Palma.—All Inclusive holidays may now account for well over a third (37.1 per cent) of all overseas package holidays in the UK but new research by Post Office Travel Money has found that more than three-quarters of UK holidaymakers who chose to go All Inclusive
Included in the price you are already paying. – almost two in five of those surveyed - ended up paying for extras they expected to be covered within the package price.

Post Office Travel Money compared the prices of all inclusive and B&B holiday packages in six popular European destinations over the summer months and for the B&B trips added the price of drinks and meals for a week taken from its ongoing Holiday Costs Barometere research.

The biggest potential saving was found in Portugal's Algarve, where savvy travellers could save more than £648 per couple by swapping an all inclusive holiday for a B&B one.

In the Algarve taking the B&B route in July 2013 and adding meals and drinks will cost two people £857 - £648 less than the cheapest all inclusive package (£1'505).

A July B&B package including meals and drinks was also cheaper than an all inclusive option in Cyprus by around £144 and in the Costa Blanca by over £5. However, going all inclusive worked out slightly cheaper along the coast in the Costa del Sol by £6 and would put more than £54 in the pocket in Corfu and Majorca.

For those succumbing to all inclusive buffet boredom, this would be more than enough to cover a couple of meals out in either resort.
According to consumer research conducted for the All Inclusive Holiday Report, 3.5 million all inclusive holidaymakers – one-in-six - admitted paying for a la carte meals to avoid the repetition of eating in the hotel buffet restaurant. For this group of people the potential savings to be made by swapping to a B&B holiday could be even greater. At an average of over £30 per meal, the Post Office estimates that all inclusive holidaymakers who paid to eat a la carte collectively spent £104.5 million extra, 36 per cent more than last year.

Given this trend, the report investigated attitudes to buffet meals, finding that fewer of those who took all inclusive trips in Europe were positive about the experience. One-in-six said the buffet was ‘like eating a canteen meal' - double the number of long haul holidaymakers who felt this. One-in-ten said that the cheapness of their package failed to make up for poor quality food, while a quarter of holidaymakers paid for meals and drinks in local bars and restaurants because they got bored of the buffet.

Majorca is the cheapest destination Despite this, almost three-quarters of the holidaymakers surveyed rated buffet food quantity as good, while over three-in-five said that taste, quality and choice was also good.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Our research has shown that European all inclusive resorts consistently offer less than their long haul counterparts so holidaymakers need to be aware of what is included in order to avoid getting caught out. “We found that the All Inclusive route is not always cheaper. “In some destinations like the Algarve and Spanish Costas where restaurant prices have fallen dramatically this year, it may be cheaper to book a B&B package and eat out each day. “It also depends on when you are travelling because prices vary quite significantly from month to month, depending on peak and off-peak seasons for each resort. “The only destination we researched where all inclusive was consistently cheaper was Majorca.”

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