What To Expect From Your All-Inclusive Vacation
Are you planning your first all-inclusive vacation and not sure what to expect? To begin with, expect nothing less than an incredible holiday. I used to swear that an all-inclusive vacation wasn’t for me. I liked backpacking, adventuring, and exploring off-the beaten path. Boy was I wrong! After my first all-inclusive vacation I was sold. I still love the backpacking and the adventure style of travel, but if I just have a week vacation then you’ll find me at an all-inclusive resort! I’ve now been to 7 all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, Mexico, and Cuba. I love them so much that I even got married at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Here’s what you can expect from your all-inclusive vacation, and some tips to help you plan.
What to Do
You can do as much or as little as you want at an all-inclusive resort. Personally, I like to have days where all I do is lie by the beach or pool and read books, and other days where I participate in the many activities the resort has to offer or take a day trip to explore the country. Many resorts include water activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling and organized activities like water aerobics, dance lessons and archery. At one resort I stayed at they even offered a class on how to fold towels into animals! There are often shows and entertainment in the evening, and a night club for those not quite ready for bed afterward. Many resorts also have a kids club making an all-inclusive resort an ideal family holiday. There are also adults only resorts if you’d like a more “mature” and child free vacation. Tours off the resort can usually be organized with staff at the resort, or if you’re feeling more adventurous you can often take public transit or rent a car to go exploring on your own.
What to Eat
You can eat as much or as little as you want to at an all-inclusive resort. Most packages will include 3 meals a day, unlimited drinks, and have an option for food/snacks throughout the day. My favorite snack option has been the jerk chicken hut at the Palladium resort in Jamaica – yum! I could seriously eat jerk chicken all day long. Many resorts have different restaurants with different cuisine options so every dinner can be different. If you’re travelling with a group of people an all-inclusive resort makes meal planning a breeze. All you need to do is choose the restaurant and no one needs to worry about splitting bills or picking up the tab!
What to Bring
I try to pack light when going on an all-inclusive holiday, keeping it to just the essentials in a carry-on bag. Here are some items that you’ll want to bring:
- A few nice outfits for dinners. Some restaurants have a dress code including long pants and closed shoes for men.
- Bathing suit(s) and sandals – obviously!
- A wide brimmed hat
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Bug spray
- Insulated cup/mug to keep your drinks cold
- A good book
- Headphones and other electronic devices
- Medical kit
- Travel documents (e.g., passport, plane tickets, resort booking confirmation, COVID-19 proof of vaccination (if required), etc.)
- Credit card and cash for tipping (I usually bring about $100 in US dollar bills for tipping, depending on the destination country).
Vaccines for an all-inclusive vacation
A vacation to an all-inclusive resort does not come without health risks. Depending on your destination you could be at risk for illness such as hepatitis A, traveller’s diarrhea, influenza, COVID-19, dengue fever, chikungunya, zika and even malaria.
Vaccines recommended for your all-inclusive vacation depend on your destination, age, vaccine history, health history, and planned activities. Vaccines that may be recommended for your all-inclusive holiday include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Dukoral (to prevent traveller’s diarrhea caused by cholera and ETEC)
- Tetanus/diphtheria (Td)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- varicella (chickenpox)
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
If you are planning an all-inclusive vacation book your pre-travel consultation at TravelSafe Clinic to receive up to date health advice, immunizations and any travel related prescriptions you may need. Simply call us at 604-251-1975 or complete the online booking form to book your appointment today.
Kristin Cain, RN, BSc, MSc(A) – TravelSafe Clinical Educator, Nurse Consultant, and enthusiast of tropical beach vacations.