Is All-inclusive All Itís Cracked Up to Be?

After you’ve decided on an exciting destination for your upcoming vacation, the next step is to decide where you’re going to stay. One important factor to decide on if you are going to a resort area is whether or not you will get an all-inclusive package or pay for your lodging separate from your food, activities and other expenses. Depending on the type of trip you are looking for, an all-inclusive resort could be just the thing for you. But on the other hand…

An all-inclusive could be good if you:

  • Are looking to have well-defined costs as part of an easy vacation budget
  • Are mostly interested in relaxing while participating in the occasional resort-arranged activity
  • Have read the full list of what is actually included in your all-inclusive and you are comfortable with what is provided
  • Want to keep down transportation costs by having much of what you need within walking distance
  • Can get better deals on arranged tours than if you tried to book them on your own
  • Don’t want to have to spend time on your trip planning activities yourself
  • Would feel safer in the area you are vacationing in a private, closed-off area
  • Are travelling with children and feel that having a steady supply of entertainment and food for them will be easier and more cost-effective than spending for them on-the-go
  • Want the convenience of easy, pre-arranged travel to and from the airport
  • Are OK with paying a little extra for an exclusive location and some luxury bonuses

Maybe not so good if you:

  • Have crunched the numbers and feel you can get a better deal piecing out the vacation components on your own
  • Are worried about being locked-in ahead of time to pay for food or amenities you may not find particularly suited to your tastes
  • Want to have a more “authentic” experience of local life and culture
  • Enjoy spontaneity or those accidental favorites you find while exploring on your own
  • Are concerned about paying for things you won’t use or double-paying if you want to discover what the surrounding area has to offer
  • Feel you will be spending a lot of time away from the hotel and buying meals or enjoying activities not covered by the resort
  • Will worry about “getting your money’s worth” and try to cram as much of everything you have paid for into your time at the all-inclusive

It never hurts to create a budget for the vacation to see which option fits best in that sense. But also think of what you really want to get out of the trip and which choice gives you a better chance of creating the kind of memories you would like to take away from your time on vacation.

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