One question we always receive is whether or not All-Inclusive is a good option for you. There are three main factors outside of budget that go into this decision. We are taking budget out of this comparison as there as many great high end all-inclusive resorts such as Galley Bay Resort on Antigua and also lower end more budget options in La Romana, DR. First figure out how big your traveling party is then figure out what your groups priorities are in the upcoming vacation. Once you figure out those two things, the three points below should help you decide if All-Inclusive is the right decision for you.
1. Location – certain islands are a great fit for an all inclusive vacation as its safest to stay on the large resort then explore the island. In Mexico and Dominican Republic we would always recommend a higher end all-inclusive (still be prepared for potential stomach problems for someone in your group, it’s definitely improved but every once in awhile there are still some smaller issues). These islands will be more affordable for all-inclusive options given all of the competition.
Other islands are well known for their FOOD OPTIONS and therefore a bad option for All-Inclusive. Two perfect examples of that are St. Maarten and Bermuda. St. Maarten was coined the culinary capital of the Caribbean and has endless amounts of food options, both high end and very popular local BBQ stands. Bermuda is expensive for dining but has great food throughout the island. Other islands with food options to explore and not recommended for all-inclusive vacations are St. John, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, and Anguilla. At an all-inclusive resort you will have multiple food options but they just aren’t the same as exploring an islands local and high end cuisine.
The jury is still out on Turks and Caicos given the high cost of food and Antigua has some great very high end all-inclusive hotels that we recommend.
2. Number of people traveling – if you have more than 8 travelers in your group and ages range anywhere from 6-45 then All-Inclusive vacations are usually your best options. Most all-inclusive resorts keep everyone together on the resort and takes away a lot of the efforts of planning a vacation for a large group. Everything is at the guests finger tips with PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES at no additional cost such as non motorized water sports, pool/beach games and kids clubs.
3. Alcohol intake expectations – many times couples will find they don’t end up drinking as much when just the two of them are alone on vacation compared to a group trip. Also they usually find themselves looking for wine at dinner and certain top shelf cocktails for after dinner drinks. Unfortunately some of the all-inclusive resorts do not include good wines or top shelf cocktails.
An alternate option for all-inclusive resort is a cruise in which food is included and many of the cruises now run offers for an included beverage package. There still will be costs involved when exploring in different ports but allows groups to split up and see the islands on their own.
If you are planning a couples, family or group trip this is usually the best opportunity for an all-Inclusive resort. The cost is reasonable for all attendees and there’s no hassle to split bills and NO HIDDEN COSTS. Also as I mentioned we find more cocktails are consumed on group trips then couples getaways.
Feel free to reach out with any questions or to find the perfect vacation option for you; Marci@HisandHersVacations,com