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Is an All-Inclusive Resort Cheaper Than Rent?

A content creator wagered he could spend a month at an all-inclusive resort for about the same cost as his monthly expenses. He was wrong. Sort of.

SEATTLE – Rent prices in the U.S. are so high that one man decided to try a new lifestyle: living at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

Ben Keenan, a Seattle-based content creator, posed the idea in a TikTok that went viral earlier this year.

"Have we ever considered that it's actually cheaper to live in an all-inclusive resort than it is to live in the apartments that we currently occupy?" he said in a video that racked up over seven million views.

Keenan estimated his monthly expenses at $4,100, including costs like rent, food and utilities. The content creator scoured the internet for all-inclusive resorts and wagered he could spend a month at one for roughly the same price.

Thanks to a partnership with Expedia, which covered the cost, Keenan was able to put his thought experiment to the test in May.

Over 27 days, the Seattlite uploaded daily documentary-style videos tallying up all the estimated costs of his trip, including lodging, food, drinks and even amenities like a gym membership. He followed a typical Monday-to-Friday routine to keep things similar to his normal life.

On his first day, Keenan pointed out that his room at the resort in Playa del Carmen had the same square footage as his apartment in Seattle.

By the end of the trip, the entire cost came to $4,900, more than the $4,100 Keenan spends each month in Seattle, but he highlighted a few caveats.

For one, he claimed to have booked the trip at the last minute and said there would have been better deals at other resorts if he had planned ahead.

He also emphasized the extra bonuses that come with staying at an all-inclusive resort: room service, a housekeeper, a pool and events.

"It was not cheaper for me, but I can't say if it would be cheaper for you or not," Keenan said in a wrap-up video.

The median rent in the U.S. is currently $2,129, down $6 from a year ago at this time, according to Zillow.

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