All-Inclusive Vacations: What They Don’t Include

All-Inclusive Vacations: Is it “all” really included?

Vacations are a way to re-connect with yourself, relax and get away from the daily routine of life. And though they can be an expensive luxury, that needn’t be the case. Many 5-star accommodations are aware of this and they usually offer all-inclusive deals which can make the experience more accessible.

These all-inclusive vacation packages are some of the most popular travel packages offered by travel agencies and resorts. They are extremely popular from December to April during the high Caribbean season, which should come as no surprise, but would you believe there are even specific resorts which provide only all-inclusive travel?

Looking back at when all-inclusive travel emerged, it was in the 1950s that Club Med resorts introduced an all-inclusive scheme in their resorts. Over the years, different resorts have altered the model depending on the services offered by the particular hotel.

So what are you actually getting?

While most all-inclusive vacation packages cover the same basic staples, some include amenities that may surprise you.

Some of the fairly standard items include the following:

  • three meals a day
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • transport services
  • sports facilities and equipment
  • instructors for sports like water aerobics, archery, and swimming

And some resorts even offer the following:

  • spa treatments
  • live shows
  • 24×7 room service
  • laundry
  • airport transfers

We often get swayed by the “All Inclusive” sign on a deal thinking that this might be the best available at the quoted prices, forgetting to focus on the tiny asterisk that could literally cost us a fortune later. It is highly important to list all the things you need and don’t need and then do your homework on the various packages offered in order to select the best one suited for your needs.

And what’s not necessarily included?

The following are some of the things one must remember before booking an all-inclusive vacation:

  • No airfare – Most of the packages do not include airfare and one must be prepared to shell out for their own tickets.
  • Airport transfers – While some vacation resorts do offer free airport transfers for their all-inclusive packages, some — like those in the Dominican Republic — can charge up to $30 per transfer.
  • Limited alcohol – You should be aware that many of the hotels do not offer an all-you-can drink pass, and at some you might have to pay if you want an upgrade from a simple wine to a champagne-based cocktail. Premium brands of alcohol are also often an extra charge.
  • Sports – While most non-motorized sports facilities are included in these packages, several trademark destination-based activities like snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing and zip-lining are not included in the all-inclusive packages.
  • Services like babysitting, dry cleaning, tour excursions,  and beauty treatments are also not included in all-inclusive vacation packages.
  • None of the packages include honeymoon and anniversary specials, nor are birthday parties included.
  • Room service – Although integral to almost all hotels, room services might not be included in your vacation package. In fact, some hotels might even charge you extra for having your meals delivered to your room.
  • Internet – While it is downright preposterous that one has to pay for wireless in the 21st century, unfortunately some resorts do charge you for connecting to their Wi-Fi services. Some resorts might have complimentary internet services in the lobby but most of them charge for every byte your iPhone uses to keep you in touch with the outside world.

The above list is a great way to estimate the financial cost of your vacation, so make sure to do a little bit of research for the trip ahead. Also you can join us for Part 2 of this article where we cover the non-monetary cost of going the all-inclusive route: “All Inclusive Vacations: What They Don’t Include (Part 2).”

About Happy Holidays Guides: Tips, advice, and insights for hopelessly romantic travelers.

The Workaholic’s Guide to a Real Vacation

Once upon a time, 40-hour work weeks were a real thing. After you logged off from your work computer and walked out the door you were done until the following morning. In today’s professional environment, this may sound like one of those exaggerated stories old people tell about how things were different in their day.

The truth is, if you expect good annual reviews, raises and promotions, your workday never ends. That means priority emails at dinner, client meetings over the weekend and business calls at all hours of the day.

Vacation: The Foreign Concept
This always-available mindset means that it’s hard for most to really relax when they’re finally given the chance. To put it frankly, some just don’t know how to stop working.

Whether you’re of the opinion that vacations can wait until retirement, or even if you just find comfort in knowing your boss can always count on and reach you, everyone can benefit from a little time away from responsibilities, obligations and deadlines. Here are a few tips brought to you by Naracoopa Bed and Breakfast Pavilion that will help you disconnect from work and reconnect with your family, friends and the world around you.

Plan early and leave early. A general rule for vacations is begin planning early so that you can secure your flights, hotel accommodation and your spot in whatever tour or event you’d like to participate in while there. If you’re lucky, booking early will also save you a few dollars.

When it comes to the departure day, leave early to avoid traffic delays and long lines at the airport. It’s better to wait an hour in the airport lounge than the security line.

Setup ‘away’ messages on all of your accounts. If people are unable to reach you, they won’t be able to disturb you. Therefore, once you check in at the airport or pull off for your road trip, enable an ‘away’ message for your email address and phone numbers.

However, if you completely cut off all contact you’ll be tempted to check your messages. Instead, give an emergency contact number to only a few people. This way you can ensure you won’t be disturbed unless it’s actually important.

Sign up for a therapeutic massage. According to the Global Spa and Wellness Summit, research has shown that massage therapy offers clear medical benefits, from reducing stress and migraines to improving your white blood cell count.

If you have a demanding, stressful career, one of the first items on your vacation agenda should be a therapeutic massage.

Don’t fill your itinerary with a ton of activities. If you’re visiting somewhere historical that has a ton of landmarks worth visiting, it can be tempting to schedule a visit to each one on your 10-day trip. This only serves to turn your vacation into a project with deadlines.

Instead, select the landmarks you really want to see and spread them out over the duration of your stay. For every day spent in the bustling city wading through crowds, one should be spent lounging on the beach, at the pool or simply strolling through the city.

Create a budget that has a comfortable cushion. Money trouble is the quickest way to increase stress. When planning your trip, estimate your expenses, from daily meals and travel costs to shopping and ticket prices for anything you plan on doing. Knowing ahead of time how much you expect to spend will make it easier to create a budget with a comfortable cushion for emergencies or impromptu expenditures.