Medicareful Travels: A Senior Guide to All-Inclusive Resorts
Travel doesn’t have to be an epiphany-inducing adventure to be worthwhile. Sometimes, the best lesson you can learn is how to let yourself relax and be pampered. If you’re looking for less hassle and planning on your next vacation, an all-inclusive resort may be for you!
What are All-Inclusive Resorts?
All-inclusive resorts are hotel complexes where all your costs — food, room, and many activities on site — are covered by your room and board. This means you won’t pay extra if you want to make multiple stops at the resort buffet. The same goes for drinks and alcohol. There may be some additional costs you have to pay for, like a bottle of champagne with dinner or a special excursion, but unless it’s specified, it should be included in the cost. You can also look into deals and discounts that’ll lower the costs further, as many resorts offer specials at different times of the year.
Why All-Inclusive Resorts are Great for Seniors
All-inclusive resorts are almost tailormade for senior travelers, and a lot of that comes down to the convenience factor. A vacation to an all-inclusive resort is easier to plan for financially because you see most of the costs right away.
For many seniors that are on fixed incomes, a set price tag can make the vacation more attainable. Not every all-inclusive resort is budget-friendly, but with enough research and deal-hunting, there likely is one out there for almost any budget.
Not only does the all-inclusive nature of the resorts make them more senior-affordable, it also can be incredibly convenient. For example, you can leave your wallet in the room’s safe and just wander the grounds. Want to spend the day by the pool with a book? Go for it!
Speaking of convenience, the resort complex often has everything you could want on-site including multiple restaurants you can go to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many also have gyms, spas, and even business centers. An all-inclusive trip is often as close to worry-free as it gets.
Finding Your Resort
With so much of the trip reliant on your resort, finding the right one becomes even more critical. Of course, price and online reviews are a great place to start, but they’ll only take you so far.
Location, Location, Location
You should first decide where you want to go. While you’ll more readily find all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, you can also find them in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Most central to this decision is the amount of travel time there is to get to your location, but you also need to consider the overall ambience of the resort, the types of activities or excursions you’ll want to take, and the types of food. The time of year you go will also be affected by the location. If you’re looking for a sunny beach retreat, you likely won’t want to go to one of the Europe resorts in December.
Finding Your Type of Resort
Some resorts pride themselves on an upscale and luxury approach, where guests are expected to respect the peace and respite of other guests. This is often coupled with adult-only restaurants and a higher price tag. Alternatively, there are family resorts that cater to children and are lax with the dress code. Then you have party or couple resorts, which tend to focus more on providing fun activities and a strong nightlife. It’s important to get a sense of what type of resort you’re choosing early on, so you don’t check-in expecting haute cuisine and quiet days by the pool and get Spring Break on Daytona Beach. That’s not to say one type is better than another. Every type of resort is equal in their own right and a good fit for someone.
What’s On the Resort Matters, Too
For some people, the location and amenities of a resort are enough to make a selection. However, it’s also important to look at how you’ll be spending your time. This’ll come down to three words — restaurants, activities, and excursions. For restaurants, it’s worth looking into what options you’ll have available, especially if you have a strict diet or allergy. If none of the restaurants sound good or have poor reviews, you may want to look elsewhere.
Many resorts also hold on-site activities to engage and entertain guests. These often have a local theme, like a jerk chicken cooking class in Jamaica or salsa dance lessons in Latin America. They may also take the form of beach volleyball tournaments, casino night, or even professional bands and entertainers.
Excursions are off-site trips you can set up through your resort. Not every resort will offer them, but they can offer a change of pace from your rest and relaxation. They’ll generally depend on where you’re staying, as common excursions will mostly focus on the local culture or wildlife. For example, in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, you may visit the ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza or go snorkeling in the famous cenotes. In Jamaica, you could take a day and see Dunn’s River Falls or the Luminous Lagoon. Each place will have its own specialties that sets it apart from the others.
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Ultimately, an all-inclusive resort is an opportunity to shut-out the world and focus on yourself. It’s a chance to pamper yourself and fully recharge before heading back home. That kind of treatment is something we all deserve from time-to-time, so if you’re feeling a little burned out lately, maybe an all-inclusive resort is just what you need!