All-Inclusive Resort Hacks: 20 Tips & Tricks You Didn’t Know

All-inclusive resorts are perfect for travelers who want to stay somewhere without having to think about money every time they eat or drink something.

But, if you’re someone who likes to have the best experience possible and not just get by, then you’re at the right place.

With a little bit of research and insider knowledge, your next vacation can be even better than you could have ever imagined!

Here are some of the best tips and tricks for making sure you get the most out of your all-inclusive resort experience.

1. Make Friends With the Resort Staff

It’s important to remember that the staff who work at these resorts are there to help make your holiday special.

Bartenders can help you find the perfect drink to suit your mood, and they’re often happy to share insider tips about the resort and its amenities.

Similarly, the front desk staff and concierges can be invaluable when it comes to booking activities or making restaurant reservations.

So don’t be shy – strike up a conversation with your bartender or server and get to know them. You may just find yourself with a new best friend – and a great vacation story to tell when you get home.

tips for hotel staff us dollars
USA Money

2. Tipping at All-Inclusive Resorts

While gratuities are often included in the price of your stay, it is still customary to tip service staff members for their hard work.

This includes servers, bartenders, housekeeping staff, and anyone else who goes above and beyond to make your vacation enjoyable.

While there is no hard and fast rule, a general guideline is to tip about $1 per drink, $1-3 for restaurant service, and $5-10 for housekeeping.

So before you travel, be sure to budget for tips. Otherwise, you may find yourself scrambling for cash during your stay!

3. Bring Sunscreen

There’s nothing worse than being at the beach, feeling the sun on your skin, and realizing you forgot to pack sunscreen.

To avoid this vacation mishap, make sure to pack your own sunscreen before heading to the all-inclusive resort.

Not only will this save you from painful sunburns, but it will also save you from having to purchase overpriced sunscreen at the resort gift shop.

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4. Call Ahead Before You Arrive!

If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, this is something that you need to make sure you let the hotel know about.

When you’re planning your dream vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you’ll be able to eat.

Some resorts are more accommodating than others, but it’s always best to be on the safe side and let them know ahead of time.

That way, you can relax and enjoy your vacation without having to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

Swim up suite all inclusive
swim up suite at all-inclusive resort

5. Choosing the Right All-Inclusive Resort

We know that this might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that you need to think about before you book.

A lot of people don’t put a lot of thought into it, and end up at a resort that doesn’t meet their needs or expectations.

When it comes to all-inclusive resorts, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The key is to choose a resort that matches your holiday style.

Are you looking for a relaxing getaway where you can spend lazy days by the pool? Or are you looking for a party destination where you can dance the night away?

Once you’ve decided on your holiday style, research different resorts to find one that offers the facilities and amenities that you’re looking for.

If you plan on exploring the local area, you’ll want to book a resort that’s close to the attractions you’re interested in. Not only will this save you time and money, but it could make all the difference between a good trip and a great one.

With a little effort, you’re sure to find the perfect all-inclusive resort for your needs.

6. Pack Swimwear in the Carry On

Checking into your room early at an all-inclusive resort can mean that it might not be ready yet. But if you pack your swimwear in your carry-on, you can head straight to the pool or beach.

You can also use the extra time to explore the resort grounds or grab a bite to eat first.

So next time you’re packing for a vacation, remember to tuck your swimsuit into your carry-on bag. It might just save you some valuable vacation time.


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7. Best Time to Book an All-Inclusive

Before you can enjoy your well-deserved vacation, you have to actually book it. And if you’re planning on staying at an all-inclusive resort, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, try to avoid booking during the high season. This includes spring break, Easter, and the holidays. Not only will the resort be more crowded during these times, but prices will also be higher.

Instead, consider visiting Mexico or the Caribbean in April or September. These months are typically quieter, and you’ll be more likely to get a good deal on your room.

Dinner at all inclusive resort
Dinner at all-inclusive resort

8. Make Reservations For Dinner Early

All-inclusive resorts are a great way to vacation without having to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

However, it is important to remember that these resorts are often very popular, and reservations for dinner can fill up quickly.

If you don’t want to end up eating at the buffet every night, be sure to make your reservations early.

Many all-inclusive resorts have a website where you can view the menu and make reservations with the concierge.

Just be sure to do it sooner rather than later, or you may find yourself eating more dinners of chicken fingers and french fries than you ever planned.

Are All-Inclusive Resorts Worth it?

We all want to make sure that the vacation we book is worth our hard-earned money.

