Is your idea of a travel adventure more of a slower paced experience? Do you like relaxing on a beach with a drink that comes standard with an umbrella before a nap or a good book?  Then an all-inclusive resort may be a great fit.

While we love cruising, we have stayed at our fair share of all-inclusive resorts too.  And, we have quickly learned what our “must haves” are for each vacation depending on if we are taking a family trip or leaving on a romantic getaway.  Below are a few suggestions you should consider when selecting an all-inclusive resort and creating your “must have” list.

Budget – It is always good to start with a budget in mind that includes everything.  Some items to include are the resort, airfare, transportation to/from the resort, any additional tips or expenses, and additional excursions or spa treatments.  Are you okay with trying a local boutique hotel rather than a well-known hotel brand?  What all is actually included in an all-inclusive resort? Are there any hidden costs?  What you are willing to invest will depend on how luxurious you want in your experience.  The more luxurious resorts will have a little better food and service, maybe even butler/concierge service included.  Think about the level of service and pampering you want on the vacation and then compare that to the budget you have for the vacation.

Location, location, location – Where do you want to travel?  While many think of Mexico or the Caribbean when they think of an all-inclusive resort, there are also some great options in Spain, Greece, and other great European locations to consider.  The location should also reflect they type of vacation you desire such as adventurous excursions, shopping nearby, or a great golf course.  With all that said, our favorite stay so far was in St. Lucia at the Sandals Regency La Toc.  We enjoyed the small, private beach for adults only, beautiful sunsets, and excellent customer service. 

Food and Drink – Most all-inclusive resorts have stepped up their chef game recently, even bring on celebrity chef dishes and inspiration.  A great all-inclusive resort will include all meals, snacks, and premium drinks.  And many meals will be created using locally sourced ingredients.  Another perk with a great resort is variety.  Many resorts now feature three, six, even nine different restaurants with different cuisine.  Our last all-inclusive vacation included a Hibachi dinner, an Italian feast, and a local Caribbean experience.

Activities – In addition to daytime activities like volleyball or local trivia, most non-motorized water sports like kayaks or snorkeling are included.  And many resorts have a schedule of theme nights too such as a white night or disco night.  These, of course, are all optional so you can make your vacation as active or laid back as you like.

Family Travel – Similar to cruising, most family all-inclusive resorts include a Kids or Teens Club.  These clubs continue to be updated to reflect the times with games, arcades, and dance parties that are age appropriate.  Mom and dad can have a relaxing spa experience or fancy date night on vacation while they know their kids are being cared for is the safest manner.

Packing Tip – Definitely plan to pack a few key items in your carry-on bag like a swimsuit and sunscreen.  No need for a beach towel as resorts provide those.  Most resorts will allow you to enjoy the amenities if you arrive prior to check-in.  Don’t waste any resort time if don’t have to.

So, where would you want to experience an all-inclusive resort?  Do you have a favorite beach?  Share your thoughts below in the comments.

Dell Adventures Travel Agency
PO Box 3651, Grapevine, TX 76051


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