It seems like there has been an increased attention towards the importance of travel in recent years and people are starting to put more stock into life experiences, rather than material items. The tiny house trend has shown that more and more people are willing to forego the previous dream of owning a McMansion so that they will have more funds to travel the world. While traveling is still seen as a luxury, it's interesting to see that it has started to become more affordable for the general public. From airlines popping up to feature far lower costs in fare to people utilizing Airbnb locations to try and find cheap places to stay, it's amazing how many more people have started to venture outside of their comfort zone and really immerse themselves in a whole new world in recent years.
However, it seems like the all-inclusive resort package has remained the king when it comes to travelers trying to get the biggest bang for their buck. Tourists have always resonated with the idea of paying one flat rate for a getaway vacation and the draw of not having to pay extra costs for food or drinks while on a trip is something that can be hard to resist. Yet, there are a number of myths associated with all-inclusive resort packages and there are also some things that can be a bit hidden in the fine print. Check out 25 things that aren't part of all-inclusive resort packages and see why they actually should be part of the package deal.
Something that many people don't realize when they're on their way to booking an all-inclusive vacation is the fact that not all of them include airfare. While there are definitely those that feature a package that includes a round trip fare, there are quite a lot that require travelers to book their own airfare that isn't included in the all-inclusive package. Generally, all-inclusive resort packages refer to the meals and the drinks that are provided to the hotel guests, which is included in the overall price of the hotel stay. Yet, that doesn't guarantee that air fare will also be included. Travelers must pay close attention to this stipulation when booking their all-inclusive getaway, otherwise they might be surprised that they'll be stuck having to purchase their own round-trip tickets to coincide with their hotel dates (vacationkids).
24 Hair Braiding On The Beach
When traveling to exotic beach locations, many people like to indulge in a bit of fun and eccentricity while on the beach. One of the most popular things to do is to have a local hairstylist perform hair braiding right on the beach. Whether it's part of the local style, a way to add some fun to a vacation hairstyle or just a way to keep hair from frizzing out in the sun, this is actually quite popular with travelers. It's such a well-known custom that even Monica from the popular sitcom, Friends, had her hair braided while on a trip to Barbados. However, this is something that would definitely not be included in an all-inclusive resort package, despite the fact that many hair braiders can be found roaming the beaches of the resort (tripadvisor).
23 Transport To Hotel
There are some all-inclusive resorts that provide a free shuttle service to pick up guests that have already booked their stay at the hotel that they've chosen for their getaway. However, not all resorts and hotels provide this service (tripadvisor) and those that do provide a shuttle can sometimes require guests to pay a surcharge. For travelers looking to book an all-inclusive getaway, it's extremely important to read the fine print when booking because taxi service can be a little tricky to navigate when arriving from the airport or trying to book the trip back to the airport once the hotel stay has concluded. Things like this are often overlooked by travelers but it's definitely something to factor in, especially if there are additional costs involved.
22 Room Service
When choosing an all-inclusive resort, many people often think of the benefit of being able to save money on the cost of food. Many all-inclusive resorts boast an abundance of food options for guests to choose from, whether it's a buffet adjacent to the pool or one of the many fine dining establishments located on the resort property. However, it's important to note that room service is rarely offered as part of the all-inclusive package. People often think of room service as being part of the hotel experience but they might be surprised to learn that they will have to pay out of pocket (oyster.com) if they want to indulge in that luxury while enjoying their all-inclusive vacation package. If this is something that is a must-have, extra funds should be allocated for this endeavor.
21 Licensed Tour Guide
When it comes to traveling, many people don't often think that they will be cooped up inside their resort for their entire trip. While all-inclusive resorts try and lure people in by offering an abundance of different restaurants and bars right within the property, many travelers choose their destination based on the sights they might be able to see beyond the limitations of just the resort property. However, that's not what most all-inclusive resorts cater to when it comes to their guests. Instead, travelers that wish to venture out to see the local sights are often on their own and there is no one from the resort that will offer any guiding tour or excursion outside of the resort (greecetravel) to help facilitate this, especially free of charge.
