Planning for an all-inclusive vacation is so exciting! The thought of a stunning Caribbean beach, endless cocktails, and a sexy room to call home for a week sounds better and better with each passing day. You’re ready to get started planning and booking, but there are a few things to consider before you get started.
I’ve put together a short list of a few important factors to consider when planning your all-inclusive vacation. Some you may have thought about, others you may not have realized at all! Keep reading to found out a few tips for planning your all-inclusive resort vacation.
Not All Resorts are Created Equal
i.e. You get what you pay for. Beach quality, room quality, food quality all makes a difference no matter what your budget is. So just remember that not all all-inclusive resorts are created equal. Cheaper does not mean better.
A major draw to all-inclusive resorts in the beach. Imagine you get to your resort only to realize that the ocean at your resort isn’t even swimmable or that the beach isn’t really a beach at all. You’ll want to research that the resort is in fact on a beach, and on a beach that suits your wants and needs.
The number one factor I look at is the length of time of your vacation and the number of restaurants. Say your vacation is 7 days, but there are only 3 restaurants at a resort you are considering. Odds are, you are going to be cranky and tired of that food by the time it is all said and done. This is something many people don’t think about. Spend a little more for a resort with a better restaurant selection, and you’ll be glad you did!
Many resorts offer room categories that have extra perks—free excursions, additional restaurants or bars not accessible to other guests, additional club amenities, butler level service, and even preferred pools for guests who pay the additional cost. If these added amenities are appealing to you, look for room categories like “preferred,” “club,” or “butler.”
Ocean View May Not Mean Ocean Front
If you’re wanting a room with a view, you need to know that ocean view and ocean front aren’t created equal. Ocean front means just that—no buildings to block your view between you and the ocean. Ocean view may not be quite so glamorous. Not all resorts go by this standard, but often times ocean view is not as close to the ocean as you envision. The ocean could be far in the distance, but still visible from your window or balcony, as such that is technically ocean view. So you’ll want to make sure you are getting what you expect.
Does all of this seem overwhelming to you? How about you let me help you navigate it all! We collaborate together to match you with the perfect destination & resort. Ready to pack your bags? Click plan a trip to get started!
So you’ve booked your vacation with Discovereighng with Dana at a beautiful Caribbean all-inclusive resort! You’re counting down the days until your toes are in the sand and you’re overlooking the bluest water you’ve ever seen. You can picture it perfectly, except what to pack! I’m here to save your day with a simple packing list for an all-inclusive tropical vacation.
Somethings on the list are pretty obvious—swimsuit, sandals, etc. But others might have you thinking, “what’s this about?” I’ve made a list you can review and even save to your phone (see below), but I also want to point out a few items on the list that may have you scratching your head! Read on to see about the items I recommend packing that you may not think of.
Change of Clothes & Swimsuit in Your Carry-On
Upon check-in, many times resorts will deliver your luggage to your room later or maybe your room isn’t quite ready yet. Having a swimsuit or change of clothes handy in your carry-on allows you to start enjoying the beach and resort amenities right away! A fun maxi dress is the perfect outfit option!
Outfit for a Night Out
Often times people forget about evening wear. Many resort restaurants require specific attire for evening meals. Long pants for men with a collared shirt and a dress or fun romper for ladies are the perfect options. You don’t have to dress fancy, but it is fun to dress up for a night out! Perhaps hit one of the resort bars or clubs after to keep the evening excitement going! I love jumpsuits like this or this & rompers for vacation nights out, because they pack easy & are fun to style!
This one may have you scratching your head but hear me out. Many resorts do offer snorkeling & snorkeling gear on property. However, some charge a small rental fee for the gear. Bring your own snorkel gear along to 1) avoid the rental fee and 2) be more comfortable with gear you are familiar with.
I know this sounds like a given, but SO many people forget to pack sunscreen for their tropical vacation. You may think you don’t need it but trust me—the sun is way stronger in the Caribbean than here in the States. Better safe than sorry! Plus, you’ll save yourself a lot by not having to buy it from the resort gift shop. I am a huge fan of Sun Bum Sunscreen, because it is safe for our precious coral reefs!
