Welcome to mid-March. A time filled with college basketball, the Shamrock Shake, and spring break. Yup, that’s right, while white women everywhere are finally unzipping their dog’s winter coats, college students are packing their bags and heading to the most beautiful resorts listed on the US Travel Advisory.
If you’re like me (cheap, Jewish, and devilishly handsome), you are always looking for a bargain — meaning you decided to spend your spring break at an All-Inclusive resort. Congratulations on such a wise decision. You know exactly what you are spending up front and can now get belligerently drunk in the daytime with no financial consequences. However, all-inclusives aren’t all fun and games. There is an element of competition involved. The element of winning.
Yes, all-inclusives can be won or lost. Resorts do all they can to maximize margins and make sure you can’t put them in the red. The only way to get your money’s worth is to come in with a defined plan. Lucky for you, I am a master of beating hotels, buffets, and open bars. Here are my best tips and tricks to make the most of your all-inclusive resort.
I know what I just said about not spending money while you’re there, but be prepared to dole out about $20 among the staff in tips. A lot of all-inclusives will say you don’t need to tip, and because the majority of people that are at all-inclusives are cheap bastards, they don’t. That means if you do tip, you are more likely to receive special treatment. This works best if you are in a country where the US dollar is strong, so think third world countries like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or Tobago (not Trinidad that shits expensive). If you pick the right country, tipping a single dollar will feed your bartender’s family for a week. So, I encourage you to tip. You don’t even need to learn how to do percentages or any of that American tipping bullshit, just slip your bellboy a crisp $5 and you just got yourself a butler.
#2 You decide how much alcohol you get
The biggest money maker at an all-inclusive is undoubtedly the open bar. However, because resorts aren’t stupid and guests are, alcohol is frequently watered down. This means it will take you almost double your normal alcohol intake to get drunk. Being aware of this is half the solution to the problem. The other half: make your bartender fill your cup to the brim. If you order a G&T for instance, you are going to want to tell your bartender to fill the entire cup with gin and then just splash a bit of tonic on top. Literally watch them make it so you know how much alcohol you are getting. If it doesn’t look like enough ask them to add more (tipping helps with this step). If they aren’t being compliant here’s the real hack: order whatever alcohol you want “on the rocks.” Yup, just ask for three rum on the rocks and strawberry daiquiri and bang you have yourself quite the drink.
#3 Room Service
Food at all-inclusives will suck. Apart from being on an island with limited technology and gas, resorts are trying to cut costs at every corner they can, meaning the food you are being served probably comes from a prison. That said, you still need to order a ton of it. You don’t need to eat it all, but by not ordering enough food to feed the entire island for a week, you are inevitably losing. The easiest way to combat this is room service. When you wake up, order room service. About to hit the casino? Get 15 hot dogs first. Time for bed? Not before ordering 12 burgers, 8 steaks, and some ice cream. Seriously, I cannot stress enough how much you don’t need to eat the food. Is it wasteful? Yes, extremely. Will the staff stare you down as if you just colonized their village? Most definitely. Is it worth it to win? You bet your ass it is.