All Inclusive Vacation Packages

The pros and cons

If your idea of an ideal vacation is enjoying all a resort has to offer and minimizing time spent in your car, an all-inclusive vacation package may just be the perfect choice. If, on the other hand, you prefer to explore the area and see other sights, this may not be the best way to spend your hard-earned dollars.

An all-inclusive vacation package is all but worry free. Where should we have dinner tonight? What beach should we go to? Where can we find a kayak to rent? Can I really afford another drink? These are all questions that all-inclusive vacationers never have to ask.

If variety is what you seek in a vacation, then the all-inclusive is probably not for you. With an all-inclusive, all of your meals are already paid for. What if you want to spend the day touring, and will be having lunch and dinner out? Then you end up paying for lunch and dinner twice. And if you like to spend your days adventure trekking? You are also not getting your money's worth on the equipment and activities that you are already paying for.

When choosing an all-inclusive vacation package, be sure it includes everything that is important to you. If water sports are your passion, make sure the type of equipment you need is included. If food is the most important factor, check reviews of the resort and see what people say about the dining experience.

Different all-inclusive packages offer different food options and activities. If you are traveling with children, be sure the resort offers kid-friendly options. If you are seeking the perfect spot for your honeymoon, then you might want one for adults only.

If having drinks delivered to your beachside lounger is not enough luxury to entice you to an all-inclusive, consider the Beaches Negril hotel in Jamaica. This all-inclusive really is all-inclusive, with scuba diving, golf and childcare included in the package. And, for those staying in the highest priced accommodations, you have your own butler, so you truly don't have to do more than lift a finger.

Combine your honeymoon and wedding into one at the couples-only Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa in Jamaica. Spa services and local tours are not included but almost everything else - including the wedding - is. With two miles of private, pristine beach, this Sandals resort combines the ease of an all-inclusive with a peaceful remote location.

For a more dramatic natural landscape, consider St. Lucia. Sandals resorts in St. Lucia offer all the amenities available at the Sandals Whitehouse, but with the advantage of access to the facilities of all three Sandals resorts on the island.

While the most important factor in choosing an all-inclusive vacation is to make sure that the activities you are interested in are included, you don't want to be paying a premium for activities you will never use. If an expensive activity such as golf isn't on your itinerary, you may want to consider a lower priced option.

By Frances Simon