What Are All-inclusive Resorts and Why Are They Popular? (How They Work)

What Are All-inclusive Resorts and Why Are They Popular? (How They Work)
This page may contain affiliate links.

An all-inclusive resort is a holiday destination that offers a fixed price for lodging, meals, drinks, gratuities, and often various activities and entertainment. These resorts are designed to provide a hassle-free vacation experience, allowing guests to enjoy their stay without worrying about additional costs. 

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about these popular vacation destinations, from choosing the perfect resort for your family to understanding the costs and benefits.

* Header image shows the Mitsis Blue Domes Resort & Spa in Kardamaina, Greece:  BOOKING  |  EXPEDIA

Is Everything Free in All-Inclusive Resorts? (What's Included)

All-inclusive resorts typically include accommodations, meals, drinks, and most on-site activities. However, some services, such as spa treatments, motorized water sports, and off-site excursions, may incur additional costs.

What's Included

At a minimum, all-inclusive resorts include:

  • Lodging
  • Three meals daily (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Soft drinks and most alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Indoor and outdoor activities
  • Entertainment

Kids’ Clubs and activities

All-inclusive resorts for families often have kids’ clubs or supervised activities for teens and children, including:

  • Cooking & drawing classes
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Video gaming
  • Water parks and sports

Take the time to check child rates and age limits beforehand, and if resort attractions will be suitable for them too. For adults, some hotels also offer additional services such as sports, fitness programs, spas, and shopping.

Is everything Free at All-inclusive Resorts ?

What is an All Inclusive Resort? (And How it Works)


How Do I Choose an All-Inclusive Resort for My Family?

When selecting an all-inclusive resort for your family, consider the following factors:

Location: Research the destination and its attractions, ensuring it caters to your family's interests.

Amenities: Look for resorts with a variety of activities and facilities, such as kids' clubs, water parks, and sports facilities.

Dining options: Ensure the resort offers a range of dining options to accommodate different tastes and dietary requirements.

Reviews: Read reviews from other families to get a sense of the resort's suitability for your needs.

For more tips on choosing the perfect resort, check out our article on how to choose an all-inclusive resort for your family.


What is the Cheapest Time of the Year to Go to an All-Inclusive Resort?

The cheapest time to visit an all-inclusive resort varies depending on the destination. Generally, off-peak seasons, such as late spring and early fall, offer lower prices. 

USA 🇺🇸

The cheapest time to book an all-inclusive resort in US is during the months of October and November.

Europe 🇪🇺

The cheapest months to travel to Europe are February, March, and May.

South America

The best time to visit South America is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. However, the cheapest months to travel to South America are February, March, and May.

South Asia

The peak season for South Asia is from November to February. However, the cheapest time to travel to South Asia is during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September.

Be flexible with your travel dates to find the best deals on airfare and accommodations. For more information, read our guides on the cheapest times for all-inclusive resorts, and the least expensive countries.


What is an All Inclusive Resort? (And How it Works)

Are All Sandals Resorts Kid-Free?

Yes, all Sandals resorts are adults-only, catering to couples and honeymooners. For more information on Sandals Resorts’ offers for families, visit our article on whether all Sandals resorts are kid-free.


Is it Cheaper to Book All-Inclusive or Separate?

Booking an all-inclusive resort can be more time and cost-effective than booking accommodations, meals, and activities separately. However, this depends on your travel preferences and habits. For a detailed comparison, read our article on whether it’s cheaper to book all-inclusive or separate.


Is it Worth Doing an All-Inclusive Resort?

All-inclusive resorts cost on average $2,500 - $4,000 for a couple, and $4,500 - $6,500 for a family of 4. It depends on the level of the establishment.

Those holidays can be worth it for travelers seeking convenience, relaxation, and a worry-free vacation. However, they may not be suitable for those who prefer exploring local culture and more casual dining options.

Are all-inclusive resorts worth it?


How Far in Advance Should You Book an All-Inclusive Resort?

Booking an all-inclusive resort 3-6 months in advance is generally recommended to secure the best deals and availability. However, last-minute deals can also be found for flexible travelers.

Here is the full guide on all-inclusive getaways reservation window for a better organization.

What is an All Inclusive Resort? Full Guide on How it Works

Pool lunch in Kamandalu Ubud Resort, Bali

Can You Negotiate All-Inclusive Resorts?

Negotiating all-inclusive resort rates is possible, especially during off-peak seasons or when booking multiple rooms. For tips on negotiating, visit our guide on negotiating all-inclusive resorts.


