Is an all inclusive resort right for you?

All-inclusive resorts can really help vacationers get the most out of their travel dollars. Today, over 400 hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico are either all-inclusive resorts or offer all inclusive packages.

Destinations such as Aruba, Cancun, St. Thomas, and Bahamas have an infrastructure that is well suited to all-inclusive and not all inclusive resorts because there is a wide election of restaurants and amenities for tourism. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic on the other hand don’t have the tourism infrastructure in place and are best suited for all inclusive vacations.

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You’ll want to consider carefully before choosing an all inclusive resort. Resorts do vary — some are designed for couples, some for singles, some for gays and some for families. Some cater to a younger or older crowd. There are also some that offer clothing-optional activities. For obvious reasons, most of those don’t allow children under 18.

The resorts come in all shapes and sizes. Some include airfare and hotel. Some include airfare, hotel, transfers, and some meals. Others include all meals and activities, but not airfare. Often, purchasing airfare as part of the package can be a better deal than doing so separately, unless you are using frequent flier miles.

Many all inclusives have, as part of their program, child-care facilities that are often a resort-within-the-resort for children, a “day camp” that is special and that kids look forward to attending. And many all-inclusive resorts give incredible price breaks to children (they don’t drink liquor, after all,) while some even have no charge for children up to 17 sharing their parents’ room.