Wednesday, 9 May 2012

All inclusive holidays: Heaven or hell?

When it comes to booking a holiday, is your idea of heaven sitting by the pool and not having to worry about a thing or does the idea of a holiday based in one place seem like your idea of hell? 

All inclusive holidays have been in the news recently and the majority of the articles sought to illustrate how these types of holidays cause damage to the community outside of the hotels walls. Prominent travel writer Simon Calder has been quoted as saying that all inclusive holidays are the "the devil's work” and are destroying communities.

Simon Calder is entitled to his opinion but people do have the right to choose what type of holiday they go on. Demand for all inclusive holidays has soared in recent years as families try to budget for a holiday and travelling on an all inclusive basis allows people to do this whilst also allowing people to relax away from stressful jobs at home. 

It could be argued that the rise in all inclusive holidays is due to marketing from travel companies swaying consumers to go on all inclusive holidays but I would argue that it is the consumer’s demand which has lead to the rise in this type of holiday.  I am also confident that First Choice would have been brave enough to launch an all inclusive only model on a hunch that all inclusive holidays would account for 50% of holidays taken by British tourists. 

Although I enjoy watching Simon Calder on Saturday morning television and he is paid to give his personal opinion, I think that he has never been inclined to take an all inclusive holiday in the same way that some people may never be inclined to back pack around Cambodia. Surely there must never be a right or wrong way to take a holiday and all that matters is that the person who booked the holiday gets the experience that they would like from it?

Back to the opening question, do you never take all inclusive holidays so that you can explore the local area during day and night time or do you always take them safe in the knowledge that you know what you are getting during your holiday? 

What we must remember is - the choice is yours! I hope that everyone enjoys their holidays this year if you are lucky enough to be going away.


  1. I've been on two 5* all inclusive holidays, one in Antigua and the other in Cancun, Mexico. I have to say that both holidays were FANTASTIC. The fact that you don't have to think about money every time you fancy a drink or a snack is bliss and the quality of the food and service was first class.

    We ate out a couple of times and went on a few excursions which made for nice variation variation during our stay - so all in all its a 'heaven' vote for me!

    1. sounds like Sandals to me, I'm all for it.

  2. We do sometimes take AI hols but that does not stop us from exploring or eating out occasionaly, the hols we do take that are AI are usually miles from anywhere so it does not affect other businesses. It is convenient when doing a pool/beach day so don't have to carry money around. We have stayed B&B and half board , it all depends on where we want to travel to. I do sympathise with businesses that are surrounded with AI hotels.