20 Bottle Service
Many all-inclusive resorts boast having a variety of different nightlife options available to their guests. Rather than having to venture out to mingle with the locals, there are nightlife options that allow people to indulge right within the resort and never have to worry about taxi services or finding the right hotspot to really let loose while on vacation. However, venturing out to a nightclub hotspot is quite different when it comes to something that might be offered at an all-inclusive resort. While many people look forward to finding a VIP area at a nightclub, complete with bottle service (punchdrink), that will most likely involve an upcharge at an all-inclusive resort. Bottle service is rarely provided and anything extra from the nightclub employees will surely come with an extra charge.
19 Hotel Minibar
One of the amenities that many people look for in choosing a hotel room for their vacation is the presence of a minibar. While many all-inclusive resorts offer a wide variety of different bar and food options throughout the property, many people love the convenience and novelty factor of having a minibar right within their room (telegraph). From the miniature bottles to having cold water right on-hand, this is something that many people automatically think about when choosing a hotel room that would be right for them. However, it's important to note that most all-inclusive resorts don't include anything in the minibar as part of the all-inclusive package. These are items that will be added on to the bill at the end of the hotel stay and it might come as a surprise to some travelers.
18 Activity Itinerary
When traveling to an all-inclusive resort, it can sometimes be a bit daunting to really throw oneself into the vacation experience. Some of these all-inclusive resorts can boast more than 10 different restaurants, bars, and even activity locations like bowling or golf right from within the property. It can be difficult for travelers to even make the rounds to enjoy every single amenity featured at some of these larger resorts and many travelers would benefit from having some sort of activity itinerary at the ready for them when they arrive. This would allow them to know when certain water sports are made available, as well as when certain shows start for the hotel guests. Yet, that's not always the case and many travelers wind up missing aspects of the resort (oyster) that they didn't even know were there until after the trip has concluded.
17 Local Cuisine
Many all-inclusive resorts try and lure travelers by featuring a plethora of different eating options to their guests. There are some resorts that offer more than 10 different restaurants right on the property, from simple breakfast buffets to fine dining establishments of all different cuisine. Yet, many travelers refer to this as "hotel food" and they understand that the true draw is to sample some local cuisine. Not only will it offer a far more authentic quality and taste than something they would find at the resort but it will also allow them to get a look at what is outside of the hotel. Yet, that's not something that the all-inclusive package (oyster) will feature and guests are often on their own if they want to venture outside of the resort for their food.
16 Pub Crawl
While there are definitely some all-inclusive resorts that feature a plethora of different bars and nightlife options to really allow their guests to let loose, many travelers would much rather head out to some local areas outside of the hotel. There are travel locations all over the world that are known for its bustling nightlife, whether the clubs are in walking distance from one another like in Acapulco in Mexico or they are scattered around in various locations throughout a popular tourist destination. Many travelers would feel much more inclined to venture outside of their resort to visit some of these local hotspots if they could partake in some sort of pub crawl or shuttle service (usatoday) that would get them to their destinations and provide a way back to the resort. However, that's something that is definitely a rarity for those utilizing an all-inclusive package.
15 Car Rental
When traveling, one of the biggest drawbacks people often encounter is how limited they are in terms of getting from one destination to another. Oftentimes, travelers find themselves looking back on a trip and realizing that they never really got to see much of their surroundings or that they spent an inordinate amount of money on taxis while they were supposedly trying to save money at an all-inclusive resort. A great way to actually immerse oneself in a travel destination is to rent a car (kenresearch) and really get out to where the locals are, whether it's traveling to the bustling downtown area or venturing to tourist hotspots that aren't always on every guided tour. Yet, that's definitely not something that is included in an all-inclusive package and will undoubtedly require outside help and money to acquire.
14 Spa Services
Many all-inclusive resorts feature far more than just bars and restaurants to lure tourists since many travelers think about their vacations as a way to really focus on themselves. From workout facilities with specialized yoga retreats to full spas and salons that offer everything from hot stone massages to complete hair highlights, many travelers see their vacations as a way to really indulge themselves. However, it's important to note that just because these facilities may be located within the resort, they are rarely included in an all-inclusive package. In fact, these are often part of how the resorts make extra profit from tourists (riverdaletravel) and can often charge far more than what someone might pay if they were to visit one of their favorite spas back home.
