Booking a Getaway? Think About This First.


Headed to sunnier shores in the next few months? We can hardly blame you. Winter has finally set in, and getting away from the snow and cold for a little while is enough to rejuvenate one’s soul.

Before you start clicking and booking,there are some things to think about before you finalize your vacation getaway plans. They’ll help you save money and/or sanity so you don’t come home broke and frazzled.

All-inclusive is expensive, right?

All-inclusive resorts undoubtedly come with a higher per-night price tag. But before you reject the idea all together, do some math. Think about how much you’d otherwise spend on:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Room Service
  • Spa Treatments
  • Activities like Scuba Diving

When you add those numbers up, you’ll probably be surprised that the all-inclusive price is either similar to or lower than what you would pay if you got a cheaper room and paid for all of these services individually. Places like Sandals are a good place to look (they’re one of the few in the Caribbean that offer unlimited scuba diving as a part of their all-inclusive package.)

Make sure you read fine-print very carefully, as some hotels that market themselves as “all-inclusive” have different packages that will allow you different levels of access to all the resort’s amenities and services.

What are we going to do with the kids?

A family vacation creates great memories, and can give everyone some much needed time off together to bond. Susie isn’t in school, Bobby isn’t in daycare, and mom and dad don’t have to stress out about work.

It sounds like a recipe for rest and relaxation…until you get down there and remember how exhausting kids can be. While you should definitely spend some quality time together, if all of your time is spent together, you may lose some of that quality, not to mention patience.

If you dream of spending a couple hours at the spa with your spouse, be sure to book at a resort that has childcare options. That can be drop-in, or a dedicated program. For example, Hyatt has a program aptly named Camp Hyatt, where children participate in fun and educational activities. They learn about the local area’s history, geography, and more, and get to do things they’d never get to do anywhere else, like dolphin-watching on the Florida Gulf Coast.

While all this is going on, mom and dad can indulge in a massage. Or drink mai-tais by the pool. Whatever floats your boat.

Speaking of kids…

Nothing is worse than a sick kid. Except a sick kid on a plane. Or taking care a sick kid in a remote island country.

Other factors can derail your vacation plans, too. Weather can delay or cancel flights. Political unrest can sprout up unexpectedly in your destination country. You never know what is going to happen, so after you drop all that money on a big vacation, it’s not a bad idea to look into travel insurance.

Many travel insurance agencies have symbiotic relationships with auto insurance agencies; call you car insurer to see if they have any partners in the industry, and if that partnership could mean scoring a discount. Keep in mind that this is another area where you will want to read all of the fine print, as not every policy will cover every circumstance.