How to make sure you’re getting the most out of an all-inclusive vacation

Photo by Nadezhda1906/

Itching to board a plane that will whisk you away to a warmer, sunnier locale? An all-inclusive trip can be a great way to escape the winter blues, but not all resorts are created equal. Read these tips before you book so you can be smart about planning your ideal getaway.

What does ‘all-inclusive’ really mean?

Find out exactly what is included in the package and whether or not you’ll use it. A more expensive resort that offers scuba diving or waterskiing lessons can end up being a terrific deal if you take advantage of the extras. Similarly, don’t get suckered in by deals that look too good to be true. Some resorts will include piña coladas in the price, but bottled water is extra.

Make sure the food is good

You’ll be eating at the same restaurant every meal for the duration of your vacation, so check Yelp reviews of the resort to make sure that the food is actually edible. Often times local cuisine is watered down to appeal to foreign palates, so don’t be afraid to ask for a special local hot sauce if you need an extra hit of spice.

Look into niche resorts

There’s a resort for everybody, whether you’re looking to be pampered all day or just play golf. Look closely and make sure you’re picking the right resort based around your interests. You don’t want to get stuck at a kid-friendly resort when that’s what you’re trying to escape from!

Travel off-season

Or at least be flexible with dates. You’ll get a better deal if you avoid travelling during peak times.

Explore the surrounding areas

Don’t be afraid to leave the comfort and safety of the all-inclusive resort to go exploring. As long as you’ve done your research on potential dangers like pickpockets, it’s a great idea to go out and see what the rest of the island has to offer. Ask some of the locals working at the resort what their favourite hot spots are.

Location, location, location

Mexico or Jamaica are the two most popular all-inclusive destinations, but there’s a wealth of tropical locales to be explored. Consider Honduras, Maldives, Brazil, and Antigua as other alternative places to visit.

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