All Inclusive Beach Vacations - 5 Things You Must Know!

all-inclusive beach vacations

All inclusive beach vacations can be the time of your life or the pain of the century. The pros know the truth: there's no such thing as a free lunch. Don't let surprise expenses and limitations spoil your holiday. Just make sure you know what you're getting into.

All inclusive beach vacations can save you money and make your trip even more relaxing, provided that you know what to expect. Here are 5 things you must know about all inclusive beach vacations.

1. Look for what's included,and what's not. "All inclusive" means different things different places, so before you go making assumptions, even if you've taken all inclusive beach vacations before, have a good look at what's included (and watch for those sneaky asterisks that denote "possible additional fees"). More importantly, keep an eye on what's not included: snacks at the pool? Alcohol? Water sports or local attractions? Look at more than one all inclusive brand in the area and see who offers what to be sure you make an informed decision.

2. Tips are probably included, but tax is probably not. Tips are included in most all inclusive beach vacations (and they should say so -- don't assume), but tax is often not. Before you go celebrating the low-low price of your trip, find out what the taxes are going to be. There may even be a hidden gratuity tax. Ask about additional taxes and fees.

3. Bringing your own snacks might still be a good idea. Yeah, you can always hit up the restaurants, but they might not be conveniently located, or they might even be closed when you get hungry late at night. Having your own snacks in the room doesn't cost you much and saves you the anguish of finding out that your all inclusive doesn't meet your needs. If you don't finish them? There's always the airplane.

4. Read user reviews. Sometimes, the unlimited food and drink you're promised with all inclusive beach vacations turns out to be pretty unremarkable. Have a look at sites like TripAdvisor to check out what guests say about the quality of your resort. The last thing you want is unlimited junk.

5. Check out what's available for kids. Don't have them? Definitely check this out; you may be at risk of being inundated with screaming, splashing children day and night. If you do have them, look at the programs and make sure they include the things your kids will want to do. Older kids and teens should be asked to weigh in, because bored kids are crazy kids. If it turns out that the things your kids are interested in doing aren't available at the resort, your vacation won't be so "inclusive" after all, and you may be better off at a regular hotel.

Photo by Ed Yourdon via Flickr.

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