Today’s travelers want it all. In a recent study, 55% of Gen Z, 60% of millennials, 68% of Gen X, and 67% of boomers share that vacation is the time to rest and re-energize. Once there, culinary experiences are their top focus, followed by exploration, adventure, and connecting with their friends, family, and local cultures. And all of it needs to fit into their increasingly stretched budget.
That’s why today’s reinvented all-inclusives are booming. For example, interest in Hilton’s all-inclusive properties increased by 40 percent compared to last year. These upscale resorts are also six of the top Hilton Honors redemption stays outside of America.
Vacation the Easy Way
A OnePoll survey reveals that 60% of Americans don’t believe there are enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone plan a vacation. That’s why all-inclusives are increasingly winning over various travelers, from first-timers to veteran globe trotters and even groups.
“As a mom of two young kids, all-inclusive resorts offer a big, easy button for a stress-free vacation. The resort handles everything, so I don’t have to worry about planning things like entertainment, traveling to and from dining options, and meals,” says Alex, Founder of Delish Knowledge.
“This year, we visited Iberostar in Puerto Vallarta for our first-ever all-inclusive experience as part of a group of 20 with lots of kids under six,” shares JayDee Vykoukal, founder of Mom Blog Life. “It required minimal coordination other than deciding when to go to the pool and grab dinner. It was such a great solution for group travel.”
“Last Christmas, I booked an all-inclusive vacation for the first time. It had been a long, hectic year; we simply needed a low-key vacation,” says Casandra Karpiak, founder of Savoteur and a frequent international traveler. “We specifically chose a Mexico resort that was known for its culinary offerings and had top-notch reviews. I loved eating any time of day and enjoying all kinds of cuisine, and my kids loved escaping to the kids club whenever they wanted to.”
Bye Bye Buffets
Skyscanner’s 2024 Travel Trends report shows that 86% of travelers are interested in eating the local and regional cuisines at their destinations. All-inclusive resorts have taken note and changed their offerings well beyond the buffets of yesteryear. The culinary choices now range from high-end to local food trucks on the property to vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, and extensive kids’ menus.
“In the early years of our all-inclusive adventures, food options were few and far between. A small variety of fruit and bread for breakfast, pasta and a few other dishes for lunch, and a couple of restaurants you could reserve for dinner,” says Adriana, founder of Recipe Idea Shop. “Today, the variety is astounding.”
The all-inclusive properties by Marriott Bonvoy offer elevated dining experiences that celebrate the destination’s culinary traditions and use locally sourced food. Guests can take pastry-making classes or catch a local fish and cook it with a chef. At Delta Hotels Riviera Nayarit in Mexico, guests can choose authentic Mexican dishes such as Zarandeado Fish cooked with a 500-year-old grilling method and sample Marakame, a healing drink inspired by local Huichol traditions.
“At Tivoli Alvor Algarve Resort, we proposed something different so our guests can discover the best of the destination while staying with us,” shares Helder Marcelino, Director of Business Development Portugal & Head of Resorts. “To explore the region’s flavors, the resort also offers the choice of dinner at a selection of renowned local restaurants, included within the all-inclusive rate.”
International Travel Ease
“Travelers are making up for lost time and willing to spend more to see the world,” says Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of Travel at AAA. “There’s excitement this year for international travel but also many questions about everything from passports to travel insurance.”
While international travel is up over 200%, one in four Americans has never left the country. An all-inclusive international resort from a familiar, trusted brand puts nervous explorers at ease in Mexico, the Caribbean, and worldwide. If travelers have dreamed of going to Turkey or Egypt, for example, staying at a Hilton all-inclusive property provides peace of mind while being culturally connected. Guests can choose from mezcal tastings, merengue dance lessons, Mayan pottery workshops, and Hamman Turkish Baths on the different resort grounds.
“Traveling to an unfamiliar area where language is a barrier makes me anxious, so we opted for an all-inclusive resort for our honeymoon,” shares Ashley Pichea, Travel Writer at Rooted Wanderings. “Also, it allowed us to enjoy the experience without worrying about budgeting for unexpected expenses or coordinating all the little details.”
Staying on Budget
Twenty-two percent of Americans polled by Longwoods report that personal finance concerns would significantly impact their decision to take a vacation in the next six months. The all-in-one pricing model of today’s all-inclusives allows travelers to balance constraints with their luxury cravings.
“To keep a fixed budget when traveling, especially if you like to dine out and participate in activities, all-inclusive resorts help manage costs and give you good value for your money. Just be sure to confirm what is and what is not included so you can take advantage of all the amenities and avoid any surprise bills at the end of the trip,” adds Christina Bennett, Priceline‘s Consumer Travel Expert.
This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.