Many travelers who have roamed the planet would say that you’re not traveling properly unless it’s just you and your backpack, a battered travel guidebook, meager funds and tons of creative ideas, plus the willingness to go wherever the wind takes you. But for others, traveling is a less gritty experience, and it’s all about relaxing: lounging in the sun, sampling delicious food, luxurious rooms and a no worrying about what you should do next because everything is being taken care of. Independent travelers will surely scoff at the prospect of an all-inclusive trip that robs you of many of the joys of traveling, but is there really no positive side to all inclusive resorts? Here are the pros and cons for all inclusive travel – so decide for yourself whether it’s the right way of traveling for you!
If you travel all inclusive, then you won’t have to worry about a single thing, and sometimes this is just what you need to be able to kick back and relax. All inclusive resorts will take care of your accommodation, dining and even cleaning, and your most major decision will probably be whether to stay by the pool or go down to the beach. You can eat at a nice restaurant or a buffet without keeping a hawk’s eye on your budget, and you can even choose from several activities that your resort will probably organize for you: diving, snorkeling, trekking.
Another plus is that all the facilities you need are usually on-site: restaurants, medical care, shops and entertainment – no more reading endless restaurant reviews or looking for a dive to spend the evening.
If you want to explore the area around the resort, you don’t have to bother with guidebooks and maps, because the resort staff can arrange excursions for you and offer all the information you need, usually for free.
The most important pro argument is the price of all inclusive travel, especially if you manage to find a deal. On the whole, eating the same meals and staying in the same kind of rooms would cost a lot more if you traveled independently!
On the other hand, all inclusive resorts rarely cover everything. Certain facilities and services will have you rummaging through your wallet – like spa treatments of having a drink at the bar. Excursions and short trips might also not be included in the price, and if you let your resort book them for you, they might come at a higher fee than what you’d pay if you were to organize these trips yourself.
Another thing that might put off independent travelers is the fact that all inclusive trips can often make you feel like you don’t have much control over how you’re spending your time. If you paid for the package and you can dine for free at the resort’s restaurants or spend the evening at the resort’s bar, you will feel like there’s not much point in looking up other places that you might like. Having everything within your reach might also make it harder to get out of the resort and explore the surroundings or connect with the local culture – because getting out will mean that you have to pay for these outings yourself, in addition to what the all inclusive trip cost you.