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A report out today (Monday) debunks the theory that holidaymakers spend less staying in all-inclusive resorts as they save on the cost of drinks and eating out.
More than two-thirds of families spent an average of £233 extra on meals and drinks away from their hotel on their last European all inclusive holiday, according to research by the Post Office.
The findings come as figures show a third of families plan to take an all-inclusive holiday this summer.
Almost 7-in-10 parents (69%) paid for meals in local resort restaurants at an average cost of £62. The extra money spent means many families could pay between 10-15% on top of their all-inclusive package, depending where they visit.
Many people spent extra for meals, drinks and other items in their European resort despite it being labelled all-inclusive.
More than four-in-five parents (85%) said they expected all meals to be included in their package. Yet, almost a quarter of them paid extra for these in their resort – spending an average of almost £54 extra on meals on top of their paid-for package.
Even more families paid extra for drinks in their hotel on their last European all inclusive holiday. Almost 2-in-5 of those surveyed said they spent an average of over £43 on international brands of alcohol, a third spent £44 on bottles of wine, 37% spent almost £27 on bottled water and 3-in-10 paid £41 extra for cocktails. A third spent £40 on drinks made with local alcohol brands – commonly believed to be free on all-inclusive packages.
The research found big differences between the numbers of people spending extra in European and long-haul all-inclusive resorts. More of those on European holidays paid out for drinks that were not included in their all inclusive package.
However, far more people chose to pay extra for a la carte dining in long-haul all-inclusive resorts – 40% of respondents compared with 24% in Europe.
Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: ““Over the past four years our annual research has consistently shown that European all-inclusive resorts offer less than holidaymakers expect, so it is important for families to be aware of what is included in their package to avoid getting caught out.
“If you have already booked an all-inclusive holiday, budget carefully and allow for the extra costs you are likely to incur.
“On the plus side, the powerful pound means that all-inclusive holidaymakers who want to get a real flavour of their holiday destination can eat and drink in local restaurants and bars more cheaply this year.
"However, it is best to be prepared and take enough foreign currency to cover the extra cost of items bought outside the all-inclusive resort – particularly as some restaurants are reluctant to accept credit or debit cards.”
% who spent something
outside the resort/hotel Average spent outside the resort/hotel
Eating out 69% £62.08
Alcoholic drinks 66% £41.93
Soft drinks 72% £24.32
Snacks from a shop 71% £22.57
Snacks at a bar/café/restaurant 65% £31.26
Ice cream 68% £14.89
Bottles of wine 44% £23.92
Bottled water 65% £12.06
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