When planning your next tour, accommodation and food are likely to eat up a large slice of your budget. It’s therefore important to consider your options to obtain the best value possible, without having to make too many compromises.

Somehow, though, in spite of all of our best intentions, holidays always seem to cost more than we expect. We go each time with our plan in hand, and each time, we come back wondering where all the money went.

Budgeting for the big things like travel and lodging is pretty straightforward. Smaller expenses are usually the cause of unplanned spending. Entertainment, food and drinks are more difficult to plan well for since these items can be spontaneous in nature.

However, it’s possible to avoid overspending and still feel like you’re treating yourself well. One possible solution is an all-inclusive holiday. Let’s have a look at this type of package, and make this the year when you come back with both happy memories and a few quid in your wallet.

What’s Included:

All-inclusive holidays can really help you stay within your budget. You pay a fixed rate for all the essentials. As long as you don’t spend money outside the resort, you’re all set. If you prefer not to have to worry about your spending while on holiday, these types of packages can be ideal.

All-inclusive resorts are really the equivalent of an insurance policy. You pay a set amount in exchange for having access to everything you need when you need it.

What’s Not Included:

However, you won’t have the same level of freedom. Unless you want to pull out your wallet again, you’ll have to confine your food, beverages, and entertainment to the resort. Also, if you decide you don’t like the resort you’ve chosen, you’re stuck with what you’ve got.

Holidaying the more traditional way, you can always consider other options and head down the street to another hotel or restaurant, if you’re not pleased. You have to decide how much you value flexibility.

Also, you’ve already paid for the package, even if you don’t use it. Be sure you’re going to get your money’s worth. For example, if your idea of a holiday is sitting on the beach most of the time and eating one meal a day, you’re going to be paying for a lot more than you’re using, with an all-inclusive package. In this case, you might be better off with a traditional holiday package.

Consider these ideas to minimise your potential risk when booking an all-inclusive resort:

1. Look for amenities that suit you. Consider what you want to eat. Do burgers and potato chips sound good to you? Maybe you want a holiday that includes gourmet food in a nice restaurant setting.

* Some less expensive places will only provide water, soda, and a few more beverages. Do you want to have access to mixed drinks and fine wine? Many resorts will not include alcoholic beverages unless you pay extra.

* Do you enjoy the types of entertainment they offer?

* How is the customer service?

2. Consider the quality of the accommodation. Some resorts are just basic, while others are extremely plush. Be sure you’re getting the best combination of what you can afford and what you want.

3. Do your homework. Researching the quality of the resort is the most important task you can undertake before you book your holiday. In the internet age, reviews and suggestions are easy to find. Low quality establishments are easier to route out than ever before.

All things considered, an all-inclusive package can be a great way to put a cap on your holiday spending. There are no surprises, and you can eat and drink without worrying about your spending and how much money you have left.

Holidays commonly result in overspending, but with an all-inclusive package, you can stay in charge of your finances even as you play.

To make further savings, consider going in the low season when prices will be more affordable.  However, be sure to research any destination before booking.  The cheapest time of year doesn’t necessarily mean the best time to go. For example, the best time to visit Vietnam isn’t going to be during the monsoon season, or the best time to visit Ibiza isn’t in October if you want to enjoy the best of the summer. These scenarios would, of course, have a negative impact on your holiday experience and probably not worth any potential savings.

The bottom line is there is no definitive answer as to whether all-inclusive holidays will save you money but by considering all these factors you can make an informed decision as to whether they are the best choice for you.