Cities Journal

All-inclusive: Is it Worth it?

When planning your next family vacation or romantic getaway, people often wonder whether all-inclusive resorts are the way to go or if you are better off booking everything independently. While at first it seems enticing to click one button and have your vacation entirely paid for and planned out, make you sure you read the fine print before hitting the submit button. All-inclusive resorts are often anything but “all-inclusive” with hidden fees, extra charges and exclusions.

Homebody or Dare Devil?

The most appealing aspect of an all-inclusive resort is the ease of booking. You will know where you will eat every meal… at the resort. You also know where you will spend all of your time… at the resort. If the reason you booked a vacation to your dream destination was to sleep, eat and hang out all day at your resort, then an all-inclusive place may be right for you.

You will also be tempted to stay there your entire vacation so you can really get your money’s worth out of it. But typically, you visit a new place to explore a new culture, go sightseeing, shopping and try new foods. If you want to be adventurous and decide where you eat each night so you can experience the locale, then you should steer clear of all-inclusive resorts. They put limits on what you feel like you should and can do while on vacation.

What All-inclusive Really Includes

Another reason why all-inclusive resorts are not worth it is because of the hidden fees and exclusions. Each resort is different and some include services like gym access, alcohol, tips and activities while others charge fees for those same services.

Without reading the fine print and thinking about any additional costs, your “budget friendly all-inclusive trip” could turn into either a bore from lack of activities or a money pit from paying for all of the extras. Try adding up the average cost of meals in the city you are visiting, the price for excursions and activities and the cost of a hotel to see whether or not you are truly paying for what you want or for the convenience.

All in all, booking your hotel, excursions and food choices independently will give you the flexibility and freedom to do as you please on your vacation instead of feeling tied down to one place or one decision. You will be able to truly explore a new place, immerse yourself in the culture by picking restaurants that you like and only pay for activities and excursions that interest you.

All-inclusive resorts set limits and can end up costing even more than when you book something yourself. Take a few minutes off of your computer and TV time and use that time to plan a perfect vacation that is suited towards your wants, needs and interests!

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