13 Outside Excursions
There are some travel destinations around the world that feature activities and outside locations that are accessible to tourists but that doesn't mean that it will be included in an all-inclusive resort package. A great example is the Marieta Islands Hidden Beach (vallarta-adventures)that is easily accessible for those staying at a Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive resort in Mexico. From snorkeling to watching humpback whales to swimming through cave formations, this is a popular tourist destination for anyone visiting Puerto Vallarta. However, tourists will be hard-pressed to find anything like this to be included in an all-inclusive resort package, despite the fact that so many tourists have plans on going on outside excursions away from their hotel when traveling to different locations around the world. This is something that will surely have to be paid out of pocket.
12 Premium Liquor
One of the biggest draws to booking an all-inclusive vacation is the money that will be saved on all of the drinks that will be had during the trip. People often look for amenities at their hotel like the number of bars and nightclubs within the resort or whether or not there is a swim-up bar option. Yet, some people might be surprised to learn that not all alcoholic drinks are included in the all-inclusive package. In fact, the majority of all-inclusive packages don't include premium liquor. This may not even be offered at the resort or there could be an increased price in the overall package (oyster). This is something to definitely consider when booking, especially for those that simply won't be satisfied with house liquor.
11 Beach Vendors
Many all-inclusive resorts offer access to a beach, whether it's just a few steps away or a completely private beach that is specific to the guests of the hotel. However, that doesn't always mean that these beaches are completely free of other people. Many locals find that having an influx of tourists to the area can allow for some money-making opportunities and vendors often roam these high-traffic tourist beaches in order to sell their goods. From sterling silver jewelry to frozen popsicles, it's actually quite common to see a number of different vendors on beaches that are reserved for guests at an all-inclusive resort. However, these vendors are not actually affiliated with the resort and operate completely independent, which means that tourists should expect to pay out of pocket (tripadvisor) for anything they might wish to buy.
10 Novelty Drinks
On top of vendors trying to sell tourists different items on the beach of their all-inclusive resort, there are often locals that try and sell novelty drinks. People often envision themselves drinking from a coconut or something truly tropical with a brightly colored umbrella but they might be surprised to learn that something like this would be completely out of pocket and not provided by the all-inclusive resort. In fact, many all-inclusive resorts stick with the no frills attitude when it comes to their drinks and guests will undoubtedly find themselves drinking from small plastic cups while lounging at the pool or at the designated beach. If a tropical novelty drink is what the goal is, travelers should expect to pay out of pocket (savouredjourneys) and bring along some extra cash.
When staying at an all-inclusive resort, it's important to note that not all rooms and hotel stays are the same. There are some that stick with the bare minimum since so much can be seen outside of the hotel room but there are others that are actually quite lavish. From secluded cabanas to private cabins to rooms that are floating on the water, some of the all-inclusive hotel stays can actually entail far more than just a bed and toilet. When booking an all-inclusive hotel stay with something a bit more in terms of room, many travelers simply assume that there will be someone on-hand that will be there at the ready to help with whatever they might need. However, that's rarely the case and anything extra will undoubtedly come with an upcharge (tripsavvy).
There are some parts of the world where it's not seen as expected or even common to consider gratuity as part of an outing, whether it's for a drink or a meal. However, the Western world seems to understand that gratuity is often used (kdvr) as a way to not only compensate those that are in the service industry but it also helps to distinguish those that have gone above and beyond. Yet, that isn't always included in an all-inclusive resort package. While it may not make a difference in some of the buffet-style eateries that are offered at all-inclusive resorts, it definitely comes into play when visiting one of the resorts bars or fine dining establishments. Travelers should be aware of this when looking over the fine print in their all-inclusive package and bringing along some extra cash can often be required.
7 Water Sport Activities
While there are some people that head out to a beach destination trip in order to simply lounge by the water or take in a beautiful sunset, there are many others that think of the water as a way to really partake in an activity. There are some all-inclusive resorts that offer a few water sports within the overall package but the majority of them will exclude motorized water sports. Things, like renting a jet ski or heading out for some tube surfing (oyster), will undoubtedly come with an upcharge and travelers should be aware of this prior to booking. If the goal of the trip is to really get active in the water, it's important to read the fine print of an all-inclusive resort package to see whether or not these types of activities are included.
