CONSUMER RESOURCES: All Inclusive vs Full Board vs Half Board vs Bed & Breakfast – What’s the Difference?


November 26, 2018

Guest Writer

Consumer Resources


Shopping for your next holiday can be a lot of fun; after all, what’s not to love about browsing through endless photos of tropical islands, picking the perfect hotel, and checking out local restaurant reviews. But there are a few things that you really need to take into consideration when it comes to booking a holiday, especially what type of board to go for.

Different board options seem to have flourished over recent years, and now you can choose from all-inclusive, full board, half board, bed and breakfast, room only as well as a whole host of new options which some resorts have labelled as things like ‘diamond and gourmet packages’. Unsurprisingly, it can get a little confusing to differentiate between what’s what. In this article, we reveal the difference between the major board types available for your next holiday, so you can choose what is best for you.

All-inclusive holidays

All-inclusive sounds as exactly as it is, which means that everything is included in your stay. This will include breakfast, lunch and dinner and often a range of snacks for when you get a little hungry in between meals. Quite often resorts that offer all-inclusive packages will have a big buffet selection to choose from for breakfast and lunches, while others will offer a la carte options for dinner – sometimes for an additional fee.

According to travel website Best at Travel, when it comes to drinks, it will differ from resort to resort. Many include all soft drinks and water as well as local alcoholic drinks, while other resorts may charge extra for speciality drinks such as champagne and cocktails. All-inclusive can also include extras such as activities, with some resorts and hotels throwing in things like a stocked minibar, free classes, water sports, and even a free massage or two during an all-in stay.

If you’re thinking of booking an all-inclusive an all-inclusive holiday then make sure you really check the small print to know exactly what you are getting. All-inclusive stays can be particularly beneficial if you’re travelling to an expensive area such as the Maldives, as you know you don’t have to worry about the bill on checkout. It’s also a great option if you’re travelling with kids, and some even come with free kids groups, and free ice cream or pizza offered during the day!

Full board

Full board is similar to all-inclusive, in that breakfast lunch and dinner will be included, however it differs as quite often it will not include things such as drinks and snacks in-between meals. Full board can be a great economical option if you want to rest assured that all your meals are paid for. It’s also a good option if you don’t drink alcoholic beverages on holiday, as it can work out a lot cheaper than an all-inclusive option.

Half board

Half board means that breakfast will be included in the price of your stay, as well as one meal – which is traditionally your evening dinner. Again, this can also be offered in the form of a buffet selection where you can choose your favourite dishes, although there may be an ala carte menu option for lunch or dinner. No drinks or snacks will be included in the half board option. Half board is a great option to go for if you like to explore and get out of the hotel, or if you’re staying in a busy area where there are lots of other restaurants to sample too. This will allow you to get out and about try the local cuisine without worrying too much about wasting all-inclusive package meals which are already paid for.

Bed and Breakfast

And finally there is the bed and breakfast option, which simply includes your room as well as your breakfast. No other meals are included nor are drinks or activities. Bed and breakfast is the best choice if you really like to go out and eat at different cafes and restaurants during your holiday. It really does give you the freedom try new things.

So there you have it, four major types of board available at many different hotels and resorts around the world. What you go for should depend on your budget, your needs, and also the area that you are visiting. Take all those things into consideration before choosing your board option, and you will be sure to make the right choice for you and your family. Have a great holiday!


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