Packing an insulated cup is the ultimate all-inclusive packing hack! Imagine sitting on the beach with your drink hand enjoying the warm Caribbean sun, only your drink is melted and watered down before you can even finish half. Good thing you have an insulated cup to the rescue! You can pour your drinks in your cup to keep them colder longer. Bonus points for a cute color & vinyl sticker that matches your swimsuit! ;)
Are there any other items you recommend packing for an all-inclusive resort tropical vacation? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.
When working with me for your vacation you get firsthand knowledge, advice, and tips just like this. Ready to get started? Let’s plan a trip!
With my current bible study and Easter just wrapping up, I've been thinking quite a bit about God's purpose and calling for us, especially myself. According to 1 Timothy 1:15, God's purpose for Jesus was to save sinners, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst." Jesus Christ was born to die to save sinners like myself from the punishment of God. Because of him, I do not have to fear death, but rejoice in it because I will have everlasting life in him. What a profound purpose on this Earth he had! And like him, I too have purpose.
Right now, my bible study group has been discussing King Solomon and his work on the temple. God blessed Solomon with the opportunity to build the temple in his name, and in the beginnings of 1 Kings we learn that God wanted the work of Solomon's heart more than the work of his hands. God wanted Solomon to build the temple to glorify the Lord. Solomon prayed that his work on the temple would bring people to encounter God and that God would equip him with the ability to bring God to the world.
In 1 Kings 7, Solomon hires Huram to help in creating the furnishings for the temple. Scripture tells us that Huram was "filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work." It sounds as if Huram was chosen and anointed to do this job. I find that to be no coincidence. So it makes me think, how can I use my wisdom, my knowledge, my gifts to serve God?
Through the temple, God had a physical place to dwell. In 1 Kings 8:11-21, we know that to show his glory, he appeared as a dark cloud over the temple, and only a chosen few could enter the holiest of holy places where his specific dwelling place, the Ark of the Covenant, was kept behind a curtain. But now, with the curtain ripped, the temple gone, and the life and death of Jesus Christ, how is God's glory seen today?
The more I study the Bible, the more I realize that God loves beauty and he has a greater love for his children that I can even fathom, and that is how his glory is seen today—through his creations, his world and his people. He created the Earth and all it's "furnishings", so indeed he loves beauty! As do I! His world is full of so many beautiful people, places, and creatures. So how can I use my passions and works to glorify his world?
Like Huram and Jesus, everyone has a unique calling that is meant just for you to glorify God, and fulfill his ultimate plan. Something was recently mentioned in my bible study that truly struck me, and solidified in my heart that I am living my purpose and calling. The leader said, "the vocations we are called to do are not secular versus religious. It is all intertwined to magnify God." She also mentioned that God wants us to our hobbies and passions, because they are also meant to glorify him. That "God's strength and beauty are meant to be reflected in our lives and work." Wow! I felt as if she was speaking right to me! That is how I know the Lord is alive and well in my life—when studies, scriptures, songs, peoples' words speak right to my heart.
I recently read an Instagram post from Tiffany Rogers that also spoke directly to my heart. She said, "Writing, for me, is an expression of my worship to God. Therefore, I want it always to be pleasing, beautiful and excellent. In the movie Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner Eric Liddell said: “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Thats exactly how I feel about writing! God made me a writer, and when I write, I feel His pleasure. To write well is to honor Him. ⠀
What do you do that, when done with beauty and excellence, brings glory and honor to God? We all have something! He has given each of us talents and gifts to be used to make Him known. What is it for you? How are you using your gift to bring God glory?"
Through the life and death of Jesus, we are each becoming bricks in his temple and ultimate plan. We each play a divine purpose. So how do I know I am following the path, the vocation, the calling I am meant to do? That personally and professionally, I am working to become a brick in the Lord's temple? Divine words are constantly speaking to my heart, settling there, and reassuring me in growth and support that I am glorifying him in this passion and business that I am living and creating. God's world is so stunning, and the more I explore it, the more I see him and his beauty, the closer I feel to him, and feel more connected to the work and life I am creating, including my roles as wife & mother, that I believe I have been called to do. Through Discovereighng with Dana Travel, I hope to bring the beauty of the world to more and more people, to help them discover the meaning of life, and ultimately bring them closer to God, his world, and his people.
