THE INS AND OUTS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE VACATIONS
In recent years, all-inclusive vacations have surged to the forefront of Americans’ travel plans due to their convenience and affordability, offering much-needed relief in this struggling economy. As a result, the market has been flooded with all-inclusive vacation deals, but don’t be fooled – not all all-inclusive resorts are created equally!
To all-inclusive or not to all-inclusive? Before booking an all-inclusive vacation, think carefully about what constitutes your ideal vacation. If you prefer to explore your destination thoroughly and plan on spending little time at the resort, then an all-inclusive vacation might not be for you. However, if you’re dreaming of a beach getaway where you can relax and enjoy being catered to, an all-inclusive vacation would be the perfect choice
All-inclusive resorts are mainly located in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and a select few in the Bahamas. These resorts are secure and safe, and offer a slew of amenities, dining options, and activities on-site.
Next, decide what type of all-inclusive vacation you’d like to take. Are you looking for a romantic all-inclusive resort to share with that special someone? There are many resorts that tout romantic ambiance, but do allow the happy couple to bring the whole family along. Then there are some resorts that cater exclusively to adults or even resorts that are just for couples, for the ultimate adults-only all-inclusive vacation.
But don’t let all this talk of romantic getaways discourage you; there are many resorts that are perfect for an all inclusive family vacation, offering comprehensive children’s programs and activities and entertainment for all ages. Many all-inclusive resorts blend these family amenities with indulgent escapes for adults; guests at these all-inclusive resorts are a nice mix of families, friends and couples.
Now that you’ve thought about what type of all-inclusive resort you’d like to visit, the search can begin! Read each resort’s website and make sure you know what “all-inclusive” includes at each resort. For example, at most all-inclusive resorts alcoholic beverages are included, but premium brands may not be, and at some the all-inclusive plan may just cover non-alcoholic beverages. Non-motorized water sports such as kayaking are also usually included, but motorized water sports like jet skiing are not. All-inclusive resorts will almost always have a detailed description of their all-inclusive plan available on their website, so definitely do your research before reaching for your wallet.
Some resorts advertise themselves as “24-hour all-inclusive resorts” – this means that you will have access to unlimited food and drinks 24 hours a day, while those resorts that are not open 24-hrs will usually specify meal times for you to follow. Speaking of food, do you consider fine dining a pre-requisite for a great vacation? If so, you may want to focus your search on 4- or 5-star all-inclusive resorts, which offer a variety of specialty restaurants and diverse menus. Less expensive all-inclusive resorts usually feature a lot of buffet-style dining.
Now that you’re armed with the basics of shopping for the perfect all-inclusive vacation, browse this week’s top vacation deals at top vacation deals