HomeJust LifeThe Top 7 All-Inclusive Holidays for Every Budget

The Top 7 All-Inclusive Holidays for Every Budget

A study commissioned by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reveals that a staggering 77% of travellers find booking an all-inclusive trip to be the least stressful way to explore a new destination.

What could be better than a seamless getaway where every detail is taken care of before you even set foot in the airport?

“All-inclusive packages simplify the planning process, make it easier to budget, and reduce the likelihood of any unexpected (and unwanted) surprises when enjoying your time away,” explains Antoinette Turner, GM of Flight Centre South Africa.

As the June/July travel period approaches, the appeal of last-minute all-inclusive escapes increases. But if you want in on the action, now’s the time to book.

“International flight availability becomes a rare commodity as the holiday season peaks, and for those eyeing destinations requiring visa applications, time is of the essence,” cautions Turner.

Luckily, there are plenty of all-inclusive adventures to consider, from cruises in the Mediterranean to beach holidays in Mauritius. Here’s what you need to know, along with a rating for each holiday’s price point (1 being the most budget-friendly and 5 being the most luxurious).

  1. Cruise the Mediterranean
  • Experience overview: The ever-popular Mediterranean cruise is your ticket to visiting multiple countries, including the sun-kissed beaches of the Greek Isles and the historic streets of Rome, all while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a floating hotel (and only unpacking once!).
  • All-Inclusive features: Meals, pre-paid drinks packages, onboard entertainment, and activities like trivia nights, cooking classes, dance workshops, and wine tastings.
  • Unique selling points: The Mediterranean is a region of unparalleled cultural diversity, historical depth, and scenic beauty. Iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Família in Barcelona – Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece, which has been under construction for 142 years and is set to be complete by 2026 – await your discovery.
  • Ideal traveller: Couples, families, solo travellers, and history enthusiasts.

“For those seeking exclusivity and opulence, options like The Haven by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offer a ‘ship within a ship’ experience, featuring unparalleled accommodation, personalised service, and luxurious touches, while still enjoying all the amenities that a large ship offers” comments Kevin Bubolz, NCL’s VP and Managing Director Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Price point: 2 – 5. The cruise experience offers a range of options to suit various budgets, from mid-range to luxury, ensuring that traveller finds their perfect match.
  • Best times to go: Late spring to early autumn (May to September).
  1. Ski the Alps
  • Experience overview: A ski holiday in the Alps offers a winter wonderland experience. With renowned ski resorts dotted across Europe’s stunning mountainous terrains, you can enjoy both the rush of skiing and the cosy atmosphere of Alpine villages.
  • All-inclusive features: Accommodation, meals, ski passes, and sometimes even basic equipment rental.
  • Unique selling points: The Alps are famous for their world-renowned slopes and après-ski culture. With a range of runs, from beginner to black diamond, every level of skier or snowboarder can find their groove. Plus, the après-ski scene offers a lively mix of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options to unwind after a day on the mountains.
  • Ideal traveller: Whether you’re an experienced skier or first-timer, the Alps cater to all. Many resorts feature ski schools offering lessons for all ages and skill levels.
  • Price point: A premium experience worth splurging on.
  • Best times to go: The European winter season, from December to April.
  1. Beach bliss in the Indian Ocean
  • Experience overview: According to Flight Centre South Africa’s ‘Year In Travel’ report for 2023, Mauritius stood out as the leading international destination for South African travellers – and is expected to remain the Saffer favourite in 2024. Its luxurious beach resorts provide the perfect backdrop for a sun-drenched getaway, blending tropical landscapes with top-tier hospitality.
  • All-Inclusive features: Meals, accommodation, and a variety of non-motorised water sports like snorkelling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
  • Unique selling points: Mauritius, known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, always offers a tranquil retreat. The island’s resorts, like the acclaimed Beachcomber properties, boast exceptional amenities, including kids’ clubs that entertain children and teens while adults kick back and relax.
  • Ideal traveller: Honeymooners, wellness seekers, and families.
  • Price point: 2 – 4. Mauritius offers a spectrum of options, from more affordable retreats to the pinnacle of luxury, accommodating every budget and taste.
  • Best times to go: All year round – but the best months to visit are May to December.
  1. All-inclusive adventure in Southeast Asia
  • Experience overview: Southeast Asia – and Thailand and Vietnam, in particular – stands out with its cultural heritage, lush landscapes, and bustling city life. Plus, it’s easy on the pocket, too! The exchange rate between the South African rand and currencies like the Thai Baht, Chinese Yuan, and Vietnamese Dong is extremely favourable.
  • All-inclusive features: All-inclusive packages in these destinations typically cover meals, accommodation, and a range of activities, from adventure sports to immersive cultural experiences.
  • Unique selling points: The region’s cultural diversity and natural wonders are its hallmarks. Off-the-beaten-path experiences in Thailand and Vietnam allow travellers to explore hidden gems away from the usual tourist trails, offering genuine insight into the local way of life.
  • Ideal traveller: Adventure enthusiasts, culture seekers, and eco-tourists.
  • Price point: As mentioned, Southeast Asia is generally affordable, offering various options that provide excellent value for money.
  • Best times to go: Between November and February when the weather is cooler and drier.
  1. Safari escape
  • Experience overview: No need to travel far if you’re after peace and quiet in the bush. If you do wish for something a little different, consider venturing beyond our borders – especially if you’d like a combo bush holiday, such as a safari and an encounter with Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or adventures on the dunes in Namibia.
  • All-inclusive features: Safari packages typically include accommodation, meals, and guided safari drives.