Why All-Inclusive Resorts are Better?

All-inclusive resorts offer numerous benefits, such as convenience, cost savings, and a wide range of activities. To learn more, read our article on why all-inclusive resorts are better.


Can Kids Go to an All-Inclusive?

Yes, many all-inclusive resorts cater to families with children, offering kid-friendly amenities and activities. Here is the full article: Can Kids go to all-inclusive resorts ?.

Can You Order as Much as You Want at All-Inclusive? (How it Works)

At most all-inclusive resorts, you can order unlimited food and drinks at on-site restaurants and bars. However, it's essential to understand that not all resorts offer the same level of inclusivity. Some may have restrictions on dining options, while others may charge extra for certain activities or premium services.

How much can you order at All-inclusive Resorts?

What is an All Inclusive Resort? Full Guide on How it Works


How Do You Survive an All-Inclusive Resort? Safety and Couples Advice

To make the most of your all-inclusive resort experience, follow these tips:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially when consuming alcoholic beverages.
  2. Apply sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen regularly.
  3. Pace yourself: Don't overindulge in food and drinks; enjoy your vacation at a comfortable pace.
  4. Explore the resort and the surroundings: Take advantage of the various activities and amenities offered, but don't miss out on the local culture and natural surroundings by staying within the resort's confines.
  5. Communicate: If you are traveling as a couple, plan ahead. Talk openly about budget, and each other's expectations regarding the attractions, intimacy, and the trip in general.

All-inclusive resorts safety and couples tips


Potential Drawbacks of All-inclusive Vacations

Extra fees

Not all services and activities may be included in the package price, so it's essential to read the fine print, bring extra cash and eventually negotiate for a better deal.


With unlimited food and drinks, guests may be tempted to over-eat or drink excessively. Practice moderation, and participate in physical activities in the resort to balance out the indulgences.

Limited local economic benefits

All-inclusive resorts may not contribute significantly to the local economy, as guests tend to stay within the resort. 

To remedy, plan excursions and activities outside of the resort to experience the local culture and attractions. Further upstream, you may also choose resorts that offer off-site activities and tours.

What is an All Inclusive Resort? (And How it Works)

Benefits of All-Inclusive Holidays


All-inclusive resorts offer a one-stop-shop vacation experience, making it easy to budget and plan your trip.


These resorts often provide a more affordable vacation option compared to pay-as-you-go vacations.


Many all-inclusive resorts cater to families, offering activities and amenities for all ages.


What is an all inclusive resort? Takeaway

All-inclusive resorts offer a convenient and cost-effective vacation option for travelers seeking a hassle-free experience. While there are potential drawbacks, these can be addressed by choosing the right resort, practicing moderation, and exploring beyond the resort's confines. 

By understanding the benefits, potential concerns, and practical tips, you can make the most of your all-inclusive getaway.






Are all Sandals resorts kid-free?

Best All-inclusive Resorts Brands

Cheaper: all-inclusive or separate?

Cheapest time for all-inclusive resorts

How to save money on your All-inclusive vacation


Is it Rude not to Tip at All-inclusive Resorts?

How All-inclusive Resorts make money

Popular All-inclusive Resorts destinations

The 4 Types of All-inclusivr Resorts

How to book All-inclusive Resorts?

Are All-inclusive Resorts boring?


Best Luxury Hotels in Switzerland

Best Luxury Family Resorts on the East Coast (USA)

Best Luxury Hotels in NYC Times Square

Best Luxury Resorts in the Florida Keys West

Best Travel Backpack for Europe

All inclusive resorts-all inclusive holidays-all inclusive vacations-xcaret hotels all inclusive getaways-sandos caracol eco resort-all included vacation-xcaret arte riu dunamar melia caribe beach resort-bahia principe grand coba-riu vallarta dreams resorts cheap all inclusive holidays-riu palace all inclusive holidays 2023-atelier playa mujeres-sandals emerald bay-temptation cancun resort-riu tequila all inclusive vacation packages-iberostar paraiso beach-riu santa fe marquis los cabos bluebay grand esmeralda-hyatt zilara rose hall.



Alicia Foster

Alicia is a trailblazer in luxury travel and all-inclusive resorts. Armed with a master's degree in Tourism Management, she has not only explored the hidden gems of the Caribbean, but has also collaborated with renowned hospitality brands. Her words are a treasure trove of expert advice on selecting the best all-inclusive getaways.