Finding the holiday board that works for you and the experience you are looking for to regenerate your batteries is so important, in preparation for the long working year ahead, especially for those who only have one vacation per year.
Here is a useful list of pros and cons challenging self-catering versus all-inclusive holidays.
The worry and hassle that goes into planning a holiday can be confusing and frustrating. From wondering where to go and how you’ll travel, to when and what you’ll do. Not to mention concerns on what you’ll eat and who you will meet and how to pack that suitcase for the activities and, what above all will it all cost!!
By choosing an all-inclusive holiday most of this can be avoided and provides a calm and exciting build-up to your holiday, safe in the knowledge that everything is booked and already planned and paid for in advance.
Maybe you can’t think of anything worse than having to drive to the supermarket and lug a big food shop back to your apartment when you’re meant to be on holiday. And don’t even mention cooking meals, washing up and keeping the place clean.
By choosing All-inclusive this option removes all the hassle.
An all-inclusive holiday does what it says. Once booked and paid for, everything is generally included in the price. With all-inclusive deals, you needn’t worry about how much each drink costs, or what will be the grand total when you come to check out. You can, quite simply, leave your wallet in your hotel safe. You’ll also never go hungry with the endless buffets serving everything you could wish for.
Although self-catering can sometimes be a cheaper option, your all-inclusive holiday means as everything is already paid for, the only thing you need to worry about spending money on are the presents for loved ones, and yourself!. But, be sure to check what’s included in your all-inclusive package before you book. As while many hotels offer brilliant all-inclusive packages which include everything you need, some have limitations which may catch you out if you haven’t budgeted for them.
Most all-inclusive resorts will have a comprehensive activities program, which means adults can unwind and take a break while the kids have fun, all under the watchful eye of the animation team or childcare staff. Kids’ clubs will have your family joining in with football, volleyball, water sports, arts and crafts, and cooking activities while meeting children their own age. All-inclusive resorts don’t just provide activities for the children, you can join in with as much or as little as you’d like. There’ll be water sports, and swimming pool classes, games and bikes to hire, so there’ll be plenty to get involved in should you wish at no extra cost.
Meet new people
You’ll be in a complex with other tourists, so making new friends is almost inevitable with so many free activities to try.
Travelling on a self-catering basis allows you complete freedom, and can often save money, too. Dining out if not eating in the hotel can end up costing a lot, whereas with self-catering, you can buy and cook when and what you like.
If you’re in self-catered accommodation, purchasing ingredients from local shops and cooking dinner will save you money, plus you’ll get to try the best local delicacies and foods and live and appreciate the local culture.
Groups can often benefit from choosing to self-cater, as mass catering is always a savvy way to go. By renting a villa for a group price, it works out far cheaper per head than individual hotel rooms, all-inclusive or not. They work out particularly well if you’re travelling in a large group as you can split the costs of everything from accommodation to food, drink and other holiday essentials. And, you can all put money into a holiday kitty and take it in turns to cook and do the food shopping.
You’re much more likely to explore your surroundings and get to know the culture of the area, rather than restricting yourselves to the activities of the hotel or resort. A self-catering package means you won’t feel obliged to eat dinner in the hotel every night, leaving you free to explore the local restaurants and cafés and eat at the times you prefer rather than on an habitual timetable..
Self-catering also ensures meals you know you’re going to love eating as and when you like, without breaking normal home routines. So if the kids are sleepy but you’re not hungry, they can have tea and off to bed, leaving you to an evening by yourselves – candlelit dinner by the pool under the stars or under the grapevine.
Another reason for self-catering is that a lot of business people spend enough time in hotels so that when it comes to their holidays, they look for some home comforts and flexibility of self-catering, home from home.
In self catering boards you don’t need to dress for dinner ! There’s no need to worry about the surrounding hotel rooms, because you’ve got your own space entirely. A fully-equipped kitchen is yours to use and washing machine and self-catered accommodation often comes with a private garden, and swimming pool, so you’ll never have to worry about laying towels out on a sun bed spot in the morning.
Unless you’re willing to pay top rates, often hotel rooms tend to follow the same theme. Your own private accommodation gives you a furnished house or villa with a lot more room and character, than a hotel complex, for a feeling of home from home.
The food and drink
Whether you want to keep healthy snacks in the cupboard for the kids, or like to have a glass of wine or two with your evening meal, travelling on a self-catering basis will allow you to buy all of your items for less in local shops, markets or supermarkets – so you can enjoy guilt-free treats.
Want to eat breakfast at midday? No problem. Or perhaps the kids like to eat their main meal at 5pm but you prefer to wait until they’re in bed? Self-catering accommodation offers you the flexibility to come and go as you please and to set your own holiday timetable.
This flexibility can also help you to budget as you can choose to nip back to your holiday home for lunch after a morning of exploring or make a packed lunch before you set off.
Travelling on this basis is also a great choice if someone in your group has a special dietary requirement, or if you want to cook familiar meals.
Here is why we believe a holiday home has such an advantage over hotels…
Privacy and space and you choose your company
When we compare the standard 20m2 hotel room/cubicle/box with a private apartment or house, it’s easy to see why guests might prefer the space that a self-catering holiday rental offers. But perhaps even more compelling than the extra space, is the added privacy you get with a holiday home rental; No worrying about the maid coming round when you are otherwise engaged, no shushing a crying child in the night for fear of disturbing neighbours behind flimsy partition wall, and complete freedom to pad around all day in your PJ´s if you so wish. It’s often not that hard to find a private rental that even the most devout naturists would be pleased with, now that´s privacy you won’t find anywhere else!
Live by your own rules
It’s all very nice being in a hotel and waited on hand and foot, but after a few days doesn’t it just get a little tiring? Setting the alarm early to beat the breakfast queues, making yourself vacant right when you fancy a siesta because your maid needs to come in, or suffering the music man blaring out The Macarena until you can finally get some sleep at midnight? In a private holiday home on the other hand, nobody cares if you want to eat breakfast at midday, or if you choose to be the one serenading by the pool at midnight (so long as there are no neighbours in earshot!) …and the sun beds certainly won´t all have been reserved by 8am.
Guests who choose to stay in private holiday homes are likely to be naturally more adventurous than those who prefer the safety and familiarity of a hotel complex. Hotels may have everything under one roof and make it easy, but holiday homes can represent a far richer travel experience because guests really do have to go out and experience local life – even if it just means popping to the local shops for groceries.
To summarise – the top reasons to choose a self catering holiday home over a hotel
Privacy & space
Renting a holiday home gives everyone the option to spread out for privacy or to get together and socialise under one roof.
Holiday homes are often better value than hotels, especially when there’s more than two staying. Hotel meals, extra Wi-Fi, parking and mini bar charges can cost a fortune.
Facilities & entertainment
Forget paying extra for in-room movies or Wi-Fi. Most holiday rentals offer free Wi-Fi, multi room tv’s, dvd’s, games, books, and rainy day items to keep everyone entertained. You can also do your laundry on holiday, which can cut down on luggage costs.
You don’t have to worry about hearing the TV, screaming kids, foot traffic, early morning showers or noisy lifts through paper thin walls.
Bring the pets
Many pet friendly holiday rentals not only let you bring your fury friend along, they often provide amenities for animals.
Food, glorious food
With a fully fitted kitchen to hand, preparing family meals with local produce and alfresco dining is part of the holiday experience. Avoid the lukewarm repetitive buffet in hotels.
Live like a local
One of the main reasons travellers stay in holiday homes is to experience the local neighbourhood and culture. To shop where the locals shop and dine at local restaurants.