Is An All Inclusive Resort Right For You?






All-inclusive resorts can really help vacationers get the most out of their travel dollars. Today, over 400 hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico are either all-inclusive resorts or offer all-inclusive packages.

Destinations such as Aruba, Cancun, St. Thomas, and Bahamas have an infrastructure that is well suited to all-inclusive and not all-inclusive resorts because there is a wide selection of restaurants and amenities for tourism. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, don't have the tourism infrastructure in place and are best suited for all-inclusive vacations.

You'll want to consider carefully before choosing an all-inclusive resort. Resorts do vary -- some are designed for couples, some for singles, some for gays and some for families. Some cater to a younger or older crowd. There are also some that offer clothing-optional activities. For obvious reasons, most of those don't allow children under 18.

The resorts come in all shapes and sizes. Some include airfare and hotel. Some include airfare, hotel, transfers, and some meals. Others include all meals and activities, but not airfare. Often, purchasing airfare as part of the package can be a better deal than doing so separately, unless you are using frequent flier miles.

Many all-inclusive have, as part of their program, child-care facilities that are often a resort-within-the-resort for children, a 'day camp' that is special and that kids look forward to attending. And many all-inclusive resorts give incredible price breaks to children (they don't drink liquor, after all,) while some even have no charge for children up to 17 sharing their parents' room.

What are the advantages of all-inclusive vacation resorts?

The security of knowing that one price covers everything, with none of those nasty surprises that can blast a hole in any family's travel budget. All meals, entertainment, activities and sports, as well as airfare and accommodations, are generally included in one price. You can forget your worries about carrying lots of extra cash for expenses, and just sit back and enjoy your vacation.

Who should check out an all-inclusive?

Travelers who are: on a tight budget, traveling with the kids, receiving the trip as a wedding gift or getting married on the honeymoon.


So, is an all-inclusive resort right for you?

If you are the type of traveler that enjoys sampling all of the local fares, then spending all of your time at an all-inclusive resort is probably not for you. If you like to go somewhere just to relax and not worry about taking out your wallet every couple of hours to pay for food, drinks, or activities, then there's probably an all-inclusive resort that's just right for you.

If you like to stay up all night partying and drinking, if you want to take advantage of all the included watersports and activities, if you want to have food and snacks available all day and if you don't want to have to worry about the final bill when you check out, an all-inclusive is definitely a viable option. Some resorts even boast 24-hour room service.

All-inclusive resorts can be costly. On the other hand, they can also provide great value. If you are going to a destination where the cost of meals, snacks, liquor, and activities are expensive, and your hotel or resort is high-quality with an expensive nightly rate, an all-inclusive might end up saving you money.

If, on the other hand, you don't drink much, you enjoy lazing on the beach and getting an early nights sleep, you are dieting and choose simple salads for your meals, you would probably be overspending for an all-inclusive resort. Bear in mind the drinks are only the cheap local which are not very strong.



Author:  Yuri Smolyansky

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