As with most things in life before you can make a decision you really need to think about the type of vacation experience you are looking for, what you enjoy, what is important for you and what will best help you to stay within a budget that you are comfortable with. In this pursuit of defining the perfect vacation for you learning resort terms such as All-Inclusive and European Plan will assist you in narrowing down your destination choices and ultimately your resort choice.
European Plan (EP) simply put is basically room and tax only– meals, gratuities, resort fee, parking if applicable, alcoholic beverages and so forth are paid directly to the resort- most resorts that fall into this category are usually smaller and more intimate or incredibly spectacular such as One and Only Palmilla –Los Cabos. European Plan hotels are perfect for the adventurous who like to explore the culture and fully immerse themselves in the destinations they visit, “Foodies” love to explore local restaurants – two great destinations for this are Aruba with their dine around program and Hawai’i offering so many farm to table options.
Breaking it down even further even within the European Plan resorts there are still further options that are available such as CP (Continental Breakfast is included daily) and MAP (Modified American Plan which would include daily breakfast and either lunch or dinner based upon the resort) or full AP (American Plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner). Also if breakfast is important to you clarify the type breakfast as continental breakfast is self serve with pastries, fruits, beverages / full American breakfast will include hot cooked foods such as eggs, pancakes,bacon and so forth along with beverages this could be either at a buffet or a sit down restaurant where you would order from an a la carte menu depending upon the resort.
All-Inclusive (AI) simply put is basically everything is included-all meals, snacks, beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, taxes, gratuities, non motorized watersports and nightly entertainment is included in the price paid for your package in advance. Throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica there are many all inclusive resorts. Some of my clients favorites are Sandals Resorts , Excellence Resorts, Iberostar Resorts and Secrets Resorts but there are other resorts as well such as the Riu Resorts, Rendezvous Resort in St Lucia and others. If variety is what you seek all inclusive resorts might be the perfect fit for you because most all inclusive resorts have multiple restaurants and snack bars for guest to choose from and most include 24 hour room service depending upon the room category booked. In addition most all inclusive resorts include alcoholic beverages and will have multiple bar options as well.
Some resorts such as Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet and Calabash Cove will offer both European Plan and All Inclusive options so in addition to choosing the room category at these resorts when booking reservations you will also need to choose which meal plan will work better for you and your budget. As an added value, many all-inclusive resorts will also include a free basic wedding if you are looking to have a destination wedding these resorts would be a perfect choice for you. So as you work through the many options that are available to you throughout the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Mexico to decide what you would like to experience culturally, what excursions are important to be available to you in the location, what flights are available to this destinations from your home city, you also need to think about the meal plan that will work best for you and help you stay within your target budget.
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