What’s great about an all-inclusive vacation?
Choosing where you’re going to vacation is hassle enough, deciding how to vacation shouldn’t be too.
If you’re on the fence about going with an all-inclusive resort trip or don’t know at all, here are some of the perks of going with a packaged deal.
All-inclusive vacations require less planning
The first and foremost reason to pick an all-inclusive vacation is the lack of planning. Sure, there’s a significant portion of planning that goes into any vacation, but choosing all-inclusive relieves the stress of schedules and time management.
Most all-inclusives will let you customize your itinerary so it will only involve activities you and the family will be interested in. The whole group will have the time to relax and just experience the vacation, rather than frantically trying to fit excitement into every moment.
A variety of activities offered
There’s going to be something for everyone in the family. Resorts and other hotel packages have a diversity to their activities so you and your family won’t be at a loss for things to do. Look for packages that give the kids something special, so you can relax with much-needed adult time.
Worry less about money
Pay only once! Your whole stay, down to dinner and drinks, was already taken care of during check-in. There’s no anxiety of how much you’re spending as you go because the bill was taken at the door.
Anything you wind up spending money on isn’t going to feel like another blow to your wallet, so you can feel free to indulge on the vacation knickknacks or souvenirs that otherwise might have seemed a little too much.
Explore different cuisines
The food in an all-inclusive is going to be just as diverse as the activities. There is usually pizza and buffets to please the kids, but increasingly finer dining has become available in vacation and resorts.
With the price of food already covered, you’re free to explore and try new things without feeling like you’ve wasted your money on something you don’t like.
Things to consider about an all-inclusive
Keep this decision informed. Don’t go all-in on an all-inclusive vacation without knowing what you might be missing out beyond the resort or the tour.
Maybe your destination is better off viewed from a less structured environment, or maybe you can be a lot thriftier on your vacations than the average person.
These are a few of the drawbacks of picking all-inclusive vacations.
All-Inclusive vacations tend to be ‘by the books’
There’s a lack of spontaneity in an all-inclusive vacation. It’s a pleasure when everything is planned and orderly, but there’s little chance to find something off the beaten path or do something you’ve only just learned of.
Going with a package can make it feel even more costly to do something outside of the itinerary.
May miss out on local experiences
Resorts and all-inclusives don’t immerse the visitor in their destination. They’re often isolated and only show off the most palatable of tourist destinations.
You can take an all-inclusive vacation in New York City, but only see the tourist areas like the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, and really miss the local color that isn’t so big-name.
There’s plenty of things to do in NYC off the beaten path or spontaneously.
More expensive up front
It may not be as economical. You’ll have to do some real number crunching and research, but between convenience fees and other charges, you may have a better, cheaper experience booking your stay on its own.
The convenience of a single charge may be enticing, but it may come at a heavier cost on the wallet.
“All-inclusive” meaning may vary
Before you do anything with an all-inclusive trip, check what all-inclusive means to that provider. It may sound great for the price, until you discover all-inclusive really means only some inclusive.
Frequently, things that are just assumed to be part of the vacation are left out. You can arrive at your destination to find the gorgeous view you were promised is obstructed by construction.
Drinks might not be covered, or you may be already paying the tip on your bill by default. If you’re going this route, you need to know all the ins and outs of what your stay gets. It would be terrible to discover that the WiFi is a surcharge after you’ve already checked in.
There are different tiers of all-inclusive vacations
Pricier doesn’t mean better. Like the previous points, you’re not always getting more for what you’re spending.
Check for those charges and convenience fees. Often you’re forced to pay for activities in a package that you know you and your family have no interest in, or the food costs way out-price what you think your budget should be.
All-inclusive vacations can be great but should be approached with a healthy amount of skepticism and penny-pinching. As with any purchase, you should weigh the needs and wants of your family against what is provided, then make the decision.
Aside from choosing between an all-inclusive or not, there are also options between different all-inclusive packages, so it’s always best to shop around.