Let’s start with a simple fact: it’s tough
to beat being able to lounge by the pool all day ordering margaritas
without worrying about paying for anything. Especially for Spring Break
If you’re not familiar with what an all-inclusive
is, certain hotels offer the option of paying a little bit more so that
you can drink and eat for free on the property. Most college students
can get their money’s worth in drinking alone for the extra $150-$300
it costs to do an all inclusive versus a standard hotel package (“European
Plan” in travel agent parlance), before even factoring in food.
But then again, it’s Spring Break, there are parties going on
all day long. Who wants to be tied to their hotel?
Whether or not to go all-inclusive depends largely on
how you’re looking to spend your vacation, and to a certain extent,
where you are going. The more time you figure you’re going to
spend at your hotel, the more sense it makes to go all-inclusive. An
all-inclusive package is always a good value in Acapulco where the scene
during the day revolves around pool parties at the hotels. You’re
at the hotel for the party, why not be able to drink for free all day
It makes less sense in Cancun, where the party package has free drinking
and free parties at places like Fat Tuesday, the City, and Pat O’Briens.
You’re leaving the hotel to go to the beach bars and clubs.
As for how easy it is to get your money’s worth,
here’s a little math; the average cost difference between an EP
(European Plan) and AI (All-Inclusive) room is about $250 for a 4-star
hotel in Acapulco and Cancun. Drinks generally run between $3 for beer
and $5 for mixed drinks. You can estimate a basic hotel meal at $10.
With three (3) meals a day multiplied out over the course of the week,
that’s $210 just in food. If you drink $40 in alcohol, then going
all-inclusive has paid for itself.
Be careful of companies that sell something they call
"all-inclusive", when what they really mean is "complete"
package. All of our packages are "complete", with roundtrip
airfare, hotel accomodations, transfers, a party package, and optional
meal plan (that is typically free for most destinations early in the
season). You get free drinks and free food if you have the party package
and meal plan, but this is not "all-inclusive" since you often
have to leave the property to get them.