Have you ever been clothes shopping and seen an item that says, “One size fits most?” You go and try it on and it doesn’t fit just right, it’s either just too long, or too snug, or just doesn’t feel quite right? It’s the same with all inclusive resorts. You can always go with the cheapest because they all have food and drinks however as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for.”
There are some questions you need to ask yourself when choosing an all inclusive resort, to find which one is best for you. First of all, are you traveling with your kids or are you traveling with your friends, or with your significant other?
If you are traveling with your family you are going to want to find a resort that is family friendly. You will also want to find one that suits your family’s needs and tastes. For example, perhaps your kids are soccer players and you would like to take them on a family vacation that would include a soccer camp for them a few hours a day, Club Med would be the place for you. Many resorts include fun filled kids clubs for your children to have fun all day, while you relax at the beach or pool and then you all gather at night.
If you are traveling with your adult friends, perhaps a few couples you may not want to go to a family resort, you would want to go to an adults only all inclusive, or go to a resort that has an area that is for adults only. Or if you are with your significant other you may want to go to a resort that is for couples only. I know that if I’m going away with Mark for a romantic vacation alone, as much as I love my kids, I don’t want to go somewhere where there are other people’s kids. I like to sit in the pool and not get splashed. Now when I’m with the kids it’s a whole different ballgame, I don’t care if I’m with 101 different families. There are resorts that specialize to single and to couples.
Are you adventurous? Do you want to get out and try new things? How about flying on a trapeze? Do you want to snorkel? Swim with the dolphins? Or how about eating something exocitc? Or perhaps a tequila tasting? There are resorts that specialize in these things as well. Many resorts offer adventures both on site and off site. Some are included in the price of your room, and some are an additional fee.
Now for the relaxation part….. If you are all about the spa did you know that you can even get an all inclusive that includes spa treatments? There is truly something for everyone.
Do you like a wide variety of restaurants? Do you want gourmet food or do you want more buffets? What type of dining experiences do you want on your vacation?
Resorts come in all different sizes as well. You have to decide if you want a huge resort that you will have to either take a tram or trolley to get around or a smaller more intimate resort. Or maybe something in between.
As you can see there are so many choices in resorts. That’s why working with a travel agent is a great way to find the resort that is right for you. Sitting down and figuring out your tastes, wants, and needs and matching it to the right resort is what we do.
Until Next time… happy travels!
When budgeting for your next vacation, whether it’s your honeymoon, a family vacation, or a weekend getaway we all have a spending plan that we need to follow. We all start with the big number and then have to break it down. However there are the things that we sometimes don’t think of that we need think about adding in.
If flying to our destination, how will we get to the airport? And will we need to park the car there while we are gone? Will you need a park, stay, fly package because your flight leaves really early in the morning? Can you Uber to and from your home airport? When you arrive at your destination will you need transfers to your resort or cruise port? Or are you staying where you can take either a taxi or rideshare like Uber or LYFT?
A lot of us like to go to all inclusive resorts. However, not all of them include tips in the price of the package. You will need to bring cash to tip the staff at the resorts. And don’t forget when on a cruise, you can either pre-pay your tips or you can bring cash along to tip them.
On a cruise when you are in port you will need to pay for excursions. These are an extra fee. You can easily spend $50 to $150 per person extra per port per activity.
All inclusive stays can add on additional costs for things like green fees if you are a golfer, motorized sports, and spa treatments. You can also take excursions on and off of the resort for additional fees similar to the cruise port excursion fees. A good example of this is swimming with the dolphins. Even though you are not on a cruise, you may want to leave the resort and have this once in a lifetime experience. Your resort may offer this as a day’s excursion with an additional fee for the experience.
Travel Protection. The one thing that isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about, however it is something to think about. What is travel protection? Travel Protection is a way to help protect your travel investments, belongings, health and safety and other losses related to travel. You can get plans that cover anything from trip cancellation and interruption, emergency illness or injury, baggage loss delay or theft, bankruptcy of the travel supplier, unexpected travel delay and more. Prices and coverage of the plans vary from state to state. Your travel agent can you get a quote and you can speak with the travel insurance company if you have questions on the plan and exactly what it covers.
As you can see there are more things to add into the spending plan than just the package itself. However these other items are just as important. They may not be the sexiest part of travel, however it’s all something to think about and discuss when putting together the spending plan.
