I’m not a huge fan of all inclusive holidays. I’ve been on a couple, so I speak from my experiences, not assumptions. Everyone’s different, though, and I know several people who love these types of experiences and almost exclusive choose them for their holidays.
After speaking with a close friend and all-inclusive regular, I thought I’d share some practical tips for enjoying yourself on an all inclusive holiday.
For some reason, those budget deal seekers see “all inclusive” and forget to read the rest of the description. If it was still a good deal but not all inclusive, would you still go there? If you hate beaches, it goes without saying that an all inclusive beach resort is going to be fairly miserable. So, all inclusive should be the thing that seals the deal, not the thing that gets you interested in the first place. The location is important but also consider the type of resort or establishment – will you be in the type of environment you’d find comfortable and relaxing? Look at the reviews to get a good feel for what to expect.
When the drinks keep rolling and the food never stops, it is very, very, very (did I mention very?) easy to overindulge. Feeling fat, bloated, and hungover for 7 days out of a 7 day holiday is not a good look. Nor will it leave you feeling refreshed, which is kind of the whole idea of having a holiday. So, stop temptation. Steer clear of the dining area, and find a place where the drinks aren’t overflowing (which can be difficult in some places!). Just say no!
Once I had a relative who went on an all inclusive sort holiday to Crete and said she was sorely disappointed she didn’t get to go hiking to Samaria Gorge. I guess she felt as if because it was all inclusive she couldn’t leave the compound, which certainly isn’t the case, or maybe she was assumed if it wasn’t part of the set of options the resort offered, you couldn’t get there.
If there is something you want to see/do, then go do it – even if there is some scheduled activity or event where you’re staying, you are under no obligation, so do what you want, as it is your holiday not theirs. When the resort has a list of activities and tours you can take and what you want isn’t there, just ask – if they can’t help you, then go to the local tourism board website or do some searches in Google. A little footwork easily pays dividends.
“All” inclusive doesn’t always include everything. Sometimes it might be accommodation and food but not drinks, whereas other times it might be just happy hour drinks but not an all night binge. So don’t be disappointed: read the fine print before you buy, and if you’re not sure, ask. Beyond food and drink, some common oversights:
All inclusive holidays can be a fantastic experience and a great way to get some R&R without breaking the budget. Just don’t dive in head first – know what you’re getting, and what you aren’t, so you adjust your expectations and make any other arrangements so your holiday is exactly what you wanted.
Posted : Monday, September 20th, 2010 at 14:33
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not criss-crossing the world to have his next travel adventures, he is spending time hanging out on his own website, Sharing Travel Experiences.