Travel

All Inclusive

…is it worth it?

One of my favourite things about travelling is trying other culture’s food and drinks and living like a local. However on a week’s beach break all I want to do is relax, and what’s more relaxing than knowing everything is catered for for you for the next 7 days?! Switch off your brain and chill, there’s no thinking required!

Pros:

– It’s easier!

There’s no dragging yourself away from the pool to go and find somewhere for lunch or trying to pick which restaurant you want to eat at that night, it’s all there at set times. No thinking required beyond which flavour ice cream to have for pudding!

– Keeps a routine

We’re not a strict routine family to be honest, we’re more eat when you’re hungry and sleep when you’re tired but if you do like to stick to set times, all inclusive holidays could be perfect for you. With meals and entertainment at set times it really helps to keep you on track!

– Cost effective

Our recent all-inclusive trip to Croatia cost us £650, basically £46 a day/night each. Considering that’s a hotel for the night, 3 square meals, 2 tea times, 2 lots of snack time, entertainment, kids club and all you can drink (both alcoholic and soft) that’s a bargain (even by Croatian prices). Looking around even the cheapest holiday for just flights and hotel in a less desirable location was coming up over £500. I definitely would have spent more than £150 on food and drink (and we aren’t big eaters) in a week unless I was on rations, and quite frankly I’ve come to enjoy an afternoon cocktail!

– Great for fussy eaters (and cheapskate mums!)

Given Luka’s habit of trying one bite of a food and deciding he’s not keen we tend to stick to the old favourites especially when we’re eating out as it gets very expensive buying him replacement meals! For us all inclusive breaks are great for trying different foods and drinks, we’ve discovered Luka likes scorpion fish and flounder but isn’t a fan of trout, truthfully not something we would have found out at home!

– Mini-clubs

A more common find at all inclusive resorts than at normal hotels mini clubs are fantastic. I spend very little time without the Mini Adventurer apart from when we’re at school/work and obviously the most important thing about going on holiday is quality time together but I’m (very slowly) coming to realise a little bit of me time is so important too for my own wellbeing. Those few two hour slots where I knew he was having a whale of a time while I read or wrote and chilled out were just incredible and made me feel so much better.

– Perfect for first holidays

If you haven’t travelled much or with a child yet I get it can be a bit of a daunting thought, that’s why an all inclusive break is ideal. With everything already organised beyond getting yourself to the airport you don’t need to worry about a thing. Then once you’re there you can do as much or as little as you like while you get used to being on your adventures.

Cons:

– You miss out on the culture

Like I’ve said one of my favourite things about travelling is trying out the local foods and while a lot of all inclusive hotels will serve up the local foods it’s not quite the same for me as heading to real local restaurant off the tourist track to eat. If I only did one holiday a year to be honest I wouldn’t do all inclusive as I wouldn’t want to miss out on the experience but for a once in a while pure relax it’s perfect.

– Meals on repeat gets boring

If you’re at a hotel which does the same food every night then it’s going to get pretty dull pretty quick, check out the reviews and see if anyone mentions this. Same goes if the food is bad, check out the reviews, but bare in mind some people will always complain, especially when they expect haute cuisine at fast food prices.

– It’s to the clock

If you’re keeping to a routine all inclusive holidays are fab but if you want to get your breakfast there’s no lie ins till 11am or deciding to have a late dinner, check out the mealtimes will suit your needs before you go.

– It’s too easy to not explore

Lets be honest if you’ve travelled all the way to wherever your holiday is you should get out and explore, and when everything is catered for it’s a little too easy to lie by that pool all day only moving to meal times. But make sure you take a walk and see the sights at the same time.

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