To AI or not AI? That is the question

I’m a huge fan of all-inclusive vacations, which are common if you travel to a non-US locale.  Even more specifically, I love all-inclusive resorts!  I know there’s a large segment of dissenters who would argue that all-inclusive vacations aren’t “authentic”.  Don’t get me wrong–I have vacationed a la carte as well as the rest.  But I do think the all-inclusive vacation has created a niche that simplifies vacationing and make it more relaxing.  As far as “authenticity” goes, any trip can be as “authentic” as you want.  It’s your own opinion that matters anyway.

Here’s what I like about the AI vacation:

  • You can make all of your arrangements–airfare, resort, transportation between airport and resort–in advance, usually in one place if you’re using a travel agent or booking yourself with AppleVacations, FunJet, Cheap Caribbean,etc., and for one price.
  • You can choose flights that accommodate your time frames.
    • I like to fly non-stop when possible (I don’t want to waste vacation time on travelling), so I shop for charters and typically have to fly certain days.
    • I prefer non red-eye flights since our nearest international airport is 2 hours away.
  • You can shop your resort. 
    • Do you prefer a 5 star with a view of the ocean, gourmet meals, and decked out rooms or are you just looking for a place to lay your head for a few hours at the end of the day?
    • Do you have to have your usual top-shelf drink or can you make do with the local beverages?
    • Do you want to vacation with children (or without, and don’t want to share the pool with any)?
  • You can choose your transportation between the resort and airport.
    • Do you need a quiet limo ride for only your group?
    • Do you have a small group who all want to share a van or mini-bus?
    • Do you want a fun-filled bus ride that you share with all others going to your resort and others nearby?
  • Once at your resort, your AI includes:
    • your room–always ask for the upgrade at check-in.
    • all food, beverages, and cocktails while you are there.
    • non-motorized sports like kayaking, snorkeling, tennis, gym facilities.
    • daily and evening entertainment which can be anything from games, sports, aerobics/yoga classes poolside to fun-filled evening shows that may be audience participated or musical/dance shows.
  • If you choose a Super Inclusive, or Luxury Inclusive you may even get:
    • gourmet dinners, 24-hour room service
    • American beverages and top shelf cocktails
    • Scuba diving, golf, jet-skis
    • evening performances by local celebrities
    • sunset catamaran cruises, candlelight dinners on the beach
  • The AI eliminates the needs for:
    • carrying cash on the resort.
    • trying to compute the resort’s foreign conversion rate when paying for anything.
    • accruing foreign transaction fees later after charging everything on your credit card.
    • tipping.  Be aware, some resorts don’t allow it.
    • leaving the resort while you are there.
  • Things that cost extra:
    • you can book any extra sight-seeing trips or excursions as you wish through your resort.
    • most resorts have a spa that will offer massage packages.
    • tipping–if you choose to.
    • gaming in the casino and souvenir shopping

Basically, you can schedule a ton of activities (free and otherwise) if you want, or you can schedule nothing and sit at the swim-up bar all day.  At an AI resort, it’s your vacation, your choice to do as much or little as you’d like.


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