So this is something I’ve been curious about quite a bit — how do YOU choose to take your holiday? If you’ve read my recent post about my weekend in Cesenatico, you must know that this was my first time at an all-inclusive hotel. The hotel included, among all the other basic amenities, an option to get all your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the hotel. This was my very first experience with an all-inclusive resort and while I enjoyed it, I can’t say I’d want to do it very often. The spoils only worked so far on me.
Here’s what I see as the benefits and drawbacks for the different types of holidays.
Basic travel holiday
Your basic travel holiday is going to be something you probably put together yourself. You find the cheapest flight, you book a hotel (or maybe even a backpacker hostel) and you figure out your tours and activities when you’re in town. It’s probably the most cost-effective holiday, but it also requires the most amount of work.
So much of the travel industry works these days with extra add-on fees for everything from checked bags on flights to wine in the mini-bar, but plenty of holiday providers still provide all-inclusive options. Whether it’s a resort in Mallorca or a big hotel in Greece, these resorts often times offer package deals where you can receive all your meals and activities arranged through the hotel. It certainly takes the hassle out of arranging the trip yourself, but it all comes at a cost.
Renting apartments or villas
Maybe you want the luxury of a resort, but with more of your own flexibility? Companies like James Villas offer tourists a chance to book an entire villa in a particular destination. Great for groups or family trips, it gives you the room and space you might want, but the flexibility you need to make your holiday as cost-effective as possible. Likewise, many people opt to book an apartment through a service like AirBNB where they have their own private room, and the option to get out and explore the destination as they please.
Cruises seem to go one or the other way: either all-inclusive or heavy with the add-ons. When I took a Nile River cruise in Egypt, it came with just about everything. After my weekend at a holiday resort in Italy, I can definitely understand the appeal of a full-service holiday.
What’s your preferred way to travel? Do you like the flexibility of choice or the luxury of having someone decide for you?