Should you Go All-Inclusive?

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When you want to go on vacation, suddenly there are many decisions to make. Should you go to an island , Europe or a ski resort? Should you take the kids or go to a romantic adults-only resort?

How long should you stay? How much can you afford to spend?

That last question often prompts another question – should you book your vacation at an all-inclusive resort or not. And yes, there are all-inclusive ski resorts as well as Caribbean island resorts!

The biggest value add of an all-inclusive is not having to worry about anything since most everything will be included: three meals a day, soft drinks, and some beer, wine and spirits, beach chairs and umbrellas, pool and beach activities and taxes. Some resorts offer water sports, such as scuba diving, kayaking and windsurfing. Often children’s activities in the form of a Kid’s Club are included at family all-inclusive resorts as well. Ski resorts usually include lift tickets and even some ski instruction!

It’s important to note that all-inclusive resorts do not always include ALL of your expenses, however. Land excursions, such as golfing and touring local spots generally are not included. Motorized water sports are usually not included. Also, if you want to toast your vacation with a bottle of Dom Perignon, that and other high-end liquors will probably be extra, if available. Gratuities are often not included, although some high-end resorts advertise that gratuities are not required.

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But, the all-inclusive resort does allow you to budget and not worry about receiving a big bill at the end of your vacation. No surprises means greater peace of mind while travelling – not a small thing at all!

Here are some who would enjoy All-Inclusive resorts:

All-Inclusive Resorts:

  • Families with children who enjoy engaging with other children in kid’s clubs (best ages are 5-12)
  • People who are primarily looking for rest and relaxation on a beach and by a pool with a spa nearby – couples should consider an Adults Only resort for total relaxation and seclusion.

However, all-inclusive resorts are not for everyone. For example, here are some that would probably not enjoy an all-inclusive.

  1. Vacationers who do not drink much or at all (those swim-up bars get pretty noisy around 4pm when people have been drinking all day)
  2. People who like to explore an area and get immersed in the culture of the destination. When you have prepaid all your meals and beverages at an all-inclusive, it is pretty difficult to justify a lot of “off-campus” time for local meals, for example. Plus, why bother when there are so many activities at the resort?

Location may dictate your choice of resort. All-inclusive resorts are concentrated in Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico (with some on other islands such as Aruba and Barbados, for example). Many all-inclusive ski resorts can be found in France, Italy and Switzerland through Club Med.

Whether you choose an all-inclusive resort or a resort with a European Plan (no meals or beverages included) will all come down to your idea of a dream vacation and your budget. A travel agent can help you figure out what works best for you – depending on who you are traveling with, where you are looking to go, and what you enjoy most on your vacation!

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Hidden Gems of Italy

Now that summer vacation is in full swing, thoughts of Italy come to mind as a lot of travelers visit the big three: Rome, Florence and Venice – with Amalfi Coast right behind them in terms of popularity. But what some relish is the path less traveled – Umbria, Piedmont Region, and Sicily.

With a perfect geographical location, just one hour by car or train from Rome or Florence, Umbria is an ideal destination for those in search of art and culture. The region is celebrated as “the Green Heart of Italy” for all the olive groves and vineyards, which populate this area. Stay in Relais il Castello – a historic residence in a medieval village named Monte Castello di Vibio near Perugia (the capital of Umbria) where you can take a cooking class at the hotel or visit the nearby Arnaldo Caprai Winery. A very reasonable accommodation with all the comforts of home, but with a unique ambiance that will definitely remind you that you are in Italy, not Connecticut. What’s more, you can rent a car and use it as a base to explore other towns such as Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Florence or Rome.

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