All-inclusive or self-catering

Booking a holiday can be a tricky business – there are so many options now available.

Some travellers can be confused about what’s on offer for the price they pay and what they get for their money, whilst some wonder about the difference between all-inclusive and full board.

If you have a specific budget for your holiday, or you’d like to know most of the costs up front, then an all inclusive is worth booking. Nearly all costs are included in the price – unless you want to treat yourself or bring back gifts for the family.

However, some resorts – including Magaluf in Majorca – no limit the number of drinks people can order without charge. One travel rep joked he had to tell a disgruntled holidaymaker that the all-inclusive wristband did not mean it was free drinks in every bar in town.



All-inclusive holidays can be better for families

If you like a hearty meal first thing in the morning, but prefer to get out and about tasting local dishes during the day, try Bed and Breakfast on your next trip. But if you fancy breakfast and dinner, then Half Board is the best option.

But if you’re flexible with the arrangements and want to sample what a resort has to offer – then a room only booking is probably best.

Here’s a guide to what each of the board basis options mean:

Self catering: Meals are not included at your accommodation, but you will be provided with catering facilities in your accommodation to cook light meals.

Bed and breakfast: Breakfast is included at your accommodation.

Half board: Your breakfast and evening meal are included at your accommodation.

Full board: Your breakfast, lunch and evening meals are included at your accommodation.

All Inclusive: What’s included in the All Inclusive package varies depending on where you’re staying. On most all-inclusive packages, it’s possible to budget before even boarding the plane, as they tend to include everything from flights and accommodation to food, drink and entertainment.

Is all-inclusive worth it?

For holidaymakers who prefer to go off and explore, then all inclusive may not be the best option because it is sometimes easy to feel tied to the hotel for meal times.

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All-inclusive or self-catering

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For family travellers or people who like to chill out and indulge on holiday, an all inclusive is certainly worth it. There’s the luxury of relaxing without having to find a decent restaurant without stretching the budget.

All-inclusive holidays – where snacks and drinks are included – can be particularly appreciated by parents who are able to treat the whole family without worrying about the pennies.

But, if you like to eat out in local restaurants while away and don’t tend to spend much time in the hotel, think carefully. If you think you’ll end up eating out of your hotel more than a couple of times, all-inclusive probably isn’t the best option.

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