It seems that every travel blog I stumble upon, the writer includes some sort of post about the “negative” aspects of all-inclusive travel. Some (rightfully) argue that this type of travel style makes it difficult to have an “authentic experience” in the country of interest. Others say that individuals who choose to travel this way are “tourists” rather than “travelers”. While I completely agree that some all-inclusive trips should be avoided (for example, tourism in the Dominican Republic that leads to a depletion of resources for locals, such as shutting off their water supply), I’m here to play devil’s advocate and preach my case that not all trips that are “all-inclusive” are that bad! I’m talking about the travel packages that include booking your airfare, accommodation, meals, and activities for you in a group price. Prior to my recent Iceland trip (which required a little more planning), this had been the only way I had ever travelled. Now that I have a different travel experience to compare this to, here is my opinion of the “perks” of all-inclusive travel:
- Don’t have to worry about comparing and searching for the best priced hotel rooms and airfare.
Searching for the best priced hotel rooms (that are not too sketchy), whether I’m traveling locally or abroad always gives me a headache. If I do not book the room of interest the right way, it can be difficult to find that same hotel again for the same price or cheaper. Booking the cheapest airfare can also be a hassle. Trying to find the most affordable flight to Iceland posed its own challenges. While WOW airline offered the “cheapest” flight, there were a ton of hidden fees and charges for luggage not included in the airfare ticket. It can be downright stressful trying to book your vacation, especially if you’re a budget traveler like myself.
My trip to China was an “all-inclusive” package and included all of our accommodations, land transportation, and airfare, even airfare within the country. While prices were comparative to those if we booked everything individually, it was much less worrisome to pay for the entire trip and let the coordinators book the airfare for us (I can’t even imagine booking our in-between flights back and forth between Beijing and Shanghai).
2. Paying for meals separately can become expensive fast.
While many package trips do not include every meal, having at least one to two meals covered helps when budgeting for potential expenses. It can be too easy to just grab a meal after a long day of sight seeing when you’re starving, rather than hunting for the cheapest restaurant around. Having scheduled meals that were already paid for makes it much easier to plan your meals accordingly.
3. Don’t have to worry about missing highlights of the country.
This is a particularly important one for me as a newbie traveler. I want to make sure I see all of the main highlights of the country I’m traveling to in the short amount of time I have there. While there are perks to setting your own schedule and itinerary, it is also nice to know where to go and visit, and to just”sit back and enjoy the ride”!