12 All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips

Planning a vacation to an all inclusive resort? BEFORE YOU BOOK read this beginners travel guide with these 12 All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips.

Before last month, I had never been to an all inclusive resort before. I had no idea what to expect, what to bring and what not to bring. I created this easy all inclusive resort beginners guide to help you know what to expect before you go.

Planning a vacation to an all inclusive resort? BEFORE YOU BOOK read this beginners travel guide with these 12 All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips.

All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips

  1. Tips are not included. Unless you bought a package that includes tips ahead of time, you need to tip. Google what an appropriate tip is in the country you’re going to. I read that $2 USD is appropriate in Mexico, so I did that.
  2. Find out what currency the resort accepts. Some resorts don’t accept USD and Canadian cash. Go to the bank and pull what you need before hand to avoid ATM charges. Check to see if the resort you’re going to has an ATM or another option for cash withdrawal.
  3. Figure out bank and ATM charges before you go. At our resort, each cash withdrawal was $5 + conversion fee. Check with your bank and your credit card to see what your charges will be if you use it in the country you’re travelling to.
  4. Take a picture of the WiFi username and password with your phone. Our last resort’s WiFi kept dropping and if we weren’t in our room, we didn’t have access. It took us a few days to catch on to this trick.
  5. Research resort, find out what they have to offer. That way you don’t miss out on anything. I didn’t find out that my last resort offered free kayaking and boogie boarding until the last day. I missed out on a lot of free fun!
  6. Bring your own OTCs. Pack Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, and stomach-aids (Pepto, Tums and Immodium). Sometimes instructions are in another language and you don’t know how much to take. Plus they charge an arm and leg. Don’t forget Benedryl or another antihistamine, incase you have a surprise reaction.
  7. Pack appropriate dress attire for the a la carte. Check the website to see what the dress code is. Some places require long pants and a long-sleeved shirt for men. Some resorts say they require a dress code, but are lenient once you get there. Don’t assume that is the case, pack at least one semi-formal outfit.
  8. Check to see if you have to book the a la carte ahead of time. If you do, book the moment you check in. That way you can experience the dining that is offered and won’t have to be wait listed.
  9. Look up the resort on Trip Advisor. Not only will you find the bad reviews to take into consideration but I recommend to look for resort tips. Experienced travellers will often find hidden gems, not just at the resort but in the neighborhood. You may just find the best shrimp tacos of your life.
  10. Pack your own sunscreen and bug spray. They are so expensive at the resort, I’ve seen $22USD to sunscreen and I have heard of up to $30 for a little bottle.
  11. Be prepared for the weather. Google the weather of your destination, if they’re calling for rain – bring a rain coat and umbrella. Bring a light sweater for cooler evenings. Don’t assume you’ll have perfect weather because the photo on the website suggests so. Different times of season offer different types of weather. If it’s sweltering hot, pack accordingly.
  12. Make the most of it, whatever it is. This is the most important tip. If you’re disappointed by the room or food, find something you do like and focus on that. Don’t sit there and pout for a week because you don’t like the outdated wall paper, you spent good money on this vacation – ENJOY IT.

My first all inclusive stay was at the Riu Palace Pacifico in Nuevo Vallarta and I had a great experience. I wrote about it in these posts:

Riu Palace Pacifico Room & Resort Review

Riu Palace Pacifico Food Guide

10 Reasons to Stay at the Riu Palace Pacifico

Do you have any all inclusive resort travel tips? Share them in the comments.

Planning a vacation to an all inclusive resort? BEFORE YOU BOOK read this beginners travel guide with these 12 All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips.

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Randa Derkson

I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether it’s discussing your day, sharing the highlights of your trip, or just having quality time with a loved one; lives are brought together at the kitchen table.

15 comments on “12 All Inclusive Resort Travel Tips”

  1. I totally agree on the sunscreen tip – especially when traveling to Mexico. Sunscreen there is so expensive. My only other tip is not necessarily all-inclusive related but something I always do when traveling. Always pack a bathing suit in your carry-on. If your bag is lost, you don’t want to be without a swim suit!

  2. Such good advice! How many times have I bought sunscreen or Advil in the gift store. Big mistake!!

    Thank you so much for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We are honored to have you participate with us.

  3. last year i was determined to pack only a carry on to mexico. it was only a week, and didn’t require as many layering options as europe. the problem is the sunscreen. in wanting to pack my own sunscreen, you need to pay to check a bag. if not, you pay the exorbitant cost to buy there. but, while expensive, isn’t as much as a checked bag in both directions! we’ll be heading to antigua in december and i’m not sure the route to take. carry on only and buy sunscreen there? or one checked bag that i can fill to my heart’s content with bug spray, lotion, and sunscreen?!
    b

    • I loved checked bags for that reason. Carry on is easy but checked bag adds option. Mind you, if you have to pay for a checked bag – you may as well do a carry on and pay for the sunscreen down there.

    • Aa couple of thoughts — first, how about splitting your sunscreen among several travel bottle? And second, every all-inclusive I have gone to has been a package deal that included transportation from the airport, which means waiting for other passengers who checked their luggage, so I may as well take my big sunscreen in my big suitcase!

    • Anne, splitting them is a smart idea! Thanks.

  4. Awesome advice! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday. 🙂

  5. Fun, fun, fun! You make me want to plan my next vacation! Great tips and ideas!! Popping in from #FoodieFriDIy – thank you for linking up and sharing these great tips!!

  6. Very useful and practical tips Randa, thank you for sharing. In my personal experience tipping isn’t always necessary. Especially when I encounter unhelpful staff I tend to be hesitant to pull out that tip lol. I do absolutely agree on getting that Trip Advisor feedback though, I use it every single time before I go on vacation to help me decide whether the place is worth it. Thank you again!

    • Thanks for the tip insight Jane! I agree, if I don’t have good service – there will not be a tip. However, I have yet to experience that at an all inclusive 🙂

  7. Great tips especially taking pictures of wifi username and password.
    We like to bring our own travel mugs ( not the huge bubbas) as it keeps drinks colder longer, less trips to the bar, and usually the staff ask for them at the end of the week.
    We have seen people bring the plastic red beer cups as well.

    • Also we always pack swimsuit, shorts and sandals in carry on in case we arrive before our room is available, so we can hang out at the pool

  8. My husband and I are planning on buying an all inclusive vacation package for our fifth anniversary. So thank you so much for the tip that we research whatever resort the package includes so that we don’t miss out on any activities that it offers. I’ll definitely be sure to check out what fun and free things we can do with our vacation package that we choose.

  9. Really an interesting article to read. Surprisingly, I have never traveled all inclusive! I travel to Mexico every winter and have always done air packages or a separate hotel and air comb I will be interested in trying all though for something different.

    Rating: 5

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