5 reasons why all inclusive is still the best bet for families


Photo credit: WanderingtheWorld (www.ChrisFord.com) ‘Grand Velas’ Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Hotel & Resort via photopin (license)

When booking a family holiday, there are invariably a range of options alongside your accommodation. These include self catering, where you have to arrange all your own meals, whether that’s eating out or dining in; half board, which includes breakfast and dinner; full board, which is the same plus lunch; and all inclusive – which is essentially everything.

However, as Travel Republic advises, all inclusive options vary so make sure you check the details for specific hotels. It’s wise, before booking, to make sure you’re getting what you want from the deal – the kids will definitely be impressed with unlimited ice cream!

The all inclusive option certainly seems like the most expensive but don’t just write it off straight away. Do your research and you might find it the best bet when holidaying with your family. Here’s why…

A holiday really is a holiday

Think about it – you’re on holiday and you really want to relax while there. The bonus of an all inclusive holiday is that you really don’t have to do anything in terms of preparing food, making meals, and tidying up afterwards – for the whole duration of your holiday. How appealing does that sound?

Fussy eaters? No problem!

While browsing the local bars and restaurants in your resort to decide on somewhere to eat is a good way to see the area in which you’re staying, it can also become tiresome. We’ve all trudged around streets squinting at menus and trying, quickly, to make a decision on suitability balanced against the rumbling tummies of the kids.

With all inclusive, dining is easy – just turn up, get seated straight away, and start eating. There’s no fuss and even the pickiest of eaters will have plenty of choice.


With all inclusive, the cost is all up front, of course. So while you’ll pay more on booking there’s very little to spend when you’re on holiday. That means few hidden surprises, and no worrying about whether you can afford to splurge on dessert… in fact, you can eat two, or three desserts! It’s a nice feeling knowing that you don’t have to hand over any extra cash.

It can work out cheaper

You’ll pay more for your overall holiday, but if you sit down and calculate the final cost of an all inclusive holiday against self catering you may well find that it works out cheaper. Figure out an accurate daily budget for food and drinks.

For a family of four, how much would it cost, realistically for lunch and dinner every day, assuming breakfast is included? Let’s guess at £60, which could be achieved if lunch is bought and prepared in your apartment and dinner is eaten out. Multiply that by seven and that’s £420, and that’s probably a conservative estimate. Compare with the extra cost of upgrading to all inclusive and you could be pleasantly surprised.


Here’s a scenario which might sound familiar. You’re relaxing around the pool when you start feeling hungry – it’s time for lunch, but your teenage son is busy playing football in one of the holiday clubs and his session doesn’t finish for another 45 minutes. No matter; the rest of you can go off to eat after letting him know what you’re doing, and he’s free to continue his game before meeting you when he’s ready.

You’re happy for him to make his own way to the dining area as it’s within the complex, and the lunch session is on from 12-3pm. Flexibility is a real plus for families who don’t want to feel rushed and like they have to fit into an itinerary.

The advantages of all inclusive family holidays are clear, though it ultimately comes down to personal choice and the way you want to spend your time while away.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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