How to Make the Most of an All-Inclusive Holiday
And by "make the most", I don't mean how to stuff as many pastries into your knickers as possible at breakfast time!
One of the things that always put me off All-Inclusive holidays was the fear of not being able to fully experience the country I was visiting.
I like to eat at small, independent restaurants, immerse myself in the local history of a place and discover hidden places away from hordes of tourists.
With everything provided for at your hotel, there is a tendency to see people never leave - simply drinking and eating their holiday away, never visiting some of the cool places just outside the resort. As an avid Self-Caterer, I am always shocked to see people do this.
However, I recently took the plunge and booked your typical All-Inclusive package to the Canaries. And, I’ve got to admit, I bloody loved it.
Paying for everything in advance enabled me to travel stress-free, safe in the knowledge that I didn’t have to spend even more money when I arrived. It also meant that I wasn’t fretting every day about budgeting and leaving myself enough Euros to last until the end of the week.
On top of this, I was shocked to find that I still explored the Island. So, I thought I’d share some tips with you on how to make the most of your All-Inclusive holidays and prove that you don’t have to be stuck inside the hotel the whole time to make it worth your money.
Research, research, research.
Before you jump on that plan, have a plan of what things you may like to visit. For me, all this required was a simple “Things to do in…” search on Google and Trivago; this brought up a number of attractions, historical points of interest and popular spots to try.
Having a bit of an itinerary in mind can really help you once you’re there. If you arrive not having a clue and then do your research, you could be wasting valuable exploring time! Or even worse, you could hear about an awesome place to visit from the person sat next to you on the plane home.
Avoid this, by finding out all the cool destinations in advance.
Get out of the hotel.
Well, this one is pretty obvious. But, if you want to sample the culture of a place, it’s best to peel yourself away from your sun lounger and go on an adventure.
This could mean a quick walk to the local beach or an interesting museum/gallery, or you could even hire a car for a day or so. Excursions provided by your Tour Operator are nothing to be sniffed at either, we went on an incredible one that took us around the whole of the North of Fuerteventura for under £50.
And, don’t be afraid to head out for the whole day. Most places that do All-Inclusive holidays will kindly provide you with a packed-lunch if you ask for one. If not, you could always subtly sneak some rolls from the breakfast bar…
Sample some local cuisine.
Find out what the natives eat and sample some for yourself. We ate out on one of the nights during our holiday, but we’d planned to eat out at least a couple of times. Yes, you do miss out on your pre-paid-for buffet, but it’s a brilliant way to mix things up and enhance your experience of the country.
If you really don't fancy straying from your hotel's restaurant, you could take home some of the local produce instead. We picked up some delicious goats cheese and some honey rum to enjoy when back in England.
Do you prefer All Inclusive packages or Self-Catering? How do you like to holiday? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.