All-inclusive resorts can be a relaxing and convenient way to vacation. But before booking your next all-inclusive getaway, consider these 5 things to determine if an all-inclusive resort is the right type of resort for you.
Food and Drink
The best thing about all-inclusive resorts is that you always have access to food and drinks. AND, it’s included in the price you pay for your reservation. Most all-inclusive resorts that I’ve been to have a breakfast and lunch buffet, multiple restaurant options for dinner, and multiple bar and grills that stay open for most of the day and night to satisfy those random food cravings. Most resorts even have people serve you on the beach! If all else fails, room service (and mini bar!) is included in the cost of your room as well.
You get what you pay for! There are tons of deals on the internet that tout all-inclusive getaways at amazingly low prices. However, remember that the lower end all-inclusive resorts generally have way fewer options, poor quality food, and bottom shelf drinks. I wouldn’t bother staying at any all-inclusive resort that is rated less than 4 stars.
Another thing to note is that although most of the higher end all-inclusives have lots of different food options, such as Japanese, Italian, “American”, etc, the resort more than likely will not have a ton of options for local cuisine. They may have a local themed meal here and there, but do not go to an all-inclusive thinking you’re going to experience real local food.
Resort Activities and Services
Most all-inclusive resorts have daily events and activities. From early in the morning until late in the afternoon, guests can participate in activities such as yoga, water aerobics, beach volleyball, and snorkeling, all included in the price of your room. There is often some type of performance or event most evenings, and most resorts have a club or disco for the guests to visit.
Also available are spa services, motorized water sports, such as catamaran rides, jet skiing, parasailing, etc.
Make sure you know what activities are included in the cost of your reservation before you leave! In my experience, most fitness classes, beach activities, and non-motorized water sports are included in the price of your room. Other services such as spa services, motorized water sports and excursions cost an additional fee. In most cases, they are worth it, but keep that in mind when planning your trip.
What you are paying for when you book an all-inclusive is convenience. You pay one price, and don’t have to worry about where to get food, drinks, or most activities. This takes a lot of stress off of planning the trip. It also helps you stay within your budget, because you already know what you’ll have to pay up front for food and drink.
If you want to get a feel for the local food and culture, you may want to think twice about booking an all inclusive. Most of the time, you can save money by booking at a regular hotel and find your food, drink and entertainment yourself.
All-inclusives, while convenient, do not really lend themselves to learning about the local culture and people. The instinct is to think about how you’ve already paid for your food and drink up front, so why go out and spend more money out in town?
Before you book all-inclusive, think about what kind of experience you want at this destination. If you just want to spend the week lounging on the beach with a drink and good food, then the all-inclusive is all you. If you want to explore and experience the local culture and food, you may want to consider booking at a regular hotel or an Airbnb.