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Senior couple relaxing by the pool at an all-inclusive resort
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The 5 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make at an All-Inclusive Resort

All-inclusive resorts are designed so that you can leave your worries behind. Your only job is to relax and not have to worry about paying for every drink or activity. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of security—there are five big mistakes that are easy to make at an all-inclusive that could ruin your trip. 

Assuming Everything Is Included

All-inclusive includes everything, right? Maybe not. At some resorts, things like top-shelf alcohol, premium restaurants, and minibar drinks cost extra on top of the package rate. If you just assume that everything is all-inclusive and take advantage of all amenities, you could be surprised with a very high bill when you check out. 

Goffkein | Adobe Stock


When there is an unlimited buffet of tempting food and drinks laid out 24/7, you might feel the need to try everything to get your money’s worth… which can leave you feeling sick and lethargic after the first day.

Instead of piling your plate with everything that looks good at each meal and downing five different types of brightly colored cocktails (and immediately regretting it when the heartburn and hangovers hit), try to look at your stay at an all-inclusive resort as a marathon, not a sprint.

You’ll have plenty of chances to try everything over the course of your stay, so save some treats to try later. You’ll feel better and enjoy your vacation more if you don’t overindulge on food and alcohol.

Never Leaving the Resort

When you’ve paid in advance for every drink, meal, and activity, leaving an all-inclusive resort can feel like a losing proposition. But if you never step foot outside of your hotel, will you really feel like you’ve visited the destination? Or will you feel as if your resort could have been located anywhere in the world?

Try to tear yourself away from your hotel and explore the surrounding area so you can get an idea of what the local culture is really like.  

Woman relaxing by the pool on a clear day at an all-inclusive resort
maryviolet | Adobe Stock

Not Researching the Tipping Policy

Since everything is included, you might not bring any cash to your all-inclusive vacation—which could put you in an awkward situation if tips aren’t part of the package. Check with your hotel before traveling so that you don’t make an etiquette faux pas and accidentally stiff someone out of a much-earned gratuity.

The flip side of this is that at some resorts, such as Sandals, tipping is included in the hotel rate and most staff members are forbidden to accept gratuities—so trying to push cash on a helpful waiter could actually put them in a very uncomfortable situation. 

Making an Enemy

All-inclusive resorts are designed so guests never have to leave the property—so you’re more likely to see the same people over and over again throughout your stay than at a standard hotel. Which could make things really uncomfortable if there’s someone you don’t want to run into, like the person you cut in line on your first day, or the guest who overheard you make a snide remark about their outfit at the pool. 

Try to be on your best behavior and avoid making enemies at an all-inclusive resort, since there’s a high chance you’ll see them repeatedly throughout your trip.

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