50 Things to Know to Enjoy an All Inclusive Resort

I wrote this book while on my last vacation.  I will share some of the tips with you here.  I hope you enjoy the book.  Going on vacation is a blessing.  An all inclusive resort may be the next vacation for you! 


While you may think an all-inclusive is “All-Inclusive” you may need to think again.  If you are planning on trying a new vacation or interested in finding a new resort, this list may be helpful to make your decision.  Each all-inclusive is not created equal. 
I have been have been a guest to 2 all-inclusive resorts, many hotels, and 10 cruises.  I love to vacation.  The 19 countries including:   United States, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, England, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Italy, Vatican City, and Republic of Krabati a small island off of Hawaii.

I love to view other cultures, includes the people who are on a similar vacation with me.  I enjoy spending time with my friends and family in a different environment.  The place is not always important but it is the people you get to share your experiences with.  

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1. Time of Year

Check online to view how busy the resort you are interested that time of year.  Busy season? Off Season? Are there more bugs that time of year?

2. Weather

What temperature do you prefer on your vacation?  Is 78 degree Fahrenheit perfect for you or 85?

3. Room Type

There are many different room types.  Some may be in your price range while others are not. The least expensive rooms that I have stayed in have a bed room/sitting room, bathroom with a shower, and a balcony with two chairs.  Some all-inclusive resorts near the ocean may not have any ocean view rooms. 

4. Bathrooms

Do you need a shower and a tub in your bathroom? Older hotels may have older bathrooms.  Even when they are redone, they show their age with fans and vents.  A hanging toiletry bag can be used in the bathroom and is easy to bring with you in your luggage.  

5. Sectioning

The same resort may have different price ranges at the same resort.  You may only be able to use certain pools, parts of the beach, and dine at certain restaurants. 

At most all-inclusive resorts they have you wear a wrist band.  This tells the workers that you are a guest and your privileges at the resort.  I personally don’t like wearing this all week. 

6. Distance from Airport

After I get off the plane I cannot wait to get to the beach!  I prefer about a 20 to 30 minute distance to the hotel by bus. When we book an all-inclusive resort through Apple Vacations, they usually include airport transfers in the price.  Do not book too close to the airport or you may hear planes all day and night. 

7. Walking Distance

At the Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the lobby and restaurants are 1-mile from the beach.  There is a tram car that goes around the grounds but I do not enjoy waiting on vacation.  My husband and I loved to walk the grounds. Other people may not enjoy the walk.  Other all-inclusive resorts may only have a small fenced in area where you can walk at the resort and on the beach. 

8. Spa

A spa at an all-inclusive can offer many different amenities.  Sauna, massage, hair, nails, private pools, Jacuzzis, and showers.  These services may be free of have an extra charge.

9. Floor Level

Do you prefer first floor? Second? Or the top of a high rise?  Some resorts may only have one or two floors.

10. Smoking

Some resorts allow smoking in any public place.  Others have designated smoking areas.  Every country may be different.

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11. Plants and Vegetation

The grounds of the resort may be important to you.  Do you love a mile of lush greenery? Or is the ocean and a couple palm trees all you need?

12. Gym and Exercise

Do you need a full gym? Is running on the beach your thing? Water aerobics or stretching on the beach? Different places have choices that may be included or be an upcharge.

13. Language Barrier

Just to be safe make sure you can make a dinner reservation, ask for a drink, and get back to the airport in another language.  I can only speak English and had no trouble at all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Some of the staff may speak multiple languages better than others. Keeping your passport and money organized is important when traveling to a foreign country. 

14. Culture

Just be courteous to others and realize that all cultures are not the same. 

15. Times Things Open and Close

At some resorts the pool closes at 7 and you can only swim in the ocean at certain times.  If you would prefer a night swim find a place to accommodate you.

Breakfast may only be open until 10.  If you were up the night before and don’t make it you may only get some snacks. Dinner may only be served at 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, and 9:00PM.  Choose a time that may work for you.

16. Excursions Water

An all-inclusive resort may have an excursion that you may like in the water.  Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dauphins, and sea aquarium, jet ski, kayaking, tubing, and more.  View the excursion you would like to do with the company you would like to complete the excursion with on YouTube before you leave home.  Then you may know if you would like to spend the extra money to complete the activity.

 For example, one year my family went jet skiing.  This sounded like a good idea until we all had to plain out on the water which was too fast for our liking.  If we would have checked online before we left at other people’s experiences with the excursion, we probably would have just enjoyed the beach for the day instead. 

Instead of spending money renting snorkel gear, you can buy one and take them with you every time you go on vacation. 

17. Lounges and Bars

Lounges and bars can be a great place to relax.  They have great seating areas with many different varieties of chairs and lounge areas.  Most bars have the same type of alcohol and drinks.  There may be specialty bars such as a martini bar or a piano bar.

To read all 50 Tips please go here:  50 Things to Know About All Inclusive Resorts.

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