All Inclusive vs Independent Travel

11 Mar 2022 By Matt French

When you’re planning your next holiday, there’s a choice you’ll need to make. Do I go All Inclusive and get all my meals and beverages laid on at the resort, or do I go solo and try a different restaurant every day? There are pros and cons to both types of holiday, so we’ve put together a guide to help you choose. Whichever style of vacation floats your boat, we’ve got tons of holiday deals to get things off on the right foot.

All Inclusive

Buffet with colourful salads

If you want to take the unknown out of your next holiday, All Inclusive is the way to go. You’ll get buffet-style meals 3 times a day, along with snacks and soft/alcoholic drinks.

Most resorts typically include unlimited alcoholic drinks with a cut-off point late at night, and these will include local beer, wine and often cocktails made with local spirits.

For special occasions, you might consider going Ultra All inclusive. Made for indulgence, this type of holiday will give you 24-hour food, drinks and snacks, all of super-high quality. Designed for honeymoons and anniversaries, an Ultra All Inclusive break involves a serious amount of pampering.

The pros

All Inclusive holidays can be a smart choice for families. Not only will each family member get what they like to eat at mealtimes, but parents will get more time to relax without spending precious holiday time thinking about lunch and dinner.

family eating dinner outside

For families with kids, going All Inclusive can represent good value for money. Restaurant bills can really add up on holiday, especially when you have a large family to cater for.

Resorts in popular destinations like Spain and Greece offer some great deals on All Inclusive breaks over Easter and Summer holidays, meaning you can loosen the purse strings for days out at the water parks, and boat trips to see the islands.

This other advantage of an all-in-one package is that you don’t need to go anywhere at mealtimes. Depending on the location of the resort, this can be a blessing, since it may be a long distance to the nearest restaurants, or unsafe to go off-piste looking for food. Resorts in Dominican Republic and Mexico for example, are designed for guests to remain in-resort, so they’ll aways give the option of an All Inclusive package.

The cons

If you’re after an adventurous vacation full of exploring and day-long tours, an All Inclusive deal might not be for you. After paying for an all-in package, you’d be forgiven for not wanting to fork out extra for dinner because you’ve turned up late for the buffet.

Tour boat on clear blue water

Another consideration is the type of food on offer. You might not want to risk a buffet-style meal if you have allergies or you’re following a strict diet. And while you’re likely to discover plenty of delicious vegetarian options, choices for vegans may be more limited.

Independent travel

With no restrictions on where and when you can eat, doing it all under your own steam is the only way to go for many of us. Waking up late and returning to the hotel as you please makes for a relaxing vacation, while choosing a different restaurant to try out in the evenings is an exciting part of the holiday experience.

The pros

With some fantastic deals to be had on a room-only basis, you’ll be able to spend more on eating out and bar hopping in the evenings. Whether you’re after an Easter break to Spain, or a summer of sun in Cyprus, there are tons of hotels and resorts offering knock-down prices for 2022.

Turkish meze

In many destinations worldwide, eating out is what helps define the holiday experience. Whether it’s your first time sampling meze in Turkey, or tucking into tapas on the Costa Brava, dining out abroad makes holidays memorable.

With many restaurants on the continent open later than in the UK, you won’t need to worry about finding something open when you’ve retuned from that all-day boat trip in Tenerife, or you’re back late from exploring the caves in Majorca. The freedom to eat when you want is all part of the excitement.

The cons

It can be a bit of work finding places for lunch and dinner, particularly if you have fussy eaters in tow. Occasionally, restaurants and cafes may be some distance from your hotel, so you might need to arrange a taxi or hire a car, especially if travelling with little ones.

Family walking on holiday

Eating out a few times a day can add up, especially if you are travelling with older kids. As an alternative, you might consider going Half Board, where you’ll get two meals included per day, or breakfast-only, leaving you more time to explore. Some hotels and resorts only charge slightly more for Half Board than room-only, particularly in the Canary Islands and the Balearics.

Finally, All Inclusive holidays can mean kids, who are prone to get a bit noisy when they’re excited (don’t we all!?). So if you’re travelling as a couple, and you’re after an uninterrupted environment for those poolside cocktails, check out one of our many adult only hotels for your summer 2022 holiday.

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When booking with Broadway Travel we put your financial protection first, which is why our holidays that include flights are fully protected under the ATOL scheme. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) are listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate