All You Need to Know About All-Inclusive Vacations

All You Need to Know About All-Inclusive Vacations

Traveling is one of life’s great pleasures since it can provide tremendous learning experiences for you and your family. Many of us get the travel bug and set out to discover new countries, new foods and new cultures. And we come back home brimming with experiences and amazing memories to share with family and friends.

But traveling can be intimidating for some people. Going to an unknown country to spend some time with people who may not speak your language can be a little frightening. To others, having enough money and/or time is a major concern. No matter what your current travel readiness or past travel experience is, there are plenty of travel options and routes out there.

Here’s some advice for the price-conscious traveler: When you’re ready to book your next trip, why not look into the all-inclusive vacation options?  They’re very trendy right now and we can navigate you through the options to find the right one for you.

All-inclusive vacations have had somewhat of a bad rap in the past. Club Med introduced the idea in the 1970s, and others quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Some of these built their reputations around being an extremely cheap way to vacation. But unwary travelers did not understand that you usually get what you pay for, and some of these resorts had lower standards for cleanliness and amenities, taking “no frills” to a new level. Nowadays, people expect more and consequently resorts have upped their games to meet guests’ expectations. Good news! All-inclusive resorts are not what they used to be!

Further, all-inclusive vacations make planning much easier, and you can actually save quite a bit of money. For those worried about safety and who might be intimidated by foreign languages, all-inclusive vacation packages make a lot of sense, as the number of these resorts in English-speaking countries is growing. For those of us limited in planning time and funds, this also is an excellent option as you can have everything paid before you leave your home!   Bottom line: When you simply want to get away, relax, and not have to worry about anything at all, all-inclusive vacations are a great choice.

From beach to cruise, from kid-friendly to adults-only, there are a variety of all-inclusive travel experiences to choose from. Let’s look at a few of the most popular types available.

Beach Resorts

Beach resorts are one of the trendiest vacation packages sold today. You land on an island,  or even a different continent, and oftentimes a smiling resort representative is waiting to take you to your resort. Not all resorts offer this service, so make sure to find out if it’s provided in the cost of the pre-paid package. If not, no worries, the bulk of your trip is still already paid for, but you’ll need to plan to have cash on hand for transportation to and from your hotel. There is a veritable menu of choices for you: Some offer lodging with a certain amount of selected meals and activities included per day, and others offer a full-service bundle where everything is taken care of during your stay. It’s easy to find the right option for you!

Once you’re checked in, most resorts give out a bracelet that you will wear the entire time you’re there. Sure, it may not be very appealing to have a brightly colored bracelet that probably doesn’t match your outfits, but this keeps guests safe on the premises and ensures that intruders don’t get in. The beach at the resort is usually private, owned by the resort, and only for the use of the registered guests.  Regardless if it’s a public or private beach, the wristband lets the resort identify you as their customer. Some resorts have wristbands that act like credit cards, so you don’t have to leave your beach lounge chair to be brought a frozen island cocktail.

After working up an appetite, depending on the resort, some have buffet-style restaurants (yes, all you can eat) and others have a la carte restaurants, if you have some extra cash and want to upgrade your eating game. Of course, all these amenities have an impact on the final price of your package. Shop around and make sure that you know exactly what you are purchasing for your specific needs. For instance, if your priority is to have as many drinks as you can every single day while on vacation, then you need to make sure that you are aware of the bar and beverage details of your trip.

Always wanted to try surfing? This is the perfect time to scratch this one off your bucket list! There are a wide variety of activities to do at beach resorts. Activities like snorkeling are sometimes included, and others are offered at an extra cost. Most resorts offer the chance to paddle board, surf, dive, and other fun aquatic activities. Check the details of the packages and be aware of what is and what is not included.

The good news keeps on coming! When it comes to booking, you’ve got a bunch of different options: pick of a dozen travel websites (though make sure you’re looking at ones that have all-inclusive travel options), or you can book with your local travel agent. If you go the website route, make sure that the website is a reputable one and try to read consumer reviews, if possible. These reviews can help you get an insider view of the facilities through firsthand experiences. Remember that everyone has different expectations, so some reviews may be a little off-putting. Check the overall rating of the place and it should give you a better idea of what to expect.

