When you are sitting at home, and especially if there is snow piled up outside of that home, an all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean or Mexico sounds like a dream. The thought of waking up and stuffing yourself at the breakfast buffet, and then sitting by the pool for a few hours until you are hungry enough for lunch, sounds absolutely perfect.
However, the reality for most of us is that we get a bit bored of this routine after only two or three days. And since most all-inclusive vacations are scheduled for a week, it can become a bit of a problem. Sure, there are various activities like snorkeling and kayaking available, and a nightclub with a Top 40 band or DJ to look forward to, but when you are having every meal and spending every second of every day in one confined area, it can get boring.
Another factor to consider is that you are probably flying into an interesting and exotic country, like Jamaica or the Dominican Republic or Mexico, and the whole trip is designed to keep you contained within the fences of the resort. When you get home and people ask you what you thought of the country you visited, you won’t have anything to say.
Multiple resort groups can be an answer
An interesting trend we’ve noticed in the past few years is that several resort companies have built or acquired groups of hotels within the same general area. When they are all-inclusive properties, they typically allow guests to experience the restaurants and even activities at all of the resorts in the group.
Better still, they all seem to provide free shuttles between the properties, although in a few cases they are close enough where walking makes the most sense. The advantage of booking at one of these resort groups is that you get to spend time in several different settings and you still get the benefits of the all-inclusive pricing scheme.
However, a more hidden benefit is that you actually get to experience life outside of the one resort you booked into. Let’s say there are 3 resorts in a group and they are two miles apart. When you take the free shuttle between them it’s like you are actually getting to soak in the vibe of the country you’ve visited.
It’s not really the same as visiting independently and finding new restaurants to eat in for every meal, but of course that option is always available too. But it’s far better than taking a shuttle from the airport into a gated resort and then never getting beyond those gates until the airport shuttle takes you out again.
Finding resort groups like this
There are too many to list them here individually, but finding groups like this shouldn’t be difficult. The trick is to just go into a booking site and selecting the area you are interested in, maybe Cancun or Puerto Plata or Negril, and scan the listings for resorts with similar names.
In all of these places there are at least two or three resort groups, so once you find one just click into the individual listing and make sure that it allows for cross visitation. Chances are it will, and then you’ve found 3 resorts for the price of one.