All-inclusive holidays are designed for various types of travellers -- from honeymooners and party goers to young families. But are they the right way of travelling for you? To help you decide, we have composed a list of the things you will be missing out if you throw yourself into an all-inclusive holiday.
1. Lack of cultural experiences
Resort life brims with prepaid conveniences and relaxation, making it hard to want to leave the premises. But consider how much you are missing out on when your whole holiday revolves around the resort. You fail to experience the local culture and lifestyle, which are better witnessed at the markets, the independent coffee shops, the transport, and the family-run restaurants.
2. Limited variety of food
To satisfy the majority of their clientele, all-inclusive resorts avoid taking culinary risks and tend to serve continental cuisine, based on popular recipes. First, you may get tired of eating for, let’s say, ten days in a row the same type of food, which you can also find back home. Second, you miss the opportunity of trying new dishes and expanding your palate.
3. You may feel stuck
All-inclusive resorts usually come with a proclamation of values and principles. But what if you accidentally landed in the wrong kind of resort, the environment of which doesn’t suit you? For example, imagine taking your toddlers to an all-inclusive resort occupied primarily by couples or party crowds. In this case, you will be forced to spend the rest of your holiday feeling radically out of place, and not being able to do much about it.
4. Unconcern about the community
Travellers support the economies of the countries they visit and hopefully strive to do good than bring disruption to a location with their activities. However, all-inclusive resorts have very little to do with the local community, as they are chiefly owned and managed by international corporations.
5. Quality is often compromised
Even though the notion of all-inclusive holidays may bear the connotations of luxury and exclusivity, not all-inclusive resorts stand out for their five-star facilities and services. Many resorts in order to cut costs, don’t hesitate to compromise quality. For example, alcoholic beverages may be watered down, and rooms may have nothing in common with the accommodation in the brochure.
6. Not everything is included
Keep in mind that all-inclusive resorts come with fine prints. To avoid last-minute disappointments, your eye must be trained to identify hidden costs. So, before you book a holiday that is too good to be true, double check the fees and what do they actually cover. It’s highly possible that as an independent traveller you may end up spending less for a more unique and holistic travel experience.
7. Forget picking up a new language
All-inclusive holidays are all about convenience, meaning that there’s no need to make an effort to communicate in the native language. All resort staff members are fluent in English and at least one more widely spoken foreign language. They will take care of everything, and make sure that all your needs are met. But it’s so much fun interacting with the local people, and trying to pronounce words that you hear for the first time.
8. Dress code is also included
Most all-inclusive resorts, especially the premium ones, have a set of rules with regards to clothing for men and women. Are you sure you want to navigate the differences between dress codes on a daily basis, and be concerned with how smart you appear on your holiday?
9. Small choice of evening entertainment
The nightlife in all-inclusive resorts takes place in the one or two main bars of the resort, leaving you out of options. So, if you love dancing, but the deejay is setting up the vibes for a smooth night, you will probably feel like wasting a holiday night. And because resorts are usually in remote locations, isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city or nearest town, it’s rarely an option to head out and immerse yourself into the local nightlife.
10. Negative environmental impact
All-inclusive resorts aren’t green unless stated otherwise. Usually, resorts use a lot of local resources such as energy, water, and food. To top it off, all-inclusive resorts tend to privatise areas of natural beauty such as beaches and mountains by disrupting the habitats of wildlife and displacing individuals.
Written by Maria Iotova, a freelance journalist and former expat in Mauritius.
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