Self catering or all inclusive, which is better?

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Self Catering or All Inclusive?

We recently conducted a survey to find out which types of holidays people preferred, self catering or all inclusive. They each have their pros and cons.

Some people have had terrible experiences with all inclusive holidays whilst others stated that they would only holiday all inclusive.

Out of 289 people asked, 78% voted for self catering leaving just 22% saying they prefer to go all inclusive. This survey did not require people to tell us why, however, the only comments received on the post were complaints about their experience of going all inclusive and why they would never do it again.

self catering or all inclusive

Based on the comments received, we have completed a list of pros and cons for both to help you decide whether to opt for self catering or all inclusive for your next holiday.

Self Catering


  • Eat, drink & experience new restaurants
  • Choice and quality food and drinks
  • Gets you out of the hotel and enjoy the attractions
  • More sun loungers available at the pool side


  • Budget spending money
  • On site shops and bars charge higher rates

All inclusive


  • Do not need to worry about spending money
  • Do not need to leave the hotel
  • Brings the local bar prices down
  • Kids can help themselves to whatever they like


  • Watered down spirits
  • Same food every day
  • Food often cold
  • Eating and drinking out of plastic
  • People eating and drinking in the pool
  • People do not leave the hotel so sun loungers always taken
  • Poor quality food and drinks, having to pay more for drinks you like
  • Kids putting fingers in the food
  • Dirty hotels with food and plastic cups constantly on the floor
  • Drunk people from morning to night
  • Gain too much weight
  • Boring onsite evening entertainment
  • My 8 year old kid drank beer that was left by the pool!
  • My husband and son got food poisoning

self catering or all inclusive

While both seem to have the same amount of pros, all inclusive has more than 6 times the amount of cons. Even 2 of the pros for all inclusive can be looked at differently and can be considered cons by most people.

One pro stated kids can help themselves to what ever they wanted. The majority of parents these days would like to see exactly what their children are consuming. Whilst it might seem good to force local businesses outside of the hotel to bring down their prices, this is extremely bad for the economy with thousands of bars and restaurants going out of business each year.

In 2018 the Daily Mail wrote an article stating that 1 in 6 people in the previous 3 years became sick during an all inclusive holiday, with 77% claiming it was from eating reheated food from the buffet. Read full article here… 

Try a self catering holiday

If you have not tried to holiday self catering before, then you maybe interested in a promotional holiday. Promotional holidays are designed for people to come and sample holiday ownership resorts to understand a different way of holidaying. Sample hotels that you wouldn’t normally stay at for a fraction of the cost. This allows you to try new things before paying full price.

7 nights self catering on a promotional holiday can cost you as little as £99 per couple or £129 for a family! Click below to find out more.

More information about promotional holidays