How Should I Book an All-Inclusive Resort?

Once you’ve decided on when and where you’d like to vacation, the next step is booking! The most common ways to book an all-inclusive resort are through a Travel Agent, through a third-party site (Expedia, TripAdvisor, etc.), or directly with the resort itself. Many travelers also find package deals that include the airfare and resort stay for one set price. There are pros and cons to booking an all-inclusive resort, no matter how it’s done. After reading below, pick the best option that fits your vacation and budget needs.

Travel Agents

Just a few decades ago, booking any type of vacation had to be done through a hired Travel Agent. Although there are other ways to book a vacation today, Travel Agents are still a popular and common way to do so for many people.

The Pros of booking an all-inclusive resort with a Travel Agent are that someone else besides you can take care of the hassles and headaches that are often side-effects of the booking process. A Travel Agent could also provide you with package deals that include your airfare and transportation to and from the resort. This would save you that extra step of figuring out transportation yourself, and may even save you money, depending on the package. A Travel Agent also provides you with personal experience and catered help. You have a real human’s help in booking, as opposed to a website or computer, and they can usually clear up any questions you have prior to, during, and after your vacation. Travel Agents make a career out of helping you find the best all-inclusive resort, and are pros at narrowing down the countless options that pop up when searching where you’ll vacation.

The Cons of booking an all-inclusive resort with a Travel Agent are that it typically costs you more than booking the resort yourself. By using a Travel Agent or Agency, you’re paying for someone else to take care of the booking for you, often adding on an additional $100-$200. Today the Internet often makes it easier to book your own vacations, without involving and paying for a third person’s help. Another drawback of booking through a Travel Agent is that they’re often not as flexible as you’d prefer. You may not be able to move your dates around, or pick your prefered airline, which could have saved you money. Booking directly with the resort itself is one of the best ways to ensure you travel and relax on the days you desire. Travel Agents are often paid on commission, and may not have your best interest in mind. They may push a certain resort or package deal on you which benefits them, but not you. This also limits your flexibility and choice when it comes to which all-inclusive resort you book.

Third-Party Sites

With the Internet often at our fingertips, using third-party sites to book your next vacation is growing more and more common. Sites such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, and CheapCaribbean are another way to book your all-inclusive resort.

The Pros of using a third-party site to book your vacation are that you can sometimes find cheaper deals than if you’d booked with the resort itself. Sites are often able to sell extra rooms or rooms during off-seasons at much lower prices. Another benefit is that you can filter your search to help you find the best results for your specific needs. You can determine what you absolutely must have at your resort i.e. two beds, 24-hour room service, spas, etc. and find results that closely match what you’re looking for. Booking through third-party sites also provides you with plenty of customer reviews. You’re able to read real testimonials of people who have stayed at the same resorts you’re looking at booking.

The Cons of booking an all-inclusive resort through a third-party site are that the price you first see is not always the price you’ll end up paying at checkout. Third party websites often draw visitor’s attention to their page with flashy sales and last-minute deals. They also tease you in by showing you the price per person per night, then add on all sorts of fees and taxes on the checkout page. Some sites are notorious for huge differences in the initial and final price they offer. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Sometimes booking through a third-party site gets you the room, but leaves out all the goodies of staying at an all-inclusive resort. We once got a great deal on a room when using, only to be disappointed upon checking in that our “included” breakfast would actually cost additional. Be sure to read all of the fine-print if you book your vacation through a third-party link. We’ll guarantee that the results using our All-Inclusive Resort Search will provide you with both the lodging and those all-inclusive goodies!

The All-Inclusive Resort Itself

Most all-inclusive resorts allow you to book a stay with them directly on their website or over the phone.

The Pros of booking directly with the all-inclusive resort that you choose includes booking with the experts. Who knows the resort better than the employees that work, and often live there themselves? When booking directly with the resort, you’re able to communicate with someone who has first-hand knowledge of the resort, clearing up any miscommunications or questions you have prior to arriving. Another advantage of booking with the resort is that you may end up saving money. By cutting out the middleman Travel Agent and third-party sites, a resort can often offer you the best price. Some travelers have even found that they’re able to negotiate a better price, receive additional perks, or even request a specific room when directly booking with the resort they’ve picked. Another perk of booking directly with the resort itself is that you can avoid package deals. If there is a problem with either your flight or your resort, at least you have a little leverage and flexibility, instead of the entire vacation being ruined.

The Cons of booking directly with an all-inclusive resort are that your resort doesn’t offer a refund policy or trip insurance. Emergencies can arise when we least expect them, and it’s great to have a back-up plan or get your money back on a vacation that had to be canceled. When booking outside of the resort, you may come across refund policies and trip insurance that will have you covered in case an emergency occurs. When booking directly with the all-inclusive resort, you may find that prices peak during certain seasons, like Winter. To find the best rates when directly booking with the resort, try staying during the middle of the week as opposed to a weekend, or during the summer months. Resorts in the Caribbean typically drop their prices once more during August, as it’s hurricane season. You’ll probably want some trip insurance due to natural disasters, though, and that could end up costing you a pretty penny on the side.

In short, there are many ways to book your all-inclusive resort. Be aware of the pros and cons of each method, and then choose which type is best for you. When you use our All-Inclusive Resort Search, the results may include third party sites and affiliate links to help keep All Inclusivist running.