Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is All Inclusive Deals?
All Inclusive Deals is the sister company to PreferredVacations.com and has been offering amazing online discounts for all inclusive vacation packages since 2001. AllinclusiveDeals.com was acquired by Preferred Vacations in April, 2018 and has additional leverage with wholesale travel suppliers to bring even better deals to our growing clientele.
2. What is an all inclusive vacation?
There are many interpretations of what makes up an all inclusive vacation. The generally accepted rule is what has been previously defined by our CEO, Tom Carr. Carr founded one of the original online travel companies dedicated solely to the all inclusive vacation. In Carr’s experience, the general definition of all inclusive vacations must include the following:
“All meals (to included a minimum of breakfast, lunch and dinner), all drinks (including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks), gratuities, taxes, your chosen accommodations, a selection of inclusive daily activities (to include a selection of non-motorized water sports at resorts), and nightly entertainment.”
Carr also believes that airport transfers are a necessary component to consider when pricing all inclusive packages. Resorts and retailers often leave the transfers off of their quotes so that pricing looks better than similar packages that already include the transfers. One way or another, you will need a transfer to your resort.
With respect to airfare, the inclusion of airfare would round out the all inclusive vacation, but there are instances when a client chooses to use mileage/points or prefers to book their own airfare.
Carr states the following, “If you see a package that does not include one of the key components that I list in my definition, then it isn’t truly all inclusive. It might be “inclusive” or “semi-inclusive” or a “limited all inclusive”, so it’s best to do your research and employ the services of a trained agent.”
3. How do I get the best deal on an all inclusive vacation?
We have forged long-standing relationships with some of the industry’s top wholesalers for air/hotel packages and can offer deals not available to the general public. We search the major OTAs (Expedia, Booking.com, etc) and compare rates with our wholesalers that only offer their packages through the travel agent community to arrive at the best possible pricing for your vacation.
4. When is the best time to travel to get the best deal on all inclusive packages?
For the Caribbean, fall travel is the best time to look for deals. Even though it’s the peak of hurricane season, the chances of encountering a storm are very low. However, many people choose to overlook these dates out of fear and therefore, the resorts heavily discount during this period. September and October are best for the best prices! We offer a Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan that will allow you to cancel up until just before travel and receive a full refund. If the weather looks a little questionable, you just make a simple call and it’s all taken care of. Look for discounts of 30% or more over and above the best deals that resorts offer during the remainder of the year. As travel agents/consultants, we’ve all traveled extensively during this period since many of the hotels host agent learning trips during the off-season.
5. Where are all inclusive resorts located?
Primarily in the Caribbean and Mexico. This concept was originated by Club Med and further enhanced by hoteliers on the island of Jamaica. The development of all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean spread to other islands and then to the tourist areas of Mexico. The Big 3 Destinations are Cancun/Riviera Maya, Jamaica, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Costa Rica has a number of all inclusive resorts and Panama has options. Generally, the USA is not an option for those seeking all inclusive. Florida does have the Club Med Sandpiper and Eden Roc in Miami that offer a traditional package. Several others claim to offer it, but the concept hasn’t taken hold in the US Mainland.
Club Med has all inclusive resorts around the world and notably, all inclusive ski packages in Europe. A trip to the French Alps means inclusive ski!
Once you venture out beyond the main areas or Club Med, the all inclusive offering is really questionable. If you read about our CEO’s definition of all inclusive, you really have to do your due diligence to see what is really included. For example, some agencies purport to offer Hawaii all inclusive packages, but they are really just fluff. A meal here or there, a welcome drink, a few tours…but that is not a fully all inclusive vacation. And your pocketbook will take a hit in the end.
It’s best to stay with the Caribbean and Mexico if you want a truly worry-free vacation where you know the true up-front cost!
6. What do all inclusive resorts cost per night?
Resort costs for a fully all inclusive resort begin at $150/person per night. While we have seen lower rates during less than desirable travel circumstances (after 9/11 or other catastrophic events), $150/person per night should be a good starting point. Luxury all inclusive in the 5-Star category can approach $500-$800/person per night depending upon your accommodations. We think the sweet spot for the best experience is somewhere in between those levels.
7. Are all inclusive vacations worth it?
If you just read our answer about how much all inclusives cost per night, a quick comparison of nightly costs in New York City, San Francisco or Miami might lead us to the answer to this question! In reviewing several studies on the average nightly rate in these cities, we found that NYC averages $270+-, San Francisco is $275+- and Miami $200+- a few dollars either way. Miami in winter is extremely expensive.
And what do you get for the hotels in these major USA cities? A place to sleep…
What do you get with the all inclusive resorts? Pretty much everything you need. All meals, drinks (including those cocktails that will cost $12-$20 a piece in the US tourist areas), tips (which can really add up in the states), taxes, daily activities (think free snorkeling, kayaking and more), nightly entertainment (no show tickets to buy, etc) and typically your airport transfers (no valet parking or self parking fees of $30+).
Airfare could be more, depending on where you are flying from, but definitely the all inclusive vacation wins out over vacationing in the bigger USA destinations. And we found that hotel rates in smaller US cities and resort areas average $150 per night. It makes $150/person per night seem like a great deal against anything we might found in the states.