7 Rookie Mistakes When Booking an All Inclusive Vacation

Rookie Mistakes when booking an all inclusive vacation

Unexpected mishaps are almost always avoidable. Planning and preparation are key when it comes to your longed-for break, so avoid these seven rookie mistakes, and enjoy your dream All Inclusive vacation.

Many of these points are simply common sense, but in your eagerness to taste your first All Inclusive vacation, you might need a few little reminders, so that you don’t get caught by these rookie errors.

1. Not doing your homework


Let’s face facts; the internet is the best tool you have at your fingertips. You can research everything via your laptop, at home, so why not do it? Research the resort, fine tune your wish list, whittle it down to the best place for you to visit. Read informative articles and blogs about the all-inclusive resort you’d like to visit. A first time All Inclusive vacationer needs to be aware that preparation is the key to a happy holiday.

2. Not reading the reviews


There are reviews, and there are reviews. Some folk seem to spend their time as wannabe travel critics, don’t they?! But, personal opinions are highly useful too, seeing real vacationer’s real photos, and discovering genuinely helpful comments, hacks and tips are just some of the advantages of reading the reviews. Don’t disregard them, listen to public opinion.

3. Choosing the wrong resort ‘type’

Grand Palladium Colonial
Palladium Hotel

You arrive to find that you and your kids have landed in a mostly adult, tranquil resort, or a romantic honeymoon location. Oops. By that time, it’s too late to do anything about it except have a large cocktail, but the kids certainly won’t be happy, and your teen will pout up for a marathon sulking session. They would love some of the family friendly all-inclusive resorts, of which there are many. Just spend a little time when choosing, and check the resort type before you eagerly offer up that credit card.

4. Expecting too much from a sell-off


Yay! You have picked up a bargain, last minute deal with a really cheap sell-off. That’s always a good thing. BUT, please don’t expect miracles too –  this will not be the royal penthouse bells-and-whistles suite. Well, not likely anyway. All Inclusive resorts have all sorts of rooms, and that sell-off is quite likely to be a budget or smaller option, sometimes offering fewer amenities — still very nice, but not the sort a Sultan would book.

5. Not getting ‘covered’


No, we’re not talking about high SPF sun-cream – although tanning safely is a really good idea too – we’re talking about travel insurance. Failing to get the right coverage, or worse, not enough coverage, and your holiday may incur a much bigger cost than you had anticipated or budgeted for. If you are the victim of a robbery, have an accident, fall ill, or have to extend your vacation for any reason at all (it happens!) – please make sure you have the right sort — and enough — insurance before you travel.

Generally speaking, the cost of travel insurance is minimal, and small compared to the cost of a last-minute trip cancellation, or worse – paying for an out-of-the-country medical emergency. If in doubt, check it out.

6. Not allowing for seasonal weather


Hurricane season – would you travel at that time? In its favor, during hurricane season you might get a really great deal, and it can be a better, and less crowded time to take your annual vacation. But then again, while hurricanes are not common, it may also live up to its name and you may be caught in the eye of the storm. So, research the weather first, and the season of your chosen destination, and see whether this influences when you choose to go.

7. Not listening to the experts


Expert help is there to help you make the best choice, to answer all your questions, and to guide you towards a memorable vacation that you’ll surely want to repeat in the years to come. You may have questions such as “Is everything really included?

There are many places to find expert all-inclusive travel advice, be sure to ask all of your questions before you book!

Have you made any of these rookie mistakes? We’d love to hear your feedback, especially if you have anything else to add, so drop us a comment.



About Carol Byrne 29 Articles
Originally from Dublin, Carol has also lived in London and Wales before settling in Spain with her husband and family in 2006, and is published regularly on travel and more from her mountain-top home in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Driven by a passion for travel, history, other cultures, and sustainable living, she enjoys life with her family in a traditional and tiny village. She also blogs about her traditional village life, sparked by a passion for the diverse culture and history of Spain.


  1. I am planning my first all-inclusive resort vacation and I appreciate your advice. I have taken many trips in the past and know that planning is all important. Planning should include notifying your credit card companies with respect to the cards you will be using as well as checking on whether to put your purchases on the card and therefor the current exchange rate is applied or whether to use an ATM with the banks rate and pay with cash. Is this an issue if you are staying at an all-inclusive resort?

    • Hi Helen,

      Please forgive the delayed reply – I’ve been traveling and just saw your comment. :-)

      When you book your all-inclusive resort, the charge for your stay should come through on your credit card in USD so you won’t have to deal with currency exchange rates, however you’re correct that *while you’re traveling* if you have any incidental expenses (like shopping at the resort’s gift shop or in town), you’ll need to be aware as pretty much everything is priced in Pesos these days, not US Dollars. And the shops don’t have to use the same exchange rate as the ‘official’ one….in THIS case, it’s best to use your credit card….have the shop put the charge through as Pesos and let your credit card company do the exchange – it will be to your advantage as the official exchange rate is likely to be much better than what the local merchant wants to give you.

      If you want to have some small cash on hand for small items, take $20 or $50 and exchange it into Pesos at the airport when you land, otherwise make use of the charge-to-room convenience when at the resort, and your credit card when not.

  2. I notice that your comments regarding travel insurance mention falling ill. It’s my belief that most travel insurance policies do not cover health issues and that this requires separate coverage. What can you tell me about this. I suppose that I should first check with the coverage I have here in the US.

    • Hi Flo,

      You’re correct – you should always check first with your own health insurer, but most US insurers do not cover travel outside of the US, so a separate travel insurance policy is a wise idea. And you’re also correct that not all travel insurance policies cover illness and/or medical evacuation (which can be VERY expensive if you don’t have coverage!) – some only cover the trip cost itself if there is a cancellation……best to shop around, be very clear with your travel agent about what coverage you want, and read the fine print!

      Check out our post “Is Travel Insurance a Scam?” – we link to some pros and cons as well as resources.

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