We know, it’s pretty damn tempting. You’ve been working hard all year long, craving carefree, relaxing vacation days. And when they finally arrive, you just want to feel like a king or queen.
An all-inclusive vacation with food and drinks may sound like any traveler’s paradise, unless you count the damage it can do to your health. Tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t sacrifice your healthy lifestyle to save a few bucks.
Bianca Mendez, writing for the famous publication Eat This, Not that!, put together a list of reasons why we should never choose an all-inclusive resort for our holidays. We selected five we consider to be the most important:
1. The must-indulge mentality
BM: “Raise your hand if you ever used the excuse “I’m on vacation” to justify your splurging and indulging habits. (Shoots hand up.) Well, take that excuse and your “It’s all free now that I’ve already paid for it” vacation and you’re setting yourself up for disaster. At all-inclusives, with an endless array of buffets, bars, and snacks, people tend to eat more than they ought to. And chances are, you’re definitely not splurging on salad—but instead on the dessert buffet or processed snacks
2. You’re more prone to doing nothing
BM: “Some all-inclusives offer activities and excursions but at an extra cost. We’re all entitled to a few lazy days on vacation, but when you suddenly have to justify spending money to do something like snorkeling or hiking, you end up doing nothing. Also, some resorts might only offer a small gym with limited amenities or none at all—or worse, at a cost.”
3. You’ll either sleep too much or not enough
BM: “Even though vacation is a time to relax, that doesn’t mean your typical daily schedule should fly out the window. Researchers at Brown University have already shown that an erratic sleep schedule can sabotage your routine enough to result in weight gain.”
4. All that “free” alcohol
BM: “You’re on vacation—have a drink! But wait: At an all-inclusive place, there’s a good chance you won’t stop at one. But when you drink a lot of alcohol, it builds in the bloodstream and restrains an antidiuretic hormone that causes your kidneys to excrete a diluted pee that doesn’t contain any electrolytes like sodium, says Abbey Sharp, R.D. So the sodium ends up staying in your system and makes you retain more water, leaving you with a morning-after bloated stomach along with that nasty hangover.”
5. So many sugary drinks
BM: “Piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris are the quintessential vacation drinks. But most all-inclusive places water down their drinks and can’t make homemade mixes for a mass crowd, so you wind up with sugar-loaded juices that don’t get you that buzzed. A frozen margarita, piña colada, or strawberry daiquiri can add hundreds of calories and over 50 grams of sugar (the daily limit, according to the FDA) to your daily diet.”