I’m going to be controversial, but I feel it needs to be done.
I am not a fan of all-inclusive holidays.
Now, before you shout in protest, I have been on a few all-inclusives, so my opinion is based on experience. I’ve done self-catering, I’ve done B&B, and I’ve done all-inclusive, and I have to say that I am firmly in the camp of self-catering.
Yes, you have the argument that all-inclusive totally takes away the worry of how much you’re going to spend on food and drink whilst you’re away, but you can easily cut costs with self-catering, and get plenty of advantages to go along with it. For example, if you’re clever with how you get to the airport for your flight, and cut out the need for expensive public transport, by booking airport parking in advance, then you’re onto a winner before you even start.
You could even fly from a London airport and take advantage of lower airfares, booking Gatwick North terminal parking for example, and driving yourself down there too. This is something I’ve done before and as long as the combined travel still comes to less than a flight regionally, I don’t see the problem.
The one downside that self-catering has is that you’re either going to have to cook for yourself, or find somewhere to eat every night, however you can easily turn that into a positive. For instance, cooking for yourself saves money, making it possible to eat in and then go out for a few drinks later, so you don’t have to find somewhere to dine.
On the flip side of that, exploring the resort you’re visiting, and then finding a different restaurant every night, means you’re actually experiencing the place you’re visiting, and you get to try some of the local cuisine to boot, which is basically what travel is all about!
I find that all-inclusive comes with a huge danger attached, and that is you don’t tend to leave the hotel grounds much, simply because everything you need is already there, so you don’t have to go out and about.
This is a sad state of affairs because you might as well have just stayed at home! New resorts and destinations are there to be explored, and if you travel all that way and only see the inside of your hotel, you’re missing out.
I can’t deny that for families, an all-inclusive break is the best choice, but provided a few trips are booked to get out and about, there are pros and cons as explored in this debate on the topic but for me, it’s a self catering exploration all the way.