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7 On Your Side: All-inclusive resorts, is it worth it?

Beach vacation (MGN Online file photo)

On the surface it seems like a great idea; a wonderful way to spend a worry free vacation. an all-inclusive resort.

Diane Cabness got a call and the telemarketer on the other end sold her on what he claimed would be the vacation package of a life time; two vacations for $800.

The deal was for two all-inclusive vacations. She was sold, but does all-inclusive really mean ALL-inclusive?

"All-inclusive yes, but I do have to pay my own airfare,"says Cabness.

“All inclusive really does have a number of different types of meanings,” says Laura Mandala, managing director of a leading tourism industry research firm.

She says the meaning of the term all-inclusive is a bit fuzzy, “it can mean everything from soup to nuts. All your activities, all your food and lodging or it could mean, a certain type of food, or a certain of accommodation.”

Is it worth it? well, even though all-inclusive's offer travelers what's marketed as a simple bundled price for a few days of adventure or relaxation, you have to look at the fine print of what's really being offered.

For instance Cabness's package includes one price for food, hotel and drinks..but not much else.

So if she wants to go on an excursion, or have a massage she'll have to pay extra. Depending on what you want to do that's not in the all-inclusive price. You could be paying a lot out of pocket. When you add it all up, is it worth it?

“You really do have to do a significant amount of work to determine if that is the better value for you and the people you are traveling with,” says Mandala.

For Cabness her "all-inclusive" deal is just fine with her.

She told 7 On Your Side, “zoom. i'm gone.”

Make sure the agent of a company you are booking the vacation with, and the resort where you are going to stay agree on the details of the package you signed for. If not, when you check out, you could be stuck with charges you didn’t count on.

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