Your Guide to All-Inclusive Vacations
In theory, an all-inclusive resort seems way too good to be true. Except the thing is…they actually are that good.
If you can’t decide between Eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles, you can just get both. If you want to finally try a Dark 'N' Stormy or Roy Rob, or any number of interesting cocktails you've never tried before, go for it. Not sure if you’re going to like catamaraning? Give it a try. If you don't like it you can always paddle back to shore and lay on the beach instead.
So exactly what is an all-inclusive vacation?
An all-inclusive vacation is where you pay one amount upfront and then don’t have to pay for most things on-site after you arrive at your hotel. In addition to your hotel, your Olsen-O'Leary Travel consultant can create a package that also includes flights and airport transfers all for one low price.
Exactly what is included?
By and large, most all-inclusive resorts include the same things for one price:
- Unlimited food at many restaurants
- Bottomless drinks
- Kids clubs and activities
- Scheduled entertainment
- Access to things like on-site fitness centers, clubs, and bars
- Land activities (tennis and beach volleyball)
- Non-motorized water sports (kayaking and sailing)
- Taxes and services
What’s the catch?
Not a lot. Everything you could possibly want or need is included, but there are some extra special services and amenities that might have a charge. It varies from hotel to hotel, but you'll normally find some combination of the following:
- Food. Some resorts may make you pay an up-charge on certain items, like say if you want a lobster for breakfast, plus specialty restaurants. Others may not offer room service.
- Drinks. Some resorts may charge for certain drinks, like bottles of their very best wine.
- Activities. There are normally some activities you'll need to pay extra for such as spa treatments and motorized water sports like jet ski rentals.
- Random add-ons. Gifts at the gift shop. Laundry service. Doctor visits. Things like that.
And that’s pretty much it. If you're not sure, ask, but for the most part you can go to town and be secure in the knowledge that you’re not looking at any additional costs.
Here’s a tip…
Here’s where a lot of resorts vary. Some expect that you’ll still be tipping your bellboy, maid, and servers, while others specifically ask that you don't. Make sure you ask before you go to avoid any misunderstandings.
Who are all-inclusive vacations for?
There are scores of different all-inclusive resorts out there, for just about every different type of traveler.
What: Looking for romance? There are a ton of couples-only resorts where you can be pretty much assured your romantic sunset beach walk won’t be ruined by a bachelorette party or screaming toddler.
Where: Sandals is renowned for offering couples-only Luxury-Included® vacations, and they're located all across the Caribbean
Why: Not having to calculate the cost of that second glass of champagne means you can have a romantic vacation with none of the stress.
What: Want to steer clear of kids but also don't want to be surrounded by love-struck honeymooners? At an adults-only resort, you can hang out at the bar and dance at the club without being overrun by crowds of children or hand-holding couples.
Where: Resorts like Breathless, Secrets, and Excellence are chic, luxurious, and perfect for very grownup getaways.
Why: Organized activities give guests the chance to mingle, and on-site bars and nightclubs let you cut loose without having to keep track of whose round it is.
What: Want to take the kids on vacation without having to worry about racking up tons of extra costs? Most family-friendly all-inclusive resorts have more to keep the kids busy than they could ever do in one trip…including childcare for when you need a break.
Where: Resorts like Beaches and Dreams offer excellent activities specific for kids, adults, and for families to participate in together.
Why: Kids clubs, water parks, game rooms, and daycare will keep kids of all ages entertained, so you can lounge by the pool bar or hit the fitness center.
Are you already packing your bags? Contact your Olsen-O'Leary Travel consultant to start planning your own all-inclusive getaway.