“Ichingo Chobe River Lodge in Namibia’s Chobe region is a great example of an all-inclusive safari lodge. Our rate includes accommodation, all meals and drinks, angling equipment and fuel, daily river boat safaris, and access to experienced local river guides,” says Kate Powell, General Manager, Sales & Marketing for the Zambezi Queen Collection.

  • Unique selling points: The attraction of a safari lies in the up-close wildlife encounters and the beautiful natural landscapes that serve as their backdrop. Conservation efforts and sustainable tourism practices add depth to the experience.
  • Ideal traveller: Perfect for couples, families, adventure seekers, and nature lovers. Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, in particular, is a haven for keen fishermen and avid birders.
  • Price point: 1-5. The safari experience ranges from extremely budget-friendly camping sites to opulent five-star lodges.
  • Best times to go: The dry season from May to September for excellent game viewing, and September through March for incredible birdwatching, coinciding with most regions’ Green Season.
  1. All-inclusive tours
  • Experience overview: While all-inclusive tours are available worldwide, Flight Centre’s Travel Experts predict Turkey and Greece as the leading touring destinations in 2024.

“Tours in these regions showcase ancient ruins, vibrant bazaars, breathtaking coastlines, and include a deep dive into local history and culture. With so much to see and do, a little guidance goes a long way in ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff,” advises Turner.

  • All-inclusive features: Accommodation, some meals, transportation between sites, certain activities, and guides.
  • Unique selling points: There’s plenty to look forward to, from the archaeological marvels of Turkey to the idyllic, sun-drenched shores of the Greek islands.
  • Ideal traveller: History buffs, island hoppers, and culture vultures.
  • Price point: Offering good value, these mid-range tours balance comprehensive travel experiences with affordability.
  • Best times to go: Late spring and early autumn (April, May, September, and October).
  1. European river cruises
  • Experience overview: European river cruises offer an intimate and luxurious journey through the heart of Europe, meandering along its iconic rivers like the Danube, Rhine, and Seine. These cruises provide an unparalleled view of Europe’s picturesque landscapes, historic cities, and cultural treasures, all from the comfort of a state-of-the-art river cruise ship.
  • All-inclusive features: Luxury accommodation, gourmet dining experiences, and select shore excursions.
  • Unique selling points: The unique appeal of a European river cruise lies in its ability to offer intimate travel experiences and scenic views, coupled with cultural enrichment.
  • Ideal traveller: Luxury travellers and culture and history enthusiasts.
  • Price point: As high-end luxury experiences, European river cruises are the pinnacle of all-inclusive travel.
  • Best times to go: April to October, when the weather is favourable and the landscapes along the rivers are in full bloom.

All-inclusive holidays are the epitome of stress-free travel, offering the joy of exploring new destinations with the ease of having everything pre-arranged. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in one of these top all-inclusive holidays tailored for every budget and preference – book today!