There is a section of globetrotting society that holds the idea of an all-inclusive holiday with utter distain. It is quite likely that a similar proportion of the travelling fraternity feel the same about backpacking. Well, we’re not here to take sides – instead here are the pros and cons of going on an all inclusive holiday, plus some home truths anyone should consider before booking a break away.
THE GOOD – Pros of all inclusive holidays
Great if you have a budget to stick to
Price includes travel, accommodation, food and drink, which means all you have to think about, is what to pack and remember to take a bit of spending money if you want to buy gifts for folks back home.
Easy to arrange
You don’t have to deal with arranging flights and transfers – once you have booked your holiday, everything is already arranged for you.
Easy to book excursions
The tour operator will have all the information you need to explore the area and will offer an easy booking system. These packages usually make sure that you are collected and dropped back at your hotel too.
Discounts and deals are common
Tour operators don’t want empty seats on planes and often have kids go free deals to help families get away at what is a notoriously expensive time of year.
Whilst the entertainment on offer might not be to everyone’s taste, there is usually plenty to do. Facilities often include games rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts, crazy golf and a variety of local acts putting on a show for guests each night.
Great for family holidays
With all the food, drink and entertainment you want, and often with crèche facilities too – all inclusive holidays are a child friendly option for holidaymakers. If you are not travelling with your clan in tow however, this could be considered a detrimental to a break abroad.
THE BAD – Cons of a package holiday
Lack of culture
Some destinations encourage holidaymakers to stay well within the walls of a resort, and many resorts are a long way from local life and attractions, which makes getting to grips with the culture of your chosen destination rather tricky.
Lack of choice
From what to eat to things to do, an all inclusive break is synonymous with monotony. If boredom (or taking the opportunity to relax and do nothing) is a problem, make sure you choose a resort that is near bars, restaurants and local attractions.
Noisy and busy
With free child places on most packages, there is no denying that resorts are often packed with families, bringing all the noise that comes with them. This can be said of plenty of places in the height of the holiday season though, but there are resorts that are exclusive to adults only, the other option is to go off-peak.
Poor quality food and drink
Stories of watered down alcohol and cardboard food are often features of low quality hotels – not part and parcel of a package holiday. All inclusive guests are served the same goods as cash paying guests, but don’t expect the Courvoisier to be part of the deal, you will have to pay extra!
THE UGLY – The truth about booking all inclusive holidays
It s not necessarily all inclusive that is at fault here, it is the packages that people choose don’t suit the type of holiday they would like to go on. If you want action, adventure, going off the beaten track – then a package holiday is going to leave you feeling somewhat deflated.
There is also some truth in you get what you pay for. An all inclusive package holiday at a 6 star couples-only hotel with be closer to some people’s idea of paradise than a lower star beachside resort in the summer holidays aimed at entertaining families.