It’s one thing to want an all-inclusive vacation, it’s another thing to know how to get it. There are a lot of choices, and you’ll have to do a lot of research, both about your trip and about the places you’re going. But don’t worry; this is an imperfect world, and someone has already done all the hard work for you.
I’m not talking about travel agents who sell you a package that includes airfare, hotel, car rental, and sightseeing at triple the cost. Nor am I talking about hotel chains that promise all-inclusives but are just trying to dupe you into paying more money than you need. I’m talking about sites on the Internet where people offer actual advice on what to do in their own vacations.
Stay tuned: In a few weeks I’ll come through with my tips for an all-inclusive vacation.
When we go on vacation, we tend to think of it in one of two ways. We might imagine ourselves as a solo traveler, taking a vacation by myself. (In fact many people do this.) Or we might think of ourselves as part of a group, and our destination as the destination for all of us. This is the all-inclusive vacation package model.
The all-inclusive package will include your hotel accommodations, meals and drinks, local transportation, and entertainment for you and for everyone in your party. The price varies widely depending on how much is included and how many people are included in your party.
There are two basic strategies for booking an all-inclusive travel package . One is to go to the website of the tour operator and search for a package that meets your needs; then you can book it online. The other is to go directly to the source of your package – typically a hotel or resort – and ask about its all-inclusive policies.
If you want to travel cheaply, then “all inclusive” vacations are a good choice. If you want to travel well and relatively cheaply, then “all inclusive” vacations are very bad. But what if you want to travel with high-quality food and comfortable accommodations, and prices that don’t include beer, wine or spirits?
All inclusive vacations are aimed at two different types of people. First, there are the people who just can’t be bothered to figure out how much things cost or why they’re cheaper in Europe than in America. They just know that $100 for a room is too much. And they really don’t care where they eat or what they drink. For such people, an all-inclusive vacation is the best solution: they’ll save money and will probably feel no loss of freedom or excitement whatsoever.
Then there are the travelers who do care about costs, but not as much as they care about getting value for their money. If you’re one of those people, I have some bad news: an all-inclusive vacation does not solve your problem. You still need to know how to spend your money in order to get value for it.
To get this information, you have to read up on places you want to visit; read
Despite the all-inclusive image, many of these packages are not truly all inclusive.
Airfare is usually not included, unless you pay extra for a specific airline. If you buy your own ticket you may have to pay extra for meals and drinks. Some hotels will only sell you a package that includes breakfast and/or lunch, but not dinner.
If you like beer or wine, it’s best to ask what is included; a lot of places don’t include it.
When you travel by air, you’re usually paying for services you don’t get. Airlines make money by charging everything they can think of: extras like checked baggage fees and seat selection fees and luggage fees and changing the date to get a better fare. They have to add in all that stuff because if they didn’t, people would simply fly without paying any of it, making no money at all.
So why do airlines advertise “all inclusive” vacations? Why do travel agents advertise “all inclusive” vacations? In a word, because you don’t know what those extra charges are and are willing to pay them anyway. If you knew exactly what each charge was, you’d be able to decide whether the price was right or not.
But remember: “All inclusive” means there’s nothing else to pay. Unless they already know that, how can they be sure people will pay it? That’s why it’s advisable to research beforehand the kinds of things people pay extra for in non-all-inclusive resorts, so you won’t end up paying for things you never thought of.
For example, when I go on vacation, I always try to find out what those extra charges are so I can look at the price and decide whether I’m going to buy
All-inclusive vacation packages are a great idea, but they are not without problems. The basic idea is that if you book a room and a meal at the same time, there’s no need for you to worry about which one you’re going to get. And since it’s a package deal, it’s easier to find the room and pay for the whole thing at once.
It works fine in theory, but often in practice it doesn’t. Most people don’t read their travel guides carefully enough to find out about all-inclusive packages, and even those who do are often too lazy or too careless to check them. This tends to leave most people stranded and lost halfway through their vacations.
Often the solution is simple: if you book your own room whenever you’re booking other stuff, there’s no problem. But how many of us would do that?
I want to write a travel blog that is less of a travel book and more of a living-room postcard. I want to tell stories that are like anecdotes but more important, ones that matter.
A lot of travel books do this, I think: they tell stories about a place or a person or an experience. But they take it as given that the reader knows what you are talking about, and they don’t go into enough detail. They will include some details, but not enough; they will be too general, too generalizing. When you read them, you feel like you are reading an outline for something that’s already happened to you.
I want to talk about all the little things I saw and heard and felt, when I was there, in order to explain why these things mattered to me.
It’s my vacation; I’ll let other people do the planning, but if I can make it interesting for me in the process, all the better.