and travel for 5 days vs. a week. We travelled Thursday-Monday, which was significantly cheaper than travelling on a weekend or for a full week!