Budgeting for an all-inclusive vacation

By Steph


I ran across this great little gratuity guide recently, and found it quite handy. Gratuity is an area where I feel like I stumble frequently. How much is enough, when is it expected, when is it not expected? In the effort of not wanting to cheat anyone out of a tip, but also wanting to not go over budget all the time, I feel like I can’t go right. In looking over this gratuity guide, my professional wheels started turning. How much would a guest have to spend if they followed this gratuity guide at Vista Verde? Now, keep in mind one important piece of this inner dialogue–at Vista Verde we do not add any sort of service charge or gratuity, and gratuities are not expected at all. Point being, we assume everyone will pay the rate we are charging for their stay and be done. Nothing extra expected. Now, some folks do like to leave a gratuity at the end of their stay to be split up amongst the staff. That’s fine, and we’ll take it if they want to do so. But, I want to drive home the point that there is no expectation of any gratuity. So this question I pondered was a hypothetical one.

After crunching the math and adding it up, I came to the amount of roughly $800 for a couple staying for a week. That was based on tipping at each meal, every activity, each night, etc. Then it hit me. Most all-inclusive resorts expect their guests to tip their staff. Which got me thinking about the fact that people typically budget for their vacations, and how often are budgets blown over at all-inclusive resorts? So, here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you’re booking an all-inclusive vacation. Ask these questions to help you determine if this fits your budget:

1) What is the policy on gratuity/tipping.

2) What activities are and aren’t included?

3) What extra charges might be incurred? Airport shuttles? Beer, wine, or liquor?

4) Is there any sort of resort fee? Parking or internet?

Hopefully this helps you figure out if the vacation fits within your budget. And, it’s also what keeps us committed to making a vacation at Vista Verde as all-inclusive as possible. It’s just easier for all of you, and it feels better for us to deliver a product with no surprises. Well, maybe some unexpected wonderful surprises.