Are you looking for cheap all inclusive vacation packages? It doesn’t really matter if you have already been to an all-inclusive resort or not, everyone wants to know how to find the best deals on an all-inclusive vacation. All-inclusive resorts can really offer you the most bang for your buck if you know how to choose the right one. For more info on how to choose the right all-inclusive resort for you click here.
Now that you know what kind of all-inclusive resort you want let’s look at how you can be sure you are getting the best deal for that dream vacation.
PICK THE RIGHT TIME TO GO
Every destination has it’s high and low seasons. If you can be flexible in the time of year you vacation then start researching the best travel times for that location. For instance, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually a great time to get deals in the Caribbean and Mexico. If you plan to travel to Europe a good time is the week right after Labor Day. Family resorts can have higher rates during the summer months when kids are out of school and during school breaks. The time of year you choose can mean a big difference in the price you pay.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
Where you go can make a huge difference in how much you spend. Booking a resort in Bora Bora can be vastly different than booking a trip to the Riviera Maya. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and the Cancun/ Riviera Maya in Mexico are popular destinations and often you can find charter flights or great package deals to those destinations. Choosing a popular destination with a lot of resorts opens you up to better deals. You also want to consider the distance from the airport to the resort. You may think you found a great deal only to find out the shuttle service from the airport to the resort is an extra $200.00!
BOOK YOUR TRIP EARLY OR LAST MINUTE
Start looking for deals about 9 – 11 months before you want to travel. Many resorts will offer early booking deals. When booking early also ask your resort if they offer price match or refunds if they run a sale after you make the reservation. If you have flexibility in your schedule then last minute deals can also be found, Apple Red and BookVIP often have amazing deals like this one 5 Star Cabo Beach Resort on last-minute all-inclusive packages. Resorts want to fill their rooms and will often offer incredible savings last minute if they have a surplus of rooms left open.
PICK A RESORT THAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS
Choosing the right all-inclusive resort for you is very important. If you do not know how to choose you can check out an earlier post from us here. You do not want to spend the money on a romantic getaway for two only to discover you booked it at a family resort that caters to the under 5 crowd. The most important first step in choosing the resort is what type of vacation you are interested in. Are you looking for a family vacation or an adults-only experience? From there you can narrow things down by the age of the children you are traveling with, if you will need day-care, what kind of activities the resort offers, if they have wristbands, if they have different levels to the all-inclusive program. It won’t matter if you find a great deal if the resort is all wrong for you.
READ THE FINE PRINT
Make sure to verify what the deal you found actually includes. I heard one horror story from someone that found an amazing deal, booked it immediately, and then found out that the “all-inclusive” fee was extra! Read the fine print and make sure there are no hidden costs or surprises. Watch out for things like “gratuities charged at end of stay” or “service fees may be applied”. Look up what all-inclusive actually includes on the specific resort you find a deal on. Some resorts don’t include alcohol, or they limit the brands that are included. Some resorts offer only a couple restaurants that are in the all-inclusive package and the others you have to pay for. Not all resorts are equal so read reviews and check the resort site before booking.
LOOK FOR PACKAGE DEALS
Look for packages that offer air and the resort together. Apple Vacations offers a lot of these package deals and so does BookVIP. If you do find a great package deal make sure to check the flight details carefully. Look for how many layovers you will have and how long. If you are flying with young children and layovers are an issue it may be better to pay a little more and choose the flight you want.
SIT THROUGH A TIMESHARE OR VACATION CLUB PITCH
If you can stand sitting through a 2-hour sales pitch then you can often find great deals for agreeing to attend a presentation on the resorts vacation club. Bookit sells a lot of cheap all-inclusive packages but most include an agreement that you will attend a presentation. If you hear of a vacation club program (Hilton Grand Vacations, AM Resorts Unlimited Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club) call the resort you are interested in and ask them if they offer any special package pricing if you are interested in hearing the presentation. Be warned, they will tell you it’s a 30-minute presentation but I have never gotten out of one in less than 2 hours.
TRAVEL FROM A MAJOR AIRPORT HUB
If you do not live near a major international airport then check the flight cost from airports nearby. Sometimes driving an extra hour can save you several hundred dollars. Check the airports nearby your destination as well. For instance, if you are flying into Cozumel you may find a cheaper flight flying into Cancun. You then must figure the cost of transportation from that airport to your resort to determine if the deal is worth it. You can often find cheap flights on Priceline I provided the link below to their flight page.
BE FLEXIBLE ON THE TIME AND DAY YOU CAN TRAVEL
If you are open to the time of day or the day of the week you can find some great deals on flights. For instance, Airfarewatchdog says that you can find the best prices on flights if you fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Look at a site like Google Flights that will show you a calendar view so that you can determine the best day to fly to your destination. The time you fly can make a big difference too. Early morning flights are often the most expensive while evening flights can be much cheaper. Another trick to finding great prices on airfare is booking multiple destinations. My airport offers cheap flights to Las Vegas all the time but never has cheap flights to Mexico. Vegas often offers cheap flights everywhere, so I have booked one roundtrip flight to Vegas and then booked another round-trip flight in and out of Las Vegas to my ultimate destination. You may wind up with a long layover and the hassle of going through security twice but if you have the time and the patience it can save you a lot of money.
TRAVEL WITH A GROUP
If you have a large family or a large group of friends you want to travel with you can sometimes book at a group rate. Call the resort directly or a travel agent and ask about group pricing.
USE DISCOUNT SITES TO BOOK CHEAP ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION PACKAGES
Check prices on discount sites like Priceline, BookVIP, Cheapvacations, or Apple Vacations
They can often offer you savings that you would never find by booking direct. Be sure to look carefully for any hidden fees when booking through a third party site. Below are a few deals I found on some of these sites, read the fine print to see if they require you to attend a sales pitch.
I always recommend reading reviews before you choose. I like Trip Advisor for real reviews from people that have recently been to the resort I am researching. Make sure to look at both the good and the bad reviews to get a good idea. Star value alone will not give you the kind of information reading customer reviews will offer. Don’t be afraid to call the resort directly either. You can sometimes tell them you found a price online and you just want to know if they have any current specials that may be less. If your travel dates fall on a slow week for them they may offer you a lower price.