All-Inclusive Or On Your Own?

Knowing what’s best for you during your vacation in Cabo


A frequently asked question by the many tourists to Los Cabos,  is should they sign-up for an all-Inclusive plan at their resort and are all plans a good deal?  It depends on the expectation of your vacation. Let’s explore some of the benefits of an all-inclusive plan and some of the benefits of being on your own.

Basically, an “All Inclusive” (AI) plan means you pay a set amount per person per day for food and beverage at your resort. It sounds pretty simple, but of course, there are details to consider.

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself and your travel party is what kind of vacation is desired? There is no right or wrong answer. Do you enjoy lounging by the pool, sipping a cool drink, and munching on various snacks, while the warm Cabo sun gives you that golden tan all your friends back home will envy? 

Does the resort have your favorite dishes on their menu that you've previewed online prior to your visit? Do you rarely try new culinary adventures? Or are you seeking adventure, getting a feel for the local scene, and exploring new dining delights, venues from dining on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, or in downtown San Jose, Toda Santos, La Paz?  Exploring the water views, the Art District before or after dinner? Do you prefer the ‘known’ or do you crave something new and different every day? If you prefer the comfort and familiarity of your resort, All-Inclusive is a good choice. If adventure, the unknown, and new experiences are your thing, pass on All-Inclusive.

The details of AI plans vary from resort to resort. Some resorts don’t give you an option. AI is mandatory and is included in your rate. If you stay at one of those resorts, your decision is easy, but many resorts offer an option to add AI to your stay, this may be for several days or your entire stay. Prices vary depending on the resort but are usually in the range of $80 - $125 USD per adult person per day, with reduced rates for children.  There are usually slightly reduced rates for plans that do not include alcoholic beverages also. Typically, resorts require that everyone in your room be on the plan, and most resorts have a three-consecutive-day minimum. So, an AI plan for 2 adults for 3 days would cost about $600 USD, in addition to the cost of the room. Often, the AI package includes other perks, such as free wi-fi, free or reduced-cost on admission to on-resort events such as "Mexican Fiesta Night" and possibly reduced cost shuttle rides to and from the airport. 

Some plans include top-shelf liquor, others only include domestic drinks.  Nearly all plans include food and beverage around the resort’s pools.  Most plans have "up-charges" for the most expensive items on the menu such as lobster, premium steak cuts, or the higher-priced wines.  

If you are the more adventurous type, the Los Cabo area has hundreds of great restaurants, bars, taco stands, and street vendors. There’s every nationality of food one can imagine, with prices ranging from super bargains to outrageously expensive. Happy hours and drink specials are numerous, as are fancy custom-made cocktails. You may dine on organically grown food from the premises or just pop into a fast-food spot, have a Big Mac, or if it's late Subway is open 24/7. Websites such as Trip Advisor, for example, show 154 seafood eateries, 36 Italian choices, 299 Mexican choices, 25 steak houses, and the list goes on and on. 

There is no lack of dining or drinking choice in the Los Cabos area.  

It really comes down to you and your travel group. You can certainly save money by not eating at the resort and not using an AI plan, adventure out. Or you can stay at the resort and just chill. If so that doesn't mean you can't also adventure out, but most individuals feel a need to stay at the resort because they paid considerably for the AI plan in advance. The advantage to people that like AI plans is they can save money because they eat often and the drinks are flowing all day and evening.