TripAdvisor is one of the most popular sites for trusted and verified reviews. Just type in what you are looking for in the search bar at the top of the site and get a list of all the available options in your desired location. You can then narrow it down with your preferred travel dates and more specific features. When you click on one of the options, you get more information on the resort as well as all the reviews that have been written by former guests about the location. People can also post their personal photos, so you can check out the premises with an objective and real view, rather than the perfect promotional photos that the resort will use to try to sell you a vacation. These are real people, and real photos. Thankfully, TripAdvisor checks all reviews before uploading to their website.

Singles Vacations

There have been a variety of themed all-inclusive vacation packages created over the last few years. Many of them now offer experiences catered to the solo traveling crowd. These include anything from a beach resort in Mexico, to a multi-city bus trip through Europe, to a fun-filled adventure tour in South America. There are a lot of all-inclusive and affordable vacations that you can take on your own.

Activities are always adapted to the fact that the participants are solo travelers. Thus, group events are designed to promote interaction between guests. Often, these singles vacations are more active with nightlife and parties. Mornings are often spent lounging around the pool, often recovering from the night before.

Traveling single is more often than not, unfortunately, more expensive than traveling with a significant other or spouse. Worse, there is frequently an extra cost in certain resorts or hotels for the single guest occupying a room alone. The great news is that destinations that offer singles packages will often drop this extra fee.

Traveling alone can be scary for some people, so going to a place where you know that every other guest is also a solo vacationer can make you more comfortable and help you feel included. And if heartache is a reason for traveling, an all-inclusive singles vacation can also be the perfect place to go and unwind after a break-up. Everyone is single, and you won’t be looking at lovey-dovey couples all day long.

So, put on your dancing shoes and try to make some new friends!

Adults-Only Resorts

Adults-only resorts are kid-free places where adults can relax without children and babies. Kids can be very active and noisy, so the adults-only vacation resorts are great for the solo vacationer or couple who desire a place that is quiet and calm.

Adults-only resorts tend to pay more attention to the romantic part of a vacation. These resorts usually offer more romantic activities like candlelit dinners and evening boat rides, among others. These resorts are also very popular for honeymooning couples. If you are planning your honeymoon, check with the resort because some have special deals or offer gifts to newlyweds.

Expedia brings all options regarding travel planning together under one roof, so you don’t have to spend hours researching a variety of websites. Narrowing your search is a snap with the filters on the left-hand side of the page. Simply choose your star rating, price range, and hotel preference, and let them do the research for you!

With adults-only vacations, leave the kids at home and enjoy a romantic getaway with your significant other!


Cruises are now extremely popular with people of all ages. In the past, cruises tended to be geared toward the retired or older generations. Today, there are a veritable cornucopia of cruises, including some with specific themes. From singles cruises to Disney cruises, from gay and lesbian, to specific communities, cruises cater to many different groups and interests.

Some people prefer a cruise over a resort, as typically most cruises have more than one stop.  This means that your destinations are essentially brought to you via your ship, rather than having to fly/drive yourself. Some of the bigger ships offer a variety of eating options and have a multitude of nightly activities. Most cruise ships are very well maintained and staff is usually plentiful to keep guests satisfied.

As cruising has grown in popularity, so also has the list of options available. Cruising past huge icebergs in Alaska is almost as popular as the sun-drenched cruises in the Caribbean now.

Prices can vary greatly for cruises, usually depending on the length and the route of the cruise, as well as the on-board cruising options chosen. The most common cruise packages are sold in lengths of trip, usually from a four-day trip to a full 10 days. Another option that plays on the price of the cruise is the on-board accommodations. The cabins with ocean view and balconies are of course more expensive than the smaller inner cabins with no view. You won’t spend much time in your cabin anyway, so going with a smaller, interior cabin is a great way to save. Sites like Cheap Caribbean offer regular special promotions, and the cruise section is quite extensive, so check it out through the link and get ready to set sail!

