I just got back from vacation with The Wife, The boy and another couple we are really good friends with (who have “1 and a half boys” – one is 6 months older than my son and the other is just about 6 months old). We went to an all inclusive resort in Aruba called the Occidental.
I am a huge fan of All Incslusive Vacations but like with all things in life they have their pros and cons.
Pros of an All Inclusive Vacation
- Booze – I have been known to kick back a few and who is above throwing back some fruity drinks with an umbrella in the Carribean (and even further south) heat. I love when the drink melts I just am able to toss it. A couple years back The Wife and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton and I found myself having no drinks on vacation since they were $10+ per drink!
- There is something comforting that I know all my costs. There isn’t going to be a surprise from just “living” at an all inclusive resort.
- I tend to eat a richer diet. Every dinner for 5 days I had at least 4 courses. I literally can’t tell you where I do that except at prix fixe restaurant.
- Once there I don’t have to worry about anything. I have a pool, a beach, some entertainment, food and drinks. All in one location.
Cons of an All Inclusive Vacation
- Less likely to explore. When I travel I make The Wife walk and see everything almost to her annoyance. While we did some walking around Aruba without eventually sitting down for a meal eventually the convo of “is it time to head back?” is just natural.
- Won’t Eat out – While controlling food costs is HUGE. Also means you won’t experience local cuisine. While I really enjoyed the food at the Occidental I am sure there are resorts that don’t have the drive to keep up their standards.
- May go overboard on food and booze – Again without price and spending limitations one may tend to go a bit overboard with both eating and drinking.
Costs of an All Inclusive Vacation
In terms of actual cost I am not sure you can really compare the two alternatives. I know I paid $X, but what number does one use to compare food and drinks per day? I would obviously alter my behavior if I am taking out a twenty every time I swam up to the swim up bar. There is just no way I would have had 3 courses nevertheless 5 sometimes.
I know you can’t completely ignore cost but if the numbers are even close I would jump on an all inclusive!