And until next time….. Happy travels!
When taking a cruise, the highlight of the cruise are the ports. It’s exciting to stop and see the sights, or to have that once in a lifetime experience, like swimming with the dolphins or with the stingrays. But what do you bring? Here’s a few items that are a must have when going into port.
First of all NEVER forget your cruise card when getting off of the ship. Every ship has a way of identifying you, either by a cruise card, or a band, or a medallion. When you initially board the ship you will get this and the cruise line will give you your card. Most likely this will be how you get into your room, make charges on the ship, and how they will know who you are when you get on and off the ship.
I always bring my smartphone. I know that it goes without saying in today’s world, however, there are quite a few reasons I bring my smart phone. First of all, before I leave the US I setup my phone to make sure that I have the proper phone plan and data plan is setup for the countries that I am visiting. I also use it as a camera when on land, and I use it as a watch to keep time.
Speaking of a watch, don’t forget that you MUST always go by ship time not by the time of the port. In other words, if your ship time is Eastern Standard Time, and the port is on Central Standard Time, when the Captain says to be back at 4 PM, the ship is leaving at 4:30PM it is leaving at 4:30PM Eastern Standard Time.
I bring some cash for shopping for souvenirs and trinkets. I always want to make sure that if I’m taking a tour that I have enough cash for tips. I also bring a credit card. Before I leave home I call the bank to let them know that I will be on vacation and visiting these particular ports. This way they know that my credit card will be used in the following countries.
If I’m doing a water activity like snorkeling, swimming with the dolphins, or just hanging out at the beach I always bring my waterproof camera since my smartphone can’t get wet.
And to protect myself from the sun, I bring suntan lotion, and a hat. I also bring a bottle of water from the ship. I never want to get dehydrated while off of the ship.
I also bring mosquito repellent with me when in port. With the Zika Virus a lot of cruise ships offer it however I always like to have my own with me.
My last few articles have been about what to pack. I’m a total fan of the ocean cruise, and if you’ve been reading them you know that I’m an avid packer I like to bring all the comforts of home. One of the biggest ones, a nightlight. However there are things that need to stay behind. What are they? Here’s the top items….
Alcohol. Yes, you can purchase alcohol either by the drink on the cruise or by a package so it’s basically like an all inclusive. There’s even a cruise line that offers an all inclusive cruise with the alcohol included. However, you can’t bring your own to drink.
Anything that would produce heat or an open flame. That includes…...
Coffee makers. Nope, again this is a no no. These are not allowed on a cruise ship. You can order room service to get that morning cup of coffee. Or better yet, go to one of the many restaurant offerings to get a Cup of Joe.
Hot plates. This one always amazes me. Especially with today’s ships there are so many food options that I wouldn’t want to cook anything. Plus I’m on vacation and I don’t want to cook and most importantly I don’t want to CLEAN at all!! Yes I LOVE LOVE LOVE my room steward!
Irons and clothes steamers. These are No No’s as well. What works best in it’s place… my beloved Downy Wrinkle Releaser! Yes!! It has saved me many a time. Just spray and tug. If you have something that won’t work with either Downy Wrinkle Releaser or being left hanging in the bathroom while showering, there is always a laundry service that you can call to have them press it for you.
Candles and incense. Again these produce open flames, and let's face it we all don’t want want a fire at sea.
Drones and game flying discs. Not only for the safety of the vessel, for the safety of the other passengers.
Each cruise line has it’s own listing of items of prohibited items. For example Disney Cruise Line doesn’t allow over the door hangers of any kind because it can scratch or disfigure the the stateroom doors and\or trim. And Norwegian Cruise Lines doesn’t allow the Galaxy Note 7 on their ships. The Federal Aviation Administration has banned the Samsung Galaxy Note7 from all air travel, and until further notice, this device will be restricted from all Norwegian Cruise Line ships, due to fire concerns.
So how do you figure out what to bring and not bring on your next cruise? You can ask your travel agent to give you a link to the information from the cruise line that they booked you with. It’s best to always check BEFORE you pack and leave. Not only because you will get the contraband taken away, but because most likely you will be air travel to get there and those precious luggage pounds are literally worth their weight in gold. Happy Travels!
Tina Moczynski is a member of the GTN network. And loves to travel with both her husband and her three boys.