You may think an all inclusive holiday is an expensive way to travel, but knowing the entire cost of your trip in advance can be good for your budget. Jet lag plays havoc with the mind and it’s easy to overspend when you’re tired, hungry, cold or thirsty.
Hidden Costs of Airline Tickets
Advertised prices for airplane tickets may seem cheap but there are often additional charges. The cost shown may be for a one-way ticket, departure and arrival dates may be restricted and the number of available seats may be limited. Airlines are usually responsible for collecting sales tax, airport security fees and departure taxes, none of which they keep for their own use. These hidden charges increase the ticket cost, sometimes even causing the final price to double. A package trip can reduce the possibility of unpleasant financial surprises when the final bill arrives.
Depending on the proximity to the airport, transportation to and from a holiday resort or hotel can be costly. Tourists who are unfamiliar with a foreign country can be targeted by aggressive touts or over charged for taxi service. In most packages, transfers to and from the airport are included, so remember to enquire in advance about details.
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Taxes and Tipping
Hotel rooms are also subject to taxes and additional charges. Keeping track of whom to tip and how much can be stressful for travellers. Changing money into local currency for tips, usually small bills, can be a hassle and mistakes can be made if you’re tired or jetlagged. Tipping and taxes are built-in into the price of most all-inclusive resorts, ensuring consistent service and a guaranteed price.
Drinks and Dining
Food and beverage costs can take a big bite out of your budget. An all inclusive plan will usually provide meals and drinks at no extra charge. Generally speaking, the more expensive the resort, the higher the quality of food and drinks will be. Luxury packages may differ from one hotel to another, with some providing unlimited food, brand name liquor and bottled wine while others may impose a small surcharge for upgrades.
Eating at an all inclusive resort also eliminates the need to research, organize and pay for restaurant meals and transportation. Many allow visitors to sample complimentary food, drinks and amenities at other nearby affiliated properties.
Special Discounts and Tours
All inclusive vacations will sometimes offer discounted charges for tours, golf rounds and spa treatments, if they’re not already free. Before bloging, be sure to ask about additional promotions that can save even more money, such as free internet or long distance calls. Travellers unfamiliar with a resort’s amenities may miss out on special deals that are included in the cost of their stay, or overpay for ones that aren’t.
FA TIP: I’ve recently become a big fan of the all-inclusive vacation, but I still inquire about special privileges, like a free in-room safe, slippers, robes and nightly turn-down service.
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