Episode 46: How to Pick an All-Inclusive Resort

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Have you ever asked someone for an all-inclusive resort recommendation, only to get too many options to choose from? Or, have you received a recommendation that didn’t live up to the hype?

Today, I’ll be giving you things to look for when you can’t decide on the right all-inclusive resort.

Let’s get into it:

[01:38] Call a travel agent.

If you’re having a hard time finding a resort that suits every one of your needs, asking a travel agent is the best solution.

Travel agents travel to many resorts, and they’re able to come up with the best option for your specific needs.

[02:17] Know what’s important to you.

Whether you’re working with a travel agent or not, you need to know what you want from a resort.

If you don’t know what you want, just don’t say that all you want is a clean room. We’ve spoken about this – you don’t just want a clean room. You want good food, entertainment, and amenities.

You also want to know what you don’t like, so that you can avoid resorts that have those bad experiences.

But you can only know what you like and don’t like to experience if you actually go out and experience more resorts.

[03:46] Location, location, location.

The number 1 turn-off for many travellers is the distance to the resort from the airport.

If you’re not up for a 2 hour drive from the airport to the resort, you need to weigh up the options. You can add this time limit in your requirements as well.

If you want the resort to be located on the beach, you need to say so. There are plenty resorts that aren’t directly on the beach, or they’re far from the local attractions, so if this is important to you, you need to be specific about it.

[06:47] Does size really matter?

If I think of Hard Rock Punta Cana, it is massive. There’s transportation to take you all around the resort.

Some people might think it’s too much. If you prefer a smaller resort with fewer rooms and smaller crowds, then you need to add that to your search requirements.

[07:30] Accessibility.

One thing travel agents check for when visiting resorts is the accessibility. If the resort is too large, someone with mobility issues may have a hard time getting around. If there are no elevators, the rooms aren’t accessible, and it’s difficult to move around the resort, you need to be aware of these limitations if it’s something that you require.

[08:39] Adult-only.

Many people travel to have some alone time away from their kids, or they don’t have kids and don’t want to be bothered by other people’s kids.

If you’re one of those people, you’ll want to look at adult-only resorts.

[09:36] Kids clubs.

If you travel with your kids, you’ll want to look for resorts that cater to kids – not just resorts that allow kids.

The difference is, resorts that cater to kids will typically have kids programs and activities, and resorts that only allow kids don’t necessarily have those accommodations.

You should also be aware of the age requirements for the kids clubs. Some kids clubs only allow kids upward of 4 years of age, or have a maximum age. If you have younger kids, make sure the kids club will be able to cater to your kids’ ages.

[12:26] Room types and sizes.

I love a swim-up room. If a resort has a swim-up room, it goes to the top of my list. If you want a swim-up room, do you want semi-private or completely private swim-up rooms?

If you want over-water bungalows, you need to be prepared to go to specific locations that have those on offer.

If the room type and size is important, you need to add this to your list.

[13:54] Environment.

Resorts have different vibes.

You can choose from resorts that are relaxing and quiet or younger and turn-up party resorts.

If you listen to episode 44, I talk about my time at the three RIU resorts, and each of them have a different vibe even though they’re in the same compound.

[15:38] Entertainment and activities.

When you’re choosing a resort, do you want great nightlife or a quiet resort?

If you want a resort with a nightclub or casino on the property, you need to make sure you let your travel agent know this.

[18:26] Are you a foodie?

If you need to have the best food while on your vacation, you need to make sure that you pick resorts that are known for their food and have great specialty restaurants.

[19:23] What can you afford?

You need to know how much you can afford to spend on your vacation.

When I’m planning my vacation, I start with all the things that I want, determine the cost, and then remove the options that I can live without if I’m over my budget.

Remember, when you get back from your vacation, you still have your bills and expenses waiting for you. So, make sure your vacation is not going to overburden your finances.

[20:25] Expectations.

If you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be disappointed no matter what resort you choose.

Some people have lower budgets, but then expect a 5 star resort, a penthouse room, and amazing views.

Set your expectations according to your budget. Don’t have a $900 budget and expect to be staying at the Ritz.

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