When it comes to taking the ultimate vacation, there’s one thing that many travel instantly think of… They think of going all-inclusive. To be sure, this can be one heck of a way to enjoy a vacation. There’s really no person alive that doesn’t relish the idea of checking into a resort and then being able to leave the wallet in the room. Who doesn’t want everything taken care of from top to bottom?
But, is that really what the all-inclusive experience is all about? In fact, is going to an all-inclusive resort the very best way to spend a vacation? Well, the answer to this is a bit complicated, due in no small part to the fact that not every all-inclusive package or resort is created equally.
For this reason, we’re going to take a look at 20 secrets of the all-inclusive experience. Simply put, these are the things that many resorts around the world wish you didn’t know…
But, here’s the thing. If you do know these all-inclusive resort secrets, then you can make a better-informed decision when it comes time to book your vacation. In the end, this will ensure that you’re spending your hard-earned money in the right way and that you’re getting the all-inclusive experience you hoped for when you pay for it…
1. Pictures Could Be Deceiving
All-inclusive resorts want you to book, which is why the photos you see online may be a bit ‘touched up’ compared to what you’ll actually get.
2. High Commissions for Travel Agents
If you’re going through a travel agent, remember this: All-inclusive resorts pay the highest commissions, which is why travel agents push them.
3. Is It Really All Inclusive?
Really look into what’s ‘included’ as a part of ‘all-inclusive’. Oftentimes, it might be far, far less than you expect.
4. Charter Flights Can Be Hell
When trying to reach an all-inclusive in the Caribbean, you’ll likely have to take a charter. Be sure to get a feel for what that’s like, because you might not like it.
5. Don’t Forget to Tip!
Even if your all-inclusive package includes everything that you want, remember that tipping is still customary (and not included).
6. Pay More for Fancy Stuff
But, that’s the thing… Are you getting everything you want? Likely, you’ll end up having to pay extra if you want a table at the fancy restaurant or a drink at the fancy bar.
7. Beverage Packages Can Be Expensive
With many all-inclusive resorts, you have to opt for a beverage package if you want to get your drink on… Really price that out, because it may not be worth it, depending upon how much you intend to drink.
8. Hidden Fees Are Everywhere
Like most any other resorts, hotels or cruise ships, all-inclusive resorts have a way of assessing fees for the strangest things. Be careful!
9. Is It Strictly “Adults Only”?
You might be surprised to learn that just because a place says it’s “adults only” that doesn’t mean it is in practice. Some properties are getting lax in enforcing this.
10. Going Non All-Inclusive Could Be Cheaper
Often, you think that going all-inclusive is going to save you money. This isn’t always the case, so make sure you price alternatives out!
11. Water Sports Could Be Extra
Want to take that jet ski out? Want to learn how to parasail? If so, be prepared to pay extra for the privilege.
12. What Does that Low Rate Mean?
You find an all-inclusive resort offering a low rate that you simply can’t believe. Remember what they say. If something’s too good to be true, it probably is.
13. Non-Refundable Vacation
Things happen. That’s just a fact. So make sure you have a full understanding of whether or not your booking is refundable… It probably isn’t.
14. The Timeshare Pitch
Many all-inclusive resorts try to make more money by selling timeshares. Be prepared to get the hard pitch!
15. The Service May Not Be Great
It’s unfortunate, but many people report that the service at many all-inclusive resorts around the world can leave a lot to be desired.
16. What About the Local Experience?
One drawback to going all-inclusive is that it really dissuades you from leaving the resort and experiencing the local culture.
17. The Non-Romantic Getaway
Many all-inclusive resorts end up having either a party atmosphere or a family one. This means ‘romantic’ time can be hard to come by…
18. Is It Under Construction?
When booking an all-inclusive, be sure to research whether or not there’s construction ongoing… A travel agent can help with this.
19. Hurting the Local Economy
While all-inclusive resorts do provide jobs for their communities, they often have a chilling effect on local businesses.
20. Hurricane “Guarantees”
Many all-inclusive resorts now offer hurricane guarantees during the season. Really find out what that guarantee is, because it might not actually be as good as it seems.