When planning a trip, there often comes a time when juggling the schedule, itineraries, and budget makes you feel like you need a vacation from vacation planning. When it comes to cutting through the clutter of vacation planning, all inclusive resorts have a great deal to offer in terms of convenience and ease. On top of that, many people are drawn to the concept of paying for everything up front. After all, it can be much easier to relax and enjoy your time in tropical paradise if you aren’t calculating how your lunch and rum punch figures into the budget. But, are all inclusive resorts really a good deal? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer except, “maybe”.
When deciding if an all inclusive vacation will save you money over paying as you go, first consider your travel style and then the resort you are considering.
How do you like to travel?
When determining if an all inclusive vacation is a good deal for you, think about your travel style. Do you want to spend the majority of your time relaxing at the resort, or are you an “on-the-go” traveler that needs to see everything an area has to offer? Do you like to spend time dining at a variety of restaurants or are meals squished between activities? Thinking about what you want to get out of your vacation time can help determine if an all inclusive matches your travel style, and if so which resort is your home-away-from-home.
Find the vacation that is meant for you
Everyone has their own ideal of the perfect vacation, and there is a seemingly unlimited array of all inclusive options out there. The good news is, there is probably an all inclusive resort to match your desires. However, “all inclusive” doesn’t always mean the same thing, so it’s important to find out what’s included in each package. When comparing options, and deciding if all inclusive is right for you, consider the following factors.
Most all inclusive resorts offer nightly entertainment or live music and, for fun in the sun, most offer water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking or windsurfing in the price. Some even offer scuba diving lessons (typically held in the pool) and a handful offer scuba diving trips. However, at most all inclusive resorts, off site excursions to local attractions will be an extra cost, though the staff may be able to help arrange them.
The majority of all inclusive resorts offer a variety of restaurants to please every palate. When comparing resorts, be sure to find out what is available and compare it to how you prefer to dine while traveling. Be sure to find out if there are up charges for certain eateries, or if there are limits on the number of restaurants you can visit during your stay. Also, find out if room service is available.
The inclusion of alcoholic beverages is one of the most popular benefits of all inclusive vacations. A resort may include all alcohol, while others include beer and wine with an extra charge for liquor or mixed drinks. Still others actually offer liqueur dispensers in the rooms.
Gratuity is included in many vacation packages. This can be a huge benefit as it means not needing to carry small bills or calculating to correct percentage and exchange rate.
In the end, whether or not an all inclusive resort will save you money depends on your travel style and how many of the included amenities you indulge in. Even if you don’t save money, the convenience of an all inclusive vacation may be well worth it.