Is An All-Inclusive Vacation Right For You?

Oma H. Barnett

For fun and total relaxation, all-inclusive resort vacations can offer a complete escape from all things required at home. If you haven’t had a chance to learn about this type of vacation, here are some basics.

All-inclusive vacations include the price of your room, your meals, your drinks (including alcoholic beverages) and unlimited activities in one up-front price. These packages are usually offered at resort locations. Resorts either focus on adult-only visitors or a stay for the entire family. All-inclusive vacation locations tend to be in the Caribbean or Mexico.

So for one up-front price, food is included and is offered via scrumptious buffets, poolside grills or the resort’s restaurant where you can order a la carte. The array of free activities (based on resort) include: kayaking, sailing, an introductory diving lesson, snorkeling, windsurfing or water aerobics. Other entertainment can include complimentary Kids’ Club activities for younger family members (ages 4-12) where they can spend time with their peers, enjoying games, nature walks or arts and crafts. If that were not enough, tipping and gratuities are not required and not expected by staff. Motorized water sports, like jet skiing and parasailing, are available for additional fees. Spa services and babysitting require additional fees.

If you haven’t guessed, the theory is to provide world-class pampering, first-rate luxury and exceptional service to all their guests. Sandals and Beaches Resorts have made this concept famous even including Butler Services, where the butler will offer to unpack your luggage, draw your bath scented with rose petals, tidy your wardrobe, and cater to your every whim.

Linda Syme recently traveled by exchanging her timeshare week to find out that the “all-inclusive” fees were mandatory at the resort and was charged $300/day for her and her husband. She commented, “We won’t do the all-inclusive again because my husband and I just don’t eat or drink enough for the all-inclusive fees. I’d rather just go to restaurants on our own.” She added, “Owners of the resort could choose the all-inclusive for just even one day of their stay, at their choice and at a much lower cost of $59 daily per person, that would have been worth it to me.”

Vacationers do not need to be timeshare owners to find an all-inclusive vacation though.

Eric Woodroof enjoyed his all-inclusive stay at the Omni Cancun Hotel stating, “It was great to sit on the beach with the family, order an unlimited number of refreshments and cocktails, while not having to worry about dinner planning or money at all. The service of relaxation was unsurpassed.”

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