All-inclusive holidays: cheaper or more expensive?

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All inclusive holidays

All inclusive holidays may be more expensive than other types of holiday

The latest Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer suggests that all-inclusive holidays work out more expensive in the vast majority of cases than bed and breakfast packages.

The traditional thinking is that all-inclusive holidays are cheaper and that many people prefer them because they know the almost exact amount of money that they will spend on them.

Not so says Post Office Money. Out of 10 destinations it surveyed, it found that all-inclusive packages were the cheaper option only in Mallorca. In all other countries, it claimed families would save money by opting for bed and breakfast accommodation and eating out.

In the survey, 36% of those who chose an all-inclusive for their last holiday said they did so because they thought it offered good value and they wouldn’t need to take any extra spending money.  However, the Post Office found that families staying in an all-inclusive holidays spend an average of £431 extra in their hotels and in the local resorts, adding 14% to 21% to the overall cost of their holiday.

It found that 82% spend an average of £139.31 extra on meals, drinks and other items in their all-inclusive hotel and nine in 10 spend an average of £292 in European resorts and an average of more than £320 in far-flung resorts on food and drink outside their hotels. Then these additional costs were taken into consideration, it found that in nine out of 10 European destinations, families would have been better off if they’d bought a bed and breakfast package.

The biggest saving is in Turkey where an all-inclusive week in Marmaris for a family of four – including the additional cash they are likely to spend once on holiday – costs £2,771.55, whilst the total spent staying on a B&B basis is £1,563.38.

Post Office Money claimed families could save £1,064.67 in Sorrento in Italy if they opt for a B&B package over all-inclusive, while in the Costa del Sol it claimed families could save more than 20% if they choose a B&B holiday over an all-inclusive. While the B&B gains are lower in Crete, Costa Blanca, Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach, Cyprus and Malta, they still provide savings of between £169 and £422, making the all-inclusive option up to 18% higher.

To arrive at its conclusions, Post Office Travel Money compared an average of the three cheapest seven-night B&B and all-inclusive holiday packages departing from London airports on July 28 and 29, as advertised by, except Sorrento, which was based on TUI and Thomas Cook prices.

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