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We're considering buying an all-inclusive deal in Mexico (travelling from the UK).

I'm relatively well travelled and have done the whole year of backpacking thing a few years ago. I've never been on an all-inclusive and the thought makes me shudder.

However, price-wise it seems too good to be true so we were thinking of buying the all-inclusive bundle so that we have our return flights and transfers paid for but only actually stay in the hotel resort on the first and last days of our 8-day trip. Does this sounds like a sensible idea? Will the resort mind us just disappearing all week?

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    Resort doesn't care if you disappear but why would you pay the money to a resort and then disappear for a week and pay more money for other stuff? – Karlson Oct 8 '14 at 17:20
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    @Karlson because it's only £130 more than the flights alone. It seems worth it just for the transfers and the safety net of having somewhere to stay on the first and last night... – matt burns Oct 8 '14 at 17:28
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    @mattburns If you're paying 130 pounds / day for an all-inclusive you might as well not pay it and have more spending money. – Karlson Oct 8 '14 at 18:12
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    I vote to reword - you're currently asking a subjective question. Perhaps - something along the lines of 'would it be a problem from the resort's point of view?'. – Mark Mayo Oct 9 '14 at 1:11
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The hotel won't mind if you check in and not use any of their services ... less food eaten equals less cost to them. But while you may not want to officially check out as that might cancel the last night you plan to use, it might be good to let the front desk know you may not be sleeping there every night, so they don't call the police when your room is empty for three nights in a row.

But an all inclusive doesn't mean you are stuck there, you could use the rooms every night and set out to explore by day (at your own expense or maybe with one of their activities if it suits your interests). You can head out to eat or eat in, no real restrictions.

Is it sensible? Hard to say, without more details. Is the cost of the package deal (air, lodging, transfers) less than the cost of just airfare? Are there other benefits of the package you want to enjoy that you can't get on their own?

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I have stayed in at least one hotel in Mexico whose terms of service stated explicitly that if the guest leaves for 24 hours their reservation will be considered abandoned and cancelled (even if paid for in advance), and any belongings left in the room will be confiscated.

This appears to be the policy of many hotels in other places, as well. Consider this one, which says:

In the case that the guest leaves the hotel before the day booked, it will be considered as a cancellation and we do not apply a refund.

If the hotel maid notices your bed isn't used, I wouldn't be surprised to discover that your reservation is cancelled upon your return.

I suggest contacting the hotel ahead of time to make sure it won't be a problem. At the very least, they should be informed that you'll be gone, but still intend to use the last night of your reservation. Otherwise you may find your room has been given to someone else when you return!

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