Things to Consider when Choosing a Resort Vacation
There are several factors to think about:
Budget: What is your budget for this trip? There are resorts in every price range. The difference between a lower priced resort and one with a slightly higher price will be revealed in things like food quality, entertainment, the condition of the rooms and the general appearance of the resort. There is a time and a place for a cheap quick vacation and there are times when you'll want to spend more and get a nicer resort. Decide what you want from this vacation and budget accordingly.
Location: Where is the resort? How long of a flight will it be to get to the area? Will it involve a change of plane when flying from your city? How much of your budget will get eaten up by airfare? Do you perhaps have frequent flyer miles to help offset the expense?
Is it in or near a city or village? How do you feel about that? Do you want to be in a more remote area, away from stress and distractions? Or, do you prefer more activities like shopping and nightlife that might be easier to find in a more populated area? What kind of transportation is available from a more remote resort to the nearest city if you elect to spend just one of your days shopping and the rest in your quieter location? How much will the transportation cost?
Activities: What kinds of activities are available in the destination? Are you the kind of person who will want activities based in the resort itself, or do you prefer excursions during the day, returning to the resort in the afternoon to enjoy the evening? What costs are associated with those activities and how will it impact the total budget?
Children: Are you taking yours? If so, are there adequate facilities for them. For instance, is there adequate bedding in the room for each child (i.e. cribs for babies)? What about if you're bottle-feeding? Is there a refrigerator in the room to store formula? How about the activities program for children? Does it include activities for kids of your kids ages? Is there evening babysitting available? Is that important to you?
If you're not taking yours...do you want there to be kids present at all? Would you prefer an all-adult resort?
Number of Restaurants: How much variety do you like in your meal choices? How many restaurants are available either at the resort itself or in the immediate area? What kind of food do you like? Is it available?
Beach: What is the beach like? How important is that to you? Are you content to look out on to the water from the pool, or do you prefer to spend your days with your toes in the sand? Do you like to snorkel right from the beach and therefore prefer a reef close by, or do you demand pristine soft sand? Is there waiter service on the beach? Are there beach beds? Hammocks? How long is the beach vs. the capacity of the resort (i.e. how crowded might you expect the beach to be)?
Pools: How many pools are there? How close by is a restaurant for lunch, or a bar for daytime refreshment? Is there a pool bar? Is there a swim up bar? Are there adequate lounge chairs surrounding the pool?
All Inclusive vs. European Plan: European Plan means that no meals are included. All Inclusive means that all meals, drinks and usually non-motorized water sports are included. Which do you prefer? If you choose all-inclusive, the restaurants are particularly important.
As you can see, there are many things to consider. A great travel professional should be able to help you work through the issues that are important to you. There may also be additional factors unique to you that I have not included here. For instance, a handicapped accessible resort may be important, or perhaps you need a refrigerator for medications. Thinking these things through in the planning process will make a great vacation for all involved.
Your careful consideration will pay off with the best possible vacation for you and your family or traveling companions.