Jeff and I don’t normally choose to do the all-inclusive style resort vacations. That doesn’t mean we never go to them and let me be clear by saying there’s nothing wrong with them. For us, it’s just not our first choice because we usually prefer adventure trips where we’re out really exploring a location. Of course, beach vacations are glorious and we LOVE them, but just don’t normally go the all-inclusive route, however, sometimes we need to just book something quick without a lot of planning involved and that’s where they’re really handy for us.
Some people love them and some people don’t – to each their own!
Here’s our personal pros and cons list for all-inclusives.
- You pay one amount up front and are done with it (minus extra cash for tips)
- Unlimited food and drinks – you can try many different things for your meals
- Easy to arrange excursions since they have people on site to help with that
- You don’t fully experience the culture of a location
This is the biggest deterrent for me. Yes, you can arrange a shuttle to take you off the property, BUT that’s more money to spend and you’re way less likely to actually go into town to enjoy the real, local cuisine since you’ve already paid for all your meals at the resort. We like trying local cuisine and wandering around a location asking locals about their favorites.
- The food and drinks may not be up to par
Not every all-inclusive is created equal and while the food and drinks are unlimited, it’s not as fun if they aren’t that good.
- Annoying drunk people
Sometimes people take too much advantage of the unlimited drinks and get drunk around you when you’re trying to just chill with your piña colada on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly like to have a good time too, but it can get obnoxious if there lots of people who have overdone it. It’s a fine line.
- Not as relaxing as you might be expecting
These resorts are typically much larger than normal hotels and therefore there are a lot more people. The beach and pool chairs get snatched up quickly and are usually put pretty close to one another to fit more in. When it’s crowded, it’s just not as relaxing to me.
You may assign your own value to each of these things, but they’re all worth considering. I think once you experience an all-inclusive, you know what I mean by all this. Again, everyone has their own preferences and this is just ours.
Do you prefer going the all-inclusive route or prefer staying at a hotel, Airbnb, or unique lodging at a location? Do you have any other pros and cons you’d add to this list or thoughts on all-inclusives? Let us know in the comments!