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One option that many travelers enjoy is the ability to combine the most expensive elements of their vacation into a single bill. Learn more about all-inclusives in the Caribbean and decide whether or not this type of lodging is right for you.
All-inclusive resorts were pioneered by Jamaican resort chains. The idea is a hassle-free vacation with luxury accommodations and top-notch amenities. You make only one payment for everything you will want or need during your stay, so you can leave your wallet behind while enjoying everything the resort has to offer. The all-inclusive concept has since spread beyond Jamaica, and these popular resorts can now be found throughout the Caribbean.
In the Caribbean all-inclusive resorts can be quite a bargain when you add up what you're getting. Usually accommodations, food, beverages, recreation activities, taxes, and tips are included, but sometimes they include even more, such as spa services. But be sure to ask the resort what their charge includes; despite the name, not all of these resorts include everything. For instance, only wine or beer with meals may be covered under the beverage allowance on some plans, while others offer unlimited beverages during meal times and at on-site bars. Some individual resorts may also offer a variety of all-inclusive options for you to select from.
Because the included amenities are all on-site, you may be more inclined to stay on the premises when vacationing at an all-inclusive resort. If your plan is to fully explore the islands that make up the Caribbean, or to try a variety of restaurants, you may want to consider another type of lodging. If relaxing on the beach and participating in group activities appeals to you, then an all-inclusive may be the ideal choice. These resorts are also a great outlet for trying new things such as sailing, windsurfing, and scuba diving.
Originally Caribbean resorts like these were designed for and limited to couples only; however, in recent years this has been changing. Many all-inclusives now have bookings for singles and even families. Club Med resorts, for example, are now branching out into the single and family markets. Some all-inclusive resorts do cater to singles and couples, the more wild resorts even have an age limit of 18, but others offer special amenities for young children and teenagers.
All-inclusives offer luxury Caribbean vacations at a budget-conscious price. Follow these tips for the best deal in the end:
Calling the all-inclusives yourself can elicit good package deals.
Remember that prices are most often listed per-person, per-night based on double occupancy, even at singles resorts. There may even be additional fees for a single rental.
Before you arrive, make sure you are clear on exactly what is included with the price of your room and what your final payment should be.
Ask about any extra charges before you book. Resorts may add on extra charges if only one person rents a room.
Note that some all-inclusives have a minimum night stay requirement.
Be aware that while much of the Caribbean costs less in the summer, some all-inclusives barely lower their rates during the off-season because they have become so popular.
There is some controversy surrounding all-inclusive resorts which stems from their very nature: a large complex offering everything a typical vacationer might want. However, because they were designed to encourage visitors to stay within the premises, some travelers feel that an all-inclusive stay provides everything they want in a tropical getaway. Others feel as though they are not as likely to explore the cultural aspects of the Caribbean islands, and don't get as much of a feel for the history and nature of the area. As always, the choice is yours.
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