Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Groups with Different Budgets

 Traveling with friends and family is a lot of fun, but one issue that comes up is when everyone does not have the same budget for the trip.

One of the ways I help my client is to look at different options that could accommodate different budgets. Two examples of this are all inclusive resorts and cruises because they have a variety of room/cabin options at different price points.

For example, the Iberostar Paraiso complex south of Cancun,  Mexico has five resorts along the same beach. You have access to  different levels of amenities depending on which of the resorts you stay in.

You can choose:

 Grand Hotel  - An adults only luxury all inclusive resort with unlimited a la carte restaurant options and exchange privileges  at all five resorts 

Maya or Lindo – A family all inclusive resort with unlimited all – inclusive a la carte restaurant options at your resort and the Del Mar or Beach. You also have exchange privileges at Del Mar and Beach.  If you stay at Maya, you can access Lindo restaurants. Maya guests cannot access Lindo restaurants. The Maya and Lindo share the pool and beach area. The Maya resort has all junior suite. The Lindo has standard rooms.

Del Mar or Beach – A family all inclusive resort. You have restrictions on the number of nights you can eat at an a la carte restaurant. No room service.   

Your group could still meet on the beach together, enjoy the pools together or get reservations at the a la carte restaurant at the lowest level resort.  The downside to this is that the people who paid for the Grand Hotel probably wouldn't use them as much if  the rest of their group was at the Del Mar  or Beach Resort.  This came up recently at a 40th birthday party at an adults only all inclusive resort that offers a privileged club. Some of the group paid for their preferred Club rooms, but the rest of the group opted for a regular room. Those who paid for the preferred Club said that they didn't really use the amenities because they were spending time with their friends.

Another option is to explore different lengths of trip. The lower budget crew stays 3 nights and those with a higher budget threshold stay longer and/or upgrade their room category for the second half of the trip.

In a similar way, cruises offer a good opportunity for people with different budgets. You have a range of cabins choices from cabins with no windows up to suites. When picking a cruise, it's important to make sure that you can all be together for dining. For instance, Celebrity, Cunard, and the Norwegian Haven have separate dining rooms depending on the cabin you book.  Princess, Carnival, Royal Caribbean or the general Norwegian room may be a better fit to ensure you share the same dining options.

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