As every vacationer, you have your own needs and therefore you try to find vacation packages that suit you according to your budget. Sometimes, the same dynamics of work or home occupations absorb you a lot of time, which prevents you from planning your vacations calmly.

However, nowadays some suppliers offer all-inclusive packages to different destinations, which include transportation, hotel rooms, food, etc. In case you are planning to hire a package of this type, below you will find the characteristics of this service, the aspects you should consider before hiring it, and above all, what you are willing to spend for it.

What are "all-inclusive" trips: advantages and disadvantages?

The "all-inclusive" travel modality emerged in 1970. This service consists of ground or area transportation, lodging, and food. The presence of an all-inclusive offer can be attractive to a segment of tourists. Currently, different packages are offered in various parts of the country that adapt to the needs of practically any traveler. The service is offered throughout the year both in Mexico and in other countries around the world. If tourists book in advance, they can obtain savings of between 20% and 30% on these types of packages. In high season there is more demand, and therefore prices increase.

About the advantages and disadvantages of this service. The main advantage is that all expenses are already included in the package. The user no longer has to make provisions as when buying things separately. You don't have to leave the place to make the consumptions. The main disadvantage of this type of package is that it takes away the tourists' mobility. They "anchor" them so that they do not leave the space of the hotel.

Considering this information, if you have already decided on an all-inclusive vacation package, choose the one that fits your budget, your needs, and your tastes. The important thing is that you plan and purchase it in advance so that you don't get rushed.

As you can see, there are usually advantages to hiring an all-inclusive package. If you do not find a plan that suits your needs, analyze other plans with different providers that offer this service. Don't forget to read the contract carefully. Understand it. Ask about anything you don't know. When you are clear about the conditions included in the service contract, evaluate and analyze if what you are offered is convenient for you. Only then contract the service. At the end of the day, you decide how to travel.

Be careful when buying online

The Internet is a convenient, fast, and easily accessible modern technology that allows you to organize your own package, adapting it to your own needs. Several companies offer all-inclusive vacation packages on their websites, where you can quickly review information by availability or destination. Some of them provide assistance by phone or e-mail and even have a blog, where they recommend the main points to visit in different destinations, so they are a good guide for you to decide where to travel.

Before making any commercial transaction, check that the site has a fixed address, e-mail, and telephone number; review the description of the service to be hired; make sure of the total price you will pay at the end of the transaction; pay attention to the delivery and refund conditions and consult their privacy policies.

Once you have reviewed this information and you have decided to purchase the all-inclusive package, you must provide your personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail, etc.) and financial information (credit card). In this case, the suppliers must guarantee the privacy of your personal and banking data to avoid the risk of fraud.
Therefore, before providing this information, take into account the following:

a) Check that the address of the site begins with HTTPS, which indicates that it is a secure site.

b) At the bottom or top of the site there should be an image of a closed padlock or a key.

c) Double click on the padlock, the security certificate will appear there, which must be valid.

If they don't comply, complain

The tourism sector is governed by various standards to guarantee the quality and reliability of the service. For example, NOM-010-TUR-2001 establishes that the packages offered by travel agencies must be available to tourist users and specify the services they consist of, the characteristics and modalities in the provision of each one of them, the duration time, the total price, as well as the circumstances not attributable to the provider for which it may vary; if applicable, the conditions for cancellation of the services of the final provider, the minimum number of people in the group, the conditions of payment, reimbursement and its validity.

This regulation also establishes the characteristics of the contracts (legible, in Spanish, type of currency agreed upon by the parties...), the content of the contracts (name of the tourist, description of the services, price, causes for termination of the contract) and content of the internal regulations, among others. If you buy an all-inclusive package and the terms and conditions offered on the site are not respected, go to the Profeco office nearest you or call the telephone number. You can also access Profeco's Commercial Bureau to find out if the supplier has had complaints and the main reasons for them.

Recommendations

Only book when you are clear about the destination and date of travel to avoid cancellation or itinerary modification charges.

Cross-check information: consult prices with your traditional travel agent and compare them with those of online travel agencies.

Ask if the foodservice includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, etc.

Get information on cancellation policies. Ask them to specify how they will refund your money in case you do not use the service for any reason. Ask if they charge you any amount for canceling the service.

If you make online purchases, print the screenshots or save them, as they will serve as proof in case of a lawsuit.

Some include transfers from the airport to the hotel, others do not and this happens with some things, it is important to take the time to read all the information.

Even though the trip is all-inclusive, do not forget to include in your budget some extra expenses such as a souvenir, a meal outside the hotel, or any unforeseen event that may arise during the trip.

Source: Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor). By Amadeo Segovia Guerrero and Carlos Enrique García Soto