You’ve found the ideal flight times, dreamiest hotel and those annual leave requests have been authorised at work, but before you go ahead and book there’s just one more thing to decide – which board basis is best for you?!
Whether you want to indulge in the local cuisine day in day out, have your breakfast and dinner taken care of with the option to explore at lunch, or want to leave your purse at home and relax knowing all of your meals and drinks (including those icy-cold alcoholic beverages!) have already been paid for, there’s an option for you.
So, to answer the question that all holiday hunters want to know – what exactly do the different board basis include? We’ve broken it down for you to make your decision a little easier…
|All Inclusive||All meals, soft drinks and locally-branded alcoholic drinks|
|Full Board||Breakfast, lunch and dinner|
|Half Board||Breakfast and dinner|
|Bed & Breakfast||Breakfast|
|Self Catering||Catering facilities to cook light meals|
|Room Only||Just a room|
What is included on an All Inclusive holiday?
An All Inclusive holiday is exactly what it says on the tin — all is included. From your flights, transfers and luggage to your hotel, food and drinks, everything is covered in the total price of your trip.
While your purse can stay tucked away from the moment you step off that plane, it’s worth noting that there’s a couple of things that can come at an extra cost, but don’t worry the choice is totally yours on whether you want to spend or not. Starting with a la carte restaurants — some resorts will grant you a number of free visits during your stay however some can charge extra. The same goes for premium spirits, if you prefer your branded alcoholic beverages then rest assured knowing you can opt for them rather than the locally-branded spirits, but again it comes with an added cost and is totally up to you.
No two All Inclusive hotels are the same — by that we mean their inclusions, meals and service times differ but something you are guaranteed in each one are three meals a day, snacks and your drinks including soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Some places throw in some brilliant extras like 24-hour service so that you can wine and dine around the clock, whereas others throw in minibars and activities! We’d suggest double checking before making your booking to find out exactly what your All Inclusive board basis will include.
What is included in Full Board holidays?
Full Board holidays are the perfect option if you want your food covered but would rather pay for your drinks as and when you fancy one, or perhaps are looking for an excuse to work your way through the local cocktail bars!
Your three meals a day are included, so breakfast, lunch and dinner are always just a few steps away when you’re sunning yourself around the pool. Gone are the days of searching for a restaurant that suits everyone’s taste buds, particularly if you’ve got fussy-eaters on board! You’ll find a huge variety of cuisines being served up every day, with plenty of child-friendly options that come in handy when the little ones want to stick to what they know.
While drinks aren’t included as standard, there are some resorts that still include a basic range of water, tea, coffee and juice with their buffets, particularly during the breakfast service. Some holidays also have the option of Full Board Plus in which your drinks are included with your dinner meals. Again, we would suggest double checking what the Full Board basis of the hotel you’re looking at includes before booking so that you know exactly what to expect.
What is included in Half Board holidays?
If you like tucking into a hearty meal to kick-start your day before heading out to explore, then Half Board holidays are the ones for you. Even better, once you’ve returned from checking out the local area, topping up your tan at the beach or trying your hand at one of the local water sports, you’ll have a nice, fresh meal waiting for you!
Half Board holidays include breakfast and your evening meal, yet give you the freedom and flexibility of grabbing your own lunch whilst you’re venturing out and about. If you’re on a bit of a budget, going Half Board is a fantastic option — two of your main meals are covered and when it comes to your mid-day meal, you can make your own packed-lunch or grab a cheap street food snack to keep the costs down. On the other hand, if you’re on holiday to indulge, you can do exactly that at some of the world’s hottest lunch spots — beachfront banquet anyone?
If you’re wondering if Half Board includes drinks, unfortunately it doesn’t however you are likely to have your tea, coffee and juices provided at breakfast. It’s also worth noting that some hotels allow you to swap your evening meal for lunch instead, meaning you have the freedom to eat out for dinner without feeling the need to rush back for anything. If this is an option that you’d prefer, make sure you double check when making your booking that it’s available at the hotel you’re looking at.
What is included in Bed and Breakfast holidays?
The clue is in the name, Bed and Breakfast holidays mean the most important meal of the day is included in the cost of your holiday. If you want the comfort of knowing you’ve got a buffet to wake up to every morning, then this board basis is a good option for you.
Once you’ve filled up on your fry up, cereals or all you can eat pancakes you’ve got the rest of the day and night to eat wherever and whenever you wish. Wash your brekkie down with the unlimited tea, coffee, juices and water that comes as part of the package. And finally the best part of all – the breakfasts are served buffet-style! This means you can go up as many times as you want to well and truly fill your boots for the day ahead.
A Bed and Breakfast board type is made for those that get itchy feet when staying and eating in just one place for the duration of their trip and instead would rather be out and about tucking into all of the local delicacies that the surrounding restaurants and cafés are serving up.
What is included in Self Catering holidays?
For the ultimate freedom and flexibility, with no need to set a morning alarm or rush back from your day trip with the fear of missing the buffet, there’s the wonderful option of Self Catering holidays.
While you won’t find any meals or drinks included on a Self Catering holiday, you’ll be given some fantastic facilities like pots, pans and in some places a fully-fledged kitchen in your hotel room where you can knock up your own meals if preferred. Heading to the nearby supermarket and stocking up on local ingredients and goodies is all part of the holiday fun anyway isn’t it?
On the other hand, by going on a Self Catering holiday you’ve got the perfect opportunity to try out all of the best dining spots that the local area has to offer for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks in between. Obviously, this board type can be seen as a little harder for those on a tight budget but it can actually work out cheaper if you’re sensible with it. Think about it, you can save and spend as you please, take advantage of happy hours and pop a few essential solids in your suitcase to save buying whilst you’re there such as coffee, tea bags, noodles etc.
What does Room Only mean?
If it’s just a place to rest your head that you’re looking for then we can also help you with that. If you’re the type of holidaymaker that likes to arrive at a destination, dump their bags and head out to fully immerse themselves in the destination then this is probably a fantastic option for you.
It may sound similar to a Self Catering holiday however the difference is that with a Room Only, aside from a bedroom and bathroom, you’ll often only receive tea and coffee facilities and sometimes a mini-fridge to store any essentials. There will be no cooking facilities as all the eating is to take place outside of the hotel. It is worth checking before you book exactly what your room includes as each property can differ slightly.
Going on a holiday with a Room Only package can be a little difficult if you’re trying to stay within a tight budget as constantly eating out can all add up. However, with plenty of research beforehand you can pinpoint out those wallet-friendly restaurants and more importantly, those happy hour bars!
So now you know what board types are and the difference between them. It’s time to decide, which one is best for you?
Whichever board basis you choose, find out how much you can SAVE with Holiday Hypermarket.