Hidden Costs of All Inclusive Resorts

So you’ve decided on an All Inclusive with your family and friends, but what does “All Inclusive” really include?  Contrary to popular belief there are some hidden costs that could be looming.  We’ve all seen those alluring rates for a cheap trip only to find that once you dig into the fine print many things that you would think are included are omitted.

Spa Treatments – If your resort includes a spa, most often these treatments are not included.  At times when you book the resort may offer a credit for you to spend at the spa.

Casino – Sadly, you can’t just play roulette with house money.  If you want to gamble at your resort, you’ll have to bring your own money.

Gifts and Souvenirs – Whether you want a t-shirt, picture frame, or other trinket from the gift shop at the resort those items you’ll be responsible for or they will charge to your room. 

Outside Excursions – Most often when you leave the resort for an activity, the tour or activity is conducted by a third party and there will be a charge for that part of your trip and possibly even a tip that you might not expect.  That horseback riding trip, or ATV excursion you were excited about may cost extra.

Transfers – How do you plan on getting from the airport to your resort? These aren’t always included in the price of the hotel. Depending how far your resort is from the airport, this could be a hefty charge if you have to take a taxi.

Internet – Yes it is 2017 and you would think that every resort offers free Wi-fi – NOT always the case. So if you can’t wait to post those commercial worthy pictures or just need to check in back home there may be a fee. Most resorts offer internet at a reasonable rate for multiple devices during your trip but don’t assume this will be a free perk included.

Phone Calls – long distance phone calls back home will cost you. I’m a mom, and when we went to Jamaica I bought a calling card (shocking they do still exist) however I couldn’t figure out to work the darn thing.  I ended up just paying the $1.99 per minute.  If your cell phone plan does not cover international phone calls the long distance rates are posted near the phone in your room or feel free to ask the front desk of your resort to let you know how much the rates are.

How to prepare for these costs?

It truly depends on the resort you choose. Some resorts include more than others.   Sandals and Beaches resorts offer a wide variety of land activities and some motorized sports such as wakeboarding at some of their resorts free of charge. Another huge draw to these two resorts is that they include two tanks per day to scuba dive if you have already taken the introductory course.  Fear not, if you haven’t taken that course, you can take that at the resort as well but, for a charge.

Often times you can prepay for many of these items before you arrive. However, if you are the type of person who likes to be a bit more spontaneous, just be aware that when you arrive the resort will put a credit card on file, and use that to charge incidentals on.

All in all – your travel agent should be able to tell you what is included and what you will have to pay extra for. I have firsthand experience and have gone through numerous training sessions with many different resorts and will be able to guide you towards your dream vacation and answer any questions you have.

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