10 Reasons to NOT go to an All Inclusive

Tips for traveling with teens

It might just be two weeks annual vacation, but we’re all intrepid travelers at heart. Thinking of having it all laid out for you instead on an All Inclusive? No way, think again…

That coveted time away with your family, or as a solo traveler is precious. We all work hard, and that stashed cash should be wisely spent. But, if you’re considering All Inclusive for your fortnight away, then consider the pitfalls. We have ten great reasons to NEVER book All Inclusive, do you agree with them?

1. Location, location…

Consider the location of an all inclusive resort
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Imagine opening a brochure or website dedicated to All Inclusive travel. Idyllic accommodation, framed by swathes of white sand and turquoise ocean. All Inclusive resorts tend to be situated in destinations resembling scenes from a 007 movie set, like jewels on a sparkling coastline. But that sand! It’s everywhere! You’ll be shaking sand out of your shoes for days!

Now who needs that sort of nonsense?

2. This way, Sir

All inclusive includes transportation
Imagine tailored flights and comfortable transfers, all included in the price. A worry-free way to arrive, knowing your travel logistics are taken care of.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

SO boring! Far better to plan your own intrepid adventure and arrive in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. That bumpy bus ride doesn’t actually start until the next morning, so be sure to find yourself somewhere to sleep for your first night. And a pre-paid shuttle? Where’s the adventure in that? Although language and prices may confuse, local Taxis should be ubiquitous for the tourist, we’ll take one please.

3. Money talks

Leave your wallet behind at an all inclusive resort
You love to feel the jingle of local currency in your pocket, especially when you suspect you’ve been ripped off at the airport exchange desk. There’s nothing quite like spending time trying to work out the cost of everything, figure out the currency, and calculating the fluctuating exchange rate, it’s a holiday favorite. Having upfront and transparent costs at an All Inclusive can’t be for real, can it? Everything included, all your food and drinks too? No local coins or bills needed? Well that’s no fun, your grandkids just love when you bring them a few foreign coins from your travels, they’ll be so disappointed if you save money but bring them nothing!

4. Food for thought

You'll find gourmet food at most all inclusive resorts
International cuisine and gourmet fine dining is such a risk, not to mention having food available 24×7. The number of dining options can be overwhelming and far too tempting. If you cannot pronounce it, then you’re not eating it. Although, that seafood platter does look good… No – trying little plates of new exciting taste sensations is definitely NOT for you. You know what you like to eat, and you’re sticking to it, you’re far better off with a small rental close to a grocery store, so you can buy and cook your own food to your liking, and stick to your schedule instead of eating whenever you feel like it.

5. Child’s play

All inclusive resorts will keep your kids entertained so you don't have to!
Having your kids around all day, everyday is such a pleasure. Yes, they get a bit tired and whiny, and want you to sit in your hotel room with them after dusk instead of enjoying the resort’s entertainment, but that’s okay. You wanted to finish that book anyway. Amusing them all day long is such a pleasure, you’d have been bored silly relaxing on a beach whilst a professional Nanny took them off your hands at an All Inclusive Kids Club. And you know your kids – they’d hate all those fun activities, learning new skills and making new friends. No, best to stick together, 24/7. That’s what a family vacation is for, right?

6. Centrally located

At an all inclusive resort, everything is in one place, no taxis needed
Remember the time you spent all day looking for that water park, but never did find it? It was such an adventure taking seven buses and getting lost. Planning the day’s activities from foreign language brochures that contain all the best out of date information is hilarious. Those boring All Inclusive resorts have everything centrally located, it’s just a short step across the soft sand to the next activity. How dull! That’s no way to enjoy yourself, surely?

7. Living dangerously

At an all inclusive resort your safety is a top priority
You thrive on a bit of danger. Getting mugged makes a great dinner party story, you’ll dine out on that one for years. All Inclusive vacations are so safe it’s just silly and unexciting. Security and safety are one of the top priorities, ensuring you have a worry free holiday, even in the most exotic locations. Who wants to hear about that over dessert?

8. Service with a smile

All inclusive resorts offer exemplary service with a smile
You love to experience local service, those flinty-eyed waiters are such a blast – and grumpy service – or none to speak of – is just another way of enjoying the local traits and personalities, isn’t it? A team of professionals, dedicated to your holiday enjoyment, and answering your every question with knowledgeable precision is just so…predictable. Sigh.

9. Expensive destinations

All inclusive resorts make amazing destinations affordable
Some destinations are simply out of your budget range. Better to stick to those cheaper ones you’re familiar with. Apparently, All Inclusive resorts can actually allow you to visit those more celebrity-filled upmarket locations, with packages to suit your budget, but there’s no way you’re falling for that one. Oh sure, it might be a destination fit for royalty and you’d go home feeling like you’ve had a VIP experience, but what if no celebrities show up whilst you’re there?

10. Switching off

You get so bored where your every whim and wish is granted. On cue drinks and food being delivered to you, long days of pure relaxation, getting a perfect and safe tan, all those endless opportunities for activities like golf or scuba diving or pickleball – who needs it?

Can’t decide where to go? Check out our BEST OF….. category for some inspiration, or if there is an activity you really like, type it in our search bar at the top to see which resorts feature it.

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About Carol Byrne 30 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.

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