A few years ago, I went on my first all-inclusive vacation. I just wanted to get away and have the luxury of not thinking about anything once I arrived. Mission accomplished! It was nice knowing all my meals, my drinks, and my activities were covered by the package deal.
Some people question whether all-inclusive resorts are a good value or not. If you’re trying to keep costs manageable, they actually can be. According to the Family Vacation Survival Guide, you can save up to 25 percent by choosing resorts for your vacation, compared to paying for lodging, meals and activities as you go.
Consider the following trip expenses that are included when you choose a resort vacation:
- Transportation. Complimentary shuttle service to the property from the airport is often part of the package, and if you want to leave the property for a nearby destination, you may be able to use the resort’s shuttle service or hire a cab.
- Tipping is usually factored into the cost, eliminating the need, especially in a foreign country, to carry and calculate local currency. While I found this awkward, I was assured repeatedly that gratuities were not expected by the staff. Be sure to check before you go, so you don’t feel uncomfortable because you didn’t know the resort’s policy.
- Dining is planned for you, alleviating the stress of trying to figure out where and when to eat each day. You will find comfort food as well as local specialty dishes. Something to look into is a drinks package so that, again, you don’t have to pay as you go, or you can budget a specific amount before you go for this cost.
- Activities and experiences are what make a vacation special, and all-inclusive resorts may offer different options, both on and off the property. Some have multiple properties in a location, and you have access to everything happening at any of the properties.
Perhaps the best rationale for choosing an all-inclusive vacation comes from a study by US News and World Report. Although you may find this hard to believe, your brain’s pain center is activated each time you have to make a decision about a purchase.
That means that every time you pay for something while you’re on vacation, there’s a physiological response that inhibits relaxation. So, it stands to reason that by pre-paying for an all-inclusive vacation, your mind and emotions respond to the activities and meals as if they were free, making them more enjoyable.