Are all-inclusive holidays cheaper than self catering?

  • Self catering holidays often start with good intentions
  • Eating out often busts your budget – with tips usually forgotten
  • See a breakdown of a self catering holiday vs. all-inclusive

If you’ve not booked an all-inclusive holiday before, you might be wondering if they offer good value for money. As you’ve come to all-in Travel Club, I hope you’ll excuse me for assuming that you’re partial to the occasional bargain and want to get the best value out of your break abroad? If this is you, then booking all-inclusive could prove to be the best way for you to save money abroad.

Isn’t it cheaper to book self-catering?

One of the biggest barriers to working out whether something offers good value is often your own brain. Retail psychology has repeatedly shown that our brains love convincing us that something that costs £9.99 is noticeably cheaper than if it was £10, and the way that you break down the cost of a holiday can be the same.

For example; if you were to say that flights to somewhere like Spain are around £150 and accommodation works out to be around £300 for a week, you could say that your holiday only cost you £450. While this is sort of correct, you still have to pay for your food and any activities you want to do, and these costs can soon rack up. You might find that all-inclusive works out cheaper overall, or at the very least roughly the same as going self-catered.

Make 2017 a holiday year

But aren’t things cheaper in some foreign countries?

It’s fair to argue that because your food and drinks cost less in some countries; it’s cheaper to go down the self-catered route. Keep in mind that many all-inclusive hotels source their produce locally, potentially using the same suppliers as the local restaurants, and because tour operators do their best to keep costs down, whether you’re paying for your meals before you depart or when you arrive, you might find that there’s little difference in the price.

What’s a good example?

Let’s do a bit of a breakdown. Let’s say that you’re going away for 7 days to somewhere like Spain. In Spain, the cost of living fluctuates at just over 20% lower than in Britain, with restaurant prices being just over 30% lower than they are at home. So yes, things are cheaper on average.

Consumer prices in Spain are 22.05% lower than in the United Kingdom
Restaurant prices in Spain are 31.15% lower than in the United Kingdom
*data gathered from Numbeo

Say you eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and you want to enjoy a morning coffee, get a few bottles of water while you’re out, and perhaps a couple of beers and some wine in the evening. We’ll work this out in Euros before we convert it into pounds sterling, but keep in mind that these prices are estimates:

  • 3 meals at around €10 each – €30
  • A Cappuccino – €2
  • 4 small bottles of water at €1.25 each – €5
  • 2 Beers at €2 each – €4
  • A bottle of wine – €5

Daily cost €46 x 7 days = £275 (converted into pounds).

Adding this £275 to our original estimate of £450 for flights and accommodation brings you up to £725 for a week before you’ve spent any money on anything else. You can see how this stacks up to some of the all-inclusive deals that we have sourced for July:

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If the price is similar why go all-inclusive?

One of the big benefits of going all-inclusive is that you know that everything is covered. You don’t have to worry about carrying around large amounts of cash, you don’t have to haggle over price and you usually don’t have to worry about the local customs surrounding tipping (although tipping is generally advisable if you want to receive the best service). Put simply; if your ideal holiday entails relaxing and unwinding without worrying about what you’re going to eat and drink as the day slips away; then all-inclusive is probably the ideal choice for you.

Okay, but where should I go?

We like the idea of being all-in, which is why at all-in Travel Club we don’t just source the latest all-inclusive bargains, and we have also put together little guides on a selection of destinations. We’ve covered the essentials such as the weather in case you don’t like it too hot or too cold, or if you want to know if it’s okay to travel in the winter. We’ve also given an overview of each destination, as well as listed some of the excursions that are worth looking into.

We’ll keep adding to these guides, so check them out to see if you can get any good ideas on where to go next.

What was that about deals?

We keep track of the latest and best all-inclusive holiday deals out there to make sure that when you go all-in you can save a bit of money. While we post the latest deals right here on, we also share them on our twitter, facebook and Instagram accounts, but if you want to really take the effort out of finding a bargain, then sign up to our newsletter and you’ll get deals delivered directly to your inbox.

What are your thoughts on all-inclusive holidays? Have you been on a great one recently? Come across any good deals that we’ve yet to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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