Pro and cons of booking an all inclusive vacation
Find out if this formula is really worth the money and why
Our typical holiday is adventurous, self-organized and as far away as possible from home. But last summer, given the fact that it was going to be the first vacation as a party of 4 and that we really needed some rest (sleepless nights... can someone relate to this...?), we decided that, for once, we could opt for a "no-effort-at-all" summer vacation.
So... at first we had to decide where to go from mid June to beginning of July. Somewhere with a mild climate, reachable with a max two hours flight from MXP (it was the first flight for Mr. Mouse) and - oh yes! - at sea! Moreover it had to be a family friendly location, with all the amenities and definitely a location worth visiting. When it comes to family destinations there's plenty of choice and most of them are - for one reason or another - good ones. But in the end we decided for Mallorca, the biggest of the Balearic Islands (Spain).
But having a destination doesn't straight away means that you have a vacation! We never looked for a classic #familyvacation in a resort before, so at first we didn't really know what to look for. Surprisingly it seemed that booking such a vacation it was turning out to be more difficult than expected. And this brings us to the All-inclusive formula.
Pros of the all inclusive
Basically this option sounded good to us from the very beginning for several reasons:
you can enjoy your vacation without struggling every day for finding on TripAdvisor the best rated and most convenient restaurant in the neighborhood;
you are going to have full access to all drinks & food, at every time of the day;
families with picky children will definitely find something that they are going to eat;
during the hot summer days you are supposed to drink a lot of water, which it means that you should either carry heavy bottles bought at the local supermarket or overpay bottled water in the resort. With the all-inclusive you simply grab your bottle and go;
all-inclusive resorts usually offer a wide range of complimentary amenities, from sport activities to full or part time kids care... (which means that for once you're going at the sea and really be able to soak up the sun at the beach for a while);
as almost everything is included in this arrangement, most of the time you can leave your wallet in your room safe;
you know what you pay from the very beginning and the bill at the end of your stay will not hide unpleasant surprises.
Cons of the all inclusive
The cons really depend on the resort you're going to stay. For example, you might ask yourself:
"how is the food quality in all-inclusive packages?" or
"are the resort restaurants going to be overcrowded?"
Generally we can say that if you don't really mind the "mass-production" kind of food served at a crowded hotel buffet where the management is trying to accommodate as many guests as possible, than go for it. Most probably the quality of the food isn't going to be exceptional but still fine. And let's not forget that all-inclusive in most cases also means all-u-can-eat!
Moreover, if you travel to a foreign country and you lock yourself in the hotel for the entire stay, than most probably you're not going to experience the place... but this really depends on you and on how you're usually approaching your holidays. Nobody keeps you from renting a car or picking a public transportation and just have a look outside of the resort gate...
Our honest opinion
We have experienced the all-inclusive arrangement for the first time at the Blau Punta Reina Resort in Mallorca and even though #allinclusive is definitely not our usual holiday approach, it did just work out fine for us. With Miss Potato and especially our little Mr. Mouse we had enough to do, so not having to look for restaurants and reservations, being sure that the bill at the end of the stay wouldn't hide any big surprise was just what we needed! And hey, let's face the truth... enjoying cocktails under a palm tree without checking the price is also a huuuuge benefit :)
So, would we suggest an all-inclusive holiday? Yes, definitely. Once again if you don't mind the crowded (and loud) Hotel restaurants, standard food and fancy colored bracelets that you will have to wear for the whole vacation, than this might be the right formula for you. You will be rewarded with limitless drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), huge food choice for every taste... Oh! And yes... you usually will save a lot of money as well, especially if you book an early bird offer directly on the resort website.