What Is The Best Way To Book Your Next All Inclusive Vacation? Here Is Our Thoughts
It’s a dilemma. Should I purchase my next all inclusive vacation as a package or should I purchase the vacation in separate segments. What really is the best way to purchase my next all inclusive vacation?
With between 20% and 30% of the flights from the Caribbean consisting of charter flights and are sold almost exclusively as a package, the answer about the best way to purchase your vacation becomes a bit more complicated. Why? Charter flights are almost always cheaper. But they have their drawbacks. Charter flight schedules are not flexible. They fly on only certain days. If you want to fly on a Tuesday you may not be able to take advantage of the cheaper charter flights. Charter airplanes are cramped. There is no way to get around the fact that charter flights have narrower seats. Three hour flights in the center seat can be a challenge to even the hardiest traveler. If your flight is delayed or canceled the charter operators do not have to give you a refund until you flight’s been delayed 48 hours. These three limitations are significant to many travelers. Of the many charter flights we have flown, delays admittedly seem to be more common than not. In fact, on one flight from Jamaica, the charter operator failed to file the correct documents to fly over Cuba, causing our flight to be diverted to Orlando, Florida before reaching our final destination New Orleans. The jet did not have enough fuel to fly around Cuba causing the extra non-scheduled stop in Orlando. We were unloaded, cleared customs and reloaded only after the pilot used his own credit card to purchase additional fuel, before we flew on to New Orleans, landing eight hours after our scheduled arrival.
However, our experience is that if you book your charter flight with a reputable vacation company, you will be reimbursed for your unusual inconvenience. All charter flights are non-stop, saving hours off of the scheduled airline’s plane changes at their hubs that are inevitable flying commercial.
Booking separately creates its own set of problems. By booking each portion of your vacation individually it is difficult to know if you are really getting the best price. Plan on investing a significant amount of time searching individual properties web sites or calling travel agents to make a comparison. Do you really know you are getting the best price? The reason to book separately after all is to get the best price. Booking separately also means that you don’t have access to the buying power of the large vacation company They buy in bulk and pass the savings on to you to coin a phrase. Remember, that if you do book separately you will be required to purchase most, if not all, of your vacation up front. You will be paying for it all, sometimes months in advance before traveling. The all inclusive charter package purchased from the vacation company usually requires a small deposit with a final payment due 60 days before your departure date. This can be a very big consideration for newly weds planning their honeymoon.
So really if you want to get the best value for your next all inclusive vacation our recommendation is to price the package first. Most large vacation companies and the individual commercial airlines vacation companies have packages and book both air, transfers and hotels at one price. Check more than one company or have your travel agent do the pricing for you. After getting a range of prices, it is then time to take a look at individually pricing. Make sure you factor in the transfers from the airport to the resort and back. Landing in a third world country without taking into account the ride to the resort can be a challenge. Do you really want to take that broken down van to the resort? Or if your plane is delayed do you want to chance not having a way to get to the resort?
With your price comparisons in hand, factoring in the entire cost of your trip including transfers, the problems with charter flights, and the amount of money needed to book the vacation right now, it is time to make a decision. One more consideration is to make sure you are purchasing like packages. Price shouldn’t be your prime consideration. It has to fit what you really want or meet half way to save some money. Whatever choice you make, relax it’s the right one. You are going to have a great vacation.