All-inclusive Resorts: 10 questions to ask before you book

There are several advantages to take an all inclusive vacation. The main reason: Just as the name implies, all inclusive vacation packages are a single payment. You pay a flat fee per person, and instantly, your travel, hotel or lodging, rental transportation (if needed) and, in most cases, meals and drinks are covered. Clearly this is beneficial of you who out off traveling due to all of the planning that needs to be done. With all inclusive vacation packages, all of these details are taken care of, allowing you to enjoy your trip, stress-free.

Here are some of the top question you want to ask when booking an all inclusive vacation:

1) What’s really included?
At some all-inclusives, one price really does cover everything—airport transfers, departure taxes, accommodations, meals, entertainment, activities, and tipping. Sometimes the easiest way to find out what your trip covers, is to ask what it does not include.

2) Is the destination important?
For finding travel deals, the less particular you are about a certain destination, the more choice you have. If you’re going to a destination where food and accommodation are expensive, an all-inclusive resort may be excellent value. If it’s an easy-going, cashless vacation you’re after, an all-inclusive resort is ideal. However, those seeking a more authentic slice of foreign culture might find the all-inclusive resort too limiting.

3) What’s on the menu?
If hunting for a local restaurant every day and reading menus in a foreign language is not your thing, all-inclusives may suit you. But for someone who eats like a bird, all-you-can-eat every meal, every day, plus free snacks might be too much of a good thing. Find out what dining facilities are offered—are there several restaurants or only one; are meals served buffet-style or ala carte? Is there a surcharge for certain restaurants and/or certain types of foods (ie. Seafood)?  Resort meals can vary from the truly stunning to just  average.  Find out if room service is included in the overall cost (and how often) or whether it costs extra.

4) Are drinks included?
Most resorts offer wine, beer, and hard liquor in the overall price, some only the standard brands, and others all brands, including premium. At some resorts, alcoholic drinks are available throughout the day and night, while at others they are included only with dinner.  Some resorts also include a stocked mini-bar in the room.

5) What about the kids?
Some all-inclusives can be great value for families; young children can stay free in their parents’ room. Ask what kind of supervised child-care facilities are available for the inclusive price and whether babysitters cost extra (and how much). Often, there are age-appropriate day camps for the kids, but be sure to check what kinds of activities are offered and whether your child would enjoy them.

6) What are the rooms like?
Rooms at resorts can range from luxury swim-out suites to a basic room. If you’re hanging out by the pool all day, a luxurious room might not matter, but if you are on your honeymoon, you might want to splurge for one with a Jacuzzi or an ocean view with a balcony. For those vacationing in a bigger group, there may be a charge for connecting rooms. And when heading to a sun destination, inquire whether rooms are air-conditioned.

7) What activities are offered, included and at an additional cost?
Typically, though not always, resorts are in warmer climates and offer non-motorized water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, as well as land sports such as golf, racquet sports, horseback riding, billiards, badminton, and cycling. As included activities, these can make the overall package good value compared to doing these activities on a “pay as you go” basis. If certain activities are important to you, you can select a resort what’s offered and included. Off-site excursions will typically cost extra.

8) What is there to do at night?
Inquire whether there is any (free) nightly entertainment and what it is. Some resorts have excellent nightly entertainment including live bands with dancing, casinos, piano bars, and big-screen movies on the beach, while others offer bingo. If you have kids with you, ask whether there are evening children’s programs, too.

9) Can I get married there?
Consider having your wedding or honeymoon at an-all-inclusive resort, where experienced wedding planners will plan as much (every last detail, including judge, marriage license, music, and bridal bouquet) or as little as you like on your important day.

10) Is it right for me?
If you just can’t decide whether to take the all-inclusive plunge, try adding up all your meals, drinks, accommodations, and excursions as if you had purchased them separately. Compare the difference in savings (if there is any) to the trade-offs. Would you rather have your vacation planned for you? Or is the difference in savings not worth the greater freedom you would have doing your own exploring?

Whatever it is you are looking for on your next vacation your UNIGLOBE Travel Consultant is there to help.

UNIGLOBE Spectrum Travel
15150 S.W. Bangy Rd.
Lake Oswego OR
97035 United States