All above board

Posted by on 16th November 2021

One of the best things about giving - or receiving - a voucher from HolidayVoucherShop is the fact that you can use it for such a wide variety of different things.

You might want to put it towards as summer break in the sun, or might have a dream to take to sea on a cruise. Alternatively, a short city break might be right up your street or you may prefer swapping sun for snow to hit the slopes in the middle of winter.

Regardless of what kind of holiday you are looking at, one thing that will remain constant is the different board options that are available.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each option is to ensure that you know what you are getting for your money…

Room Only:
This is perhaps one of the most straightforward ones to explain as you are basically booking your accommodation and nothing else - so don’t expect to get any food or drink included (except if you have a kettle and some tea/coffee making facilities in your room).

For obvious reasons, this will invariably be the cheapest option available and is well suited to things like a city break, where you might just want somewhere to sleep on an evening before heading off to explore the sights and to embrace everything the destination you are visiting has to offer.

Self Catering:
Similar to room only in terms of the fact that you don’t get anything included in terms of food and drinks, but more likely to be found in apartments or chalets rather than in hotels.

With self catering accommodation, you can expect to have facilities in place to prepare your own meals if you decide against eating out, compared to a hotel room when you wouldn’t really have the option to cook - unless you fancy using the kettle to prepare a Pot Noodle….

Self catering accommodation might be the option for someone who suffers with a food allergy and has concerns about eating out in a restaurant, or for larger groups where the cost of eating out every day would be excessive.

A group ski holiday with friends is a prime example of when a self catering break would be ideal as you have the chance to all come together after a day on the slopes to prepare a meal at your chalet before sharing stories about how things have gone.

Bed & Breakfast:
Another option that pretty much does what it says on the tin. As well as your accommodation - so the 'Bed' element - you’ll also get fed each morning to set you up for the day - hence the 'Breakfast'.

Don’t expect to get any further food or drinks included and budget for both lunch and dinner as part of your trip.

Again, this is well suited to things like a city break where you’re planning to spend the full day away from your hotel exploring the sights.

Half Board:
Half board is another option that will work well for people who are planning to go out and explore during their holiday as it offers two meals a day - which are usually breakfast and dinner. That means you’ll need to grab lunch whilst you are out and about.

You can expect to get a drink with breakfast in the shape of fruit juices and then a choice of tea or coffee, but drinks aren’t always included with your evening meal, so factor that into your budget.

Full Board:
The next level up from half board, a full board booking will include three meals a day primarily from any buffet restaurant that might be in place. In short, a la carte dining will be an additional cost if available.

On a full board basis, you are only likely to get drinks served with breakfast although there may be one drink offered with other meals depending on the individual hotel.

Full board holidays are better suited to those people who plan to spend time around their hotel, maybe relaxing by the pool in the sun, rather than those who are heading off out for the day every day.

All Inclusive:
All inclusive is increasingly popular because of the fact that, as the name suggests, you get everything included as part of the price.

You can expect to get three meals a day as well as snacks, and the chance to sample a selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Be aware that these drinks might not be the same brands you are used to be back home, with premium 'names' incurring additional charge. You might also have to pay extra for some of the more exotic cocktails.

Although all inclusive by name, some speciality dining options might carry an additional charge.

An all inclusive holiday is ideal for those who don’t intend to leave the hotel or are heading for a destination like the Maldives where you will be based in one place and unlikely to venture elsewhere. All inclusive is also a good option on a cruise holiday where you will be largely based on your ship, with a number of high end cruise lines operating on an all inclusive basis.

An option you might come across if booking a ski holiday is to go on a catered basis, usually when staying in a chalet.

This option will provide you with accommodation but you’ll also have access to your own catering staff who will prepare meals in the chalet for you - usually with breakfast each morning and dinner on an evening.