Until recently, all-inclusive holidays were really only sold to destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico. The concept of paying up front for all of your food and drink while on holiday is attractive to many people, especially families travelling with children. Over recent years, the all-inclusive style of holiday has become far more commonplace in popular Mediterranean resorts, and one of the UK’s biggest tour operators, Airtours, recently made the move into selling nothing but all-inclusive holidays.
The overwhelming benefit of taking an all-inclusive holiday is being able to budget. By paying for flight, accommodation, food, drink, kids’ clubs and even the flamenco guitar evening entertainment up front, you know exactly what your holiday is going to cost you and the only money you need to take with you is what you will spend on days out and souvenirs. This concept is hugely appealing to families who are faced with a never-ending stream of demands for ice cream and cold drinks on holiday, and over a fortnight this cost can really mount up.
Do Your Research
Not every all-inclusive holiday is the same. Although most hotels do offer a fully inclusive service where you will not be asked to pay for anything, others will give you free beer and wine but charge for spirits, or may offer children’s snacks at limited times only. Do your research and be guided by price; if a deal seems ridiculously cheap for all accommodation, food and drink then alarm bells should start ringing. Look on internet sites to see what other people are saying about the hotel, and consider several locations before deciding which one suits your needs best.
One of the main criticisms of hotels switching to the all-inclusive business model is the impact which it is having on the local businesses. When people were staying on a self-catering or bed and breakfast basis, they were going into the local villages for meals and to experience the nightlife. Now that they are paying for all of their holiday up front, the sensible thing to do is to stay in the hotel and enjoy the food and entertainment there, rather than spending extra to eat at the taverna or see the flamenco guitar and dancing show in a bar. People are spending less on their holidays in general, and many businesses across the Mediterranean are really feeling the pinch.
The other main disadvantage of an all-inclusive holiday is that you are limited to what the hotel has decided is on the menu that day. In many hotels this is not an issue as they provide an extensive buffet menu catering for all tastes, but in other hotels people may struggle with the same thing being presented for meals every day of the week. People who have distinct dietary requirements may be further limited in what they can eat, and although children are generally well catered for, the choice may be poor-quality nuggets, sausages or pizza. Good research will again help you avoid these sorts of hotels.
Guest author Morag Peers regularly blogs on travel topics and is particularly captivated with the Mediterranean. She would always recommend getting away from your hotel and resort, seeking out the local culture. Morag’s favourite is listening to traditional flamenco guitar, which many tourists learn to play when they come home. You can shop online for a flamenco guitar at London Guitar Studio. Share your view on “Is All Inclusive Holidays All It’s Cracked Up to Be?” in the comment section below.