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As a travel writer and editor for over a decade, I learned a thing or two about planning domestic and foreign trips…but I didn’t come around to the delight of the practically-planning-free allure of the all-inclusive resort until later in my experience excursion-ing. This appreciation was hard-won—I discovered how much more stressful it is to plan a trip budgeting my own money rather than company funds; you would too, if an a-la-carte resort charged an exorbitant amount for room service oatmeal and pot of coffee. Here are my suggestions for the top affordable all-inclusive resorts I’d travel to in 2024, ranging from beachy escapes in the Caribbean and Mexico to a couple surprising escapes right here in the U.S.

20 of the Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S.

What Are the Advantages to All-Inclusive Resorts?

If you stay at an all-inclusive, you’re (mostly) safe from sticker shock when you’re presented with your final bill. Since the food, resort activities, Wi-Fi, parking and all the other little extras are bundled into the nightly rate, you are free to just roam the grounds booking your dinners, borrowing your water sports equipment and parking your kids in the kids’ club when you want that much-deserved me (or us) time.

However, buyer beware: While the term “all-inclusive” sounds definitive, the precise meaning can change depending on where in the world you’re booking your stay. For example, in coastal Mexican and tropical Caribbean resorts, the label usually means the price of the nightly room includes meals, activities and—this adds up, vacationers—unlimited alcoholic drinks. (So, for instance, imagine you’re on a cruise, except the ship analog would be the boundaries of your Cancun resort.) By contrast, in popular destinations including Hawaii, Las Vegas and continental U.S. resorts, room charges usually only cover the overnight room stay itself, with possibly a breakfast included. In these cases, sometimes domestic resorts will bundle room nights together and add themed perks—say, a show at the resort’s casino and dinner or a set of activities suitable for children—for a special price.

How I Chose the Top Affordable All-Inclusive Resorts

I searched for resorts with high-ranking user reviews costing below $350 per night, including meals and activities. Resort rates can swing wildly—from the premium on high season bookings during spring and summer school holidays, as well as during winter to the relative bargain shoulder season booking opportunities between Thanksgiving and New Year. So for comparison’s sake, I quoted prices for the May-June booking season. When resort rates diverge from the all-meals, all-activities model, I note it in the text. Now then, on to your stress-free moveable feasts of sun, fun and vacation affordability.

Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts

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Just 20 minutes from downtown Punta Cana, this little resort off white sand Bavaro Beach has a fitness center, outdoor pool and five restaurants to choose from. If you do trek down to the beach one minute away, you’ll be able to order a tropical drink right to your beach chair.  There’s a full-service spa, tennis courts and mini-golf, too.

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Kayak

An active family won’t be bored at this 500-room resort which offers snorkeling, windsurfing and for the littles, a lazy river. An interactive Kids Club as well as a Teen Zone area means kids can socialize on their own while parents chill poolside or at the luxurious day spa. And the setting, right on a palm-dotted beach, gets high marks as a no-fail Instagram backdrop.

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Kayak

Near a promenade in the charming colonial section of San Juan, near Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Pan American Pier, this spot is an ideal romantic getaway for history or architecture buffs. Nature lovers can stroll to Condado and Escambron beaches, and a city tour can be arranged at the front desk—or tickets to the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum or Sixto Escobar Stadium. And the charm extends to the colorful rooms, decorated with pieces made by local artists.

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Expedia

History buffs and longtime Caribbean travelers will appreciate the sophisticated environs of this resort, located in the middle of the brilliantly painted colonial buildings of Curaçao’s capital, Willemstad. While not strictly following all-inclusive pricing, the spa, restaurant and bar options—and even full casino—offer a full range of adult pastimes on-site. Bonus: It’s near the historic Rif Fort, with its four-foot-thick walls built to keep out pirates in the 18th century. But you’re not just going to be gaming and guidebooking here, as you’ll want to make time to lounge on the specially constructed elevated beach that’s got killer views out over the water.

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Mexican All-Inclusive Resorts

5.   Occidental Tucancun

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Getting There: 8 miles to Cancun airport

Rates: $212/night

This 336-room hotel sits directly on the beach at the northern tip of the Yucatan Pensinsula, so it gets four stars for location, location, location. Multiple pools overlook the ocean, and both buffet and a la carte meals at multiple restaurants are included in the nightly rate. Nightly shows at nearby Aquaworld are included, however you’ll want to pay extra for day trips to nearby cenotes or Chitchen Itza.

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This boutique hotel has a distinctive sleek look and minimalist aesthetic, a departure from many Mexico beachside spots. Under the all-inclusive plan, guests can go to any of the four restaurants, although for a reservation at the fine-dining Italian restaurant Chianti, you’ll need to book at least three nights. A real standout here are the four-poster beds on the beach for some seriously luxe naps.

