The Best Value vs The Cheapest Price

The Best Value versus the Cheapest Price

Often when I’ve been asked to price out an all-inclusive vacation for a customer who has already done some research or has a price in mind that they are hoping to beat it comes as a surprise to them that not all all-inclusive packages are created equal.  In a price sensitive environment, you might think that an all-inclusive air and land package from a specific city to a specific resort would basically not differ greatly but there are some things that are often overlooked.  When you see that super-low price that gets your attention be sure that you’ve closely checked all the details and be sure that you’re getting not just the best price but the best value for the vacation dollars you are spending.  There will be times when the “best price” isn’t necessarily the lowest price!  While the inclusions at the resort may not change based on the package you’ve purchased, your overall vacation experience encompasses more than just the resort stay.

Look closely at the flights.  Are they non-stop?  A one-stop connection?  Two-stops?  How long is the layover?  Have you selected flights that have you overnighting at an airport before your connection leaves?  You’d be surprised how many do it yourself travel planners missed the “AM” or “PM” in the flight connection times because they selected the cheapest option for their flights. Less desirable flight combinations are most often the least expensive but flights with longer layovers can often cut into the time you have to spend at the resort.  Most travel websites will first pull up the lowest price even though there are many times when better flights are available at just a slightly higher price.  For a few dollars more wouldn’t you rather spend that extra time at the beach? Pool? Having one more delicious cocktail – instead of sitting in an uncomfortable seat at the gate awaiting your next flight?  When you’re booked at an all-inclusive resort, the more time you get to spend at the resort the more you’ll get for the money you’ve paid!

Is transportation to and from the resort included? While there are some all-inclusive resorts that provide round trip transportation to and from their properties (Couples Resorts in Jamaica, Jewel Resorts in Jamaica, Hotel Xcaret in the Riviera Maya are a few that provide transfers to their guests) but there are many resorts that do not.  Pre-arranged transfers that are included in your package are an economical and convenient way to assure that when you land and exit from immigration and customs there is a car or van or bus ready to take you where you’re anxious to go.  Not only can this save you time and money, having this ground transportation pre-arranged allows you to exit the terminal and by-pass the aggressive sale people who await unsuspecting passengers and entice them with offers of “free transfers” or “free excursions that end up being a lengthy time-share sales pitch that takes hours out of your vacation!

Have you protected your travel dollars?  Whether it’s the actual weather, or you are feeling under the weather, or some unforeseen circumstance prevents you from being able to depart on your planned vacation purchasing Cancel for Any Reason/Trip Protection that guarantees you a full refund (less the cost of the coverage) if a situation arises that requires you to cancel as long as you do so before the scheduled departure of your first flight.  With prices starting as low as $99 per person (prices vary based on the value of your total package).  Or you can use this coverage to pay for change fees if instead of canceling you need to change dates.  While this adds to the cost of your package the coverage is something often overlooked but when needed is a real bonus!

While there are many websites that promise to find you the cheapest price available,  a professional travel consultant will make it their commitment to take the time to find a great price but will also do the extra work to assure that whatever the price is that you are paying is getting you the most for your dollars spent and giving you the best experience door-to-door on your vacation!

Happy Travels!