Is an all-inclusive vacation right for you?

For total fun and relaxation, an all-inclusive resort vacation can offer a complete escape from all the necessities at home. If you haven’t had a chance to learn about this type of vacation, here are some basics.

All-inclusive vacations include the price of your room, your meals, your drinks (including alcoholic beverages), and unlimited activities for one starting price. These packages are usually offered at resort locations. The resorts target adult-only visitors or a stay for the whole family. All-inclusive vacation spots tend to be in the Caribbean or Mexico.

So, for an upfront price, food is included and is offered via delicious buffets, poolside grills, or at the resort restaurant where you can order a la carte. The range of free activities (depending on the resort) include: kayaking, sailing, an introductory scuba lesson, snorkeling, windsurfing, or water aerobics. Other entertainment may include free Kids Club activities for the youngest members of the family (ages 4-12) where they can spend time with their peers, enjoy games, nature walks or do crafts. If that wasn’t enough, tips and gratuities are not required and not expected by the staff. Motorized water sports, such as jet skiing and parasailing, are available for an additional fee. Spa services and babysitting services require additional charges.

If you haven’t guessed, the theory is to provide world-class pampering, world-class luxury, and exceptional service to all of your guests. Sandals and Beaches Resorts have made this concept famous by even including butler services, where the butler will offer to unpack her luggage, prepare her rose petal-scented bath, sort her wardrobe, and cater to her every whim.

Linda Syme recently traveled by exchanging her timeshare week to discover that “all-inclusive” rates were mandated at the resort and she was charged $300 per day for her and her husband. She commented, “We won’t be doing all-inclusive again because my husband and I just don’t eat or drink enough for all-inclusive rates. I’d rather go to restaurants on our own.” She added: “Resort owners could go all-inclusive for just one day of their stay, at their choice and at a much lower cost of $59 per day per person, that would have been worth it to me.”

However, vacationers do not need to be timeshare owners to find an all-inclusive vacation.

Eric Woodroof enjoyed his all-inclusive stay at the Omni Cancun Hotel, saying, “It was great to sit on the beach with the family, order unlimited sodas and cocktails, and not have to worry about dinner planning or the money. The relaxation service was second to none.”

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