Are you planning a trip and wondering if all-inclusive vacations are worth it?
All-inclusive resorts can make your trip a lot easier to plan, but some considerations might make you think otherwise about booking that all-inclusive package.
I’ve been on both all-inclusive trips where I didn’t have to worry about anything and fully independent trips where I planned the entire excursion myself. Here’s my take on the pros and cons of all-inclusive resorts.
Pro: Easy Planning
All-inclusive family beach vacations are great because the price includes all your food and lodging. This inclusive price means you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay or eating every meal.
An all-inclusive resort often includes activities, so you can be sure there will always be something to do.
This versatility is significant for all-inclusive family beach vacations because different family members might be interested in vastly different activities. Thus, going to an all-inclusive resort ensures a great time for the whole family.
Con: Limited Flexibility
While an all-inclusive resort might make planning easier, they also limit your flexibility. You may feel stuck at the resort for the entirety of your vacation, which can get boring.
You might have to pay extra for transportation to explore the local area. And if you want to try a different restaurant or activity that’s not at the resort, you’re out of luck.
Plus, you may assume that you don’t have to do any trip research if you book an all-inclusive, but you still have to research the all-inclusive beach vacations that you’re interested in.
Pro: They Can Provide Great Value
If you can find an excellent all-inclusive deal, it can provide great value for your money.
All-inclusive resorts often offer discounts if you book early or during off-peak times. You can also often find all-inclusive packages that include airfare and transportation to the resort, so you don’t have to worry about those extra costs.
Con: They Can Be Expensive
While all-inclusive resorts can offer great value, they can also be quite expensive. This expense is what many families are willing to pay to not have any worries before the trip or not have to lift a finger while there.
That said, if you’re not careful, you could end up booking an all-inclusive that’s more overpriced than what you would otherwise need to pay at your beach destination and end up paying a lot more money than you anticipated.
Be sure to compare the prices of all-inclusive resorts before you book so that you can be sure you’re getting a high-value deal.
Pro: On-Site Activities, Resources, and Beach Gear
Fabulous all-inclusive family resorts – like Club Med, Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort, Nickelodeon Hotels, Beaches Turks & Caicos, and more – typically include not just food, drinks, and beach chairs but also an assortment of resources.
Here are some of the perks you may have access to through your family vacation package, especially if you go to one of the best all-inclusive resorts:
- Beach Umbrellas
- Sand toys
- Snorkel gear
- Kids club
- Non-motorized water sports (kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, etc.)
- Scuba diving
- Swim-up bars
- Swim-up soda bars
- X Box play lounge
- Lazy River
- Horseback riding
- Mini golf
- Free daily spa treatment
- Private pool
- Fitness center
- Nightly entertainment
- On-site restaurants
- Spacious suites
- Spacious family rooms
- Room service
- Land sports
- Airport transfers
Additionally, an all-inclusive family resort can be excellent for a family vacation if they provide a supervised kids club. These clubs allow parents to drop their kids off and have some relaxing, rejuvenating, romantic, or even wild evenings to themselves!
Con: Less Incentive to Relax
If your goal is to simply relax on your vacation and not have to worry about anything, you may find that you’re not able to rest as much as you’d like.
That’s because not only are you less incentivized to explore the surrounding area, and you may feel more pressure to use all of the resources and perks available to you to get your money’s worth.
Pro: Great for First-Time Travelers
If you’re planning a beach vacation for the first time, or if you’ve never been to the destination before, an all-inclusive can actually be a great way to get your bearings and figure out what you like and can go without.
You can get a feel for the destination and what it offers without having to worry about planning everything yourself or feeling like you’re missing out on something by not knowing the area.
Con: Less Incentive to Explore Local Area
Because of all the activities and perks on-site at an all-inclusive vacation, you and your family may feel less incentivized to explore the destination. To some, the beauty of travel is getting to experience the local area, meet new people, and try new things.
If this is your travel style, an all-inclusive beach vacation may not be the best choice for you. Instead, you might want to plan your own activities and outings for a more authentic experience.
Pro: Great for Young Kids Ages
If you have young kids and want to make sure they have the time of their lives on this vacation, booking an all-inclusive resort can be the perfect way to get that done without putting as much effort into planning the entire trip yourself.
Inclusive resorts for families that cater to children often include family-friendly amenities and activities such as indoor and outdoor pools, kids clubs, water parks, and more.
In these cases, the resort will likely provide age-appropriate activities for your kids, so they’re never bored. And you can have more time to hang out at the swim-up bar!
Some of the top resorts have exciting perks for young kids, such as:
- Kids camp
- Teenage mutant ninja turtles
- Xbox play lounge
- Island water park
Con: They Can Feel Crowded and Overstimulating
All-inclusive resorts can feel quite crowded, especially during peak season. This can be overstimulating for some people and make it difficult to relax.
Additionally, because all-inclusive resorts often cater to families with kids, you may find that the activities and amenities are geared towards them rather than adults.
An all-inclusive family beach vacation to a resort-like Coconut Bay Beach Resort, Club Med Punta Cana, Club Med Sandpiper Bay, or Tyler Place Family Resort can be a great way to save money, relax, and have everything taken care of for you.
However, if you’re looking for an authentic experience, are worried about crowds, or simply enjoy planning all the details of your trips, this might not be the best option. That said, it’s crucial to consider the pros and cons before booking.