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Ditching the “All-Inclusive” in Favor of a Custom Vacation

Hands up if you have been on an all-inclusive trip at a resort or on a cruise ship. Many people see these types of packages as a chance to sit back, relax, eat, drink, and be merry. Since you pay everything upfront and there are few things you actually need to bring cash for, most consider it to be worth the cost- and why not? You get to eat and drink as much as you want, someone makes the bed for you every night, and don’t even have to bring your own towel!

However, if you are truly scoring such a deal, how is it that these resorts exist? How can they afford to provide you with such levels of “luxury” when they are getting so little money from each of their customers? Apart from the fact that man power and labor is often much cheaper at these locations, other things like food, property taxes, and often commodities like water and electricity are as well.

So wait, are you actually scoring an amazing deal? Are you getting everything you wanted out of your vacation for the price that you paid? Would you switch out a couple of things for services that come at an extra cost?

It might be time to plan your own custom vacation that will both cost you less and give you the option to pay for what you really want, not just what’s offered.

  1. Flight

A flight to a less-popular destination may be pricey, but look for opportunities to join a chartered flight that might be transporting vacationers to all-inclusive resorts. This might mean moving some dates around to match what is available, but this alone might actually be the starting point of your savings, as airlines are willing to drop the price of their seats in order to fill them up. You might also want to consider flying to major airports and then renting a car or arranging alternate transportation from there.

  1. Accommodations

Once you stop looking at just all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find that your options for accommodations are almost limitless. From casual motel-like rooms directly on the beach, to apartments in a bustling town, or unique places like tree houses, by taking off the “inclusive” aspect, you’ll find that you have more freedom to create a really life changing vacation. This also lets you venture out to places where all-inclusive resorts aren’t popular or are just not affordable. It will let you find unique places to stay in Turks and Caicos including luxury villas which your local travel agent wouldn’t even know about.

  1. Food and Drink

Is the point of going all-inclusive to gorge yourself at the buffet? If so, continue visiting all-inclusive resorts. If you are just looking to not have to worry about preparing food or value quality over quantity, you’ll likely find better and more authentic foods outside of a resort. Since restaurants needs to compete for the consumer, it pushes them to produce amazing dishes at affordable prices. In most cases you can stick to a budget that would challenge that of resort food but with better quality more authentic flavor.

  1. Entertainment

When you travel to a resort, a portion of the price you pay goes towards entertainment like SCUBA lessons in the pool, the animators who try to engage visitors, nightly shows at the amphitheater and more. If these don’t interest you, why are you paying for them? It’s better to pay for services that you’ll actually use, like a local cuisine cooking lesson, an excursion to a private island for a day, or surf gear rental. Since you are from outside a resort, you’re more likely to get the “local’s fare” for it, therefore avoid paying a “tourist” premium you would otherwise have to cover.

When you plan your own custom vacation, you get more of a say of what your budget goes towards. If you want to have better food but don’t care to have a luxury accommodation, or rather have your own private beach, but don’t mind mixing your own drinks, or just have an idea for the perfect vacation outside what most people get at an all-inclusive resort, don’t shy away from making these plans come to life. It might take more research and time; however, you will attain your dream vacation by breaking the all-inclusive mold, not breaking the bank.

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