One of the biggest draws to taking a vacation is to really unwind and indulge in some leisurely activities. Something that seems to really entice travelers is the presence of a golf course. With so many impressive landscapes all over the world and places that continuously have impeccable weather, it's not surprising that a number of resorts feature sprawling golf courses that really draw attention. However, it's important to note that not all of these all-inclusive resorts will offer up the use of these golf courses inside the package for the all-inclusive hotel guest. While a round or two may be comped by the hotel, the majority of these all-inclusive resorts will feature an upcharge for travelers to use their golf courses (golflasamericas), which is where many of them make extra profit.
5 Child Care
When it comes to all-inclusive resorts, it seems like more and more of them are starting to understand that it's not just single people and couples that want to partake in a travel hotspot that has it all. Families are often the biggest group of travelers that head out to various destinations around the world and all-inclusive resorts have started to cater towards them in ways that help to draw attention. From child care facilities that allow parents to get away for a night (royalcarribean)to indulge in one of the resort's nightclubs to kid-friendly activities that allow the vacation to be more than just lounging at the beach, many families like to bring their children along to all-inclusive resorts. However, not all of them offer these services free of charge and it's important for families to be aware of this prior to booking.
When it comes to traveling, many people think of it as a way to escape the regularities of the real world. Whether it's to take a break from work or just unplug from the world and immerse oneself in another culture, vacations are often referred to as a getaway in far more ways than one. Yet, that doesn't mean that everyone is fine with being completely unplugged from the real world. While there are many all-inclusive resorts that feature Wi-Fi capability as part of the draw to choosing them, not all of them have this feature. On top of that, not every all-inclusive resort offer Wi-Fi free of charge (oyster) to its guests as part of the all-inclusive package. It's important to read the fine print when choosing an all-inclusive package, especially for those that don't want to waste all of their data.
When it comes to the alcoholic drinks that travelers often picture themselves drinking while on a vacation, not everyone envisions having the coconut filled with something fruity and adorned with an umbrella. Some people's idea of a perfect drink for a getaway is an ice cold beer while enjoying the beautiful weather but that may be hard to come by at some all-inclusive resorts. Since many all-inclusive resorts offer alcoholic drinks included in the overall price of the package, costs are often tampered down by only offering house liquor. Drinks aren't usually plied with liquor and guests shouldn't expect the very best quality in what they order. While most people don't seem to mind, it can be quite disheartening for beer drinkers (oyster) since it's often excluded at all-inclusive resorts and will require an upcharge.
2 Restaurant Surcharge
While people often think of the restaurants at the resort of an all-inclusive package being completely provided for by their initial purchase, that may not always be the case. Oftentimes, people don't ever look at the fine print when it comes to what is actually included when a resort features an all-inclusive property. While the meal at any of the resort restaurants may be included in the all-inclusive package, there may be a surcharge that is tacked onto the bill and that starts to add up if guests aren't careful. Those surcharges may only apply at certain resorts or certain restaurants (usatoday) within the resort but that just makes it more important than ever for travelers to fully understand what it means when the resort claims that the restaurants are all included.
1 Complimentary Transfer Services
There are a number of travel destinations that gear towards a variety of different types of visitors. While people generally think of all-inclusive packages as being something that are only for people on a leisurely vacation, there are also people that travel for business that tend to purchase an all-inclusive package to help save on meal costs and airfare. There are some all-inclusive resorts that cater towards these types of guests and even offer complimentary transfer services to allow for shuttles to bring guests (fullertonhotels) to business districts or main areas of commerce that really help to cater towards these travelers. There are other types of complimentary transfer services to popular shopping areas but that's not the case for every all-inclusive resort and most likely, guests will have to find their own way around.
Sources: Vacation Kids, TripAdvisor, Oyster, Table List, The Telegraph, Savored Journeys, Trip Savvy, Greece Travel, KDVR, Golf Las Americas, Royal Caribbean, USA Today, Riverdale Travel, Ken Research, Fullerton Hotels, Vallarta Adventures, Punch Drink