Recently I went on my second all-inclusive holiday, and it was a far sight different from my first one. My first ever all inclusive was a family holiday to the Dominican Republic – where quite frankly, there wasn’t much else to do other than sit on the beach and read. I must have been around 13/14, so let’s be honest my expectations were not high. I was just excited to go somewhere exotic and lie on a beach all day.
There was unfortunately a few issues, with our hotel not looking anything like they had advertised online and me ending up having to spend a night on a bed with blood-stained sheets (and no not my own blood!). But luckily, we managed to get switched hotels to something far more like what we thought we’d booked and the holiday went fairly smoothly from there out. Of course, I’d had no hand in organising this holiday so when it came to planning my own all inclusive trip I didn’t really know what was involved.
Fast forward to a few months ago and frantically trying to plan a cheap summer holiday with the bf, and here you’ll find how I ended up choosing an all inclusive holiday. Mexico has been on my list of places to visit for god knows how many years. Instagram is basically awash with pictures of tulum beach, palm trees and tropical cocktails, so who wouldn’t want to go? But it’s super pricey, and my poor ass had little hope at affording a crazy trip here. That was until I stumbled across a pretty decent all inclusive deal with Tui – and the rest was history.
However, there were a few things that had changed since my 13 year old escapade to the Dominican. Firstly, and most importantly, I was now a vegan. So food was going to be a major issue. The second being, that it was me planning this trip. The girl that hates to be too hot, yet loves to explore and see the sights. And thirdly, I was going with a boy who could think of nothing worse that lying on a beach and doing nothing all day (don’t worry he has since changed his mind).
But there was some success to be found. Firstly we had transfers included, so getting the our resort was a breeze. The hotel itself was truly lovely, and because they own one big complex of hotels we actually go to use a couple different ones (although we always stayed in our original room).
But that’s not to say there weren’t some downsides. As expected, food was a major issue. There was little to no vegan options, and so the majority of the time I had to resort to eating dairy – otherwise I was going to starve or turn into a potato. Additionally, we thought we had free reign of the 11 restaurants so I thought I’d have enough options. Turns out I was wrong. When you’re only staying for a week, you can only book 3 of the restaurants, whilst the rest of the time you spend in the hotel buffet. The nights we did get to eat out, were our favourite so it was a shame we didn’t have much option.
We were also promised an hour of free water sports a day. But not once did this happen. Apparently the water was too choppy every day, so we didn’t get to experience this. Being in a remote holiday resort, meant that there wasn’t much else to do but lie on the beach or take a swim in the sea. Whilst the hotel did put on some activities each day, we decided against taking part.
Lastly, there was plenty of excursions you could take but of course that increases the price of your holiday. We decided to pay for the Whale Shark experience. It was genuinely one of the most amazing days I could have asked for. I actually got to swim in open sea with whalesharks, and it was beautiful! Sadly they didn’t offer any vegan food on this trip again, so I was ravenous by the time we headed back to the hotel.
On the whole, I think all inclusive holidays can be great. If you’re going on a family holiday where all you want to do is relax, then they’re ideal. You can have everything on your doorstep and you’ve already footed the bill, so any money you take is spent on experiences or getting some goodies.
Whilst there was some limitations with food, what we did eat was relatively delicious. I did miss having the same freedom to go out exploring but it was the perfect environment to just relax in the sun and enjoy reading my books.
I think if you’re considering going on an all inclusive, just research into what you’re actually getting and make sure it’s right for you. I think a week was the perfect amount of time. And whilst I wouldn’t rule out booking an inclusive holiday again, I don’t think it’s something I’d rush back to for the moment.
Looking for more? Read my post about experiencing Go Ape.