Self catering vs all inclusive – which to choose?

You’ve spent hours deciding on which destination to go to, you’ve picked up some cheap flights and you’ve found the perfect hotel, now there is just one more question – do you go self catering or all inclusive?

There are benefits on both sides. Self catering allows you to choose where you want to eat every night while all inclusive means you have anything you want day or night, without the hassle of venturing out of the hotel. If you’re struggling to make a decision on which to choose for your next holiday, we’ve pitted them head-to-head to give you a little more insight.



The destination can influence your choice when it comes to self catering or all inclusive. Some resorts are perfectly suited to the former with shops and restaurants only a short walk away giving you different options every night. However, this is not always the case.

While some of our favourite destinations such as the Balearics, the Algarve and the Greek islands are geared up for self catering retreats, it can be more difficult to find local restaurants in the likes of Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. All inclusive provides that safety net that you’ll never be short of a meal at any time of the day.

Research is key when making this decision. All inclusive has its perks but not if the hotel is a long distance away from the main resort, the same goes with self catering if you find yourself having to drive or catching a bus just to do the shopping.



The introduction of all inclusive holidays has made previously expensive resorts and destinations much more affordable. If you are travelling on a budget this can be a great way to soak up the sun without a huge strain on the wallet.

You can more effectively watch your spending as the bulk of your holiday will be paid for before you step foot on the plane. There is no risk of being hit by unexpected costs and you only have to worry about which excursions, souvenirs and treats you plan to spend your extra cash on.

Self catering can still be an affordable option if you are good at sticking to a budget. The initial hotel cost is lower and offers you that sense of freedom and choice but without breaking the bank.



Holidays are all about new experiences. Many people like to explore and discover how the locals live while others are perfectly content to just lounge by the pool for maximum relaxation.

Self catering makes each evening an adventure. You can venture into the local town and find that little restaurant that all the locals eat at or even take a drive a little further and discover some delicious cuisine away from your resort. All the while you won’t have to worry about making it back to the hotel for an evening meal.

All inclusive on the other hand offers a huge amount of flexibility. You can eat what and when you like and be safe in the knowledge that all the payment is taken care of leaving you more time to relax.

Type of holiday


Self catering and all inclusive breaks appeal to different holidaymakers. If you’re travelling with children then all inclusive might be the way to go, it means they eat whenever they like and there are plenty of activities and games to keep them occupied throughout the day. It also means you create a regular routine of meal times at the same point each day.

For couples, the lure of exploration can make a self catering break the best option. Without the shackles of being in the hotel all day, you can make the most of your surroundings.

It’s pretty hard to decide between a self catering or an all inclusive break, luckily at you can find the deal that’s right for you.