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How to Find the Best All-Inclusive Resorts for You and Your Budget

two kids at a resort
Written by Shannon Durso

Some travelers choose to stay at an all-inclusive resort because it’s more affordable; while others go all-inclusive because it’s convenient and less stressful.

Before you lock in your all-inclusive reservations, there are a few things you should consider. Typically, all-inclusive resorts are meant to be budget-friendly and hassle-free as everything is already pre-paid. The main question to ask yourself before completing your booking is ‘Am I going to use all of these amenities, eat that much food, and drink so many beverages to add up to this price?’

Most all-inclusive resorts are similar as to what’s included. It’s usually food, beverages (yes, alcohol!), resort activities, and entertainment. But not all are the same. So, to be sure you choose the best all inclusive resorts every time you travel, there are some things to think about before you make your reservations.

Read on to learn which questions to ask yourself before you choose your stay, especially if you’re on a budget!

How many people am I traveling with?

family of five on a beach

What some travelers may not realize is that an all-inclusive resort charges per person and will only allow up to a certain number of people in a room. For instance, if you’re a family of five with three young kids, you may have to book two rooms. Before you grab cheap plane tickets, check with your hotel to see if your family is permitted to stay in one room. Most resorts will accommodate larger families either with a suite sized room or will allow a family with small children to stay in a standard room. If the resort you choose requires you to book two rooms, it may not be best for you, whether it be the price or the inconvenience of splitting up.

What’s my favorite thing to do on vacation?

golf bag

Travel preferences vary depending on the group, family, or couple. For instance, golf is a popular activity that many resorts have on-premise. Or, watersports like jet skiing and banana boating are also usually offered at island resorts for an additional charge (whether it be from the resort itself or from a local business). If you’re traveling with teens, night clubs will probably be on their to-do list. Something to keep in mind when looking for an all-inclusive resort is if what’s included, includes the things you want to do. Golf usually isn’t included with an all-inclusive package and will probably be expensive to play for just a few hours a day. If it’s watersports that you’re after, most places only offer non-motorized activities like snorkeling, windsurfing, and catamarans that are already included with your stay.

Do I have a go-to drink?

friends at a bar

Does house liquor sound appetizing to you? To some, it doesn’t matter what brand of liquor is served but to most, the taste is quite significant compared to top-shelf spirits. When paying a pretty penny for an all-inclusive resort you’d expect to be able to order your preferred beverage. But, never assume that you’ll get top-shelf liquor, especially when going out of the country. If the resort you’re interested in only offers cheap alcohol, you may want to reconsider your stay if you’re planning to indulge in some classy cocktails on vacation.

What foods won’t I eat?

eating with friends

Check out the restaurants on-premise before booking. If you’re already paying for it, you’re going to want to be sure you’ll enjoy it. Diet restrictions? Ask your fellow travelers if there are any food allergies or food restrictions while doing your research on where to stay. If you hate seafood and the resort you want to go to offers mostly seafood dishes, odds are you’re not going to want to dine at one restaurant the entire trip. So, look at menus online to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Is there night-time entertainment for me?

nightly entertainment

So, you’re still scoping out island destinations and debating on which resort to stay at. Sure, the beach, pool, spa, and daytime activities are ideal but what are you going to do at night? Nightlife entertainment is an important element for some travelers. You want the best experience possible and if there’s nothing to do at nighttime besides dinner, you’re wasting your time and money (if staying up late is your thing).  Whether it’s a club at the resort, live shows or even late-night bars, you should be sure there’s something to keep you and your fellow travelers entertained.

Have you been to an all-inclusive resort recently? What was the best part of your inclusive stay? Tell us in the comments below! 

About the author

Shannon Durso

If she’s not searching for the world's coolest destinations she has yet to explore, you can find her writing content at Fareportal or maybe even drooling over a foodies latest post. Shannon’s a Brooklyn native who enjoys good company, new adventures, and a great laugh!

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