Over the last 2 years I’ve stayed at all-inclusive hotels three times. For those of you that don’t know, this generally means you pay a set price for your room plus all meals, snacks and sometimes alcoholic drinks. It can also include your flights and guided tours. After researching options I’ve made the choice to stay (partly) all inclusive on every trip abroad so far.
My first all inclusive experience was on a ‘luxury’ trip, my first time abroad to Belize. While the beginning of the trip was not inclusive for the second half I booked a hotel package that included my room, daily guided trips and meals. It wasn’t cheap, but everything came planned and hassle free, all I had to do was show up. The hotel’s restaurant menu had plenty of tasty and authentic local items that I was happy with. Meals included Belizean style breakfasts and steak was the dinner menu as well. Minus one small set back in our pre-paid tours this was a fantastic vacation.
I went to Roatan, Honduras with one thing in mind – scuba diving. The problem is, scuba diving is an expensive hobby, especially when you have to fly and stay in hotels to do it. One way to save cash is to find a resort that has an on-site dive operation and package deals. I stayed for a week in Roatan with diving and all meals included. The hotel was miles away from town or any other restaurants. By having meals there I saved a ton alone on expensive taxi rides. The only problem, I stayed during the ‘low season’ with only a few guests in the hotel, so the menu was limited. The food was good quality but not always what I would have chosen.
What can I say? I can’t resist the Caribbean’s amazing water. While saving to move abroad I needed a trip that was cheap and temporarily satisfying my desire to be abroad. Cozumel is world-renowned for it’s diving and affordability. I stayed at a well known hotel here that once again, included all my diving and meals. The hotel had large buffets and snacks available all day. And while some of the food became repetitive I saved a lot compared to eating out at other places.
Is all inclusive right for you?
That depends on what’s most important to making your trip a good experience. Do you need to eat lots of local food or do you need to stay on a fixed budget? Is your hotel near lots of food options or the middle or nowhere?
The best advice I can give is to make priorities and read reviews. While I ideally would like to explore and try as many local food options as possible, it’s sometimes worth sacrificing for other things I felt were more important. I’ve had positive all-inclusive hotel stays because I spent time finding ones that met my needs.
If you’re interested in these kind of trips I recommend searching Cheap Caribbean for great deals on all-inclusive vacations and resorts.