Depending on the route, you will often get the possibility to make day visits in the ports-of-call the ship stops at. You can choose to leave the ship and spend a few hours on a beach or in a city, depending on what/how you feel. These port cities are usually well equipped to meet the demands of a lot of cruisers all debarking at once. This typically is a safer place to buy souvenirs and local artisan items, but remember that prices may be higher because of the proximity to the ship, which spells vacation money to the natives.

All aboard!

Family Vacations

Planning a family vacation that will keep everyone happy and cater to all ages can be quite a daunting task. A family vacation is normally expensive when everything is booked a la carte. That is why family all-inclusive resorts are so popular.

Family all-inclusives are kid-friendly resorts where amenities are adapted to children and babies. Activities and events are designed to keep children busy and entertained. The most common family vacations are beach resorts where children can play in the water and have access to an array of aquatic activities.

Disney Vacation resorts are one of the most popular family holidays. Their reputation is earned through the excellent experience that you can expect to have. While Disney resorts may be on the more expensive side, there are occasional cost-savings promotions to cut down on the expense.

Although Disney may be the most popular family resort, there are plenty of all-inclusive family resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean, and even some both closer to home in the United States and and further away in Europe.

Some resorts offer babysitting for parents who wish to go to dinner or spend some time alone without the kids. Depending on the age of your children and their needs, the resort might be able to give parents a night or two off. There is usually an extra cost associated with this kind of service, and a tip is often appreciated by the sitter.

Often these resorts have a “kid’s club” where children can spend time with other children around their age and socialize in a supervised environment led by employees trained to keep them entertained and engaged. These clubs are ordinarily divided by age groups so that teenagers can hang out together without younger children hanging around.  And younger children are safe in an environment adapted to their needs. These clubs do their best to make sure that the kids are completely wiped out by the end of the day; this ensures there will be no jumping on the bed come bedtime!

Adventure Vacations

These are rapidly gaining popularity with younger travelers. If you like to have the safe home base of an all-inclusive resort but you also want to do some exciting activities, then this type of vacation is perfect for you.

The activities can be inside the resort grounds or outside in neighboring locations. Some popular activities are jungle hiking, zip-lining, rock climbing, kite-surfing, and skydiving.

Day trips are normally organised by the resort, so you don’t have to worry about booking the activities. They will take groups of guests out to the activities and make sure that everyone remains safe. It’s a good idea to have a clue of what activities you will want to do once at the resort, because spots are limited and sometimes you have to book in advance. Also, booking in advance lets you know if you can bring your own equipment if you want. Most resorts will provide basic equipment, but check with them before heading out. If you’re not fond of the idea of using a shared snorkeling kit, pack your own.

Also verify what activities are included in the package and what are not. You will need to budget for some of the more expensive activities that may not be included in the all-inclusive package.

Ages 50+ Resorts

All-inclusive resorts tailored for the more mature travelers are extremely popular with retired people who want a little fun in the sun and have both the means and the time to get away. These resorts are perfectly designed for vacationers who prefer the absence of noisy kids or younger partying people.

That definitely doesn’t mean that it gets boring in these resorts! Activities and events are designed to keep this age group entertained, like live plays and social dances. Day trips are also encouraged and sometimes include cultural tours to visit local monuments or archeological sites.

If playing the back nine is your thing, some of these resorts have golf courses. This normally makes the resort a little more expensive, and not all greens fees are included. If you enjoy golf, consider paying a little extra to hit a few balls in paradise.

Time to Book Your Next All-Inclusive Vacation!

These are only a few ideas of some of the all-inclusive resorts that are out there today. With this many options, there is bound to be one that will be perfect for you. Remember when shopping for your vacation to get all information necessary about what is included and what is not. The last thing you want is any surprises once you get where you’re going. Even if your package includes absolutely everything, it is wise to bring some a credit/debit card for service gratuities, souvenirs or unexpected expenses.

Websites like Trip Savvy will help you do some research on all-inclusive resorts to help you find the best one for you. They’ve got many articles with useful information about all-inclusive vacations.

Overall, if it’s a good fit for you, an all-inclusive vacation can take the headaches out of planning and anticipating everything you’ll want in a trip.  Bon voyage!