The most annoying thing to hear as a travel agent is “I don’t care what the resort has, all I want is a clean room.” So, as long as you have a clean room, the rest of the resort can be awful, your food can be horrible, and the service can be terrible?
I don’t think so.
“All I want is a clean room.” No, you don’t. The most important question that you need to answer when booking your vacation shouldn’t be “what’s the price?” You should be asking, “What do I want to experience on vacation?”
In this episode, I list some of the things that I feel are important when looking to book a resort.
- [05:25] Pick a room with a view
You don’t want to be waking up after a good night’s sleep in that clean room of yours just to swing open your curtains and see a brick wall outside your window. You’re going to want to step out onto a patio or balcony, see the crashing waves of the ocean, and smell the fresh, crisp air while sipping your cup of morning coffee.
- [08:01] Room service
This is really about convenience. When you’re at a place without a car, or you’re in your night gown, it’s always good to know you can pick up the phone and call room service. I like places that have 24 hour room service – If I want French fries at 3AM, then I want French fries at 3AM.
- [09:32] Is it adults-only, or does it allow kids?
This doesn’t bother some people. If you don’t have kids, it might not be a big deal. Some people who do have kids perhaps want to go somewhere without their kids, and they definitely don’t want to have to deal with everyone else’s kids. So, if this is something that will affect your vacation, check to make sure what your resort offers. It’s worth noting that adult-only resorts tend to be more expensive.
- [10:37] Bathrooms and bedspreads
If you have to step into the tub to take a shower, you need to find another resort. Not only is that dangerous, but it reflects the level of that resort.
Also, if the pictures of the resort include pictures of bedspreads, it will not be getting the EJtheTravelDiva recommendation.
- [12:01] Wi-Fi
Even in this day and age, you can’t assume that every resort has Wi-Fi. Some have Wi-Fi, but it’s limited to your room. If you want to post on social media, you don’t want to have to walk from the pool to your room every time. Make sure the Wi-Fi situation is exactly what you need.
- [16:44] Drink dispensers in the room
At first, this might not bother you. But, if you want to sip a cocktail after a shower, and you have no drink dispenser, it will get annoying after a couple of nights of dressing up to get a drink at the lobby bar and then going back up to your room. Most resorts are starting to move away from these, so if this is important to you, inquire.
- [18:43] Swim-up rooms
If you’re someone who wants to just open your sliding patio door and step out from your room into your own pool, then you already know you’re looking for resorts that have swim-up rooms. Most resorts close their pools early, and sometimes you want to have a late night swim. A swim-up room is one of those luxuries that makes your vacation so much
- [20:30] Swim-up bars
The swim-up bar isn’t generally a deal-breaker, but it is definitely enjoyable.
- [20:48] How far the resort is from the airport
For some people, the distance from the airport to the resort is a big deal.
This is something you want to know upfront so that you can plan your itinerary – especially if you’re the kind of person that will not enjoy waking up early to make it to the airport on time for your midday flight.
If you’re working with a travel agent (hint hint), it’s a good idea to voice your preference, upfront, so they can find you a place that is the most convenient so that you can spend more of your time enjoying your vacation.
- [24:33] Does the resort have water activities?
Water people, this one’s for you. You don’t want to leave your resort to go paddle boarding or kayaking, especially if you’re paying for an all-inclusive stay. This isn’t high on everyone’s list, but it’s definitely worth considering for those extra free activities.
- [25:39] Resort Gym and Spa
When you have a workout routine, and you’re not about to start skipping leg day, some resorts have an on-site gym or exercise classes that you can join for the duration of your stay. An on-site spa isn’t a big deal until you’ve had an incredible massage and you have to walk or take a shuttle back to your resort.
- [27:27] Restaurants
Some resorts require reservations for certain restaurants. For the foodies out there, you need to make sure the restaurants on the resort don’t have restrictions – like only being allowed to access each restaurant once. This is an actual thing that exists.
- [27:59] Butlers
A resort with a butler is always a great option if you don’t want to have to worry about your food service. At some resorts, you automatically have a butler included with your stay. Make sure you know which services the resort offers if you need a butler for your stay to be enjoyable.
- [28:57] Turndown service
Not many resorts offer turndown service, so if you’re someone who appreciates your room being cleaned or touched up while you’re enjoying your dinner in the restaurant, you may want to check whether or not this is an option.
- [30:12] Premium Liquors
Your taste is what it is. If you simply cannot deal with house liquor and wines, you’re going to have to make sure that you’re booking a resort that offers premium liquor options. Higher-level resorts usually offer premium liquors and wines included with your stay, while some lower level resorts might only offer them with higher-tier lounge and club level rooms. If you don’t make this known to your travel agent, you don’t get to complain that you didn’t have your favorite glass of champagne.
- [32:39] Kids Club
You would think a kids club would accommodate all ages. This is not true. Most resort kids clubs allow entry only from age 4 or 5 and upward.
If you have younger children, you will need to find resorts that offer activities for those ages.
These are some examples of what I was trying to say – a clean room is not all you want. It’s okay to have preferences and experience a certain type of vacation. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed because you want to have certain experiences.
You should feel bad for saying that all you want is a clean room; because that’s not all you want.
A good travel agent (hint hint) will help you meet your travel style, needs, and experiences. We cannot do that if you don’t give voice your preferences.
The goal of this episode was to help you think differently about vacations – you should select your vacation based on what you want to experience, not based on price.
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Check out the links to some of the things mentioned in this episode:
- The Erica James Travel Show Podcast Community
- Erica James on Instagram
- EJtheTravelDiva YouTube Channel