Why All-Inclusive Family Holidays May Not Be The Best Value

Updated 1 March 2019 | by Nakita Mason

When it comes to holidays, the battle between self-catering and all-inclusive holidays is a tale as old as time.  Whilst they’re often flagged as the less hassle option, all-inclusive holidays can actually come with a whole host of problems that self-catering bypasses.

Before you book your next holiday, take a look at our top reasons as to why all-inclusive holidays may not always be the better option.

1 You’re On A Schedule (and it’s not yours…)

all inclusive versus self catered flexibility

One of the biggest downsides of all-inclusive holidays that most people report is how constricted their time is. More often then not when you’re on an all-inclusive holiday, things like meals and resort activities are at set times with no room for flexibility, often crushing any spontaneity or adventuring for your own. If you want a well-deserved lie in and a late breakfast, you may simply have to miss the holiday-included one and pay more elsewhere for the luxury of spending your holiday how you want. Similarly, coming back a little later because you’ve discovered a lovely bit of beach you didn’t want to rush away from and thus missing dinner? Again, that’s more money that your all-inclusive holiday isn’t accounting for.

While it can be convenient to have perks such as meals ready and waiting for you, it’s often a complaint of many travellers that their schedules must be so ridged and the potential for spontaneity is limited.

With a self-catered villa or apartment, you have the benefit of complete freedom and it doesn’t mean you have to pay significantly more either. With a little planning you can eat the meals you want, when you want, and it also allows for you to stumble on something new and exciting too.

2. Your Choices Are Limited  

all inclusive versus self catered limited choices woman choosing food

All inclusive holidays are appealing in that they offer simplicity, but often at the cost of choice. While you might be dazzled by the sound of activities and tours being included in your holiday package, as well as having at least two meals a day ready for you, the fact remains that the things included might not be to your taste. You might not be able to have the food that suits your dietary requirements for instance, and the included tours may not be what you’re interested in.  Combined with the lack of flexibility it can sometimes feel from a traveller’s point of view, as though they’re being dragged on someone else’s holiday, rather than taking one of their own.

With a self-catered option, you can plan out your week to get exactly the holiday you want.

Rather than spending extra money on your all-inclusive option to get the food and entertainment you really want, with a self-catered villa or apartment you can tailor your week to suit yourself and get it right the first time around. 

3. Getting That ‘We’re The Only Ones Here’ Feeling

all inclusive versus self catered  woman reading alone on holiday

Another factor that holiday goers often bring up is how limited their privacy is when on an all-inclusive holiday. From huge dining rooms with a whole host of other tourists, to sharing the resort pool, it can sometimes feel a little less special and more like a school trip!

The beauty of a self-catered option like a private apartment or villa is that you can bask in your own space surrounded by your friends and family, whether that be eating together on the terrace or relaxing together in the pool and with a whole host of budget villas and apartments available in popular locations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, it needn’t cost the earth to have the holiday you really want and deserve.

4. The Authentic Experience

all inclusive versus self catered mature couple walking together

It’s hard to feel like you’re truly imbibing the culture of somewhere when you’re being herded into coach trips and sitting in all-inclusive dining spaces along with a group of other travellers. Everyone looks for something different on holiday, but most of us at least like the freedom to explore, experience and be spontaneous, and often an all-inclusive holiday can strip a little of that away.

With a self-catered villa or apartment, you have the freedom to make your own choices and take the road less travelled when choosing what to do and where to go. With plenty of tourists’ boards, travel blogs and websites, you can easily find out what’s going on in any given location, but better than that you can simply head out of the door and discover it all for yourself without any need to rush back!

5. You Might Pay More Than You Bargained For

all inclusive versus self catered piggy bank made of sand

The big selling point of all-inclusive holidays is of course that they’re painted as the cheaper option, but as we’ve briefly seen, this isn’t always the case. All-inclusive holidays can be a false economy with people often spending at least a couple of hundred extra on meals, drinks and entertainment that’s not included in their package. With a self-catered holiday villa or apartment, you can budget for the entire time you’re on holiday and be much less likely to stray from your budget as you’ll be getting what you want the first time around!

There’re many things in life to compromise on, but a holiday with your nearest and dearest shouldn’t be one of them. With a wide selcetion of villas and apartments available to suit every budget, you can have the adventure you deserve without breaking the bank. 

To rent a holiday villa or apartment and start your own adventure, click here.