Vacation to Go: What All-inclusive Means

August 16, 2012 by


Accommodations are included in all inclusive packages.

If you’re on a budget and trying to plan some time away, an all-inclusive vacation allows you to pay for everything up front and save some money in the process. But before you make that choice, it’s important to know what all-inclusive means.

What All-inclusive Means

While each vacation package will offer specific amenities, most often here’s what you can expect an all-inclusive vacation package:

  • Accommodations: This covers the hotel or resort where you’ll stay and should also cover the hotel taxes.
  •  Meals: All-inclusive vacations include meals. Exactly how many meals will depend on the specifics. Some cover only two meals, while others cover three meals and other perks like room service.
  • Activities and entertainment: Activities and entertainment options will differ depending on where you’re going, but this is one benefit of an all-inclusive vacation that can help you save money while you enjoy a variety of things to do. Some family packages offer special activities for children, as well. However, it is not unusual for golf greens fees, spa services, and other such amenities to be listed as extras for which there is a charge.
  •  Gratuities: Tipping can really add up on vacation, but with an all-inclusive vacation package, all the tips and gratuities are included in the money you pay up front.


Ask what activities are included.

Items that May or May Not Be Included

  • Beverages: This is one item that varies widely. Some packages include non-alcoholic beverages but no alcohol. Premium packages usually cover both without limit, while less expensive packages may limit the number of drinks covered.
  • Extras: Some services and activities are considered “extras.” So if you want to take advantage of spa services, go scuba diving, or play golf, check to see if they are included or extra.

Spa at Hilton Rose

Ask to see if spa services are included.

The Meaning of All-inclusive Varies

While all-inclusive vacation packages are a great way to save money, restrictions may apply. What packages include varies from one resort to another, so if a particular activity or service is important to you, be sure to ask about it.

If you do your research ahead of time, you can tailor your vacation to meet your heart’s desire and save money at the same time.

Photo credits: Sandals Luxury Included Vacations, Hilton Rose Hall Resort and SpaHacienda Tresrios Resort, Spa & Nature Park

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2 Comments so far

  1. Julie C. says:

    Good points. Almost all spa services are never included, unless it’s an intro bonus to lure you to buy more services. Many water sports that are motorized are extra, and I think golf is universally extra. Bring cash in case you want to leave the resort to explore local shopping and restaurants.

  2. Donna Sundblad says:

    Thanks for commenting Julie. You offer some excellent points.

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