Here are 5 factors to consider when making that decision:
One of the big selling points of an all-inclusive resort is the sheer quantity and availability of food I’ve been on both sides of this table as I see true benefits to both. It can depend entirely on what I am looking for on a particular vacation.
All-Inclusive: large amounts of food, whenever you want, without having to worry about shelling out cash at every meal (see #3 — Budget). Note: keep in mind the quality of food can vary greatly depending on the resort. For some resorts, the quantity might not make up for the quality. For all inclusive family vacations, the fact that food is included for the duration of your trip makes this option a no-brainer. Another reason to choose an all-inclusive is traveling with a group, not having to choose a restaurant all the time is very convenient.
Non-All-Inclusive: while you will be paying out of pocket per meal, you have the opportunity to try some of the local favorites, including many that are very reasonably priced. Requires a little more effort to learn about the best restaurants and eventually choose a place, though.
The same applies to drinks, too. Not having to shell out cash per drink is a nice feeling (again, see #3 — Budget).
All-Inclusive: It’s a nice perk to be able to order drinks at will, at any time of day.
Non-All-Inclusive: While the quantity and ease of drinking at an all-inclusive is nice, it’s also great being able to try the specialty drinks of various establishments. Since all-inclusives house everything on their own property, non-all-inclusive hotels generally have much better access to other commercial areas, like bars, lounges and hotels, which may each have their own specialty drinks.
The all-inclusive may include bars or clubs but they’re just not going to be as cool as the bars and clubs that are more easily accessible from non-all-inclusives. Then again, you might not be looking for nightlife in your vacation, which makes an all-inclusive very appealing.
#5: Exploring the Area
By their nature, all-inclusives are the way they are so that you never have to leave the property.
All-Inclusive: You might have more difficulty seeing and interacting with local cultures if you stay at an all-inclusive resort. If you don’t really care to explore the local culture of your destination, then going with the all-inclusive is fine because you will have everything you need on the property.
Non-All-Inclusive: If the idea of staying on one property for your whole vacation is a little off-putting for you, non-all-inclusives are generally closer to local life.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, this helps you have a better sense of which type of accommodation is a better fit for you after considering the above factors. There are more factors to consider. Your choice between all-inclusive or not could depend on what type of vacationer you are or what you are looking for in this particular vacation. There’s just no right or wrong answer in this case.
Hi! My name is Julie and I am the owner of Julez Travel! I love planning vacations! I love the excitement of planning for that special occasion like birthdays, anniversaries or honeymoons! One of my favorite parts is adding special touches to make the trip fun with little surprises!