From five-star island resorts and luxury cruises, to family options and everything in between, there are now so many types of all-inclusive holidays on the market, the choices are seemingly endless.
Why has this type of holiday continued to be on the rise, and what should you consider when looking for an all-inclusive holiday to suit your needs? Travel Associates adviser Tracy Barry shares her insights and advice.
How has the all inclusive holiday changed in the past two decades or so?
20 years ago an all-inclusive holiday was for destinations that were your typical mainstream 'package' destinations. They were for resort style destinations where you got a flight, transfers and accommodation. Perhaps a sightseeing tour was added here or there. Now it is something that you can find of offer for most destinations in the world.
Would you say the all-inclusive holiday has had a meteoric rise in 21st century travel?
Yes, absolutely. Life is busier in general, people work hard and want their leisure time to be fulfilling in every way that it can be. This extends to holidays whereby they want to get as much as they can out of their earnings. This is not just in relation to the dollar value, but the value of experience and value of the time spent.
To what do you attribute the rise and rise of the all-inclusive holiday?
Worldwide information sharing via technology has had an enormous impact. Now everyone in the world has access to information about a plethora of things that are on offer all around the world. It is a business to business situation, as well as a business to consumer situation. In days gone by, the local food tour operator in Tuscany had to go to incredible lengths expose what they offer to travellers on the other side of the world. Now it is standard practice.
Who can make the most out of an all-inclusive holiday?
Anyone who wants the most out of their travel experiences. The people who don't want to get to their destination to spend half of their time finding out what to do whilst they are, and how to go about it. It costs time, energy and effort to make plans when you are travelling. If everything is done for you before you go, the biggest decision of your day can be if you need to take your jacket, and what flavour gelato are you going to have.
What are the absolute musts of an all-inclusive offer that consumers should tick off?
Depending on location all inclusive can also include meals - for example if you are on a beautiful Island on the South Pacific we are able at most properties secure a half board or full board meal package which not only saves you by securing in advance, also takes away the hassle of constantly charging to your room whilst you are there. There aren't many other dining options in some locations we offer so make sense for Travel Associates to pre-book all those little things for you.
What are the surprises and additional delights that may surprise those who have old-fashioned notions of the all-inclusive holiday?
All inclusive now means a whole lot more than it ever used to mean. Choices are often on offer in relation the components of the holiday. It might mean a variety of dining options, private transfers, or even a small-group expert led walking tour. We can use this variety to tailor exactly to our clients individual needs. We also have a wealth of knowledge shared across our company that can assist in making recommendations on where to find the best local coffee, or the must visit boutique or which restaurant to pre-book to ensure you have a reservation! A holiday is more than just a hotel room and we want to ensure every experience our client's receive on their holidays have the Travel Associates personal touch.
What tips can you give consumers about nabbing the best deals and their dream holidays?
Plan where is next - or set an appointment with your local Travel Associates adviser and let us make some suggestions. This is what we do all day every day and our passion for travel will ensure we are offering suggestions that you hadn't even considered. That way we can keep you in mind when we see amazing value offers and new products come across our desk. Sign up to our weekly newsletter which will deliver the best offers available and of course ensure you receive our quarterly Inspirations publication to start thinking of the next place to explore
How are you able to offer your clients the best value all-inclusive packages and holidays?
It starts with a conversation, as cliche as it may sound. We take the time to have long discussion with clients and truly understand their likes and dislikes, and all the little things that they look for in their holiday. If I happen to connect with a new client (typically via referral) the majority of our first conversation will be all about the things they enjoy, not just the travel they are after. Maybe they enjoy music and theatre, or more adventurous activities like hiking and cycling. Perhaps they're a real foodie, enjoying their favourite wines across the world and are constantly on the search for the perfect local cup of coffee. Conversations and getting to know our clients can lead to all sorts of interesting travel experiences that they would never have considered before.
It then comes down to our product knowledge, industry contacts and access to amazing partners. We know the experiences best suited to our clients but there are also the extra touches, like knowing the best cabin on the ship so you can enjoy sunset and the best views or receive a personal greeting from a hotel General Manager of a boutique hotel. We go the extra mile and surprise and delight our clients.
Talk to Tracy Barry or one our other experienced travel advisers about the right kind of all-inclusive holday package for you.