Is an All Inclusive Right for You?
You’ve heard the term all inclusive, but what does it really mean? Definitions vary but a true all inclusive rate means a flat fee that covers your room plus all meals, unlimited drinks, entertainment, taxes and airport transfers. Some even include weddings! What’s not included is the airfare, gift shop goodies, departure taxes and phone calls. Cruises do not include soft drinks, alcohol or tips. Off site excursions, rental cars and spa treatments are usually not included except as part of a specific package which will be clearly advertised.
- All inclusive rates save you up to 25% off the cost of a honeymoon so it’s worth looking into when your planning your trip!
- There are no budget busting surprise costs or charges with all inclusive deals.
- You have the opportunity to try sports for free that you’ve always been curious about. Complimentary activities vary by resort or cruise but some examples include snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, volleyball, basketball, rock climbing, tennis, racquetball and squash.
- Golf lovers and diving divas can putt and paddle to their heart’s content. Some all inclusive rates cover transfers, green fees and instruction but club rental, carts and mandatory caddies are extra. Diving perks include resort certification, tanks and transportation. Wet suit rental may be extra so read the fine print.
- The dress code. In warm climes, all you’ll need is a bathing suit and thongs. Shedding clothing, bulky bags, purses and worries is positively uplifting.
- Great gift ability. Thanks to its neat and tidy price tag, an all inclusive trip makes an easy gift.
- Tying the knot couldn’t be easier. Weddings are free at some resorts but some minimum night requirements might apply. Most have wedding packages and on site wedding planners.
- Keep in mind that if all your creature comforts are included in one price and satisfied on site, you will be less likely to venture out and experience unique island cuisine and culture. If you’re on a remote coast, however, an all inclusive plan will save you lots of time and trouble.
- Then there’s the potential boredom: The same restaurants day after day can get old. Look for resorts with room service, oodles of eateries, sister properties nearby or dine around programs with nearby resorts.
- All inclusives deals offer secluded corners but encourage interaction.
Here’s a sampling of ‘one price buys all’ options. Countless individual properties around the world also offer all inclusive rates. Book through a travel agent, who can secure the same rates you’d be quoted if you booked direct and can often sweeten the deal with free upgrades and airfare discounts.
Couples Only Resorts
Skip the singles scene and screaming kids, these adult playgrounds include tables for two, dancing and live entertainment nightly, plus king size beds for a little ‘love royale’ in every room. Ask about their honeymoon suites so make sure your booking the right room for you.
- Hayman Island is one of the most romantic island paradises in Australia and has a choice of ‘wings’ so you can choose the right honeymoon setting for you and your partner.
- The Arajilla suites at Arajilla Resort, Lord Howe Island, is the perfect destination choice for a newly wed couple. Nestled in the Kentia Palm Forest you can relax on your own private deck or walk amongst the ancient Banyan trees to savour those romantic moments together.
Kids Friendly All Inclusive
If you’re honeymooning with kids, this is the ticket! Not only do these resorts offer childcare and daily activities for teething tots to teens but kids often enjoy a discounted rate. Its sometimes free for kids under a certain age. Adults only areas and in room babysitters are an extra charge but you and your partner can have your alone time on your honeymoon.
Club Med is the original all inclusive resort started by Olympic water polo champion Gerard Blitz in 1950. Club Med offers true all inclusive rates in more than 100 villages worldwide. Varied amenities rated on a one to four trident ‘comfort’ scale with hut villages in some more traditional hotels. You must also pay initiation and annual membership fees. Both adult only and family friendly options exist in exotic locations around the world.
Cruises are by necessity all inclusive deals with the added bonus of unique ports of call to investigate along the way. Rates include your cabin, up to eight meals a day, onboard sports with everything from basketball to ice skating and rock climbing. There’s even amazing and glitzy Las Vegas style shows and discos. Many rates also include airfare, transfers from the airport to the ship, port charges and taxes.
Taking your kiddies on honeymoon? Athena Cruises offers the ultimate deal for kids where you just pay taxes and charges to approximately $300. There are all day kids activities areas for kids, teens and adults. Other cruise lines that offer popular kids’ programs include Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Ask about kids, or third and fourth passenger discounts.
Adventure Tour/Multisport Alternatives
For restless romantics born to explore, you can enjoy the worry free aspects of an all inclusive on a safari, an adventure or multisports trip. Most tour operators include all meals, accommodations, sightseeing arrangements and guides in their advertised price. Some tours include alcoholic beverages whilst others allow you to BYO. Most also include transfers, tax, equipment and horses! Others let you choose between bringing your own gear or renting for a nominal fee. Airfare and tips for the guides are usually not included.
Two Final Notes
Choose your all inclusive deal wisely, as a long list of complimentary activities is no bargain if all you want to do is sprawl on the beach for your honeymoon. Also, bring some mad money for serendipitous splurges, such as a sunset cruise or a massage. You may be on a budget, but it is still your honeymoon.