Tropical resort swimming pool

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Vacation Activities
What you thought of: The rates at the all-inclusive resort you picked.

What you forgot to save for: All the activities they're going to charge you for once you're there. "The words 'all inclusive' are deceptive," says Peter Greenberg, the travel editor for CBS News and author of The Best Places for Everything. In fact, there's one clear signal that a whole bunch of things cost extra: "The most dreaded symbol in the English language is the asterisk," Greenberg says.

How to get a good deal: The best time to ask about how that little star will affect the cost of eating, water sports and childcare options is before you get to the hotel. If you don't ask in advance, Greenberg says, start talking to management as soon as you arrive. The resort will be less likely to give you a deal on individual lessons or services (after all, they've still got to pay the tennis instructor or masseuse), but there are places where you'll have more success: "They'll discount activities in which their basic costs aren't going to get killed," says Greenberg. "Individual water skiing lessons, no. On the other hand, the entry fee to a group activity, like a kids' camp, might be discounted."


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