While they’re a good value, be aware that all-inclusive resorts aren’t for everyone. The quality of the food is often just middling, and those who aren’t joiners may feel as if the organized fun (think drinking contests and karaoke) is a bit contrived.
Considering all the factors, here are four all-inclusive alternatives with taxes and transfers included (airfares, especially around the holidays, are very volatile, so expect price variations — the sooner fares are booked, the better):
(family photo) - John, 66, and Katherine Morrison, 60.
●Take Vision Airlines from BWI Marshall to Freeport, Bahamas, departing Christmas Day, returning Jan. 1; the fare was recently $409 per person. Stay at the 26-acre Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach; five people in two rooms starts at $5,142. Total cost: $7,187, leaving a little spending money for spa treatments, motorized water sports and excursions.
●Take US Airways from Reagan National to Nassau, Bahamas, departing Dec. 25 and returning Dec. 31; the fare was recently $357 per person. Stay at Breezes Bahamas on Cable Beach, which is restricted to ages 14 and older, and is situated near two casinos; five people in two rooms starts at $5,599. Total cost: $7,384.
●Take AirTran from BWI to Cancun, Mexico, departing Dec. 22 and returning Dec. 29; round-trip fare was recently priced at $537 per person. (While Cancun is not a Caribbean island, it offers similar weather and attractions). Stay at the 569-room Riu Cancun, within easy walking distance of Cancun’s night life center; five people in two ocean-view rooms starts at $5,010. Total cost: $7,695.
●Book with a tour operator that bundles flights and hotels. Often, these companies will have nonstop charter flights that aren’t offered to the general public. For example, Apple Vacations was recently offering a Saturday-to-Saturday package deal for four adults from BWI Marshall to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic Dec. 24-31 with nonstop flights on a chartered AirTran jet and all-inclusive accommodations at the Grand Paradise Bavaro for a total of $8,097. This package, priced separately, would cost more than $500 extra with nonstop flights out of Dulles on United (there is no scheduled nonstop service from BWI).
Interested in having us help plan your trip? Go to washingtonpost.com/goingourway.