I remember visiting the Dallas Zoo as a kid, and seeing the iconic giraffe statue at the front entrance. Since, I've frequently passed that enormous statue along I-35, but never made my way inside until recently. We made an impromptu stop at this wonderful zoo, and it did not disappoint!
I was elated to see penguins, koalas & kangaroos, and even a hippopotamus! The zoo has so many more animals than our local zoo in Waco. The zoo even has a tram that takes you above the animal habitats & African savannah so you can see them in a new light! I've put together a quick guide about what I love most about the Dallas Zoo & why. Hope you enjoy & will check out this beautiful zoo!
For us, it is just a quick drive up I-35 from Waco. I love that the location is right on a major interstate highway so you don't have to navigate through town.
This zoo is much larger than we are accustomed to in Waco, so the selection of animal habitats is wonderful! I loved seeing the kangaroos, hippos, and gorillas! We even had the joy of seeing a mother gorilla carrying her baby on her back. Such a neat sight to see!
Naturally, the design is very well thought out! The beauty of the plants, animal habitats, and other design elements like statues and benches are really beautiful. I particularly love the statues that fit perfectly among the walking areas for added beauty.
The Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari Monorail is a big highlight! You can ride about the African exhibits, and get a birds eye view of the animals in their habitats. Such a great and unique experience!
The zoo also offers small group and private photo safari tours. This is something that is on my bucket list! You are toured around the exhibits by the zoo's photographer to see the animals as they enjoy their breakfast and play!
There are so many great reasons to visit the Dallas Zoo. I can't wait to go back soon, and hope you will visit too!
When I first set out on this venture of being a travel designer, I struggled with what to name my business. I wanted something catchy and unique that would capture the essence of my personality, fun, sophisticated, and down to earth, and what I wanted to provide my clients—an unforgettable vacation planning experience that ultimately lead them to discovering the world! I quickly landed on “Discovereighng with Dana Travel” as my business name. But, what does it even mean?
Today, I wanted to break away from my usually musing, and share a bit about me and my business. I hope you’ll indulge me!
Taking the plunge into starting my own business as a travel designer did not come lightly to me. In fact, it took several years of friends and family encouraging me to do it. Honestly, without their prompting, it was something that never even crossed my mind. I mean, did travel agents still exist? Not only was the answer yes, but I already had people asking me to help plan their vacations so they could get the most value for their money and not have to stress over researching and creating itineraries. After I finally opened my heart to the idea, it was a no brainer to get started!
Travel had changed my outlook on life, brought me immense joy, and lead me to discover a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. The idea of helping other experience those same outcomes has been a driving force for me since the very beginning. I wanted people to not only experience the world, but to discover themselves along the way. As an added bonus, I have found a happiness, empowerment, and satisfaction I have never felt before! I have the great pleasure and joy of helping couples and families make life long memories. It is such an honor to play a small part in that.
Anyway, back to the name! So with all of these thoughts in mind, researching verbs and adjectives, and other business names, my eyes landed on the word “discover.” That eventually lead to Discovering with Dana. I loved it! It had a great ring to it! But something just wasn’t quite right. It needed just a littlesomething more. I thought back on a past business I’d started up, more for a fun hobby—creating handmade greeting cards and selling Stampin’ Up! With my middle name being “Leigh,” my card business was named Loveleigh Letters + Loveleigh Stampin’.
So I thought and pondered, how can I too use a play on words with “discovering.” Before long, Discovereighng with Dana Travel, and eventually Discovereighng with Dana Travel & Destination Weddings, was born, and, as they say, “the rest is history!”
Today, I am so happy I took the time to really think about what I wanted to achieve and bring to others with my business before choosing a name. My business name reflects what I hope to inspire clients and others with, discovering the world & meaning of life. So if you are trying to decide on a business name, I encourage you to really think about how your business will benefit others in the long room and what about yourself and your personality will help you achieve that, and think about a name that will reflect you AND your business!