What are Half Board Holidays & Should you Book One?

What are Half Board Holidays & Should you Book One?

One of the best parts about going on holiday is not having to cook meals or wash up afterwards. If you like to be out and about during the day, though, being tied to your hotel’s timetable may feel restrictive – particularly if you have some important tanning to do!

With so many different board basis available with package holidays it’s important to understand exactly what you’re signing up for. Half Board holidays are one option that can cause confusion.

What is a Half Board holiday?

Half Board basis means that your accommodation, breakfast and one other meal – usually dinner – is included. Drinks are not part of the price you pay but you usually won’t be denied a glass of orange juice or coffee at breakfast if you opt for this package.

In larger resorts, breakfasts and dinners are generally served buffet style for a faster service and relaxed atmosphere. Smaller hotels often provide a more personalised service via a la carte dining.

What are the benefits of booking Half Board?


Half Board basis packages allow you the freedom to explore your chosen destination and have lunch in restaurants  all over the city. If you’ve opted for a holiday in a place that’s known for its food like Greece, Turkey, Spain or Italy, then Half Board means you can sample some of the local cuisine without missing meals you’ve already paid for.


Hot weather can reduce your appetite, making you want to eat less or choose different foods than you usually do at home. Booking Full Board may oblige you to eat more than you want to just to get your money’s worth, but leaving one meal flexible per day means that if you’re peckish, you can find a new restaurant for lunch and if not, a small street snack may be all you need.

Dining with kids

Parents will agree that sitting in a dining room with tired and over-excited children are no one’s idea of relaxing family time! Booking Half Board accommodation takes away the stress of attending meals and getting children to finish their plates, but it also allows parents to focus on booking excursions and daytime activities. Just remember to pack some snacks for the busy days ahead!

Other types of package holidays

  • Room only (RO) – perfect for that lock-up-and-go flexibility, this option includes no meals or cooking facilities.
  • Self Catering (SC) – this means meals aren’t included in the price you pay for your accommodation or holiday package, but you will be provided with facilities to prepare light meals. This is a good option if you’re keen to flex your cooking skills, but also interested in sampling the local fare.
  • Bed and Breakfast (BB) – for those who rate the early meal highest, this package includes breakfast in the price of your accommodation or holiday package.
  • Half Board (HB) – you pay for two meals per day, usually dinner, excluding drinks except for basics such as tea and juice. This is a great option if you’re travelling with kids or wanting to enjoy a flexible schedule away from the hotel during the day.
  • Full Board (RB) – this is three square meals per day without snacks or drinks; perfect for those who are sticking to a budget but wanting to feel pampered too! 
  • All Inclusive (AI) – everything is included in the price you pay, flights, accommodation, three meals a day and snacks and drinks too. The drinks on offer and the range of food available changes by resort so it’s always important to check before you book. All Inclusive is one of the UK’s favourite holiday types because it offers excellent value for money.

Find out which board basis is best for you right HERE!

Our package holidays range from Self Catering to All Inclusive, with plenty of options in-between. Have a look at our package holidays to see what’s coming up this summer!

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