Pros and Cons of holiday packages

Pros and cons of a package holiday

Travelling with Rands in your pocket can be an expensive experience, especially when you are looking to explore popular exotic destinations, such as Mauritius or Seychelles. Moneybags’ Sean Binedell, looks at the pros and cons of booking all inclusive holidays.

All-inclusive holidays have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and affordability. Packages that include meals, drinks and activities in the price mean you won’t have to spend a lot of money once you are there. If your idea of heaven is a beach getaway on which you can relax and enjoy being catered for, an all-inclusive trip is the perfect choice.

However, there is a downside to the all-inclusive package. If you prefer to explore your destination thoroughly, go sightseeing every day, eat out and plan on spending little time at the resort, then an all-inclusive package may not be for you. Having the flexibility to fly when you want, stay where you want and eat what you want can be a better choice if you are not someone who likes set plans.

Pros

The major pro to an all-inclusive package is that you do not have to plan anything and can just relax. The only money you will really need is some extra spending money for those little things you want to buy. Because you don’t have to carry around as much cash, it is safer.

Besides that, you also get:

• No awkward tips moments.
• Adult resort and kid resorts available. Plan for your preference.
• Logistical ease.

Cons

The all-inclusive packages are more expensive, and do not always give you a wide variety of choice when it comes food and drinks.
Adding to that, you also have to look out for:

• If your hotel is in a horrible area, there is not much you can do. All drinks and food have to be ordered from your hotel.
• If you are an adventurer an all-inclusive package is probably not for you.

Mauritius

When Moneybags hunted around for an all-Inclusive package in a four-star resort to Mauritius we got quotes between R 47,509 per person to the most expensive R95, 000 per person over the December 2014 period.

Prices during December (and peak season) are expensive so if you can take your holiday during off peak times you could get a better priced Mauritius holiday deal.

If, however, you still need to travel in December and can’t afford the all-inclusive costs then you’d have to compromise on what you get. A semi inclusive package, for instance, which includes flights, accommodation (four-star resorts), breakfast and dinners can set you back between R33,000 to R65,000 per person.

Seychelles

All-inclusive packages at four-star resorts range between R52, 000 and R80, 000 per person.
When it comes to semi-inclusive deals we found packages, which included flights, accommodation (again in four-star resorts), ranging between R32, 000 to R55, 000 per person.

Booking your holiday tips:

1. Compare holiday packages against the costs of booking flights and accommodation separately. You may find that it’s cheaper putting your own package deal together.

2. Get quotes from a few holiday package providers. Many travel agencies have block bookings on certain flights and resorts and are able to get better prices. They will also compete for your business and if you wave a legitimate quote from a competitor under another travel agent’s nose they may want to undercut their competition.

3. Research the resort beforehand to get a good idea on what to expect. Read reviews on websites like Tripadvisor as this will help you to avoid unpleasant surprises once you get to your destination.

4. If you choose an all-inclusive package, make sure you know what is covered. Some all-inclusive ‘deals’ don’t cover child care, internet access and motorised activities, for instance.

* Quotes were obtained from Bestbeach, , Beachtag and Flight Centre.