Ok we’re not actually celebrating Christmas in July, but it’s definitely when you should be planning your Christmas vacay, if not sooner! Leaving the stress behind and taking a vacation over the Christmas holiday sounds ideal, but without proper planning, it’s sure to disappoint.
So how do you guarantee you’ll be among the flockers? Simple. Plan early. No, we mean early…..at the latest by July.
Booking Tips for traveling over Christmas and New Year’s to an all-inclusive resort
For the best possible holiday vacation experience, heed these words of advice from our staff travel experts and road warriors:
- Plan and Book Early: Definitely book well in advance, preferably 6 to 12 months ahead, as Resorts tend to fill up quickly during the holiday season and if you wait too long, you’ll either miss out on your first (and second, and third) choice of resorts, or wind up with a tiny room overlooking the back parking lot. The same goes for airline reservations – seats go quickly around holiday dates.
- Budget for Holiday Premiums: Prices for all-inclusive resorts during the Christmas and New Year’s period are generally higher than other times of the year due to increased demand. Factor in this premium when setting your vacation budget to avoid any surprises. If you’re traveling with small children and need two rooms, make sure that you book a resort that guarantees connecting rooms. If the resort says “connecting rooms on request” – the holidays are not the time to “hope for the best”. Resorts are very busy over the holidays and the odds of getting connecting rooms are much lower. If they can’t or won’t guarantee you connecting rooms, consider upgrading to a 2-bedroom suite or smaller villa instead.
- Consider Resort Amenities and Packages: Most all-inclusive resorts offer special holiday amenities and activities, and some may feature festive events, live entertainment, or special dining options for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Some also offer special Christmas and New Year’s pricing packages that include extra holiday-themed activities, decorations, festive meals, and more. Look for resorts that provide these amenities and price packages to get the most out of your holiday experience.
- Be Flexible with Travel Dates: Consider traveling a few days before or after the peak Christmas and New Year’s dates. Prices and availability may be more favorable during these “shoulder” periods, while still allowing you to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Either complete travel by Dec 21st or wait to travel until after January 4th.
- Communicate Special Requests: If you have specific preferences, such as a particular room location or holiday decorations in your accommodation, reach out to the resort directly and inquire about any special requests you may have. While not guaranteed, they may be able to accommodate your wishes. We recommend emailing the resort – usually a Concierge address – as you’ll then have everything in writing, printable to take with you.
- Consider Longer Stays: Many people choose to take extended vacations over the Christmas and New Year’s period. Keep in mind that minimum stay requirements may be in place at some resorts during this time, although typically that just means they’ll require a week-long stay instead of their normal 2 or 3 nights minimum.
- Check Cancellation Policies: Before booking, review the resort’s cancellation policies and ensure they offer flexibility and reasonable refund options, and be aware that over the holidays the cancel policy can change to 30 days prior when it is normally 3 days. Remember that unforeseen circumstances and incidents can throw a monkey wrench into your plans (you didn’t plan to break your leg sledding, did you?) so do look into Check Pricestrip insurance as well.
Remember to consider any travel restrictions, health and safety guidelines, and entry requirements that may be in place during the Christmas and New Year’s period. Stay informed and prepared for any necessary adjustments to your travel plans.
AND always remember to pack your patience.