Booking a Caribbean resort can be extremely worth it. However, as you’ll see in this article that is dependent on a variety of factors. In truth, a traveler can make or break their trip even before stepping foot on the resort. Of course, experiences matter, after a while most travelers become accustomed to their likes and dislikes. However this article ensures that the proper steps are taken both before booking the trip and while at the destination.
We’ll feature 10 things travelers shouldn't waste their time or money on. This includes expensive souvenirs, “luxurious” activities and forms of transportation that might be best to avoid. On the flip we’ll take a look at 10 things that are totally worth the extra price. What if room service turned in a 24/7 luxury, totally free of charge? Just imagine getting that piece of cake late at night delivered straight to your room.... does that sound like something you might be interested in? Along with cake privileges we’ll feature other things that can make a Caribbean trip totally worth it. Make sure these 10 factors meet your criteria before booking your next Caribbean destination!
Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a fellow traveler. Without further ado here are 10 things travelers shouldn’t waste their money on at a Caribbean resort and 10 that are worth it. Let’s get started!
20 Waste Of Money - Souvenirs
We aren’t saying don’t buy any souvenirs at all. That’s just silly! However better options exist outside of the hotel area. In certain resorts there is a souvenir shop, however prices tend to be inflated and in truth there really isn’t much haggling to be done. Beach salesman also can be spotted on the beach but the quality usually isn’t up to par either.
If your Caribbean resort isn’t far from the downtown area make it a purpose to visit the shops. You’ll find lots of souvenirs at half the price along with double the quantity.
19 Worth It - Restaurants
This can make or break a resort experience. It is crucial that before booking a resort foodies read the reviews pertaining to the restaurants on the resort. So often travelers are disappointed with the lack of variety. They’ll find the same food from the Italian restaurant at the French. Making matters worse in some cases the restaurant food doesn’t vary from the main buffet on the resort.
Restaurants should be top quality while providing the traveler with a unique experience each time. When this meets the expectations it is worth every single dollar. If paying a bit more leads to a better dining experience, don't hesitate to splurge!
18 Waste Of Money – Extended Check-Out
All too often a resort asks travelers to check out prior to their car or bus service picking them up. This leads to travelers considering an extended checkout. Given the rates asked at certain Caribbean resorts this shouldn’t even be considered.
In some cases the rate is an extra $20 per hour, and that’s per person!
Avoid this hassle and instead ask for a complimentary room. This can be used to freshen up just before the car or bus service comes to pick you up. The real kicker is that it’s totally free compared to the ridiculous $20 per hour fee.
17 Worth It - Tipping The Staff
One of the best parts of a Caribbean resort is the fact that money isn’t needed at all-times. However don’t make the mistake of bringing nothing at all. Resort workers make most of their money off of tips. So if the resort quality meets your standards, especially in terms of the service, then it would be appreciated to give some tip here and there.
You’ll also see that the service quality might increase a couple of notches due to your act of generosity. Waiters by the pool, at the restaurants or tipping the cleaning ladies are all ways to enhance your overall experience.
16 Waste Of Money - Massage
This might depend on the resort experience itself, however in the past lots of travelers have complained about the massage costs. Now we don’t doubt the capabilities of those issuing the massage. Just that the price point tends to be extremely ridiculous especially for the amount of time given.
It might seem so worth it to get the massage at the beach area but in truth a traveler can get the same massage back at home for half the price and likely double the amount of time. Depending on the rate it might be best to hold off.
15 Worth It – Fitness Center
This can definitely be worth your while. Yes, eating and drinking is one of the best parts of a Caribbean resort – not to mention just laying around and not doing much. However, there might come a time when you might not be feeling all that ideal, that’s when the gym becomes so worth it.
Lots of travelers love to start off their day at a Caribbean resort with a quick AM workout. This can leave you feeling confident and a lot less guilty for having that piece of pizza during lunch. And hey, you might go back home looking better than before sporting a tan and a couple of extra muscles!
14 Waste Of Money – Wi-Fi Charges
Depending on the resort, Wi-Fi isn’t always included. Some resorts offer pricey packages – some charging a per-minute-fee! What’s truly a head scratcher is in some cases the lobby contains free Wi-Fi but not the rooms. So why not use it for free in the lobby!
In the event that Wi-Fi is also needed in the room, it might be best to bring a Wi-Fi card from back home. In all likelihood it’ll be a lot cheaper than the one provided by the resort. If anything, maybe a traveler can also do without the Wi-Fi for a week – you’ll feel a lot more revitalized without it that’s for sure.
13 Worth It - 21 & Over
We can’t stress this enough, depending on the type of trip it is imperative to get information on the type of audience the resort typically receives. For most travelers, Caribbean resorts are a sought after destination for peace and quiet while enjoying a good time. Screaming children really don't factor into that – cute or not.
For that reason, it might be worth paying a little extra and opt for 21+ resorts. The difference is night and day – you’ll quickly notice a different ambiance compared to a resort filled with families and children. The extra price-tag is usually worth it.
12 Waste Of Money – Taxi
You’ll notice very quickly that the price of a taxi is very inconsistent at a Caribbean destination. The price point definitely isn’t a set one. Travelers are also advised to bargain down the price of the ride as
taxi drivers typically inflate the price assuming that travelers aren’t aware of what the cost really should be.
