When you go on vacation, you want to put your worries aside—at least for a little while. An all-inclusive resort in a dreamy Caribbean locale can be your get-away-from-it-all oasis. Every detail is taken care of for you, so planning is a breeze. And with your room, meals and activities included in one package price, you don’t have to worry about going over your budget.

Our insider’s guide has everything you need to know about staying, eating and playing at all-inclusive resorts.

Health and Safety

All-inclusive resorts are working hard to protect guests from COVID-19. They’ve stepped up cleaning protocols in both public and private spaces, with surfaces, linens, pool chairs, sports equipment and more being sanitized multiple times a day. Some resorts even seal off guest rooms after cleaning to make sure no one enters before you do.

Increasing physical distance between guests is easier, too, with additional airport transfers that take fewer people per vehicle, more time between visitor check-ins, and elevator trips that are limited to individual couples or families. Plus, some resorts even allow you to check in virtually before you arrive, so you can bypass the lobby and go straight to your room.

The fact that all-inclusive resorts are usually spread over dozens of acres helps, too. All that extra space—for beachside lounging, trail hiking, snorkeling and more—makes it easier to keep a safe distance from other guests.

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Play Time

Relaxation is the rule at all-inclusive resorts, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be inactive. Unlimited enjoyment of pools, water parks, tennis courts and more, along with non-motorized watersports (like kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and sometimes even scuba diving), are included.

You may have to pay extra for specialty items and excursions like golf, spa services, personal watercraft rides and tours that take you off resort property. If those things are on your must-do list, ask your AAA Travel Advisor about destinations that offer resort credit that you can use toward optional activities.

On-site camps can also keep kids entertained while providing alone time for parents. Trained counselors oversee games, arts and crafts, pool time and more for little ones, while older kids can hang out in teens-only clubs with video games and other age-appropriate activities. As an added safety measure, these clubs are enforcing strict sanitation protocols and social distancing guidelines.

Room and Board

From classic hotel rooms to expansive suites, the accommodations at all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are as varied as the islands themselves. Remember that the type of room you choose determines your overall price, so think about what’s important to you. If you plan to spend most of your time by the pool, on the golf course or in the ocean, a no-frills room might be the way to go—if you’re on a more modest budget.

If you’d rather feel as if you had a deserted island all to yourself, go for extras like private plunge pools, walkout beach access or personal butler service. Consider the view, too. An oceanfront room may cost more, but if you’re dreaming of waking up to the sight of the surf, it’ll be worth it.

Families may want to consider resorts that offer multiroom suites. Requesting connecting rooms can be a good alternative, but they’re often not guaranteed, so you may not know until check-in whether they’re available.

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Food and Drink

It’s one of the joys of vacation: letting someone else do the cooking. You’ll find that eating out is even easier at an all-inclusive resort, with many boasting five to 10 or more eateries—from fine-dining restaurants to kid-friendly snack bars—all included in your package cost. Depending on the resort, a range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages can also be included.

Although an exclusive restaurant or certain food may come with an additional charge, these are uncommon. At most places, you won’t need reservations, and gratuities are usually included.

Dining venues are following strict social distancing rules, too—and many restaurants are open-air for an even more carefree experience. If you’d rather keep things intimate, you can opt for room service or splurge on a private candlelight dinner for two under the stars.

Make Your Escape

Your AAA Travel Advisor can help you plan and book an all-inclusive resort getaway with exclusive member perks.

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