Should you book an all inclusive or European plan hotel? This is a common question that most tourists ask before booking their hotel in Jamaica.
An all-inclusive property (AI) sells the idea of everything for the price of one. With this package, you will receive free accommodation, unlimited food and drinks.
You also have full access to the property which may include entertainment, water sports, gift shop and spa.
With a European plan (EP), you pay upfront for your room, but you must buy food and drinks. Depending on which European hotel plan that you choose, you could receive complimentary breakfast.
The choice is not as easy as you may think because they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
The all-inclusive concept is about having everything in one location. Most tourists find that there is no reason to ever leave the property unless it is to visit an attraction or to go back to the airport.
Most persons feel that the all inclusive concept in Jamaica is more popular because they feel that it is cheaper, safer and more convenient than the European plan.
Is that the case?
On this page, you will find vital information that will help you decide between an all inclusive or European plan vacation.
In Jamaica, the price for a night at an all inclusive vacation will range anywhere from US$80 to US$300, and this is per night per person.
In this case, for a family of four staying for a week you will pay anywhere from US$1,800 to US$7, 000, and this does not include airline tickets.
European plan hotels are much cheaper and can start from as little as US$50 per room and additional charges for more than two persons. For a week, your family of four could only spend between US$500 to US$2,000 for accommodation.
So now there is a difference of US$1,300 to US$6,500 to spend on food, entertainment, water sports and other activities.
To spend US$2,000 on food and drinks in Jamaica is a lot of food; therefore, in this case you save more.
Then there is also the case of the type of hotel that you stay. There are European plan hotels that cost US$250 per night per person and the meals cost between US$20 to US$80. Then you have to think about beverages that will cost anywhere from US$5 to US$50.
These prices are what you will find at the hotel restaurants and bars. The prices would be much cheaper off the property.
In this scenario, it would be cheaper to stay at an all-inclusive resort.
When it comes down to which one is cheaper, it really depends on if you plan to spend most of your time on the property or off the property.
More than 50% of guests who stay at an all-inclusive property will never leave the property unless it is to return to the airport or to go on a tour.
At a European plan hotel, you may have to leave the property for food, beverages, shopping, and of course, good entertainment.
All-inclusive properties give you a sense of security because everything that you need is at one safe location. All-inclusive properties have security staff right around the clock.
Majority of guests don’t mind the all-inclusive concept because it is free from harassment that sometimes occurs in the resort areas.
The choice you make really depends on if you want to spend time on the property or explore Jamaica.
Most persons that choose the European plan over the all-inclusive concept are explorers who like outdoor travelling, local restaurants, and nature attractions.
Guests at all inclusive properties spend the majority of their time at the hotel, which is not the best way to spend your vacation in Jamaica.
To experience the real Jamaica you have to walk the streets, talk with the locals, eat our dishes, taste our beverages and enjoy the attractions.
Vacationing at an all-inclusive or a European plan hotel is a really good way to spend your vacation in Jamaica.
If you decide to stay at an all inclusive property, please don’t stay on property your entire vacation. Try to explore the city that you are visiting. Have fun and go on a few tours and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
For those who choose the European style, take advantage of your surroundings. Go off the property and explore all that Jamaica has to offer.
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