If you're planning a trip to Cancun, check out this ultimate guide to see if all-inclusive resorts are worth it.


9. Ask for an Upgrade

When it comes to all-inclusive resorts, however, there’s one simple rule to remember: always ask for an upgrade when you check-in.

The worst that can happen is that they say no, but you might be surprised at how often you’ll get lucky. After all, all-inclusive resorts are designed to give guests everything they need, and that includes a comfortable room.

So go ahead and ask for that upgrade. It can’t hurt, and you just might end up with a better view of the ocean.

10. Free Resort Activities

From daily yoga classes to cooking classes and snorkeling offshore, there’s usually a lot more included in your package than you might realize.

As well, many resorts have kids’ clubs that offer supervised activities for children of all ages.

So before you spend your entire vacation lounging by the pool, be sure to check out the free activities that your resort has to offer. You might just find yourself having the best vacation yet.

Free activities all inclusive
Free activities at all-inclusive resort

11. Dress Code for Restaurants

While most all-inclusive resorts are fairly casual, some a la carte restaurants often have a more formal dress code. This can come as a surprise to vacationers who are used to dining in their beachwear.

Most restaurants will require that men wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, and women should wear a nice blouse or dress.

So, before you pack your bags, be sure to check the dress code for the restaurants at your chosen resort.

12. The Water Isn’t Always Safe to Drink

In many countries, the tap water is not safe to drink, and while most resorts will provide bottled water for brushing teeth and consuming, it’s important to remember that you can’t always trust that the ice in your drink is made from safe water.

It’s always a good idea to check with your resort before consuming any tap water.

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13. Pace Yourself With Food & Drinks

All-inclusive resorts are a great way to relax and indulge without having to worry about your budget. However, it is important to pace yourself when it comes to the unlimited food and drink.

Overeating and drinking can quickly lead to indigestion, headache, and dehydration. You don’t want to miss out on all the activities and adventures that the resort has to offer, so be sure to enjoy everything in moderation.

all inclusive food and drinks
Drinks at all-inclusive resort bar

14. Bring a Reusable Bottle

Cold drinks are a welcome respite from the heat, but those little plastic cups that resorts provide quickly warm up in the sun.

A good reusable bottle will keep your drinks cold all day long, so you can enjoy the poolside paradise that you paid for.

And when you’re not sipping on a frosty beverage, you can fill your bottle up with water and bring it with you on excursions.

So save yourself some money and the environment by packing a reusable bottle!

15. Don’t Over Pack

It can be tempting to want to pack your entire wardrobe when you’re headed off on a tropical vacation, but resist the urge!

You really don’t want to drag your heavy suitcases through the airport and let’s be honest, you’re not going to need that many outfits.

Most all-inclusive resorts have a casual dress code, so leave your evening wear at home. You’ll probably spend most of your time in shorts and swimsuits anyway.

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16. Private Transportation

When planning your next vacation, you may be tempted to splurge on a private airport transfer or an upscale rental car. But if you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, there’s no need to spend extra on transportation.

Most resorts offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, and while renting a car might give you more freedom to explore, it’s not necessary when everything you need is right at your fingertips.

So save your money for something else and take advantage of the complimentary transportation options at your resort.

Book excursions all inclusive
Cenote Excursion

17. Book Excursions On-Site

One thing that can quickly take the shine off an all-inclusive vacation is being overcharged for activities and excursions.

Many companies will try to sell you pre-booked tours at an inflated price, or even worse, pressure you into booking something that you don’t really want to do.

Our advice is to wait until you arrive at the resort before making any decisions about excursions – you may even find that the resort offers some activities at a discounted rate.

18. Use the Hospitality Suite

Often overlooked by guests, most all-inclusive resorts have a private hospitality suite that guests can use on their day of departure, even after you’ve checked out.

This room usually includes a bathroom and shower; enjoy one last dip in the pool and freshen up here before you catch your flight.

19. Lock Up Your Valuables

All-inclusive resorts are notorious for being pickpocketing hotspots, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep your passport, wallet, and other valuables locked up tight.

Most all-inclusive resorts have in-room safes that you can use. After all, the last thing you want is to ruin your vacation by losing your passport or having your wallet stolen.

lock up valuables in a safe
Lock valuables in a safe

20. Buy Travel Insurance

This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if something goes wrong on your trip, travel insurance can help cover the costs.

From lost baggage and canceled flights to medical emergencies and natural disasters, travel insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if something goes wrong.