Is it worth it to stay at an all-inclusive resort?
Although the weather outside might not seem like it, summer is just around the corner and people are already starting to book summer travel plans. Planning a summer vacation for your family this far in advance offers many benefits including steep discounts from industries that are unsure what their summer capacities will look like (such as cruise lines), access to the best accommodations before they're fully booked, and cheaper airfare prices. Another option that you might want to consider is staying at an all inclusive resort. But, what does all inclusive resort mean?
If you're under a considerable amount of stress from work or life in general and don't feel like mapping out every aspect of your summer travel plans, then staying at an all inclusive resort might be a viable option. They're not as perfect as the advertisements try to portray, but they can help you save time and money on your next vacation. Continue reading to learn more about all inclusive resorts to determine if they're right for your travel goals.
What Does All Inclusive Resort Mean?
Little Time for Planning? No Problem.
If you have very little time in between work and family to plan out an entire vacation, then an all-inclusive resort could help you focus on more immediate concerns without sacrificing a fun experience later on. As implied by the "all-inclusive" description, you won't have to look around for places to eat and things to do at your destination because most of that will already be covered and readily available for you.
For some folks, this is one of the best ways to stretch your travel budget because you already know what the cost will be upfront, rather than arriving at your vacation spot and discovering new (and expensive) restaurants and activities you'd like to try.
Better Bargains Elsewhere
When you have your vacation planned out for you and all the amenities you could desire available in one convenient location, then obviously this will come at a price. As CNN points out, some all-inclusive resorts cost as much as $450 per person, per night, and you might still end up spending more money on top of that if you want to drink alcohol or go on day trips or try different activities in the area that are not covered by the resort itself. Although more budget-friendly, all-inclusive options exist, the fact remains that there are better travel bargains to be found outside of all-inclusive resorts.
For instance, staying with Airbnb would probably be much cheaper than a resort in many destinations. Sure, you might not have an incredible view or access to a private, resort guests-only beach, but Airbnb options are affordable and come with more "homey" amenities like a private kitchen where you can make your own meals to save money on dining out.
Safe & Luxurious
There are many different types of all inclusive resorts around the world, including family-friendly destinations, adults-only romantic getaways, booze-included (several "all-inclusive" reports stop short of offering unlimited alcohol), and solo traveler paradises. These swanky resorts are typically safe and come with on-site security patrolling the premises, safety deposit boxes in the rooms, and gated entrances to both indoor and outdoor amenities.
Quantity Over Quality
Since all inclusive resorts typically offer unlimited dining, the quality of the food might be lower than what you'd find beyond the resort where restaurants rely on happy, paying customers to stay in business. Although all inclusive resorts are improving, many of them still rely on buffet-style meal offerings to control their costs while ensuring that their guests have access to the unlimited amount that is promised by the "all-inclusive" description.
If you would prefer to try a wide variety of local dishes and venture beyond the confines of a resort, then staying at a hotel or Airbnb or bed-and-breakfast might be a better (and possibly more affordable) alternative to an all inclusive vacation.
Where Should You Stay?
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to stay at an all inclusive resort is up to you. Budget-conscious travelers would likely be better off seeking accommodations, transportation, and dining options elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you're pressed for time before your vacation and have little time to plan and book all your activities in advance, then an all inclusive resort package might be just what you need to de-stress without attending to every last detail of your trip.
What does all inclusive resort mean? Do you like staying in all inclusive resorts? Why do you like them or avoid them?
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