> From the Deal Experts > How to Choose the Right Beach Vacation Package

How to Choose the Right Beach Vacation Package

All-inclusive beach vacations can be just what the doctor ordered -- a relaxing time where the hardest decision you’ll make involves which on-site restaurant to visit for dinner. But before jetting off to the land of tequila sunrises and water activities, it’s important to consider just how you want to spend that precious time off.

Sometimes, from afar, resorts can seem similar, but both locations and activities make all the difference when it comes to the overall experience.

To plan an all-inclusive trip that’s best suited to your interests, consider these important questions:

What’s the purpose of your vacation?

Are you looking to explore a new culture, or do you really just need to relax by the pool? For some people, the idea of sitting on the beach for seven days is paradise. For others, it gets old fast. If you don’t want to leave the resort, do you know if the property has access to an attractive beach with waters OK for swimming? Are there spacious pools on site? How many are there, and are they separated between adults and children?

If you like to sight-see or explore the local town, make sure that your resort is within walking or driving distance to a city of interest. Don’t stay too far away from the attractions if you’re set on adventure -- especially if there are landmarks such as the Mayan ruins, or destinations like Costa Rica’s rainforests that you’d like to explore.

Can you book excursions like snorkeling, zip-lining, etc.?

For those adventure seekers, check out what excursions are offered by the resort. Often times, a beach vacation is just right when supplemented with a little off-site exploration. Another tip is to look for travel agencies in the nearby town. It takes a bit more courage, but if you find a trusted source, you are sure to save money when compared with booking through the hotel.

Does food make or break your vacation?

When all of your meals are paid for, there’s no real reason to leave the resort in search of a local restaurant. But that sometimes comes at the expense of an authentic flair. If you’re a foodie, opt for a hotel package that includes breakfast, leaving lunch and dinner flexible. That way, you’ll have a reason to leave the resort and taste some local delicacies.

What kind of evening entertainment are you looking for?

It’s easy to visualize a day on the resort, but don’t forget about what happens after the sun sets on a beach vacation. Depending on the property, there may be a big difference between local restaurants or bars and the on-site discotheque (if there is one). Is the resort typically quiet, or is it known to have nightly entertainment? Are you close enough to a town to go out in the evening? Contemplate how you want to spend those warm nights and you’ll be sure to enjoy every minute of your trip.

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Tips by
Erin

Deal Expert, Toronto
Monday, February 6, 2012
See more Tips from
Erin Rubin