Oh, how quickly a trip can go south. Just take a look at reviews on Trip Advisor and it becomes blatantly obvious that an all-inclusive trip might be a little too risky for some people... We’ve seen some terrible complaints in the past with regards to a variety of issues. In this article we highlight some of those on the “hurt" side of things. These include poor maintenance, a less-than-stellar ambiance, overbooking and so much more. It is important to read reviews beforehand so you don’t stumble into any of these problems.
On the flip side we’ll also discuss factors that can improve a trip instantly. At times just having some great weather can spice things up for the better. Just think about how quickly your mood changed on an all-inclusive vacation when the weather went from rain to sun? It was the same resort, however the mood and feel completely changed. We’ll discuss similar factors that can lead to that same feeling. This includes booking a 21+ resort, a clean beach area that’s properly maintained by the resort and lots of other factors you might want to include on your next all-inclusive vacation!
Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to share it with a fellow traveler. Without further ado, here are 10 ways to improve an all-inclusive vacation and 10 things that might hurt it. We start with an essential part of booking an all-inclusive trip, the beach! Let’s get started.
20 Improve - Proper Beach Maintenance
One of the biggest reasons to book an all-inclusive trip is the fantastic private beach that comes with the resort. In truth, the beach can make or break a trip experience. We’ve seen numerous travelers post some awful photos in the past of dirty beaches. We have also seen photos of beaches filled with vegetation, which is no fun either.
A trip immediately improves when the staff takes great care of the beach. This means daily maintenance and insuring that it meets the quality of its guests. A beautiful beach can always improve an all-inclusive. Remember before booking to always research what the beach is like beforehand.
19 Hurt It - Resort Is Far From The Airport
This is another travel aspect that tends to fly under the radar. The location of the resort might be just as important as the type of beach it has. Driving from the airport to the hotel shouldn't be any longer than 20 to 30 minutes. If it is, then this might hurt the overall trip experience. Just imagine the anticipation building only for it to be completely squandered because the resort is in the middle of nowhere.
For those that avoid the shuttle bus and take a cab or private transportation to the resort from the airport, this can also lead to extra dollars being spent. Make sure you’re aware of where the resort is situated before booking.
18 Improve - Close To Downtown Area
This can make the trip significantly better. Staying on the resort is definitely a lot of fun. However at times it can get a little tedious doing the same things every day. This problem can be fixed with a couple of trips off the resort. It’ll be a lot easier if the resort is near a downtown area. In some instances, the downtown area is just a short walk away from the resort.
Instead of lounging around a traveler can indulge, enjoying some of the markets outside of the resort while doing some sightseeing. Similar to a distant airport, this would be no fun if the downtown area was a 30-45 minute car ride away. Closeness to the action can provide travelers with more options.
17 Hurt It – Dirty Water
We have seen examples of this in the past. Travelers have posted some pretty bad photos of dirty water in places like Cuba. There isn’t anything worse than filling up a bathtub only to see the water come out completely brown. Without a doubt this would hurt anyone’s traveling experience.
Once again it is important to read reviews before booking any resort. Usually, reviewers tend to acknowledge these types of problems. Drinking the water is another issue no traveler wants to deal with either. The last thing a traveler needs to worry about is whether or not the water is suitable to drink!
16 Improve - Access To Other Resorts
Staying on the same resort for 7, 10 or 14 days in a row might get old for some. However certain resorts have a way of getting around this. Resorts include packages with daily passes to other hotels in the nearby area.
This can instantly improve a trip giving a traveler a different vibe on another resort. In truth, it doesn’t hurt to change things up and take a look at the ambiance on other resorts. Paying a little bit more for this luxury might be well worth it especially for those that plan on staying for two weeks or more.
15 Hurt It - Too Much Entertainment
When most travelers think about booking an all-inclusive, the motivation for such a trip is the ease factor of it all. Laying on the beach, taking some sun and enjoying some delicious food – this tends to be blue-print for most travelers.
Resorts do their best in prioritizing this. However they also try and entertain the guests throughout the day and night. Some resorts have the perfect amount of entertainment while others might go a little too overboard. Certain entertainers can be really pushy forcing those that just want to relax into activities they want no part in. This can definitely hurt a trip.
14 Improve – Just the Right Amount Of Entertainment
We aren’t suggesting no entertainment at all. Instead the perfect amount for those that want to join in on the fun. The role of the entertainers is to make travalers get the most out of their day. This usually consists of pool aerobics, daily beach games such as volleyball and everything in between.
Great resorts go the extra mile at night. This usually consists of beach parties out on the sand, along with various themed nights such as casino nights, dance shows or perhaps a DJ live set. Just the right amount of entertainment can improve an all-inclusive trip for the better, as long as it isn’t forced.
13 Hurt It - Overbooked Resort
The resort can be top of the line. However if it gets overbooked this can completely ruin an all-inclusive trip no matter how good the location is. Overbooking can lead to so many headaches, such as being given a poor room. It can also lead to various complications throughout the day like searching for a chair by the beach or pool. There isn’t anything worse than not being able to get a spot by the water due to the hotel overbooking the area.
For those that enjoy some peace and quiet, it might be best to book a resort either before or after the busier seasons. A traveler can also ask the hotel if overbooking is an issue during that week.
12 Improve - VIP Areas
If you really have no choice but to get away during the busy season, this can be the best way to avoid overbooking. VIP areas usually feature private bars along with private restaurants. Not to mention, in certain cases, your very own beach setting. VIP areas also include VIP rooms which are secluded.
Booking this extra luxury, a traveler will avoid so many headaches along with the cluster of people so many want to avoid. VIP areas also lead to Premium alcohol choices, a greater dining experience and luxurious rooms. And hey, the service tends to be a lot better in the VIP as well!
