Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
When you want to go on vacation there are many decisions that you need to make. Should you spend your days off at an island or a ski chalet? Should you take the kids along or go adults only? How long should you stay? How much can you afford to spend?
That last question often prompts another question of whether or not you should book your vacation at an all-inclusive resort or not.
“To me, the biggest value add of an all-inclusive is not having to worry about anything,” said Karen Quinn-Panzer of Quinn Panzer Travel, a Dream Vacations Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist in Milford, Connecticut. “If everything is included, you can truly have it all. When you think about a dream vacation, accommodations, service and the culinary experience are important components.”
It’s important to note that all-inclusive resorts do not always include all of your expenses. While an all-inclusive plan typically includes accommodations, three meals a day, soft drinks and some beer, wine, and liquor, some water sports, such as scuba diving, and land excursions, such as golfing and touring local spots aren’t included. Also, if you want to toast your vacation with a bottle of Dom Perignon, that and other high-end liquors are probably are not included, either.
However, according to Mark Noennig, executive vice president and general manager of The Mark Travel Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an all-inclusive resort does provide more flexibility with budgeting things like daily meals, beverages and activities.
READ MORE: What’s Inclusive About All-Inclusive?
“All-inclusive vacations provide peace of mind that you won’t get hit with additional fees and charges once you arrive at the destination,” said Noennig.
Or when you leave. “The biggest value add an all-inclusive has is that, with everything included, the client does not have to be concerned about receiving a big bill at the end of the trip,” said John F. Krieger, president of CTC Travel. “With the exception of excursions and motorized water sports, including scuba, the client knows what they are paying upfront and have already budgeted accordingly. No surprises means greater peace of mind while on vacation.”
Knowing the benefits of all-inclusive resorts will be important in the coming years as studies show that the industry continues to grow.
In 2012, IBISWorld released a study that projected that the industry will expand by 2017. According to their release on the study, “IBISWorld projects that the industry will expand over the five years to 2017 as travel demand rises and operators seek to capitalize on the rebound of tourism spending by creating all-inclusive experiences in these remote settings.”
Whether you choose an all-inclusive resort or a choose as you go resort menu option, also called the European Plan, will all come down to your budget and your needs. Knowing how much you’re spending can be a benefit, but wanting to eat at a non-required restaurant or enjoy activities that aren’t included might be more your speed.