From the Archives :: All-Inclusive Tricks of the Trade

all inclusive tricks + booking + staying[trip style = all-inclusive] {Note, this was originally published February 3rd, 2010 and has been reposted with enhancements as part of All-Inclusive Month.}

Here's some insider knowledge for next time you entertain the thought of an all-inclusive trip style...

Booking your Trip Booking Options

  • Resort direct.  If you have a preferred all-inclusive, get on their newsletter list, friend them on facebook and follow them on twitter. This way, you’ll be the first to know about insider-only deals.
  • Resellers.  Here are a few of my faves:
    • Canada –,
    • USA –,

While There

  • Most all-inclusives have tiled floors. If you're on a low floor it can be loud above. As such, I always ask for a room away from the elevator on the top floor.
  • Most resorts outsource the airport transfer, therefore, even if you're staying at a super all-inclusive that doesn't allow tipping, make sure you have a few extra dollars for tipping the driver to and from the airport.
  • If there's a Teppanyaki restaurant, go there the first night. It's a great way to meet people so there's a few familiar faces at the resort for your week.
  • Once you get to the resort, I know your first priority will be to hit the beach, but after the sun goes down {or the next morning} do a self-guided tour of the resort to get a lay of the land. It's the worst when you discover a great beach area or restaurant on the last day!
  • If you're there with your family or a group and want to stay in touch, bring walkie-talkies.
  • Unlimited bevs + baking in the Caribbean sun can be a lethal combination. Pace yourself.
  • If you go in high season and want a premium spot on the beach or at the pool, you may have to get up early to reserve your preferred spot. This is not true for every resort, and depending on your room category, a butler may do this for you. Last year, I stayed at the Sandals Whitehouse and always got an excellent spot on the beach between 10 – 11am. This depends on occupancy, time of year and beach chair to guest ratio.
  • Bring an insulated travel mug to minimize trips to the nearest watering hole and to keep your drink cool.
  • Pack a collapsable beach bag. When you’re catchin’ rays away from your room for the better part of the day, you’ll want a place to put items like sunscreen, camera, room key, water bottle, books, mags, iPod, beach cover-up, etc…
  • Don’t come back with bites all over your legs {don’t laugh, I see it happen to guests every time I visit all-inclusives in the Caribbean}. Bring insect repellant just in case. The Caribbean is lush and sandy, hence noseeums, sand flies, etc…
  • Finally, this is important on any trip, but remember to wash/sanitize hands regularly. A lot of people in one place means flus can spread quickly.

Related All-inclusive Month :: Introductions All-Inclusive Month :: Matchmaking All-Inclusive Month :: Packaged VS Unpackaged Don’t Judge an All-Inclusive until Day 3 :: 7 Reason to Wait to Evaluate A Redo trip :: What to do when an all-inclusive experience goes belly-up Update on my Redo Trip :: An overview of the highs and lows of the Sandals WhiteHouse