The Best All Inclusive Travel Packages

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The Best All Inclusive Travel Packages
The Best All Inclusive Travel Packages (Image: User kevindooley on Flickr Creative Commons, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/3777170527/)

If you're willing to invest time up front in searching for an all-inclusive travel package, you could get a great deal on travel to and from your destination. The point of an all-inclusive travel package is that the sum total of its components will be cheaper than all of the separate parts would have been if combined normally. The packages traditionally cover round-trip airfare (or other travel methods), lodging costs, and sometimes transportation or food during travel times.

Planning

First, plan your trip. Consider how many people will be traveling, how long you want to be gone, and where you're going. It's easier to find all-inclusive packages for some vacation destinations than for others, so you may be better off booking through a travel agent if you can't find many deals for your destination. Flexibility is key in the planning process. If you can alter your travel dates or if you're open to staying in an area of your destination that's a bit farther away from the usual tourist attractions, you may be able to get a better deal.

Online Searching

All-inclusive travel packages are available at many different websites, including directly through major airlines' sites. You should also try searching at travel engines that will compare all-inclusive packages or display lists of the best deals. These sites include Kayak, Sidestep, Travelocity and Budget Travel. Exploring options with a different number of travelers or several different travel months can help you narrow the pool to all-inclusive packages that best fit your schedule and budget.

Read the Fine Print

Some travel packages imply that they cover certain expenses, but they actually don't. Taxes and fees may apply on quoted airfare rates, and you should always factor in extra costs of tipping and side travel that isn't included in the package. Even though some packages are billed as "all-inclusive," they may only include the bare minimum (lunch and dinner but not breakfast, for example). Plan for extra fees on your trip, and make sure to thoroughly investigate what an all-inclusive package offers before booking it.

Check Alerts

If you sign up for flight alerts or notifications of package deals from travel sites, you'll get all-inclusive package offers delivered to your mailbox in a weekly newsletter. You can then sift through those notifications to find the best deals. If you're searching for packages to and from a specific destination and aren't sure when you want to go, signing up for these alerts and tracking them through several months can help you find the cheapest times for travel.

Search Separately

Before purchasing an all-inclusive travel package, make sure to search for each travel component separately to make sure that the package is a better deal. If it's not cheaper by much, you may be able to find more affordable hotels or plane tickets. A disadvantage of all-inclusive travel packages is that they're not very flexible--you're limited to what the package offers. So if you intend to take a lot of side trips or would prefer staying in a hostel to staying in a hotel, you may want to explore other options.

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