all-inclusive match-making

All-Inclusive Month :: Matchmaking

all-inclusive matchmakingLast week, in the first installment of our all-inclusive month feature, we dispelled some stereotypes, namely that all packaged-vacation resorts are the same. This week, our rhetoric turns into action suggesting different all-inclusives based on popular vacation preferences. Find the right fit and you'll have the week of your life, find the wrong fit and you'll wish you were at the Copa, Copa Cabana, the hottest spot north of Havana... But first, some all-inclusive rules of engagement...

Rules of Engagement Here are some rules of engagement as you plan an all-inclusive vacay:

  • Do you want to be completely cashless or dole out daily tips? Some resorts you aren't allowed to tip, others it's generally expected.
  • Is premium vs well liquor important to you?
  • Are multiple à la carte {vs buffet} restaurants important to you?
  • Do you want exciting kids programs?
  • Are you a scenester? Some resorts have more of a scene than others.
  • Do you want motorized sports or is a water trike more your style?
  • Don't forget about bugs {sand fleas, mosquitoes and noseeums}. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of in a tropical climate. Bug spray is always an asset.

Matchmaking [trip style =  if you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain...] If you want to bake in the sun, drink for a week and party like it's 1999---and don't really care where---something in Veradero or Mazatlan will probably return the lowest price and bang for your buck. All-Inclusive Budget Suggestions: - Do a search for "vacations" on, entering your departure point, destination {all of south}, dates and star level. Don't forget to click advanced search in order to select "all-inclusive" + "beachfront." You'll be floored at how many reasonably-priced options are available. - To ensure you're getting the cheapest price, 'google' the resort to see if other travel suppliers are offering it for less.

[trip style =  modern family] You want to have fun and you want your kids/teens to have fun---without breaking the bank. Is it possible to combine all these features? Yes, if you avoid high season at resorts like Beaches Turks and Caicos. It has it all: 16 restaurants, a surf simulator, a lazy river, kids and teen programs, zero entry pool, spa, swim-up bars {for both kiddies and adults}, etc... All-Inclusive Family Suggestions: *Beaches, Turks and Caicos *Breezes, Curacao *Franklin D Resort, Jamaica {vacation nanny included}

[trip style =  splurge/save] If you splurge on shoes, handbags and jeans, paired with the occasional outlet-find top, you'll likely enjoy a high/low resort complete with a few fabulous features, yet manageable price tag. It's kinda like shopping at Off Saks... All-Inclusive High/Low Suggestions: *Riu, Los Cabos *Breezes Grand, Negril *Club Med, Florida *Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Punta Cana

[trip style =  posh spice] If you're into exclusive getaways, I'd suggest a private island-style, rustic-luxe all-inclusive like the first option below. Beyonce's been known to jet-set to Half Moon as well... All-Inclusive Exclusive Suggestions: *Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas *Royal Plantation, Jamaica *Half Moon, Jamaica {ask for all-inclusive plan}

[trip style = a-list] If you make a habit of staying at Rosewoods, Ritz' and Four Seasons, and sipping mint-infused mineral water under spritzers in a spot at the pool where everyone can see you, then these resorts might peak your interest. Note the below properties are not small, so if you're looking for a posh hideaway, see above. All-Inclusive A-List Suggestions: *Grand Velas, Riviera Maya *Excellence, Punta Cana *Secrets, Riviera Cancun *Royal Hideaway, Playa Del Carmen

All-Inclusive Month :: Coming Up Friday, Feb 18th – All-Inclusive vs Non-Packaged Vacation Monday, Feb 21st – From the Archives :: All-Inclusive Tricks of the Trade Friday, Feb 25th – Fashion Friday :: Rockin’ the All-Inclusive

[photo by @tripstyler, taken at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica]