All Inclusive versus B&B - Which countries are cheapest?

All Inclusive versus B&B - Which countries are cheapest?

Research by online travel expert Directline Holidays (www.directline-holidays.co.uk) reveals that British travellers can save money on their total holiday cost by carefully selecting the right board basis.

Sun seekers heading to Turkey and the Greek Islands may save by booking an all-inclusive deal - as food and drink prices are relatively high - while those heading to Croatia or Thailand may find that room only or half-board offers better value due to lower shopping costs. Spain retains the crown as best value destination overall.

Using the annual Post Office® Travel Money Worldwide Holiday Cost Barometer published in January 2013, Directline Holidays investigated how the cost of an all-inclusive holiday - including three daily meals and beverages – compares to the price of room only or bed and breakfast accommodation plus local meal and drink prices across a range of leading holiday hotspots.

Maria Whiteman, CEO of Directline Holidays, said: “Choosing the right holiday is about balancing your budget with your dreams, and while the lowest price is an absolute priority, we’re here to enable our customers to select the best value deal for them: the holiday that most suits their individual needs rather than simply the cheapest price tag.”

Spain topped the Barometer for value which kept total holiday spend down, reflected across all board bases from room only to half-board, with all-inclusive remaining great value compared to other short haul destinations. The Costa del Sol, traditionally a preferred destination with British sun seekers, represents notably good value for money.

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Room Only prices to Costa Del Sol departing 29 April from London Gatwick staying at 3 star Kristal Hotel start from just £250 for seven nights.

Whiteman added: “In some destinations, local wines and spirits may not be to everyone’s tastes, so it may make most sense to stay all-inclusive in a resort that offers world wines and branded spirits. In destinations such as Dubai and the Maldives all-inclusive is the best option, especially for those celebrating a special occasion, as alcohol is very expensive, restricted – or banned – outside of the tourist resorts.”

Resort prices may have fallen by 16% year-on-year, but given the daily costs in Turkey - £52.89 according to the Barometer - Directline Holidays suggests holidaymakers may be best off choosing all-inclusive accommodation. For those seeking an active break, an all-inclusive package can offer access to otherwise expensive activities such as sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, tennis and archery – even cycle hire and yoga classes are included in some resorts.

All Inclusive prices to Turkey departing 29 April from London Gatwick staying at 4 star Ideal Beach start from just £313 for seven nights, or £363 to the five star Krizantem Katya Hotel.

An all-inclusive deal in the Greek Islands, another traditional British holiday hot spot, may work out as the best value option as daily living costs rank significantly higher than in other European destinations at £57.50 per day or £402.50 per week. Some may prefer the choice of food that self-catering accommodation brings, but many all-inclusive resorts offers several restaurants and cafés that provide variety over a week or fortnight stay -  and the savings, especially in destinations such as Greece, may be significant.

All Inclusive prices to Corfu departing 29 April from London Gatwick staying at 3 star Corfu Panorama start from just £321 for seven nights, or £402 to 4 star Mareblue Beach Resort, or £429 to 5 star Marbella Beach Hotel.

While relatively high for food costs, Croatia offers low-priced beer (£1.44) and wine (£1.92), so holidaymakers planning a large celebration may find bed and breakfast the most efficient option.

B&B prices to Croatia departing 29 April from London Gatwick staying at 3 star Dalmacija start from just £283.

Thailand represents excellent value for money, especially for those keen to explore local cuisine and customs. Food and drink is relatively inexpensive and readily available, so Directline Holidays suggests those eager to get a real taste for the Far East book room only or bed and breakfast accommodation.