In so many cases we’ve seen a $20 cab ride turn into a $1 dollar bus ride. What’s truly baffling is a bus can also get travelers there quicker due to having their own lane in most Caribbean destinations. Renting a car might also be a better option than a cab.
11 Worth It – Bus
Not only are buses dirt cheap but in some cases they’re totally free of charge. Travelers at times rush out of the airports and settle for a cab. What they don’t know is that shuttle buses are completely free and bring you straight to the resort.
In some cases travelers pay up to $40 for the ride. With the shuttle bus it’ll cost travelers nothing but a couple of dollars for tip!
A bus is also a very useful way to get to the downtown area. You’ll probably get there in the same amount of the time while paying just a dollar for the ride.
10 Waste Of Money - VIP Bar
Certain resorts also try to sell the VIP bar option. This includes Premium alcohol brands which tourists can’t find at the regular bars, along with Wi-Fi access and a private section reserved for VIP members only.
The harsh reality of this is that the VIP sections tend to be a ghost town. Sure, indulging on some Premium alcohol sounds like fun but a traveler can easily buy the rarer drinks at a Duty Free for likely half the price. Being secluded and drinking alone really doesn’t sound like much of a VIP experience. Get informed before booking the extra luxury.
9 Worth It - Room Upgrades
Room upgrades offer a different experience compared to the VIP upgrades. In this case, being secluded and in a private area isn’t the worst thing. Hearing children yelling and screaming on the regular might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Room upgrades offer a lot more than just privacy. The room is a lot more spacious and it also includes top tier room maintenance and in some cases, your very own Jacuzzi.
If you’re lucky enough the Jacuzzi is on the balcony. Upgrading can completely enhance a vacation experience. It might be well worth the extra price which in some cases isn’t even that extreme.
8 Waste Of Money - Buying From Salesman On The Beach
This is frowned upon by lots of Caribbean resorts nowadays. However it doesn’t stop the salesman from trying to make a buck or two. Haggling the price is also really easy – the salesmen tend to be really easy-going, no matter what the item might be.
The downside here is the quality of the products. Obviously, sunglasses are complete replicas and they’re also quite flimsy and easy to break. The same goes for the cigars which usually aren’t even worth half of what they sell for. Save your money for the downtown markets.
7 Worth It – Room Service
If you haven’t been to a resort with 24/7 room service access, boy are you ever missing out! The room service includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. However the real kicker is that room service can also be called for a casual snack. The best part has to be the after-hours room service which can also be called in the wee hours after a fun night.
Certain resorts go as far as offering an iPad with the menu provided. Ordering room service can be just a couple of clicks away without even having to call anyone. This type of service can totally enhance any Caribbean vacation.
6 Waste Of Money - Private Pickups
Private pickup is another method of transportation typically used by lots of travelers. Once you get to the airport a driver is usually holding up a sign with the person’s name on it. It’s really easy, so for that reason lots of travelers tend to lean towards this option.
However it is a pricey option to lean on. Travelers can instead opt for a totally free shuttle bus ride while putting that money to better use. Wouldn’t it be better to get a room upgrade or to enjoy a fine dining experience off the resort with those saved dollar bills?
5 Worth It - Tipping Room Cleaning Crew
This can lead to a finer experience. With added tip cleaning crews ensure the top quality maintenance is taken care of in your room. This also leads to extras such as more towels and lots of other amenities.
Cleaning crews will also go the extra mile to ensure your room’s mini fridge is filled to the rim at all times. Just by giving a little bit of tip workers might pass by twice a day to ensure that your hydration demands are being met! Once again tipping can totally enhance the experience while giving those that work at the resort some much needed funds.
4 Waste Of Money - Excursions Off The Resort
Time and time again this has led to a forgettable moment for travelers. Booking an excursion off the resort isn’t always the safest option. This might be enticing for travelers due to the low price point and trust-worthy representative. However this is commonly used as a form of fraud. So many travelers book an experience off the resort and when it’s time to meet up, the same rep is nowhere to be found.
In other cases this has led to lackluster experiences at forgettable areas. Factoring all of this it might be wise to totally disregard any type of excursion booking away from the resort – it’s just not worth the risk.
3 Worth It - Booking Excursions On The Resort
On the contrary, it is totally worth it to book an excursion on the resort. First off, the communication is a lot easier as the staff typically speaks English fluently. A traveler doesn't need to worry about any forms of scams as those same reps are there every single day.
The staff also provides travel accommodations such as a bus to the excursion area. Prices are also affordable and never really overly inflated.
It is imperative to book any type of activity on the resort and avoid the headache of doing otherwise elsewhere.
2 Waste Of Money - Time Shares
Time and time again one of the most common complaints for those visiting a Caribbean Resort is the Time-Share scam. This can take place both on and off the resort. Judging by past experiences this usually doesn’t end well for the traveler that decided to invest their funds.
No matter how safe this appears to be it is best not to invest in any way and at any point. In fact, once you get off the plane and enter the shuttle bus it’s one of the first things the appointed hotel reps tell the travelers.
1 Worth It - The Beach & Pools
This can make or break a trip. A dirty pool for one can totally ruin any traveler’s experience.
Look, we don’t need a 5-star pool, however a clean pool area is usually at the very least a desired expectation.
The beach is just as important. It doesn’t get much worse than a dirty beach and one that features so much vegetation. Get informed before booking a resort and if needed pay a little extra to fully satisfy your pool and beach demands.