Many would think that the answer to staying at an all-inclusive resort is a no brainier. But, for some travelers, all-inclusive resorts are quite boring, to say the least. I have stayed in all-inclusive resorts and rented apartments and houses during my travels. Each has afforded me a different experience. And let me tell you, the differences don’t just lie in the free drinks and buffets. I will give you some of my top reasons to stay or not to stay at all-inclusive resorts.
1. Structure: If you want structure, then all-inclusive resorts are it. Think Dirty Dancing….you have activities around the clock and you can schedule excursions at your leisure. Talk about relaxing!!
2. SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS: Many people, including the Naturalistas, love the idea of being able to drink as much as you want, without incurring the additional costs. If I can wake up to a martini and go to bed with a martini, why not, its included!! Tip: most resorts offer alcohol as part of the package, but make sure you ask for top shelf since most will give you bottom shelf if you do not tell them your preference.
3. Food Cost: Again, looking at what you are saving. MOST of the food is included. Some resorts have extra swanky restaurants where you pay an additional fee for special treatment. But for real, all-inclusive resorts typically include at least three meals and some snacks depending on where you travel. This does save time and money.
Not to Stay
1. Culture: Most resorts actually recommend that you do not leave the resort unless going on an excursion. So if you are looking for independent exploration, or to get a realistic experience of the culture all inclusive may not be for you. Unless you’re me, and just leave the resort anyway……but that’s another post.
2.Cost: All-inclusive does not not mean cheap. In fact, in the age of Airbnb, resort prices can be 2 to 3 times more than expensive private rentals. I don’t know about you, but I could definitely do something else with the savings……like take another trip.
3. The food: Ok, so I know I said all you can eat, but realistically how much are you eating on vacation? Also, for an authentic food experience resorts fall short. Some of the best food experiences I have had on vacations were while not on resorts. There is nothing like having a locally prepared meal.
If you are deciding between staying at an all inclusive resort or not, I hope we helped you make a decision. Have you stayed at an all-inclusive resort or are you totally opposed? Either way leave a comment and tell us how you really feel!!