The question of self-catering versus all inclusive holidays is one that has vexed those looking to book the perfect break away from home for years – which one is better? Which one will suit?
No one wants to make a mistake when booking a holiday. Choosing unwisely can mean a break that is less enjoyable than it might be and trying to change things once booked isn’t always easy – or cheap.
We’ve put together a guide on the pros and cons of each type of holiday, so that you can weigh up what’s going to work best for you and make your dream holiday a reality.
Self-catering – the cons
- There is no included entertainment on a self-catered holiday. Come the evening in a hotel, you might wander down to enjoy some live music or dancing. In a self-catering villa or room, you won’t have that option.
- You’ll still need to do the cooking and the washing up, just like at home. If you’re looking for a break from the usual routine, this might not be it.
- You also have to tidy up after yourselves. That’s not to say you should make a mess in a hotel just because housekeeping is going to come and fix it for you. However, you do need to think about keeping things tidy and you definitely have to clean up before you leave.
- Making friends is that little bit harder in a self-catering villa because you won’t be running into the same people at the bar or around the pool.
Self-catering – the pros
- You’ll have all the space you need – often lots of it. This means you won’t all be cramped up together in one room. Instead, you’ll have enough bedrooms for everyone, a well-appointed kitchen, a living area, and perhaps even a dining room. You’ll probably have some outside space too and maybe even a pool.
- You choose the food when it comes to self-catering. Staying in a hotel can be tricky when you have allergies, intolerances, or fussy eaters in your party (this is especially the case on a family holiday with smaller children). With your own choice of food, you can have what works for you and what won’t cause a meltdown.
- Many people find that it’s a lot more relaxing to stay in your own home away from home. You can put the children to bed at a reasonable time and retire to the living room or balcony to enjoy some time on your own.
- Your routine won’t have to change if you book a self-catering holiday. Not everyone likes change, and sticking to routine can be just as relaxing as completely moving away from it.
- You won’t come home with a load of laundry when you stay self-catering as there will (most likely, although it’s best to check) be a washing machine in your villa.
All inclusive – the cons
- Sometimes, all inclusive doesn’t mean totally all inclusive and it’s worth checking the fine print before committing to a holiday. You might need to pay extra for certain resort restaurants, or before or after specific times.
- You are ‘trapped’ in the hotel if you go all inclusive. Well, not literally. It’s entirely your choice if you want to go out to eat but if you want to enjoy the all inclusive part of your holiday, you’ll need to eat in the hotel.
- You might be far away from the action in an all inclusive hotel. This is because most people tend to stay in the hotel if they’ve chosen all inclusive. These are the hotels that are tucked away from the main streets and beaches, so you’ll need a bus or taxi to get anywhere.
All inclusive – the pros
- The main benefit of all inclusive is that – for the most part – you won’t have to spend any more money when you arrive at your hotel if you don’t want to. For those on a budget or who like to save, this can be ideal.
- All inclusive holidays are super convenient. You choose everything you want right at the start, pay your deposit and balance, then set off – you don’t need to think of anything else and that’s why people love them. The more information about all inclusive holidays you have from the start, the better. This is so you can be absolutely sure it’s what you want.
- There is usually a lot of entertainment at an all inclusive resort included in the price, so you can let loose and really make the most of your holiday.
Both all inclusive and self-catering holidays have their great and not so great points but we hope the information above has given you a better idea of which is best for you.