I’ve booked into more all inclusive resorts than I can remember. I recently booked another for a vacation to a part of the Caribbean I’ll be visiting for the first time in 2014.
All inclusives have some advantages:
- Cost saving and peace of mind from bundling airfare, hotel, transfers. One stop travel shopping.
- Food, beverages supplied.
- Some hotels have kid’s pools & activities, and nightclubs for the adults.
- Everything you may need can be found on site.
- Most have security gates and guards. They’re extremely safe.
But there are downsides too:
- Because you’ve pre-paid meals, you’re less inclined to explore eateries outside the resort.
- Free alcohol. Enough said.
- Waiting around the airport for the hotel transfer to happen. Rounding up all the people heading to one property can take a while.
- Double occupancy. You pay a single supplement if you travel solo.
- Buffet food can be boring and predictable after a few days. A la carte restaurants book up quickly.
- The “crime” of chair reserving. See my entry on the problem.
I typically stay in all inclusives if I’m visiting a destination for the first time. Once I get the lay of the land, I’m more inclined to seeks out more economical accommodation on subsequent visits because I don’t need opulence and don’t want to pay for it. Plus, I like to eat around. And I like to stay near the dive shops I patronize because I carry my own scuba gear.
All inclusives are popular because they take most the worry out of traveling. Worth a try if you’ve never booked one in the past.