Just last week we were contacted via telephone to query rates and meal costs. When we inquired what was the purpose of the "research" we realised she was compiling information for a comparison with an all-inclusive and we were all too eager to share and save her from the unnecessary expense, especially with a full itinerary. She had planned for a seven night vacation and seeing almost all the area attractions.
Unlike her preferred all inclusive option, we were able to accommodate her 7, 10 and 17 year old children with her and her husband in the same unit providing two separate bedrooms for just 65% ($135 vs $210) of what she was being charged for one room at the AI (All-Inclusive). Reluctantly, some never gave her the option to even book four persons to a room.
We recommended stocking the refrigerator with breakfast items, soda, alcohol, "Devon House I-scream" and fresh fruits.That was just $70 for the week. Then explored eating out and concluded that this could be possible for five persons with a workable budget of US$50.00 per day. I'M DEAD SERIOUS HERE FOLKS. The AI special was slowly being revealed for what it was, a play on the fear that you'll party too much and wind up broke midway through your vacation and stuck eating coconuts from the beach for the rest of the trip. The breakdown was as follows per person daily:
We recommended the local restaurants Mom's, Mother's (no relation between the two except their purpose to feed the hungry) Juici Patties, Little Tokyo, and The Ruins. The menus included authentic Jamaican home cooked meals, quick items such as precooked soups and patties, Japanese and Chinese Jamaican style respectively. All within close walking proximity of a town less famous for the fact in has only two main roads.
The difference in both plans of action was a whopping $2,940 versus our plan for $1,368. That's US$1,572. I don't know about you, but I'd like to save that in a week ,but first, I'd first like to earn it. Now there are benefits to vacationing on an all inclusive, but look at what exactly their plans are and weight the pros and the cons.
- I don't want to be bothered with where to go and what to eat.
- I'll eat and drink my money's worth
- I won't be missing out by leaving for tours or other such activities where I'll need to buy food.
- I don't mind limiting my choice to what is available
- I don't mind paying for services I may not be using
- I don't mind needing to take a cab as I'm not close to activities/shopping
By the way our pre-negotiated 5% discount on all tours booked through us is an added bonus when you consider five full price tickets after all we're always exploring "a better way to vacation".
***N.B. rate comparison calculations done via kayak.com which employed multiple searches to combine the best advertised by the chosen all-inclusive.***
(Condos at the Ridge)