By the end of January, I usually start dreaming about basking in the sun. The summer seems like such a long time from now, yet a winter holiday is surely going to be far too expensive, right? Wrong! Online there are some super last minute all-inclusive deals which can make an out-of-reach holiday much more of a possibility.
I won’t go into the debate about whether I think parents with school-age kids should take them out of school, but depending on your thoughts and/or circumstances, there are so many tempting options for some wonderful winter sun.
We went on an all-inclusive last minute break for the first time a couple of years ago and I have put together some tips for getting the most out of it:
#1 Avoid the overwhelm – There can be so many options to choose from these days and thousands of reviews to read too! Try to shortlist three resorts which fit within your budget and look appealing from the initial pics. Then read the most recent three reviews, the first three ‘excellent’ and the first three ‘terrible’ rated reviews (this tab can be found under traveller rating) for each of these places on Tripadvisor. If you have young children, once you have decided where to go, prepare for the journey by reading up on advice for travelling with a toddler.
#2 Summer clothes? – If you need to stock up on some ‘summer’ clothes, the shops aren’t likely to have much available at this time of year – however ASOS usually has some good deals all year round. I was able to get some brilliant bargains for our winter honeymoon in November.
#3 Embrace flexibility – You may need to be a little flexible with the departure day and the flight times if you are looking for a really budget friendly deal. That said, I checked some flights to Morocco and they seem really reasonable – departing London Gatwick at 8.35am and departing from Marrakesh at 1.15pm.
#4 Spend sensibly – It’s tempting to eat outside your resort even when you are doing all-inclusive, but if you are trying to spend as little as possible, consider just having an ice-cream or drinks elsewhere and keep your main meals for where you are staying. Many all-inclusive resorts will provide a lunchbox to take away your lunch in so you can enjoy it at the beach. It’s always worth asking!
#5 Check your passports – Make sure your passports haven’t expired! I learned this the hard way many years ago. Express services to get new passports can be expensive and pretty stressful! And if you are a non-British citizen living in the UK (like me), then it takes around 6 weeks to get a new one issued…
#6 Pack carefully – Read up on exactly how much luggage your package includes and try to stick to it if you can. We normally weigh our bags on our digital scales at home before leaving for the airport, so that we don’t get any nasty surprises when checking our bags in. Also try to spread the weight if one bag seems way heavier than the other.