Making the Most of an All-Inclusive Resort

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The term “all-inclusive resort” conjures up a very appealing picture: endless food, as many drinks as you want, and service that will treat you like a star. But like other kinds of vacations, a trip to an all-inclusive resort can be a little bewildering to a first-timer. Should you order room service or head to the buffet? Eat at the regular time or wait for the midnight pizza party? Which choices bring you the best food? Which offer the best atmosphere?

The answers to those questions will vary from resort to resort, but in general, keeping a few things in mind will help you make the most of your time on an all-inclusive vacation:

1. Plan your meals around your activities. It may sound simple, but one of the best ways to get extra enjoyment out of your all-inclusive meals is to think about what you will be doing later in the day. If you have a physical activity like hiking or swimming planned for the afternoon, eat a big breakfast and go easy at lunch. Likewise, if you plan to dance the night away, consider a heavy lunch and a light dinner.

2. Choose a resort that suits your personality. Some all-inclusive resorts offer an atmosphere geared toward the party goer, with onsite clubs and discos, while others are aimed more at travelers looking for a quiet beach vacation or a chance to engage in adventure sports. Avoid making assumptions about the kind of experience a resort will offer. A little digging can go a long way.

3. Research the particulars of your all-inclusive deal. The term all-inclusive means different things at different places. At some resorts, it means that all food, drinks, and activities are included. At others, it only covers certain dining options, drinks may stop being free at a certain time of night, and some activities may require an additional fee. An arrangement like that can work out just fine, but only if you know about it ahead of time and can plan accordingly.

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