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Is an All-Inclusive Resort Right for You?
All-inclusive resorts sometimes get less-than-stellar reviews complaining about their high cost, below-average food and diluted drinks, but many all-inclusive resorts are actually a very good deal. The web site Travel Wise offers a list of considerations to help you decide if an all-inclusive resort is the right choice for your next vacation.
All-inclusive resorts can offer several advantages. First, once you choose a resort, your planning is done. You don’t have to research outside activities or restaurants, for example, because those things are part of the all-inclusive option.
Another advantage of all-inclusive resorts is that they make it easy to stick to a budget because you know the exact cost before you go. Food, drinks and activities are included as part of your upfront payment. If you have children, you probably will be able to say yes to most of their requests without worrying about the cost. And many resorts have a kids’ club with activities to keep the youngsters happy while you relax by the pool.
All-inclusive resorts – especially the larger and grander ones -- also can provide a sense of safety. You should never let your guard down entirely, of course. But all-inclusive resorts have security and gated entries, so you don’t have to venture on your own into a city with which you might not be familiar.
Still, do you really save money going the all-inclusive route, or could you manage to spend less if you booked a room and then paid separately for your food, drink and activities?
The answer depends on the resorts and locations you consider. For example, resorts located in Mexico and Caribbean countries often offer the best value for all-inclusive resorts because the cost of labor in those areas is low.
Once you choose a location, look at the different packages offered at the resort. Most resorts offer a variety of packages, each with its own amenities – and its own rate. Also check out the atmosphere of all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for a family-friendly vacation, you don’t want to end up at a place that caters to young singles – or vice versa.
Remember that most, if not all, of your dining and activities will be through the resort, so make sure it has options you and your group will enjoy. Look for a variety of dining options, so you don’t end up at the same restaurant with the same choices every day. Before you book, think about what activities you would like to do, and find a resort that offers them. Keep in mind that some activities are booked ahead of time, so you might need to register in advance.
Finally, if you decide that an all-inclusive resort is right for your vacation, check online for coupons or discounts, which could significantly reduce the cost of your stay.