Winding down a year with a vacation is a yearly staple for many individuals and families. With work from home arrangements being the norm, you could easily go niuts staying indoors the whole year. If you feel the weight of work, feeling the effects of cabin fever, or feeling that your work-life balance is off, it may be time to change your environment. You could spend your time trying to work on a fatigued brain, or you could take a break for a few days and come back rejuvenated to work at your best for longer.

  With that being said, a vacation is the best way to let go if you feel burned out from working long hours and staying in the same environment for too long. Frankly, you really don’t gain a lot more from working yourself sensless the entire year. In fact, you working or engaging yourself all through may be detrimental to your productivity.

With burnout, your health is also at risk. A recent research conducted by the New York State university on 12000 men showed that taking a vacation reduced the mortality rate by 20%. If this is not convincing enough, you may have noticed how irritable you become when you haven’t caught a break from any activity.

Living a good life depends on those moments where you appreciate yourself and the things you have been working hard for. A vacation allows you time to reflect, acquire new perspectives, and see alternative possibilities.

It is your time to be fully available for your family and have some ‘you’ time. For most people, the cost of a vacation is simply out of their reach if they were to plan it to the last detail. Luckily, most resorts have all-inclusive plans that take care of everything for you—just pay and show up for your vacation.

What is an all-inclusive vacation?

When you sign up for an all-inclusive vacation package, your stay, meals, drinks, entertainment, and any activities you want to undertake are included in the price when you book the resort.

Most resorts will calculate a price that they feel will be sufficient for unlimited food, drinks, and activities, which is the only payment you make to them during your stay—no hidden costs.

all-inclusive vacation

If leaving your wallet at home was possible, you could, but since it is a vacation and you may want to do other activities outside the resort by yourself—it is advisable that you come with it.

For some people, an all-inclusive package is a mixed bag of benefits. You could easily land the deal of a lifetime in a luxurious hotel with amazing food, drinks, and experiences. Similarly, you may end up with a regrettable experience in a mega-resort where your needs are not prioritized.

For this reason, all-inclusive vacation deals attract love from people who have enjoyed them and hate from those with forgettable experiences. If you are planning a vacation, then read on to find out what makes all-inclusive vacations a good deal and if this could be the deal for your next vacation.

Where did all-inclusive deals originate?

Nobody likes to get a raw deal for their money. It is the psychology of any rational consumer, and hence the reason airlines and cruise ships began offering different ticket classes. For a specific price, the clients could enjoy everything within their ticket class. If you think about it, some people just pay for a business class ticket to have space while others pay for the experience. The food and drinks are usually better in the class above, but not everyone enjoys them.

While some people will be conservative with how they use the plane’s amenities, others will be indifferent and not consume as much. In the long run, the airlines and cruise lines make their money by averaging the consumption of those who don’t use this service and those who consume them. These airlines and cruises buy everything in bulk; therefore, retail prices do not apply to these commodities. Therefore, no matter how much you consume, they are already making money off the markup on the items.

meals

Comparatively, resorts mostly offered à la carte pricing. This meant that suites, meals, and activities were offered as separate items. Consider a case where you could save money on the room, enjoy fine dining, and head outside the resort to enjoy your own itinerary—yes, for a long time, this was how hotels operated. This happened until they figured that they were losing business to competing resorts.

The à la carte pricing, also dubbed European pricing, was therefore not sustainable, hence the introduction of the American Pricing Plan—with it, the prices charges included the rooms and the meals.

As resort amenities became more sophisticated and with the need to get clients to spend more on the premises, the Club Med resorts introduced an all-inclusive price in one of their resorts in Italy. This was an immediate hit among the youth and families who were looking for a bargain holiday.

Over time, it is safe to say that these deals made more sense, and it’s obvious that many resorts were quick to adopt them. Nowadays, there are niche markets in the all-inclusive market, with some offering all-inclusive honeymoon, anniversary, adults-only, and family-friendly packages.

All-Inclusive vacation packages vs. Unlimited vacation packages.

An all-inclusive package may not mean unlimited use, but unlimited use may mean an all-inclusive package. Simply put, some resorts may put limitations on your all-inclusive packages. For example, they may restrict you to buffet meals, cheap alcohol, or even time-share arrangements for amenities. If you like the finest things—food, drinks, entertainment, this means that you could easily end up among those who hate all-inclusive packages.

However, this won’t happen if you get every detail in advance. For most resorts, an all-inclusive package will imply unlimited access to the best the house offers, and on the off chance this is not the case, they usually adjust the prices to reflect this fact.

