A guide to all inclusive holidays

by Julie on December 17, 2018

Over the past few years, demand for all inclusive holidays has risen sharply, and it’s easy to see why. After all, what’s not to like about a package that includes flights, accommodation, transfers, three meals a day, drinks and snacks? It takes the hassle out of planning a trip, and you can order as many beers and ice creams as you like without worrying about money.

There are now so many all inclusive holidays available that it can be difficult to choose which one to pick. Here’s our guide to choosing the all inclusive package that’s right for you.

Curated collections

Looking for a romantic break for two and don’t want to be disturbed by children? Are you interested in staying somewhere where the guests are as keen on enjoying the nightlife as you are? Or do you want guaranteed luxury? If you have very specific holiday requirements, then look out for hotel collections catering to a specific type of customer.

For example, Riu resorts are renowned for being high-end properties offering great services. They also have distinctive ranges – their Clubhotels are great for those looking for an upbeat atmosphere, while Riu Palace Hotels are more luxurious properties, perfect for couples. TUI’s Sensimar range are adults-only hotels where you’re guaranteed a tranquil location, culinary diversity and four- or five-star luxury. Meanwhile, their Family Life hotels have varied activity programmes for kids and adults.

Location, location, location

When you’re booking an all inclusive holiday, make sure you check carefully where your hotel is located. Although it’s in the area of your choice, look closely and you might discover that the town centre or the beach is a couple of miles away. This could prove inconvenient.

Some hotels provide a shuttle service to popular nearby attractions, including water parks and beaches. Check to see if the shuttle is a part of your all inclusive, or you may incur extra costs.

Activities and amenities on offer

Since an all inclusive holiday covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, chances are that you’ll spend a great deal of your holiday relaxing at your hotel. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that there’s enough going on there to keep you entertained.

If you have an active family, try to find a hotel which has lots of sports on offer, and some enjoyable evening entertainment. Meanwhile, if you want to be pampered, look for a hotel which offers amenities such as a spa and hot tubs.

You’ll find that not all activities are covered by your all-inclusive package. Water sports such as scuba diving will often cost extra. However, if you read the small print you’ll rarely be surprised by hidden costs – websites are normally very upfront about what your holiday includes.

These days, hotels are making an effort to improve and increase the activities they offer for free. Many upmarket properties offer free yoga and fitness classes, entertainment shows, and even a couple of dinners in their gourmet a la carte restaurants. Club Med is well known for the great range of activities covered under its all inclusive breaks, such as kayaking, sailing and archery.

Best sites for finding deals

There are hundreds of travel websites out there that offer great deals on all inclusive packages. Some of the most highly regarded include First Choice, Thomson, Holiday Hypermarket, TUI and Thomas Cook. These websites display any money-off offers on their websites, so you can easily search for a bargain. Many of them also have a mailing list you can subscribe to, so you’ll be the first to learn about the latest deals.

It’s also worth mentioning that many all-inclusive breaks can be booked through multiple providers, so if you find a hotel you like it’s worth checking multiple websites to find the best price. Or use a travel aggregator such as Holiday Pirates or Travel Supermarket to see a destination’s deals listed.

Read the reviews

Holiday websites are trying to sell you an all inclusive package. While they do offer accurate information, it’s worth bearing in mind that they will always depict a hotel in a positive light, even if it’s less than perfect. That’s why customer reviews are a useful way to tell what a hotel’s really like.

Of course, you have to take each review with a pinch of salt – some people love to complain about anything, and may have different standards to you. But it’s a good way to get up to date information, such as the hotel being under construction, or insider tips about what rooms to ask for.

This advice should help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your all inclusive package. It’s time to begin making holiday plans for 2019!

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