Booking an all-inclusive resort can feel overwhelming to travelers, especially ones who aren’t familiar with how these types of vacations work. That's why we’ve compiled some helpful tips about how to find the perfect all-inclusive resort for you.
Be sure to check out where the resort is located. Some resorts may say Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, but they are quite a distance from the actual town or city center. If you plan on not leaving the resort grounds, staying miles out will be no big deal. However, if you want something that provides easy access to shopping or other restaurants and bars, you may find that you’ll be spending a lot of money and time in taxis or other transportation to get back and forth.
Determine What Size Resort Works for You
Depending on the destination, you are likely to come across a wide selection of resorts. If you want numerous on-site dining options with multiple pools, endless activities, etc., then you’re better off choosing a larger all-inclusive resort. If you want a more boutique experience, there are resorts out there that also cater to travelers who want a worry-free vacation, minus thousands of other guests.
Included On-Site Activities
Most all-inclusive resorts include a number of non-motorized water sports, like kayaks and windsurfers. You’ll find motorized options are an extra fee. Check if snorkel gear is included and what the fees are for day trips. While you might save a little on one resort’s base rate, you could be paying more for extra activities. If included activities are important, look for brands that are known to include more. Beaches Resorts typically include snorkel trips and scuba diving (except for the introductory course).
Check for Free Wi-Fi
If you plan to unplug and completely disconnect on your vacation, choosing an all-inclusive resort with free Wi-Fi might not be high on your list. However, a lot of travelers are surprised to learn that numerous all-inclusive resorts will keep your drink glass full, but they won’t let you surf the web for free in your room. Daily internet fees can be hefty at some resorts, so compare prices between properties. It may be worth splurging a little more on the nightly room rate if the difference is less than paying for Wi-Fi every day of your holiday.
Adults-Only or Family Travel
If you are traveling with your kids, ensure you select a resort that has plenty of activities and programs for the little ones. Consider the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, which has a kid’s club along with Nickelodeon-themed events and activities.
If you are looking for a romantic getaway, stick to a resort that is adults only, or at least offers separate adults-only pools. The Royalton Riviera Cancun is one such resort that features a separate adults-only section of the property. Book the Hideaway section and you’ll have access to a private pool, private beach, bar and other amenities.
Plan Ahead to Save Money
If you want a good deal, people often start planning their all-inclusive holidays up to a year in advance. You can watch the prices on a particular property to see how they average out through the year. If your schedule allows for some flexibility, you can alter your dates to fit with the cheapest rates. Don’t assume that waiting until the last minute means they will do a deep-discount either.
Another way to save on your all-inclusive resort is to choose a destination that has frequent flights in and out. Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana are two spots that you can start your all-inclusive resort research with.