Are you dreaming of an all-inclusive beach resort for your honeymoon? You probably have a few expectations, such as good service, amazing food, great drinks, and a worry-free honeymoon experience. To have the relaxing trip you envision, here are three crucial all-inclusive honeymoon mistakes to avoid when deciding which resort to book.
GOING TOO CHEAP
Everyone likes to save money, but sometimes saving just a few dollars a day by going to a less expensive resort can negatively impact your vacation experience. Hotels and resorts are purposefully priced the way they are. If they’re on the cheaper side, it’s for a reason! It may be because there are fewer amenities, simpler rooms, less services provided, lower quality food/alcohol, or they may charge extra for things once you arrive. If you’re okay with this, then that’s totally fine. However, if you’re looking for a quality resort experience where you’re met with warm hospitality the moment you step onto the property along with amazing food and drinks, you should expect a higher price tag for that experience. Let’s look at a real life example of this all-inclusive honeymoon mistake.
When we first met with Becca to plan their all-inclusive vacation, I was shocked by her response to one of my questions: “What would make this trip over the top amazing for you and Jared?” Her response: “We’d love for the seafood to not cost extra.”
As we talked, she shared that on her previous trip the food wasn’t good, the drinks were bad, and they weren’t impressed with their experience.
After Becca and Jared got back from the trip we planned for them, they were amazed by all the differences they experienced by staying at a higher-quality resort. They loved the craft cocktails and fantastic dining options that included all the shrimp and fish tacos they could ever want. They also noticed a huge difference in the level of service they experienced. They explained that while the trip was more expensive than their first all-inclusive vacation, it was very much worth it.
NOT RESEARCHING ENOUGH
#2 on the all-inclusive honeymoon mistakes. Just because an all-inclusive resort has a seemingly good rating on TripAdvisor doesn’t mean it’s the right hotel for you. Be sure to research everything; look through the most recent comments and photos across different travel booking sites and social media. Relying on official pictures from the resort could hide or skew what a stay there would be like. Those who have stayed at the hotel recently and have shared their photos or experiences provide a more accurate depiction of what you can expect with the rooms, food, level of service, and so on. Remember though, everyone’s standards are different, so you can only put so much trust in reviews.
Once a year, I take what we call a “do not sell” trip. We intentionally go stay at a property that we don’t sell or recommend due to concerns about the experience our clients would have staying there. The goal of the trip is to re-evaluate the property and see if it has improved, so we can decide if we are able to recommend it to our clients.
On my last “do not sell” trip, we went to a property that had gone through a renovation that cost over 35 million dollars. The online pictures of the property looked gorgeous, and I was hopeful the property could move back onto our “sell list.”
Here was how it went: Our room at first glance looked nice once we got in, but as we started unpacking, we started noticing it looked like they had “cut corners” on their renovations to keep costs down. The room didn’t really match the pictures.
Each time we tried the buffet, it wasn’t good. The food looked like it had been there a while and it was mediocre at best. We felt that we were eating because we had to, not because we loved what we were eating.
At the pool bar, I asked for an Absolut Vodka with club soda. As I waited, I witnessed the bartender pour a small amount of Absolut Vodka into my cup, followed then by a larger amount of the resort’s bottom shelf vodka, then the club soda. The mixed alcohol tasted horrible. The following night, we went to the main bar for drinks. I decided to try again to get a good vodka soda. I was pleasantly surprised to see Skyy Vodka on the shelf. Things were looking up when I ordered Skyy Vodka with club soda, but then the bartender informed me they didn’t have it. I quickly pointed to it on the shelf and said it was right there behind him. He then said, “I’m sorry, but that bottle does not have vodka in it. It’s filled with water for display.”
The property we visited is a household name you would recognize. Needless to say, the resort stayed on the “do not sell” list. Sadly, the images, advertising, and reviews don’t line up with what we experienced at all at this resort.
PICKING A PROPERTY BECAUSE SOMEONE YOU KNOW LOVED IT
As you plan your wedding, I’m sure you’ve purchased or looked at multiple things because a friend or family member who recently got married told you about it. It can be so helpful to receive recommendations that help narrow down your options. Eighty-eight percent of people have the highest level of trust in a brand or product when a friend or family member recommends it.
However, there are certain times in life where an expert’s advice and direction really should hold higher weight than friends or family, and be sought after above the opinions of those we love. And that leads us to number 3 on our list of all-inclusive honeymoon mistakes. For example, if someone decided to file a lawsuit against me, I would want advice from friends or family members who had been in the situation before. However, I would absolutely still hire a lawyer because they spend every day working on legal cases, and they are the experts at what they do.
The same concept should apply when you are planning your honeymoon. Your loved ones may have loved their trip and think it’s a perfect fit for you and your honeymoon. While this may be helpful, the reality is they loved their experience because it fit their personalities and what they were looking for. Unless you have the exact same preference or personalities, just because it was the perfect vacation for them doesn’t mean it’s the perfect place for you and your fiancé.
When you hire a travel expert, they are not focused on sharing with you the properties they love. The best travel agents will be focused on getting to know you and your fiancé personally so they can make recommendations on destinations and resorts that best fit your personalities and preferences. They are not making recommendations on a limited number of experiences and according to their own likes.
A travel expert instead uses their extensive education, industry connections, as well as their unbiased first-hand resort experiences to help you easily find the possible place for your honeymoon. An expert travel agent is also going to be up to date on all their client’s information, preferences and travel requirements. We have hundreds of clients traveling throughout the year and are in close contact with the resorts we partner with. Our expertise is much deeper than the typical well-traveled family member or friend a couple may have. So let’s take a look at a real life example of this point on our list of all-inclusive honeymoon mistakes.
Recently, our team worked with Ellen. Ellen was so excited to plan her 30th birthday trip with a group of friends. She wanted our help booking the trip so she didn’t have to oversee her friends’ travel arrangements. In our consultation, we got to know Ellen and her friend’s preferences, and we talked extensively about the vision she had for her trip.
Ellen told us that one of the couples going on the trip had been to “XYZ” resort last year and loved it. She wanted to book that resort because her friends loved it so much. While “XYZ” resort is a great resort, after we had learned about Ellen’s dreams for her trip, we knew it wasn’t the best property for her. We told Ellen we would put together a proposal for “XYZ” resort and would also include two additional options to consider.
Ellen was excited as we reviewed the proposal options.She realized that while her friends loved the resort they went to, it wasn’t her best option. One of the additional properties we proposed ended up being much better. Here they were able to stay at a property that delivered a complimentary beach dinner for the group, quality overall food, and more dining options. Here, the group could even afford to book a swim-up suite, versus the basic garden view room they would have had at “XYZ” resort.
These real-life examples happen often, which is why it can be difficult for couples to determine what resort is best for their honeymoon. It’s also why we recommend working with a reputable travel agent as you plan this once-in-a-lifetime vacation! Their first-hand experience, knowledge, and industry connections are invaluable.
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