Benefits to Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort

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The savings

Imagine if you had to pay for the services at a resort every time you had to use them! For hotels, producing everything en masse means they can take advantage of economies of scale. All-inclusive packages allow hotels to keep their occupancy rates high, and since everything can be produced in bulk, the costs can be kept low. The subsidized cost of operations means that the cost benefits can also be transferred to you. These costs are not only for rooms. Getting the thousands of clients who go through the hotel to spend on the facilities, all t for a subsidized price, means that the resorts can generate more cash. This is the mutually beneficial relationship that makes all-inclusive deals affordable.

With an all-inclusive package, you access premium accommodation, amenities, and if you go for an airfare inclusive deal, you also get discounts for your tickets. It is savings galore all the way, and if you have a family or just planning to vacation cheap, this means greater value for money. Through making savings here, you can use the difference in other fun activities if you choose to venture outside the resort.

Simplicity

How many times have you planned a vacation and got tired in the middle comparing prices for all services separately or simply got frustrated at the inadequate or inaccurate information you get? While you could eventually land a deal—after hours/days of searching, it is simpler to search for an all-inclusive deal. In an all-inclusive deal, you are assured of no hidden costs, and if any costs are involved, they are disclosed up front.

This is good for budgeting, and plus it guarantees you simplicity, and honestly, no one sets out to look for a complicated process of doing anything.

Likewise, once you reach your vacation destination, it is up to you to decide what to do. You don’t need to go through restaurant menus, worrying about activity fees, or wondering where to make the next dollar of savings. What if you made these savings in advance and focused on having fun once you are on the ground—that’s the advantage of an all-inclusive package.

Self-discipline

With an all-inclusive package, everything from travel, accommodation, entertainment, and meals can be paid for upfront. This makes it easy to track expenses, and if you are trying to stay on top of costs, there’s no better way to do it.

If you are aware of what you expect from your trip, you can easily customize the entire experience from the hotel down to the other activities you will do on the side.

So, unless you spend spontaneously on things, like souvenirs or your side trips, everything can stay on budget if you want it to.

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about local exchange rates, and you can completely lay back from the moment you book until your vacation is over. This is especially good for families and people who have predetermined budgets.

vacation for family

The variety

For example, if you wanted Italian, but it was expensive as a walk-in client, it is easy with an all-inclusive package. Likewise, if you wanted to enjoy the fitness club or the spa, all the doors are open for you.

You can get in shape if you wanted to, learn something new or just socialize in your dream places, no questions asked. However, you should know that some all-inclusive packages come as tiered, and you may only get to access as much as your package allows you to hence why it is critical to have all details ironed out before you select a package. Nonetheless, there is always the option to upgrade your package with most resorts if you wanted.

Like-minded people

Apart from chasing bargains, good company makes a holiday worthwhile. When choosing a resort,  odds are you make your decision based on your specific needs for accommodation, food and drinks, and entertainment options. Whether it’s a honeymoon, adults-only resort, or family-friendly resort, you only book in places that meet your specific criteria. For honeymooners and those who sign up for wedding packages, your bookings would be in romantic heavens.

These destinations wouldn’t make sense for people with families, and the converse is also true. Being with like people intensifies the whole holiday vibe as you do not have to make concessions or try hard to fit in with them or the place. You only indulge in activities designed for you at all times.

adults-only resort

The safety aspect

There are tons of horror tales of vacations gone wild. Be it muggings, kidnappings, malicious street crime, or civil unrest. You want to be in a location where your security is guaranteed. If you are unsure of the security situation of the place you want to visit, an all-inclusive resort with all the amenities and entertainment options you want onsite is your best bet.

Even if it isn’t your dream travel destination, you can be sure of one thing – the hotel has your best interests at heart. Therefore even with a torrid environment, you can count on an all-inclusive package to keep you on the premises until it is time to leave.

Bang foot your bucks

Besides not having to go to your wallet every time you want to enjoy a service or meal, all-inclusive packages are extreme value for money. If you consider that you can eat or drink anytime, use the amenities to the maximum, and have entertainment as defined by you, you begin to see all the money you paid upfront coming to you. All-inclusive packages allow you to eat in any restaurant, play in any pool or enjoy any activities as many times as you want.

Since everything is taken care of in advance, you simply have to present yourself and  your ticket, and you will be all set for the vacation of a lifetime.

