If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing getaway, all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are a great option. You can fly to your destination and flop into a lounge chair on the beach for a full-service experience.
But if you’re new to this hobby and don’t have enough points for an award stay, these hotels get expensive. And sometimes the all-inclusive hotel you want isn’t part of a major chain and can’t be booked with points.
I’ll give you tips for saving money on a paid stay!
How to Save at All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean
Planning a paid stay at an all-inclusive resort? Here are a few ways to get discounts on the standard rate!
(Although I’d rather stay for free at all-inclusive hotels using points!)
1. Citi Prestige 4th Night Free
Update: Beginning July 23, 2017, the 4th night free perk will refund the average cost of a 4-night stay, NOT including taxes.
The Citi Prestige comes with a hefty $450 annual fee. But it comes with a ton of perks and can save you much more than that!
For instance, you’ll get the 4th night free when you book hotels through the Citi Prestige Concierge. And this includes certain all-inclusive hotels, which are often NOT chains you can book with points.
I showed you how you can combine the 4th night free at all-inclusive resorts like Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana with other offers like special rates (i.e. AAA, AARP), status perks (room upgrades), earning hotel points, and hotel sales.
To spark your imagination with sunshine and beaches, here are some other all-inclusive hotels where you can use the Citi Prestige 4th night free perk:
- Barcelo Bavaro Palace Hotel, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Couples Swept Away, Negril, Jamaica
- Melia at Baha Mar, Nassau, Bahamas
- Secrets Silversands Riviera, Cancun, Mexico
Plus, you get a $250 airline credit each calendar year with the Citi Prestige.
You can use this credit on flights booked with nearly any airline and there are NO blackout dates. So if you don’t have enough miles or want to save them for a more expensive flight, this can save you on the cost of your paid flight to paradise.
2. Book Off-Season
Taking advantage of off-season rates could also save you money on your stay. Check with the hotel and sites like Orbitz and Expedia for cheaper prices. And travel agencies like Costco Travel and Liberty Travel may also have good deals.
Fewer vacationers travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season (June to November). The possibility of a hurricane scares many folks off. But for the most part, you can expect especially hot and humid temperatures (nothing an ice cold drink and a dip in the pool won’t fix!) along with a short period of heavy rain in the afternoon or evening (nap time!).
You’ll likely still enjoy plenty of sunshine, blue skies, and crystal clear blue waters. And more importantly, you won’t have to fight for a lounge chair.
There are also some things you can do to protect yourself, if you decide to travel during hurricane season:
- Book outside of the peak of hurricane season (August through September)
- See if the hotel offers a refund or credit, so you can rebook if your trip gets canceled due to severe weather
- Paying with a credit card that offers travel insurance
- Buy travel insurance
3. Book Airbnb
If you’re planning a longer stay and want to splurge on a few nights at all-inclusive, consider booking an Airbnb with a flexible cancellation policy. You can cancel within 24 hours of check-in and you’ll get a full refund. And if you leave early, the nights not spent 24 hours after the cancellation are 100% refunded.
Once you get to your destination, you can walk into your desired all-inclusive hotel and try to negotiate. You’ll already have a place to stay, so you have nothing to lose! And the hotel may happily accept your desired rate, instead of losing money on empty rooms.
Staying at an all-inclusive resort is an excellent way to unwind. While you can’t book award nights at many of these destinations, that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price!
You can save Big Money by taking advantage of the Citi Prestige 4th night free perk, traveling in the off-season, and negotiating a better price.
Do you have any tips for saving money at all-inclusive resorts?