Jamaica All Inclusive Vacation: 7 Things to Think About Before You Book

Are you convinced you should book a Jamaica all inclusive vacation package? Read on…

7 Things to Think About Before You Plunk Down Your Cash for a Jamaica All Inclusive Vacation Package

7 Things to Think About Before You Plunk Down Your Cash for a Jamaica All Inclusive Vacation Package


All inclusive vacation packages are really popular. Nearly every travel ad boasts an all-inclusive experience. That’s what sells!

But … Is the all inclusive package rate really the best vacation deal? 

There are many people who swear by all inclusive vacations. In fact, they are the most heavily marketed sector of the Caribbean travel industry, especially the Jamaican market.


They are easy! You pay one price and that’s it. Nothing much to think about.

But are you really getting the best value for money?

7 Things to Think About Before You Plunk Down Your Cash for a Jamaican All Inclusive Vacation Package

1.  Everything is probably not really included.

Many people book all inclusive vacations thinking that all costs are included. Make sure you read the fine print.

The more expensive resorts do tend to have quite a bit included. The mid-range and more economy properties, generally don’t.

Premium alcohol, spa services, motorized water sports, off-site activities, phone calls, and wifi are often not included.

Chances are you will be paying extra for lobster and filet mignon unless you are at one of the premium level all inclusives. At the most all inclusives, you will not be dining on lobster every night, unless you spring for dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. There may be a seafood night; but, it’s usually a buffet.

2.  Family friendly (aka kid friendly) and upscale hotels, especially Jamaica all inclusives, usually do not go together.

If you are traveling as a family with kids in tow and you want a more budget-friendly experience, you might be in luck. If you want a more luxury experience, and you are traveling with an infant, good luck. Most top level Jamaica all inclusive resorts do not allow children under 16.

3.  You just don’t get as much of the island experience at a Jamaica all inclusive resort as you would at an independent property.

Sure you can go to the front desk, book a tour, be whisked off, then come back. The reality is that you probably won’t leave the complex because you will be so focused on getting your money’s worth that you wouldn’t dream of missing a meal. Jamaica all inclusive properties generally have a vibe that, consciously or unconsciously, encourages people to stay on property.

4.  Entertainment is generally designed to appeal to the masses as this type of vacation is a common choice for spring breakers and party types who love the free booze.

To get away from this type of crowd, you generally have to pick the smaller and higher end properties and or avoid Spring break weeks in March and April!

5.  Most travel agents sell what they know. They are highly incentivized to sell Jamaica all inclusive vacations and often do so at the expense of other lodging types.

Don’t be surprised if your agent sways you away from private villa rentals.

The truth is, most agents don’t know much about villas and cannot imagine sending a client to anywhere but an all inclusive hotel, especially one where they have been on a free fam (familiarization) trip. In fairness to agents, they are rightly concerned about their reputations. No one wants to be blamed for a poor vacation experience. Plus, it is time-consuming to search for and pick the perfect Jamaica villa rental.

Here’s some news: Expedia bought Homeaway, the largest vacation rental website, for billions of dollars. Yes, billions. Why? Vacation rentals are actually the hottest trend in the travel industry! Give it time. Travel agents will get on the bandwagon soon.

6.  All inclusives are not necessarily cheap or the best value.

Good ones are pricey and are not necessarily the best value since they may include quite a bit that you do not need or won’t get to use. If you don’t drink and alcohol is included, what a waste of your money! The budget level all inclusives tend to be crowded, basic and offer fewer amenities.

The Today Show did an experiment to test the all inclusive versus the non all inclusive options. Which one was the better deal? Check out the video here. 

7. SECRET HACK:  If you have more than 8 people traveling together, you can probably do better cost wise at a comparable villa than at a Jamaica all-inclusive hotel, when you consider the costs of lodging and meals plus the value of personalized service.

Most people assume that they could not possibly afford to rent a Jamaica villa. That couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Add up the cost for 8 or more people renting hotel rooms versus the cost at a villa offering a similar number of rooms and see the difference. Plus, add to that the freedom of planning a vacation that best suits your style … priceless! With a group larger than 8, the savings are even more obvious. As they say, the more the merrier and the cheaper too!

So, there you have it … 7 Things to Think About Before You Plunk Down Your Cash for a Jamaica All Inclusive Vacation Package.

Contact us today so we can show you what a private personalized Jamaica villa vacation at Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay Jamaica can look like. We nixed offering the typical all inclusive vacation experience for our guests. See what we offer instead, that gives us raving fans.

If you still fear that you can’t afford a villa, read our blog post “Rent a villa in Jamaica: How much does it cost and how you can afford one.” You will surprise yourself.

‘Til next time.

Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell & Darrian

Considering a visit to Jamaica? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families, groups, and intimate destination weddings.

Visit our website: http://www.MakeItJamaica.com

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Give us a call:  866.624.7684 (toll free) or 914.709.0457

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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