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All Inclusive or Half Board?

(21 Posts)
CheeseEloise1 Tue 24-Jan-17 07:42:11

We have always done AI with our children as it seems to make life much easier when abroad. However we like the look of some HB hotels which seem far nicer looking that the AIs (looking in the Canaries for Easter holidays).
If anyone does HB, do you spend substantially more on drinks, food etc than if you were to go AI?
I suppose we are wary of making the change as it is all so new to us.
On another note, does anyone have good hotel recommendations in the Canaries?

BarbaraofSeville Tue 24-Jan-17 14:47:45

We tend to go B&B not HB or AI, because I don't like buffets for lunch or dinner, I prefer to eat somewhere where I can sit outside and be served local food.

What we do is get a big late breakfast and then have just one other proper meal out at a restaurant each day, whether this be at lunch or dinner (in Spain 'lunchtime' is generally around 2-4 pm anyway, which is when I find I am ready for it after by big breakfast at about 9-10 am).

At lunchtime, Menu del Dia is a good option as you can get 2 courses plus a drink for less than 10 euro pp. For the other meal each day, that will be either tapas in the evening after a big lunch, or a big icecream instead of lunch followed by a proper evening meal, or something like chips or a slice of pizza.

We also go to the supermarket to stock up on drinks, snacks, ice creams, along with bread, cheese, olives etc (a room with at least a fridge or preferably a kitchenette is preferable) much cheaper than buying ready made sandwiches, drinks or icecreams while out and about. I find this way to be slightly cheaper than all but the most bargain basement AI but the food and experience is nicer.

This way might not work if you are big eaters who like three large meals each day, don't generally bother with much for breakfast or absolutely hate foreign supermarkets (I quite like them) but it's what we've found works for us.

I've found that unless you pay a lot, the food quality in AI isn't that great, but in contrast, AI can be good if you've got fussy eaters who will pick up chips or whatever off a buffet, but are likely to turn their noses up at unfamiliar supermarket or restaurant food, or if you don't want the bother of a couple of supermarket trips or the minimal food prep etc.

TisapityshesaGeordie Tue 24-Jan-17 14:49:32

Doesn't all-inc make more financial sense atm, with the pound so weak?

BarbaraofSeville Tue 24-Jan-17 14:58:47

I suppose to work that out would be to look at the price of a holiday in a certain hotel online for AI and SC/BB/HB whatever, and think about whether you think you would spend the difference on the extras that you would need. (eg on jet2holidays.com this would be very easy to do).

Having said that, the OP seems to planning on staying in a hotel that doesn't do AI, which may be cheaper, as they aren't pricing in the people who pile up their food, waste loads and drink themselves silly.

This could be the case - the 3 star hotel we stayed in in Mallorca that only did HB was much nicer with better food than the 4 star hotel we stayed in Tenerife, where we stayed B&B, but the hotel did all boards up to AI.

I've found eating out in Spain, apart from some parts of Mallorca, to be cheaper than the UK, even with the weak pound, and drinks are much cheaper.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 24-Jan-17 15:08:38

We are going AI this year as with 2 teens (adult appetites, children's desire for constant drinks, ice-creams and snacks) and the weak pound, we could end up spending a fortune.

When we do go SC or B&B, we make sure to stock up on drinks and snacks in the supermarket to keep costs down. It also depends on the area, as the amount you spend on food and drink can vary greatly. It is possible and the freedom is great, but I'd do either B&B or SC rather than half board.

lovelyupnorth Tue 24-Jan-17 17:15:37

Sc or b&b all the way for me. Ai just would be my idea of hell. We tend to have a late breakfast then snack for lunch and then dinner either at villa or out. And look for the off the beaten track locations. But then again I don't do resorts in summer where Brits holiday as my idea of hell. Currently enjoying Portugal. But in summer would be awful. Found some fantastic restaurants and cracking value. But it's off season and it's lovely.

chattypatty Tue 31-Jan-17 09:08:55

Lovelyupnorth where do you recommend in Portugal. I'm looking for places not too busy.