For families, this means that people choose to indulge in their favorites democratically without having the yoke of budget dictating where either of you can be. For couples, you indulge in the activities you like over and over again –simply because it is what you love doing or what defines you.

One factor that can easily shoot up the bill is entertainment. With an all-inclusive package, you can treat your sweet tooth or dive into premium booze that would easily be expensive to you without fear. As we have already established, the all-inclusive restaurants get wholesale prices and take advantage of the fact that not everyone has similar tastes to balance costs.

Even with just food plus accommodation at one price, foodies can be part of a foodie’s restaurant crawl and see the best of what each restaurant has on offer. You get what you pay for, and if the convenience is not justification enough, then the number of times you pamper yourself with what you love just seals the deal.

Peace of mind

From experience, the less you worry about the money and budget conversation, the more memorable and intense the holiday is. If you are out on vacation with your family, partner, or colleagues, holidays are the times to splurge, and an all-inclusive package allows you just that. As much as we would want to be sensible with budgets, it is natural to want more of what we love.

With an all-inclusive package, you don’t have to explain to whoever you are traveling with why they cannot relish the things they love. You have peace of mind that whatever they choose to do is paid for, and if any additional costs are involved, you can cash in on the discounts you got for booking an all-inclusive vacation package.

Get what means the most to you

How many times have you settled on a hotel with reasonable accommodations, but you found out that the amenities were not up to the standards you expected, or they just weren’t what you wished for?

When looking for an all-inclusive package, all the benefits of the deal are disclosed in advance, and you have the freedom to choose what works for you and what doesn’t.

While this may seem like minute benefits, the cost angle and variety play a pertinent role in this decision.

Any hotel with the things you love to do is an automatic choice, and the fact that you can enjoy it as many times as you want justifies the decision to take a plunge with an all-inclusive deal.

All Inclusive resort

Some may argue that without seeing what you are paying for, it is hard to justify the price. The truth is that if you are booking in advance, you can compare previous client reviews to see if they meet your standards. The common mistake here is to get oversold on these amenities and features by marketing material. Because you are paying for everything in a one fits all package, you can find alternative places to find the features you want before its time to pay up.

The convenience

Besides the security, getting everything you want in a single place makes enjoying such activities hassle-free. Consider a case where you don’t have to travel long distances between activities. Frankly, while road trips between activities may be fun, they are bound to get tiring in the long run.

From swimming pools to water sports to land activities like karting or tennis or volleyball, some hotels have it all, and you don’t have to travel far to be amused. In addition, some hotels may have live entertainment or organized trips, and depending on your location and package type, you will enjoy all of this hassle-free. Likewise, getting all the activities and entertainment onsite means that everything is within reach. If it is an outside activity planned by the hotel, you don’t have to worry about transportation.

 Simply fit your activities to a schedule, and voila! —everything is sorted.

Luxury on a budget

While cheap is the angle most people pursue, the overlooked benefit to all this is that you get premium features at the price of the all-inclusive package. This is your chance to get a holiday in an exotic hotel or location where you can treat yourself to luxe spa sessions, fine dining, outrageous landscapes, and many fine things that, up to this moment we’re only possible with a vivid imagination. Believe it or not, with a well-chosen all-inclusive package, you too could play in the playground of the rich without needing to break the bank. Read on to see some of our favorite all-inclusive budget and luxury resorts.

luxe spa sessions

Unique destinations

If wanderlust is within you, you have probably explored all the destinations you can afford easily, and you’re likely in search of new ones. While all-inclusive vacations may not be your typical holiday experience, they are your chance to explore something different from what you would conventionally choose as your holiday destination. While this may not allow you the freedom you have with your own designed holiday, the freedom to eat whenever you want, swim wherever, and enjoy all your own activities is a holiday experience you can’t compromise on. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you may be restricting yourself from enjoying, and who knows what would happen if you tried it—you may just discover a novel way to tour the world.

Deciding if All Inclusive is Right for You

As with all products, an all-inclusive holiday vacation has advantages that a specific audience can maximize. Before settling on a package, it is imperative that you consider each package’s advantages and disadvantages in line with the tips below to decide whether an all-inclusive holiday will work for your specific needs.

As with all products, an all-inclusive holiday vacation has advantages that a specific audience can maximize. Before settling on a package, it is imperative that you consider each package’s advantages and disadvantages in line with the tips below to decide whether an all-inclusive holiday will work for your specific needs.

