You’ve probably heard of or seen ads on the internet about all-inclusive hotels. It sounds like a great idea — paying for everything upfront and not having to worry about the bill when you check out. But are all-inclusive hotels, resorts, or vacations worth it?
Like many travel hacks, all-inclusive deals are more complicated than they appear. You’ll have to take a look at your own life and travel style to figure out if they are right for you.
How Do You Travel?
Before you book an all-inclusive hotel or vacation, ask yourself what kind of traveler you are. If you like to go out and explore the local town, practice the language and try street food, you won’t be spending time at the hotel.
This means that all the stuff you paid for — food, booze, and on-premise activities — are going to waste. However, if you’re the type of person who loves to stay in a resort and enjoy everything the place has to offer, an all-inclusive deal may be perfect for you.
Usually, the things that are included in the all-inclusive price will show up in big, bold letters on your screen. Take note of them and ask yourself, “Are these things I will enjoy every day?” If not, you’ll want to keep searching.
Love endless buffets and food at all times of the day? Then, check out deals where food is included in the price. Looking to do lots of water sports and fun activities? Then, find a deal that includes expensive sports such as scuba diving or kite surfing is better for you.
Certain activities or items are not included in the overall charge. These things are any sort of spa or beauty treatment or boutique store purchases. Likewise, basic beverages are included, but not alcoholic drinks. Other hotels may have restaurants that are included in the price while still others will require you to pay separately.
Things that not included in your trip are listed in the fine print. Read the description of the deal carefully before you click the “Buy” button.
Airfare or Not?
Being someplace new and exotic is great, but getting there can put a huge dent in your wallet. If the all-inclusive hotel you’re looking to stay at is within the continental US, it probably won’t matter much if you get a deal that includes airfare. Most domestic flights are cheap enough that getting a combo won’t save you much money.
However, if you’re flying to an all-inclusive resort or hotel that’s on the other side of the world, the ticket prices could cost over $2000. Also, if you’re picky about stops and don’t want to spend days airport hopping, getting a deal that includes a one-stop or nonstop flight will be worth it. Plus, this way, you can spend more time enjoying yourself and relaxing instead of running through airports.
Once you land, many resorts or hotels have airport pickup services, which saves you even more money on cabs and Uber rides.
The Answer: Yes and No
So, are all-inclusive hotels really worth it? The answer is, yes and no. They’re worth it if you plan on using all the amenities and perks that are part of the package. Want to take advantage of activities that would normally be too expensive to even try? Worth it! Love drinking and eating and meeting new people at the hotel pool? Book it!
But if none of these are really up your alley, there are other ways to travel outside of the all-inclusive hotel experience.