All-Inclusive Resorts: Tips for Going All-In

by Community Manager on ‎06-22-2015 11:45 AM - last edited on ‎06-30-2015 10:46 AM by Lithium Technologies (2,735 Views)

Are you an all-inclusive novice? Here are some tips and insider advice to help you get the most out of an all-inclusive vacation.

 

The pleasures of the Caribbean make it easy to relax on vacation, especially when you know that every detail has been taken care of. That’s the beauty of all-inclusive resorts, where your room, meals and more are included in one fixed price. Here, find our best advice on staying, eating and playing at these get-away-from-it-all oases.

 

Play Time

Relaxation is the rule at all-inclusive resorts, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be bored. These do-it-all destinations offer acres of fun endeavors. Unlimited enjoyment of pools, water parks, tennis courts and more, along with nonmotorized watersports (like kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and sometimes even scuba diving), are included. You’ll generally pay extra for diversions like golf, spa services, Jet Ski rides and tours that take you off resort property. If those things are on your must-do list, ask your travel consultant about destinations that offer resort credit—you could get as much as $1,500 in credit to use toward optional activities.

 

Got kids? Look for tot-friendly amenities such as zero-entry pools, which let little ones wade gradually into shallow water.

 

On your own? If you’re hoping to relax by the pool sans kids, an adults-only resort is a great option. Or, many resorts set aside private areas just for grown-ups (think bubbling whirlpools and beachside cabanas).

 

Rooms
From classic hotel rooms to expansive suites, the accommodations at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are as varied as the islands themselves. Keep it simple, or go for extras like private plunge pools, walkout beach access or personal butler service. The type of room you choose determines your overall price, so ask your travel consultant about any promotions that might allow you to upgrade.

 

Got kids? Consider resorts that offer multiroom family suites. Requesting connecting rooms can be a good alternative, but they’re often not guaranteed, so you may not know until check-in whether they’re available.

 

On your own? Among the biggest considerations when choosing a room is the view. An oceanfront room may cost more, but if you’re dreaming of waking up to the sound of the surf, it’ll be worth it.

 

Food

It’s one of the joys of vacation: letting someone else do the cooking. But eating out is even easier at an all-inclusive resort, with many boasting five to 10 or more eateries—from fine-dining restaurants to swim-up bars—all included in your upfront fee. A range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages is also included. Although an exclusive restaurant or certain food may come with an additional charge, these are uncommon. At most places, you won’t need reservations, and gratuities are usually included.

 

Got kids? Family-friendly resorts offer lots of options for tiny diners, from kids’ menus to snack bars and ice cream parlors. Plus, most resorts have at least one buffet restaurant serving up a little bit of everything—a good compromise for finicky eaters.

 

On your own? Couples in the mood for a romantic meal for two can often splurge on a private candlelight dinner under the stars.

 

Activities

On vacation, making memories comes naturally—but so can making friends. All-inclusive resorts let you be as social as you want to be, with organized activities for toddlers, tweens and grown-ups alike.

 

Got kids? Little ones will enjoy spending time in on-site camps, where trained counselors oversee games, arts and crafts, pool time and more. Bigger kids can hang out in teens-only clubs where they might play video games by day and go dancing by night. The best part: Parents get to enjoy some one-on-one time, knowing the kids are in good hands.

 

On your own? A daily schedule of activities keeps adults busy, too. Sign up for volleyball tournaments or seaside yoga classes, or join in late-night beach parties and karaoke contests.

 

To plan and book your all-inclusive vacation, visit your local AAA Travel Consultant. And don’t forget to consider AAA Diamond-rated resorts in the Caribbean.

 

A version of this story appears in the July/August 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.

 

Image credit/source: Sandals Negril

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