Find out what they include with the package

While they may advertise it as all-inclusive, some services like spa treatments may not be included in the package you pay for. To prevent further charges down the line, ask for a detailed description of the package—most resorts will happily oblige to you. Find out whether the tour package includes butler service, unlimited drinks, and foodservice and, if so if there is any restriction on the restaurant or quality of drinks.

Most resorts will have non-motorized activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and other excursions as part of their packages. However, instead of assuming and ending up with a nasty surprise, it is prudent to get this information before deciding to book. If any details are unclear, email or call directly or ask your booking agent to clarify these details for you.

Compare costs from hotels that don’t offer all-inclusive packages around

To see whether the deal from the resort is good, ask for a non-inclusive package from both the resort you intend to stay at and neighboring resorts of similar standing. This will help you decide if the all-inclusive package is value for money or not. If the information is not available on the hotel’s website, use online calculators and trusted travel agents to see all-inclusive and self-catered costs.

How to Save on your All-Inclusive Resort Vacation

It is easy to get sold on some basic features from marketing material that you come across. To steer clear of the upsell pressure and actually get a cheap vacation on your all-inclusive packages, here are some tips that will require little input and forethought from you.

Flexibility is key

You are likely to realize massive savings if you are willing to make a few concessions in the initial stages for added gain in the later stages. For example, instead of choosing to book your own flights, you may enquire if the resort has an arrangement with airlines for cheap vacation flights.

It might not be your ideal airline or flight plan, but you will likely make considerable savings on the tickets. The added benefit of this is that some services like airport transfers will come as included in the package. All these savings made all through the process will be the windfall you need to make the holiday of your dreams.

saving money

The classic low season travel trick

With the current environment where you can work remotely, you don’t have to wait for when everyone is going on holiday to join the bandwagon. High season vacations start from December to April when people are avoiding the cold of winter.

Likewise, winter resorts will have their highest traffic in cold seasons, and family-friendly resorts are often full when the schools are off session. With this information, you can plan your travel to coincide with periods when hotels are struggling with occupancy. This will not only give you the much-needed change of environment, but it will also cost you much less to do that.

Group travel

Most hotels have packages for group travel beyond the other discounts you will get from choosing an all-inclusive package. If not, as a group, you can split costs or share suites. Besides the cost savings, traveling with people who share the same interests as you affords you company to share the memories with. It is also worth taking up group all-inclusive vacation packages because you will have a team to play within group activities or people to challenge you to new experiences.

Carry your own personal effects (unless explicitly stated they are provided for)

Hotel commissaries are there as a last resort option. In some luxurious hotels, the prices may not only be exorbitant, but you may also not find the brands you use. If you want to keep costs low, consider coming with your own sunscreen, tanning lotion, and any other items you cannot do without. If you are traveling with kids, remember to carry all your child care essentials. Your child’s favorite snacks or a pack of diapers as the resort commissary can easily do away with all the benefits you have accrued so far—seriously.

Focus on having a good time

 A vacation is a time to relax and have a good time. Just because everything is paid for does not mean it is the time for you to be all over trying everything. Not only is it unsavory, but it will also limit you from actually enjoying simple things like having a simple, quiet, relaxed time away from the rush of your regular life. Most people end up having a miserable experience because they try to have a piece of everything.

The smart way is to have a bucket list of things to do and spend the rest of the time winding down. Enjoy excellent food, read a book, go shopping, try the games, party with friends, but above all, have a considered approach to everything you do.

Use a trusted travel agent

Travel agents are an information source for the best deals. Being active in the travel circles, they are best placed to inform you of the hottest destinations, crazy deals, and how to set up your vacation not only to be affordable but enjoyable. Sites like tripsupport.ca will help you set up your vacation. They will go as far as offering credit on travel and setting up a vacation based on your special needs.

Some of Our Favorite All-Inclusive Hotels

Marriott Hotels

An all-inclusive resort is like a cruise ship vacation—just without the seasickness. If you have been on a cruise and enjoyed their offerings, chances are an all-inclusive resort will be a natural transition for you. Whether or not you have tried it, here are some resorts to try the all-inclusive packages at.

Marriott Hotels

The Marriott Group is the latest big-name brand to begin offering all-inclusive packages. The reputation of this chain of hotels speaks for itself, and if you want to reimagine your resort experience, this is an option you should consider. They offer all-inclusive packages in some of the most sought-after destinations globally, like Barbados, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc.