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Tripadvisor

The eco-conscious ethos of this beachfront hotel, 320 rooms in buildings scattered across a palm-dotted landscape, includes eco-friendly toiletries and showers, recycling practices and LED light bulbs. There are no kids’ clubs at this adults-only spot, but you will enjoy complimentary use of non-motorized watercraft like kayaks as well as tennis and onsite entertainment. And it’s all worry-free, with inclusive meals at five restaurants, including the open-air thatch-roof Mexican grill, and endless cocktails.

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Tripadvisor

When you’re a giant—like this beachfront property of 773 rooms and suites, 13 bars and restaurants, spa and three children’s areas, separated by age range—then you have the muscle to keep everyone entertained (or blissed out, as the case may be). The two-story villas that make up the resort never overwhelm the natural beauty of this sandy coast; on arrival, you’re assigned a personal concierge to help you and your family make the most of your time here, with daily fitness and yoga classes, optional spa appointments and nine resort pools, as well as nighttime outdoor family movie night, a silent disco and a Cuban orchestra.

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Villa La Estancia

Situated on picturesque Flamingos Beach, an 8-mile stretch of sand in the residential section of northern Nuevo Vallarta, this upscale all-inclusive is worth its premium price for its spacious suites, Spanish colonial hacienda design and attentive service. There are 11 bars and restaurants on premises, and guests are also given access to another three dining options at sister property Villa del Palmar Flamingos. Activities nearby include horseback riding excursions, swimming with dolphins, golfing and even something for the thrill-seekers among us: ATV and zipline tours. Note: resort and spa credits are awarded along with the room rate, which includes all meals and beverages.

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Tripadvisor

With rich Palancar Reef, one of the world’s largest coral growths, just a short way away, diving and snorkeling here is one of the primary draws. But this property adds to its natural allure with its four restaurants, three pools including one children’s pool and two bars all included in the room rate. Kids and teens stay for free in your room, as well as enjoy kid’s club activities. Ecotours and parasailing can be arranged for an additional fee off-property…or you can just nap on a pool sun lounger and call it a vacation.

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Tripadvisor

Guests are spoiled for choice with 11 bars and restaurants, including a swim-up pool bar, to choose among, and afternoon adult activities from dancing and tequila tasting to nighttime fire- and circus-themed shows. There’s a kids club, too, at this 272-room spot that has a modern, lively feel.

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Conveniently situated in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, this 617-room property offers daily aerobics, ping-pong, tennis, volleyball, basketball, bingo, billiards and shuffleboard, as well as a kid’s club, a teen club and even a mini water club for infants. Nightly live music shows, karaoke and a nightclub keep the adults entertained and the multi-level water park will tire the whole gang out, day after day.

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Tripadvisor

Spacious rooms and delightful sunsets of Nichupte Lagoon are the draw at this 287-room coastal Cancun resort. Double whirlpool tubs, daily refreshed mini-bars and in-room liquor dispensers, oh my!—are some of the grown-up delights, while the super-kitted out kids club is called The Dreamery. (We recommend shelling out an additional $99 for one of the kids’ amenities kits, which include a faucet cover, pirate or princess outfits and a Bliss light in-room star projector). A circus night, Broadway-level shows and more evening entertainments are on offer in addition to all the daytime pool and surf fun.

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United States/Bahamas All-Inclusives

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Whether you loved horses as a girl and have gotten away from it, are a devoted Yellowstone stan or just want to get away from your computer and into nature for a while, this trip can be just the thing. Stay in a twin bed cabin or four-person bunk house, and get riding lessons or learn advanced equestrian skills at this working ranch. Local off-ranch activities include the Cody Nite Rodeo, white water rafting, floating on the Big Horn River, soaking at the hot springs in Thermopolis, fishing and an overnight trip to nearby Yellowstone, all of which the staff will schedule around your horse duties. A stay here is rustic, can include rough riding and will turn you into a cowgirl yet.

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Come for the kitsch, stay for the scenery. That’s our word on this classic upstate New York resort famous for its seven-foot-tall Champagne glass hot hub for two. It’s couples-only, a tradition of this honeymoon spot kept in place to ensure clients are focused on making babies rather than chasing after them. Only an hour drive upstate from the George Washington Bridge in New York City, treat yourself and your SO to days filled with nature tails (really exceptional during fall foliage season) and nights of dining in your choice of two restaurants before retiring to your suite with round king-size bed, heart-shaped tub and the aforementioned towering Champagne glass tub. (Your Instagram followers will appreciate it.)

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Tripadvisor

The stunning sand flats of Grand Bahama front this resort which spans 26 acres of Bahamian beachfront. Outdoor tennis courts, a fitness center and a kids’ pool are among the draws here, as well as nearby limestone caves you can swim in and wildlife-filled Rand Nature Center. Best of all, the low-slung design of the buildings means you never feel you’re in a big resort. Oh, and did we mention you can swim with dolphins?

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