11 Hurt It - No Excursions To Book At The Resort
This can definitely hurt the experience. Time and time again travelers have been disappointed by booking excursions off the resort. This has led to numerous problems such as fraud. In other cases the excursion was a total let down and nothing like what was promised by the representative. Prices also tend to be inflated.
The recommended way to book an excursion is through the hotel representatives at the all-inclusive. The reps usually speak fluent English and there are no cases of fraud, as the same reps are on the resort every day waiting to satisfy their customers' needs. Not having this on the resort can be quite risky and perhaps hurt the overall experience.
10 Improve - Fitness Facility
Stuffing our faces and just laying in the sun sounds like a dream come true. However, eating a little too much might not leave us feeling all that ideal and for those fitness people out there, that works double.
A fitness facility can instantly solve that problem. Lots of travelers enjoy a sweat in the AM hours. This makes them feel a lot less guilty for indulging on those pancakes for breakfast. On the plus side, you’ll return back home sporting a wonderful tan while looking pretty darn toned as well!
9 Hurt It - Too Much Vegetation On The Beach
The resort can be a 5-star with tremendous service. However a beach that features lots of vegetation will hurt an all-inclusive trip no matter how good everything else is. 5-star resorts try to keep the party at the pool area when vegetation is a big issue. In truth the experience itself isn’t all that bad but just seeing a deserted beach tends to be a big time bummer.
This is usually the case when booking a beach that features way too much vegetation. If the beach is your primary concern, make sure to read the reviews thoroughly before booking. Even some of the best resorts might have a rough beach.
8 Improve - Spa & Massage Area
Similar to the entry about the fitness facility, feeling good is the name of the game. Getting a sweat on is definitely a desired option but what about getting a nice massage by the beach? This would improve any all-inclusive trip immediately.
All-inclusive hotels have various options when it comes to massages. By the beach, at the spa area or in the comfort of your own room; those are usually some of the options provided. Spa areas also exist in certain resorts, featuring steam rooms, hot tubs and various other luxuries. It’s all about getting pampered, and this is an easy way to do so when visiting an all-inclusive hotel.
7 Hurt It - Too Many Children
We love kids, however when it comes to booking an all-inclusive, the ambiance of the location has a lot to do with the overall experience. Screaming children running around definitely isn’t anyone’s ideal vacation scenario. Neither is an over-enthused group of (just recently turned) 18 year olds. Both of these scenarios can become really annoying, really quickly.
Again certain resorts have a certain type of image when it comes to the types of tourists they attract. It is important to do your homework beforehand and find out about the crowd. If anything, the next entry on the list might be the most desired option to safely avoid this dilemma.
6 Improve - 21+ Resort
Yup, the answer is that easy; no children running around and no groups of of 18 year olds drinking everything in sight. 21+ resorts provide the traveler with a more mature setting. Now this doesn’t mean that there won’t be any fun on the resort, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The fun still exists but for a more mature audience.
This type of ambiance can completely change the trajectory of a trip. The atmosphere of the all-inclusive tends to be one of the most important parts of the overall trip experience. If you want to avoid worrying about what the crowd will be like, a 21+ resort can diminish that worry.
5 Hurt It - Lack Of Restaurant Varity
The restaurant part of an all-inclusive is one of the highlights (when researched correctly). Resorts typically offer different styles of cuisines for their restaurants, but what happens when they all taste the same?
Unfortunately this tends to be the case in a lot instances. Some resorts basically offer the same foods you can find at the buffet. The only difference is that you won’t have to get up and plate it yourself. It’s also a big blow when the meals taste no different whether you’re at the Asian resto or the buffet. Each restaurant should provide a unique experience - when this isn't the case, it's one of the biggest let-downs.
4 Improve - Room Service
Some resorts offer this completely free of charge. No need to move a muscle when the food is brought to your room, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Heck even if you’re craving a certain dessert or meal in the wee hours of the night, room service is there to satisfy your needs.
This can instantly improve any trip. No need to go down to the snack bar and get those pre-made sandwiches when food is brought straight to your room whenever you desire. In certain resorts, it’s as easy as clicking a button on an iPad! This is definitely a plus!
3 Hurt It - Staff Only Motivated By Tips
We would not recommend bringing no money at all. A couple of bucks are needed to get from A to B. It is also important to tip the staff at the resort. Tipping can improve the service. It should also be noted that the workers at the resort make most of their funds off of tips.
However this shouldn’t have to become a habit. It can get annoying to always tip and carry around money on a trip that’s meant to be “all-included.” In order to avoid this issue, perhaps acknowledge the employee at the end of the trip with a generous tip or at the start to insure top quality.
2 Improve - Weather
Putting all the resort features aside, this part of an all-inclusive vacation is really uncontrollable. However in truth this can make or break a trip experience. No matter how good the resort is, poor weather conditions will always hurt the experience. However on the flip side, beautiful weather has the opposite effect.
Seeing the sun shine when waking up and hitting the beach is one of the top feelings to have. Certain areas tend to have yearly trends when it comes to the weather. Book at a time in which the weather won’t be a problem or point of worry (or less of a worry, at least).
1 Hurt It - Lack Of Activities
If an all-inclusive vacation is passing by too slowly it might be because of the lack of things to do on the resort. In truth, most travelers complain about the opposite being true. A week-long trip passes by in a flash and before you know it, it's back to the airport. This has a lot to do with the resort and plethora of things to do.
The same doesn’t hold true when there is a lack of activities or things to do. It’ll feel as though you’re stranded on an island. For that very reason some travelers tend to stay away from this type of trip. It is crucial to get some knowledge on the activities that the resort has to offer before booking the trip.