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Airbnb vs All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica

Airbnb vs All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica
Photo: Wellesly and His Wife On Vacation

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

There are many different ways to vacation and choosing where you stay is just as important as choosing where you vacation.

Choosing between an Airbnb and an All-inclusive resort depends largely on the type of vacation you are planning to have, your budget, your personal preferences and expectations, the length of your stay and even the number of people making the trip with you.

The Cost of the Trip and Disposable Income

Vacationing does not have to be expensive. However, the amount of money you can spend heavily dictates how you can vacation. Most AirBnB’s don't include many amenities outside of the house and so the cost is usually significantly lower than an all inclusive.

You would however be responsible for your meals for the duration of your stay.

With an all-inclusive resort, the amount you pay to stay includes food, the hotel room and various other activities and excursions on the hotel’s property.

Some hotels have even forged partnerships with the some attractions and so you can visit at a discounted cost or the cost is already included at the time of your booking. Still others may give you free access to other affiliated properties as well.

Time to Plan your Trip

If you enjoy planning your trips, finding cool new attractions or local restaurants, making multiple reservations and so on, then an Airbnb is the best option for you. It gives you more autonomy over your trip and you always have the flexibility to change your mind as in most cases things aren’t always preplanned or pre-booked.

Air BnBs cater to those among us who prefer a more hands-on DIY trip and so this would be perfect for someone like this. However, if you would rather have your room, excursions and meals booked with the click of a button then an all-Inclusive accommodation would be more suited to your needs.

Also, if this is a trip being planned and booked on short notice then it is better to go with the option that has basically thought of all your wants and needs for you. So no surprises when you get there.

Duration of Stay

The length of time you plan on staying is a factor you should consider when choosing whether you stay at an Airbnb vs an All-Inclusive resort. In my opinion, if you're staying for a few days or even up to a week or two, then staying at an all-inclusive resort would be best. There would be no need to find an Airbnb, food, groceries for such a short amount of time.

However, if you are staying for a month or more it makes more sense to get an Airbnb. If you are on a work trip then you might need your own space just to complete all you might be required to do without the distractions. If it is just a regular holiday, then staying at an Airbnb would give you more autonomy over your trip and really immerse yourself into living in Jamaica.

The Number of People on the Trip

A large group will require lots of space, more space than a regular hotel room might give. It might turn out that you aren’t even on the same floor as the people in your group at the hotel. With an Airbnb, you can all enjoy each other's company in a more relaxed environment without the possible restrictions at the hotel. Some AirBnB’s rent homes and spaces per night and not per person and so that would work in the favour of a larger group as well. You can also pool for groceries which makes it much cheaper.

If you are planning a family trip particularly with small children, a resort is the stress-free option. Family resorts will have child-friendly rooms and activities included in the initial charges. Some resorts even offer nanny services to their guests at no additional charge.

Activities That Pique Your Interest

All-inclusives offer many excursions and activities as part of the package when you decide to stay there. However, all-inclusives tend to all offer the same or very similar experiences. If there are some less popular attractions that you are considering visiting on your trip, then it might be more economical to get an Airbnb.

If you plan on lounging by the pool, trying out the restaurants on the property and not leaving for the duration of your stay, then you would be the perfect candidate for an all-inclusive experience.

If you pay for the All-Inclusive experience and not utilize it then it wouldn’t have been worth paying for. If you plan to explore and travel around Jamaica for most of the days you will be staying, then AirBnB accommodations could be better suited to your needs. You will be on the road all day anyway, who will be using the pool at the resort?


All-inclusive resorts include room service, all you can eat, housekeeping, multiple pools and nighttime entertainment. Most Air BnBs don’t come with these amenities or if they do it comes as a separate charge. If you decide to do an Airbnb it means you are also committing to sourcing your own food, transportation, tidying up on your own and finding your own fun. That said, most AirBnB's has partners or associates that offer or supply these services.

An all-inclusive may also be relatively safer than an AirBnB as not all AirBnbs have the best security. The resort areas are usually more populated, better policed and resorts themselves have 24-hour security.

However, as you can see the decision between going to an Airbnb or an all-inclusive accommodation depends on you. So ask yourself these questions? How long am I staying? How much am I willing to spend? How large is the group I’m going with? Do I want a relaxing holiday or an eventful, adventurous one? Do I want to really immerse myself in the local culture?

The beautiful thing about vacationing in Jamaica is that you will find accommodations that suit your needs and either way, you are bound to have a great experience.

I also recommend you read, Jamaica All-Inclusive Resorts
Our Top Picks!


P.S. Wellesley's Note. If you are interested in our personal recommendation of Jamaican AirBnBs or best All Inclusive, please email me here.

Don't forget to share your thoughts on the best Jamaican AirBnB and All Inclusiveshere!.

Comments for Airbnb vs All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica

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Jan 11, 2022
by: Nathan

Thanks for this information. Rex, thanks for sharing your experience too.

Jan 09, 2022
I have tried both..
by: Rex Pirata

I am an introvert by nature. My first trip I stayed at Sea Castles all inclusive in Mo'bay. It was nice and the only thing to complain about was the food.

My next trip was to Blue Cave Castle in Negril. I loved it there. It was like a home away from home but I was still missing something...PRIVACY!

The last place was an AirBnB in Whitehouse and I stayed there twice. The first time the Canadian owner was on property. The second time I had the entire property to myself with the exception of the local caretaker who was an excellent host and cooked the local fare for me.

Memories that will last a lifetime. Hopefully, my next trip will be to my own property in Portland one day soon.

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