Post # 1
We are trying to figure out where to honeymoon on a cheaper budget, and I was just wondering, what is it that everyone seems to like about all-inclusives? Aren’t they kind of like the box stores of vacations? We were orignally going to go to the Smoky Mountains, which would be my dream, but my fiance likes tropical. He suggested Jamaica or something similar, because we could still go on adventures. And hotels are cheaper there. Except the all inclusives, those are the same everywhere you go. So what’s the big draw? I will not be able to sit around a pool or hang at the beach for 7 days. No way. I want to go on a hike, jump off a cliff, something interesting. All we (I) plan on doing in the hotel room is sleep, and, ya know. Are private owned hotels in Jamaica or somewhere similar super risky, or just right for us? We are not the super traveler jet setter types, and we don’t need to have the finer things of life like A/C or a swim up bar. I’m good if the place is clean and fairly safe. Advice from jet setters needed!
Post # 2
We’re doing both, an all-inclusive first (right after our destination wedding but at a different hotel) so that we can relax after the insane wedding and then we’re doing the more active (not all-inclusive) places when we’re rested up.
Side note: I’d avoid Jamaica since I’ve heard so many horror stories of people getting hookworms in their feet from walking in the sand. Check out the Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean instead.
Post # 3
aoppenhuizen: Often you can get an all-inclusive package (flight, meals, accomodation, alcohol and activities) for less than you could book the flight and accomodation separately. This is because tour operators package these trips in such volume that they are able to get much better prices.
You are not locked in at the resort. You can leave at any time to do the activities you want to do, explore the surrounding area or dine out.
The advantage of all-inclusives is that if you don’t want to spend extra money, you know your budget ahead of time.
Post # 4
Have you looked into Bermuda? DH and I went there for a long weekend a couples of years ago and it was really nice! It’s only like a 2 hour flight away from where we live (Baltimore). We are not resort people either so we rented an apartment for a few nights and cooked most of our own meals. We were just a short walk from some great beaches and coves, and took the local bus to the different parts of the island for sight seeing. The resorts on Bermuda I hear are super expensive, and we had a blast just doing out own thing!
Post # 5
hollyberry4: What is the weather like in September? Do not mention a hurricane! lol
Post # 6
aoppenhuizen: We chose an all-inclusive because we want to be able to enjoy just laying around doing whatever. We know how much we’ll be spending and don’t have to estimate food costs. We’ve done plenty of traveling the other way and enjoy that as well, but we want everything to be easy peasy the whole time and not have to carry anything around with us while we relax.
BONUS: our resort is an all butler resort and you are given a cell phone to contact them whenever during your stay and they’ll bring you cocktails and such whenever.
Post # 7
We travel a lot because we fly for free. We are 22 and don’t care about super fancy things when we travel because we are hardly in the room. We’ve only stayed at one all in-clusive in the Dominican Republic and honestly I wasn’t impressed at all. When we went to the bahamas we stayed at a wyndham resort (I don’t think it’s there anymore because they were suppose to be building a new one that rivaled Atlantis) and it provided breakfast. Other than that, we enjoyed getting out of the resort and experiencing local cuisine and all that jazz.
Post # 8
aoppenhuizen: The draw of all-inclusives is basically everything is included (other than major adventure trips) . Drinks, food 24/7 and some form of entertainment!
I would say if you want a private resort in Jamaica that’s fine! Just check the reviews on trip advisor before you book. Now I’m not sure what the above poster is talking about in regards to “hookworms” — I’ve been to Jamaica more than 5 times in my life (just came back in September) and I’ve never heard of that personally..
I’ve done Bahamas, Aruba, Jamaica, DR and Mexico – Jamaica and Aruba are definitely ahead of the pack. Good luck but just remember to read reviews and i don’t think you can go wrong!
Post # 9
Everyone wants something different in a vacation. Some like to camp and be outdoors. Some like to site see. I’m in the camp that enjoys laying on he beach, being served unlimited margaritas and basically not having to worry about a thing. That’s why I like all inclusive. I also like that that entertainment is also included, as well as options to work out, enjoy beach yoga, etc.
Post # 10
aoppenhuizen: We thought we wanted to do all-inclusive but we ended up going to an amazing hotel in Aruba that was NOT all-inclusive. It was originally appealing to us because we do like to drink and eat so we thought it may save us money. In Aruba, all-inclusive is pointless because the restaurants there are SO good and we went off the resort (nice and safe) every night.
I think if we had a limited budget (my husband’s parents gave us $5K for our honeymoon), we would have been more likely to do an all-inclusive. That way, you know exactly what you are going to spend and it is all pre-paid.
Post # 11
We went to a Jamaican Sandals resort and absolutely loved it, but we were happy to sit around all day or just do the free “on site” activities. If you want to do a bunch of excursions, I wouldn’t bother doing all inclusive.
Post # 12
aoppenhuizen: I’ve only once done an all-inclusive vacation and I was really bored by the 3rd day. If you like adventure and tropical, I would suggest you look into Costa Rica. We had an absolute blast! We rented a car and stayed a few days in the rain forest, a few days in the mountains and the last leg of the trip at the beach. The whole thing cost way less than an all-inclusive stay at a nicer resort in Mexico. Look on lonelyplanet.com to get recommendations on places to stay and eat.
Post # 13
We did all inclusive for our honeymoon in lanzarote. We really liked it because it meant we didn’t need to bring a load of money with us and there was always food, drink and other such things available.
We did have to pay for a couple of things (like towel deposit and fridge use) but it was worth it.
Post # 14
If you’re on a limited budget, I think all inclusive is the way to go! My fiance and I went to Jamaica in April and we had a great time. And as a side note…I don’t like the beach and I don’t like to sunbathe and I still had a fantastic time!
Definitely read up on TripAdvisor reviews…that really helped me. My resort included an excursion to Dunns River Falls, which was so much fun! You climb up a waterfall…really was fantastic! The resort had things to do, if you wanted (water slide competition, volleyball, dance, gym, spa, paddle boats, pedal boats, etc). You basically make what you want of it. You can be a beach/pool bum or you can be active. There are also tons of extra excursions you can pay for off-resort (water tubing, horseback riding on the beach, Jamaican bob-sledding, etc).
If you’re worried about less to do, pick a bigger resort. We went to a smallish sized resort (I think only 250-300 rooms).
I did EXTENSIVE research before choosing Jamaica and I work with several people from Jamaica. I never came across hookworms in the sand and my coworkers never cautioned me about it…more about the mosquitoes, which we really didn’t encounter (and I am a mosquito magnet!).
Many of our friends have loved Mexico (so many options there and good value too!).
You may even want the relaxation that a tropical resort gives you after the stress of the wedding. Take it from someone who’s pretty type A and pretty much hates the beach….I LOVED our Jamaica all-inclusive vacation!
Post # 15
Jamaica is a great option. I have been to resorts a few times down there and NEVER saw/heard of anything having to do with the hookworks. The beaches are of varying quality, depending on where you stay.