Demand for all-inclusive holidays is expected to surge as South Africans opt for a one-stop shop approach to holidaymaking in response to wallets feeling the pinch. While the weaker rand is a driving factor, the popularity of all inclusive-holidays is a global trend. The UK travel trade association, The Travel Association (ABTA), has revealed that 29% of Brits plan to take an all-inclusive holiday this year.
“With an all-inclusive holiday, you pay a single upfront price, including accommodation, meals, beverages, activities, and sometimes flights and transfers. This allows for easy budgeting, as you know the total cost from the start. You avoid currency fluctuations and unexpected expenses during your trip by paying upfront. All-inclusive packages cover most, if not all, of your costs so that you won’t be surprised by extra charges or overspend,” says Antoinette Turner, GM for Flight Centre South Africa.
What type of all-inclusive holiday is right for you?
According to Turner, an all-inclusive package is perfect if South Africans seek a relaxing holiday where value is prioritised, but you need to be clear about what kind of holiday you want, and what’s important to you, because there’s a lot of choice out there.
“If you’re all about reaching your destination, unwinding, and instantly disconnecting from the world the moment you step off the plane, an all-inclusive holiday could be your perfect choice,” suggests Turner. However, if you’re an adventurous soul who loves exploring new places, you may rack up additional expenses, like meals outside the hotel and taxis.
So, if having the flexibility to go on day trips outside the resort is important, choose your location wisely, says Turner. Take Mauritius, for instance. The southern part of the island boasts incredible resorts, but they’re quite remote. On the other hand, staying in the north, like Grand Baie, allows you to experience more of the local island life and easily visit the village whenever you please. “When booking, ask how close the resort is to town and whether there is easy access or a resort shuttle,” suggests Turner.
What atmosphere do you enjoy?
Some resorts offer adults-only pools or areas for different types of travellers. However, an increasingly popular option is the rise of “adults-only” resorts like the Radisson Blu Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa in Mauritius. It’s important to note that excluding children doesn’t necessarily guarantee a quiet atmosphere.
According to Turner, it’s crucial to understand the kind of experience a resort offers. Is it suitable for solo travellers or more focused on couples? Does it provide a relaxing ambience, or is it known for being a party hotspot? Different resorts may have varying age restrictions, ranging from 16 to 21 or another age requirement. To clarify the specifics of an “adults-only” designation, it’s advisable to consult your travel expert.
Does everyone have the same appetite for the activities?
“If you’re seeking an activity-driven holiday like skiing, opting for an all-inclusive package can lead to significant savings,” suggests Turner. “A skiing holiday is a fantastic choice for families, but if you have very young children, they may not fully benefit from an all-inclusive package. Therefore, it’s important to find an offer that caters to your group’s specific needs.”
For instance, Club Med Alpe d’Hue in France provides a six-day ski pass and ski lessons, along with a complimentary stay for children under four, so you won’t be paying for perks you won’t use.
Club Med Phuket is also an ideal destination for travelling with small children. It offers an inclusive kids club where they can enjoy supervised activities, with snacking as a part of the deal (a big money saver). Parents can relax knowing their little ones are well taken care of while they enjoy a range of sports and leisure activities.
Can you get two experiences for one?
Some brands have diversified their offering to spice things up by creating multiple resorts in the same destination, each designed for different audiences. This means that when you stay at one resort, you get to enjoy the restaurants and amenities available at the others too. For example, Mauricia Beachcomber and Canonnier Beachcomber in Mauritius offer an all-inclusive package which includes a multi-course lunch daily at Mauricia Beachcomber and a choice of two restaurants at Canonnier Beachcomber.
“If you have a clear idea of your destination and travel dates well in advance, booking early for an all-inclusive holiday is advisable. By doing so, you can take advantage of early booking bonuses and sales offered by travel providers. Plus, booking in advance allows you to have a wide range of choices in terms of resorts and dates, which is especially beneficial if you’re planning a family holiday and need to accommodate everyone’s preferences and schedules,” says Turner.
FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP SOUTH AFRICA
Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd (“FCTG”) in South Africa is wholly owned by Flight Centre Travel Group Limited – an Australian based international travel company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, with a market cap of AU$4.54 billion and a current share price of AU$20.97 as of 9 June 2023. FCTG has two level 1 B-BBEE subsidiaries: FCTG Corporate and FCM Travel Solutions. FCTG consists of two leading brands: Flight Centre and Corporate Traveller. FCTG has been recognized as one of Deloitte’s Best Companies to Work for in South Africa for 14 consecutive years.