Far too often we are faced with the all-inclusive dilemma. “What is this?” You may ask. Well, it’s the ‘hard’ decision of having to choose between an all-inclusive resort and a nice bed and breakfast (or just ‘bed’). Others may claim there’s a whole other issue to resolve – the having to choose between an all-inclusive and half board. But let’s be real for a second, if I have the choice between ‘eating as much as I want and getting fat’ and ‘not quite eating as much as I want, but still getting fat’, well, there’s an obvious winner. All-inclusive will always win. But let’s move on to what this post is actually about.
In all honesty, I’ve only been on one all-inclusive holiday, and I was so ’round’ by the end of it I pretty much rolled off the plane. Apart from the obvious weight gain, we never wanted to steer too far from the hotel in fear of missing out on an already paid meal, and although we did this occasionally, it was never enough to get a real feel for local customs and culture.
Don’t get me wrong, it was great to not have to think about where to eat. It was amazing for lounging around the pool, doing nothing but reading a book. And it was mega-amazing to just unpack at the one hotel, instead of multiple (I have a tendency to forget things, so this lowers the risk). The evening entertainment was fun and the endless amounts of alcohol is always a plus. But despite all of these positives, an all-inclusive resort lacks something that I crave while on my travels.
I want to speak to the locals. I want to know whether a meal is truly authentic or not. I want to get lost on hidden paths and learn phrases I’ve never heard of. I want my questions answered. I want to visit markets with weird looking fruit. I want to get off the beaten track.
So in short, I don’t like all-inclusives. I am a traveler and so I don’t want to be stuck in one place. I want to be on the move, searching, discovering. I don’t want to be laying on a sun bed, meters from the food stall… But if you’re into that, then by all means, choose the all-inclusive.