With an all-inclusive package from them, you can easily get a honeymoon, family-friendly, romantic, adults-only vacation in some unreal destinations. If you want an all-inclusive vacation package in some international luxury hotels like Colony Club – Barbados, Armar House – Mexico, or The Westin Reserva Conchal–Costa Rica and many more, try the Marriott Group.

A typical all-inclusive package here will entail a fitness center, kids’ clubs, spa, pool internet, fine dining, standard booze, and guaranteed international standard stays.

Excellence Riviera Cancun

The Excellence Riviera Cancun is an all-inclusive adult-only resort in Puerto Morelos Cancun. It offers beachfront vacation on its white sand beaches just 20 minutes from Cancun Airport. The rooms here are chic and modern with in-room whirlpool tubs, private balconies, and more amenities than you can use. They offer a tiered all-inclusive package, with the excellence club being the premier package. On the property are six pools (some heated), ten restaurants, eleven bars, and 24-hour room service.

This 440-room luxury resort has suites for every end of the budget spectrum. The rooms come fitted with large HD TVs, coffee/tea making machines, electronic safes, stocked minibars, free Wi-Fi, many of the things you would expect from a hotel of its caliber. If you take the excellence club package, the pampering just gets intense, from Bulgari toiletries to private lounge access to a private beach area. Simply put, they pull all the stops to make it the ultimate vacation.

all-inclusive Cancun vacation

Grand Velas Los Cabos

In Los Cabos, the Grand Velas Los Cabos is one of the few kid-friendly, romantic properties that offers beachfront living. Often, you have to compromise on one of these features to get an all-inclusive resort.

 It has a contemporary design with lush gardens overlooking a beautiful stretch of the beach in Los Cabos. This resort is famed for its dining with renowned restaurants like Casa del Autor on the property.

Besides this, six other restaurants offer the best of Mexican Italian, French, and other continental dishes. As part of your all-inclusive package, you get to dine in these fine restaurants as well as enjoy top shlfe liquor.

 For children, there are supervised kids and teens clubs with supervised activities and video games.

Italian dishes
The suites are large and contemporary with high-end bathrooms, with many of the luxurious suites having their own plunge pools.

There are many suite types, with the high-end ones having a separate living, sleeping, and dining areas in an elegant open floorplan. As standard, all rooms have a stocked minibar, Nespresso machines, Wi-Fi, turndown service, among many other features you can expect from a resort of its class. All rooms have balconies with ocean views. While the beach is not swimmable, the pools and the rooms make a good case for a place to pamper yourself.

Beloved Playa Mujeres

If you have a romantic getaway on your mind, then the Beloved Playa Mujeres will meet and surpass your bucket list. This couple’s only boutique resort offers a laid-back atmosphere for romance with its white sand beach and high-end amenities.

With your all-inclusive package, you get access to spacious, elegant suites with furnished balconies. There are four high-end restaurants that don’t require reservations or the classic wristband to dine. For the one price, premium booze is available with 24-hour room service, extending to poolside or beachside. For a more intense romantic experience, upgrades to a honeymoon or anniversary package are also available.

Bang for your bucks is the DNA of Beloved Playa Mujeres 109 rooms. With a junior suite having 960 square feet, it is hard to imagine another all-inclusive resort topping it. On the property are three elegant pools. The rooms either have terraces or private plunge pools. The beach is tastefully furnished with enough umbrellas and sunbeds, but while the beach is impressive, it’s the water sports that will seal the deal for you.

Given that the resort is in a secluded location, the water access is open to guests. You will be happy to know that the hotel provides free equipment. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and Hobie Cats are just the basics, but the resort can arrange deep-sea fishing excursions, wildlife tours, sailing, and scuba diving, albeit at an extra cost.

Le Sivory Punta Cana by PortBlue Boutique

The Le Sivory is one of the resorts you could ever go to to detach from the world. Situated in a remote beachfront location in Punta Cana, the terrible Wi-Fi signals willensure that you detach and detox from your life in the fast lane. We should not construe this to imply that the resort isn’t great.

In fact, it is a high-end getaway with a quiet ambiance known for its all-inclusive rates. There are 55 rooms on the large resort, each complete with terraces and some with private pools, whirlpool tubs, and ritzy bathrooms. Given the beach’s secluded location, it feels private and free of vendors (a common problem with some Punta Cana beaches). If we had to choose one word to describe this resort, it would be Edenic.

All rooms have a choice between ocean views or garden views. With your all-inclusive package, all meals and drinks, including premium international brands, are included. Additionally, these packages provide 24 hours room service, free yoga, entertainment, and discounts at the spa.

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