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All-Inclusive Packages: Not All Resorts Are Created Equal

With the many interest rate hikes effected over the past year, there is less disposable income to invest in the things we love to do, and the market is a bit more price conscious. That said, no one wants to miss out on a great holiday and an increasing number of people are now drawn to the convenience and perceived value of all-inclusive packages when planning a getaway.

The promise of a stress-free holiday where everything is covered, from accommodation to meals, is undoubtedly enticing; however, not all all-inclusive packages are created equal. We highlight some of the costs to inquire about so you can make an informed decision and enjoy a truly authentic all-inclusive getaway without any unexpected expenses.

Food and Beverages

One of the most common misconceptions when booking an all-inclusive package is that all meals and drinks are covered during the stay. While half board packages typically include breakfast and dinner, lunch and snacks are not always included and incur an extra cost. Furthermore, some resorts may limit the selection of beverages, meaning you'll have to pay for alcohol or bottled water. However, resorts such as Club Med, the pioneers of all-inclusive holidays, cover all meals, alcohol, and soft drinks in their all-inclusive packages, which eliminates the risk of additional costs, and the stress of limiting your family in terms of what they can or can’t eat or drink. Before your stay, it’s worth the time to figure out what package would suit you and your loved ones.

Resort Activities and Amenities

When planning an active holiday, there is always much excitement about the memories that will be made enjoying all the fun games and sports you can get up to! And while some all-inclusive packages advertise a plethora of activities and amenities, not all of them are available to guests for free. For example, water and land sports and the gear included may come at an additional cost. With an authentic all-inclusive package, while certain offerings like spa treatments and a select number of off-site excursions, such as diving and golf, may come at an extra cost, most of the land and water activities are included in the all-inclusive package. If you are heading to a ski holiday that requires additional gear, request that these be highlighted upfront to ensure you can holiday with peace of mind.

Gratuities and Service Charges

It is important to note that not all resorts include gratuities or service charges in the all-inclusive package price. Not only can this leave guests unsure of the policy when it comes to tipping staff, but it can also mean guests will have to cover these costs during their stay. This can lead to frustration, as these additional expenses quickly add up and leave holidaymakers with a whopping additional bill on checkout that they hadn’t budgeted for. Confirm which of these are for your charge and which are absorbed by the package price so you can budget accordingly.

Wi-Fi and Connectivity

In today's connected world, access to Wi-Fi is essential for most travelers. However, not all resorts include Wi-Fi in their packages, and some may charge hefty fees for you to access a premium, reliable connectivity. This information, however, is readily available to guests beforehand so do the necessary research so that you can stay connected.

Childcare and Kids Clubs

For a holiday to be fun for the whole family, everyone needs to find time for fun, play and relaxation. And for parents to indulge in any of the above, childcare and kid’s clubs play a very important part. Important questions to ask your travel agent would be what hours the clubs are open and what ages are accepted at the kid’s club. Reason being while some packages offer kids clubs and childcare that is available all day, others do not. And some only accept kids from a certain age and no younger. Accommodating extra hours and younger kids could mean parents will have to fork out a bit extra.

While planning a holiday is an exciting endeavor, in a price conscious market it is essential to be aware of the unforeseen costs that can often catch travelers off-guard.

Fortunately for holidaymakers, many resort players stand out as offering a genuinely all-inclusive experience, where guests can enjoy a worry-free vacation experience without any unexpected expenses.

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