City visit while non inclusive option was taken by us in Punta Cana

When you need ultimate fun, all inclusive is the way

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When you need ultimate fun, all inclusive is the way



All inclusive or non-all inclusive





Why should you go all inclusive? Let me rephrase this question again? Should you go All inclusive or non all inclusive? 



It is a big debatable question. Whether to go all inclusive or non -all inclusive. This question comes to mind all the time. Those who are experienced travelers probably know the answer to this question based on their travel experience. However, for other travelers, I think this question still haunts them. Let us share you some good, bad and ugly things about the 2 ways of travel.



All inclusive:


The way name suggests “all inclusive” means “all inclusive”. You must be saying quietly, stop dissecting the name, we got it. The name says it all. There is no mystery here.


For you to decided between “all inclusive or non-all inclusive”  read below, a few things “All inclusive” offers:


Your flights will sometimes give you the option to book separate however booking separate can cost more. However, for the best deals available you can book them here


Airport to the hotel to airport transfers – I have paid $100 for the transfers on top of other fees. There is a money-saving possibility if all inclusive option is taken.


Breakfast – Who doesn’t like free breakfast?





All inclusive or non inclusive

Looking for breakfast options while on All inclusive trip?




Lunch – Would you like 1 or more food choices? All inclusive always offer them. A lot of times more than 1 option.


Dinner – Same as lunch, would you like a few or a lot of choices for your taste buds at night?


Drinks – Do you want to use your extra cash to pay for drinks? If you try a new drink and don’t like it, throwing that drink away means money going down the drain. You ever heard money saved is money made?


Snacks – a few or a lot? All inclusive has both options. You don’t have to think about which snack and how much you would like to eat. Just eat them all. You can start when they open and finish when the snack bar closes at the end of the day. Same price.



Still need more information to decide if you are going All inclusive or non all inclusive?








Just remove the benefits of all inclusive and you get Non-All Inclusive. Let me share some detailed information.



Your flights – hmm. Sometimes it costs more money to just book flights.



Transfers – you pay for them separately. Should you really worry about hiring a taxi or airport transfer and pay another $100?


Breakfast – If it is just 2 of you, chances are you can manage to decide breakfast options for first 2 or 3 days. After that time, it will become a headache. It is like every day we discuss what is for lunch? What is for dinner? Same way in the morning you will have this headache of deciding what is for breakfast? Do you really want to decide every day what is for breakfast?



Lunch – same as breakfast.




All inclusive or non all inclusive? Both are good depending upon what is best for you?

So many food options available when you go to a resort that offers all inclusive option.



Dinner – same as breakfast.


Snacks – I would consume snacks only if they are not expensive. With 2 of us, it should not cost a fortune.  However if 4 of us are traveling, the cost can add. If you have younger children, you need to count the wastage too. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that all inclusive allows you to waste the food.



Drinks – This is the only benefit, I can think of choosing Non-All inclusive. If I am paying for drinks, I will be careful what I am drinking and the quantity, I am going to consume.





The above comparison will give you some basic information about the 2 options. Let me share my personal scenario when we went to the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Please see the breakdown of all expenses we paid or we would’ve paid with a non-all inclusive.




Our flight was at 8 PM but they canceled it changed the time 0020 which was almost 20 hours earlier. Are we going to spend 20 hours at the airport? Why can’t the airlines give us a hotel? What are we going to do for 20 hours was the biggest question we were asking ourselves?


 These and other questions were bothering us. So we decided we will book a hotel for a day and enjoy the city. The next day onwards we had our all inclusive booked for next 5 days. When we arrived at the airport, we had to pay $40 for airport transfer.



The hotel:


The only benefit we received from the hotel was free breakfast. In the evening we decided to go to the city and visit a local mall.



From the hotel to mall and back we paid like $30.


Food including desert and drinks was another $40 per person.


Next morning breakfast – $0


Any drinks – another $30


Any night entertainment would’ve been another forty to eighty dollars


If I add the expenses above my tab for 5 days stay would’ve been  (including night entertainment) $750 including tax but no tips.


Ticket cost – $800 each



Hotel stay – $139 a night X 5 nights = $700 + taxes and surcharge etc.


Grand total – $3130 including airport transfer and we paid for our excursions, which we in either scenario would’ve paid from our pocket.



We paid a total of $2600 + $80 for the airport to hotel and airport transfers.



Although savings is like $450 but we were able to use it to pay for the excursions.



A few things we would have preferred to receive in all inclusive



Airport transfers – saving of $100 on average


Snorkeling – at least 1 free activity besides lawn tennis, gym and swimming etc. 


Coupons for Excursions – these can bring valuable savings. 


A free on-site spa facility visit – another money-saving facility which can help resort make more money. 


Wi-Fi – this can sometimes cost a lot of money. This should always be included in price. 



There are a few other options are required in addition to the options listed above. However, the options above are typically more expensive.




At the end of the day, going all or non-inclusive is one’s own decision. We would strongly recommend all if you are going for more than 4 days, use All inclusive. However, if you are going for less than 4 days non-inclusive is the best option. Because you can enjoy city visits, local food, local activities, local drinks and everything local.



So what is your decision? Are you going to go All inclusive or non all inclusive on your next trip?




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Comments 10

  1. You made some good points but for me it depends on the destination. I would love an all inclusive hotel in mexico but I wouldn’t in a European city for example/

  2. I think the decision of going to an all-inclusive vs not is definitely dependent on the vacation we are planning. For beach vacations, we almost always go for all-inclusives as often they are the more affordable option as you have outlined.

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    If I went to a big city such as London, I would prefer non all inclusive, however, I went to a beach in Mexico, I would prefer All inclusive. Sometimes the decision depends upon location and sometimes your personal choice.

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  6. This is an interesting post and an interesting subject. For us it all depends on what is on offer and also our needs for that particular travel. Sometimes we prefer the all inclusive as it provides a degree of luxury and cuts out all the headaches for us. We do feel pampered and the extra cost we incur is worth it. At other times we prefer to do things our own way.

  7. As a budget traveller, an all-inclusive trip sounds so luxurious to me! It looks like you can make a lot of savings too, which is also important to me! I’m hoping to treat myself to a cruise for my bday next year so this is just what I needed to read!

  8. I think that this depends on the destination, hotel, group size, etc. We always check what works best for us when we book a trip, but we hardly ever book all-in packages. It has more to do with the way we travel though. For beach vacations with kids, All-in is usually the best option.

  9. You definitely have to weigh all the options when pricing a vacation, flight or hotel. It really depends on how much you are willing to pay that will determine whether you go all inclusive or not. Make sure the services included in the all inclusive price are services you would use. It makes little sense to pay for free pool services for instance if you aren’t planning on swimming.

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