Are All-Inclusive Resorts Worth It?
July 22, 2013
If you’re looking to take a nice vacation in the the Caribbean or Mexico you will inevitably come across some all-inclusive resorts as an option for your accommodations. Are these pricier options a better deal than staying at a normal hotel and paying for your meals? Or are you better off separating the two expenses on your vacation? If you plan ahead and review all your options, you can lower your costs.
How to Determine if All-Inclusive is Right For Your Vacation
Here are four tactics you can use to figure out if an all-inclusive resort is right for you and your vacation plans.
Understanding All-Inclusive Resorts
An all-inclusive resort is a resort where you pay a premium over the average cost of a room at a resort and get free food and drink included. Instead of having to go out to restaurants and bars on your vacation you can have it all on one secure property. You pay a significantly higher price over the average room rate, but the perks can make it worth it.
The Purpose of Your Vacation
Are you there to relax and completely stay on the property? Or are you looking for an adventure that puts you deep within the local culture?
The type of trip you are taking will determine whether or not an all-inclusive resort is best for you. If you are looking for the completely relaxed and pampered vacation where someone waits on you at a moment’s notice, then an all-inclusive can be a great option.
On the other hand if you are looking to go out and explore a city, getting involved in the local culture, and trying out the hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the locale, then an all-inclusive won’t be the best value for you. You’ll have paid the premium for all the food and drink you want at the resort and spend extra money exploring on your own.
The All-Inclusive Premium
Another factor to consider is just how high of a premium the resort is charging for the all-inclusive rate.
Are you spending an extra $100 or $250 per night? The difference can make or break your interest in the resort.
All it takes are some simple calculations to figure out how much you might spend per day in food and drink and if the premium is significantly above that it probably isn’t worth it. Then again if it is pretty close to what you would estimate you would spend on your own, the ability to have everything at your fingertips rather than a taxi ride away can make it worthwhile.
Reviews of the Resort’s Added Perks
The last thing you should consider before dropping extra money on all-inclusive perks is to read many reviews on the resort. Even if the pricing worked out to be pretty similar to what you thought you would spend eating out on your own the quality might not be the same.
All-inclusive resorts are notorious for using well liquor instead of the premium stuff when they make your drinks. They might be cutting back on the quality of food as well.Â Reading many reviews will give you a better idea of the overall quality of the resort, but pay special attention to the food and drink reviews.
And do read many reviews, for two reasons:
- Unhappy customers are more likely to write reviews online so don’t let one or two bad reviews turn you off.
- Hotel companies have paid people to put positive, fake reviews on websites in the past.
You can’t guarantee you won’t be reading a fake review, but if the resort has hundreds of reviews and 95% of them are positive then you know you’re looking at a quality establishment. Spending an hour reading reviews is probably worth it before you drop several thousand dollars on a trip.
Want to save some money? Try these inexpensive vacation options!
What do you think? Are all-inclusive resorts worth it?
All posts by Kevin