F1GI Tue 31-Jan-17 09:19:58

I personally prefer AI with small kids. You just rock up at the dining room and get fed. No money, no hassle, no waiting, no booking, all the family can choose what appeals to them. I find my kids seeing the food helps them to choose something they'll eat (one v fussy, one eats anything).

lovelyupnorth Tue 31-Jan-17 10:27:40

We where in Vilamuria and very quiet but think it would be hell in the summer. lovely area very clean and lots of great food in easy walking distance

MrsJayy Tue 31-Jan-17 10:34:25

We went to a HB hotel in Teneriffe and it was lovely and imo the food was better than AI mine were older though we went to a supermarket and bought drinks and kept them in the fridge. Twice before we went AI and the dcs were greedy and wasteful it really bugged me that they would get a drink and leave half of it.

Ragwort Tue 31-Jan-17 10:36:06

Depends on your financial situation, I find eating out incredibly expensive, of course you usually get much better food and drink than AI and that's what we used to do pre-kids grin - but now on a much tighter income and AI makes sense.

Also with eating out there are the endless discussions about where to go/what to have etc etc. I just like the decision being taken away from me.

MrsJayy Tue 31-Jan-17 10:41:03

Yes the rocking up for lunch just takes the pressure off especially if you have younger children no whinging no whining.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 31-Jan-17 10:43:36

If you're used to going AI it's hard to switch back to HB, especially when you are travelling with children.If you've got unlimited cash it won't be a problem because you can just pay for drinks every half hour, snacks every couple of hours, ice creams/lollies every 15 minutes, but for us on a limited budget, we really missed the AI option.The indulgence of AI is part of a holiday for me, but as I said it depends upon how much money you have to throw around.

Eatingcheeseontoast Tue 31-Jan-17 10:47:38

I hate AI - but with kids it makes a lot of sense. Buying drinks, icecreams, snacks etc takes up a lot of money and also a lot of time.

Either spending time in the supermarket stocking up on snacks or having to stop because someone has got v hungry - much easier to send them off in an AI resort to forage - and it's OK if they have a huge lunch and nothing for tea...

On our own - Bread and Breakfast - we've discovered its best if we have a guaranteed breakfast that's quite large before happily exploring all day.

Wandainn Tue 31-Jan-17 14:21:56

Is cost the top consideration?
We've done both over the years. When DC were little and early greedy teens AI worked well. As others have said the constant drinks and snacks add up. However I don't believe it's actually cheaper unless you drink huge amounts of alcohol, it's just convenient.
Now DC are adults we are back to BB and eating out.
A couple of years ago we went HB in Costa Adeje and ate lunch instead of dinner. Then we ate out at lovely restaurants every night.

CocoLoco87 Tue 31-Jan-17 14:35:57

Did AI in Costa Adeje in Tenerife. Beaches are black there but there's loads to do on the island. How old are your kids? We stayed at Luabay Costa Adeje but I think that chain has been taken over.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 31-Jan-17 14:37:41

If you drink a lot like I do on holiday go AI. If you don't, go B&B

CheeseEloise1 Thu 02-Feb-17 09:08:06

Thank you everyone. Mrs Jayy, we have decided to book HB in Tenerife. We are placed close to various supermarkets so will get a stock of drinks and snacks for the room. The HBs where we were looking looked far more appealing than the AIs.

MrsJayy Thu 02-Feb-17 09:10:25

Oh enjoy

MrsJayy Thu 02-Feb-17 09:12:19

Loads of supermarkets about where we were even an iceland

Perfectlypurple Thu 02-Feb-17 09:18:50

I prefer all inclusive but that doesn't stop me eating out. It just means that all the drinks are covered and if we want a lazy evening just popping to the buffet we can. It would probably still work out cheaper to do AI and eat out every night when you factor in all the drinks etc during the day.

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