Just keep those margaritas coming: why the all-inclusive holiday is making a comeback

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Name: All-inclusive holidays.

Age: Approximately 70 years.

Appearance: Your next trip.

Ugh, I don’t think so. You are wrong. The all-inclusive holiday is destined to be the must-have break of 2023.

But aren’t they really naff? Tell me, what exactly is so naff about an all-inclusive? Is it being somewhere warm, next to a nice pool, eating as much delicious food as you want? Is that naff?

Do you have to wear a special wristband to get your dinner? Sometimes, yes.

And you don’t leave the resort for the entire duration of the trip? If you so wish.

That’s pretty naff. Maybe. But at least with all-inclusive holidays you know exactly how much money you’re going to spend as soon as you set out for the airport. That’s huge, especially at a time when people don’t even know how much their mortgages will cost six months from now.

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That does sound appealing. Yes, and it’s a massive appeal, too. The chief executive of easyJet Holidays said that the overwhelming majority of bookings for next year have been on all-inclusive breaks. He told the Times: “The kids want to go to the waterpark, that’s €50. The kids want to go for pasta, that’s €50. The kids want ice-cream, that’s €50. They can get all of that in these all-inclusive hotels and that’s the price locked in.”

But where’s the spirit of adventure? Oh God, here we go.

What about immersing yourself in a new culture? Yes, yes, what about going somewhere untouched by capitalism? What about seeking out the unknown? I’ve heard it all before.

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I just don’t want to be a tourist. Well, guess what? On your obnoxious small-batch authentic wilderness holidays, you’re still a tourist. Not only that, but I guarantee that the locals absolutely hate you.

If money’s tight, couldn’t you just not go on holiday? Oh bog off. We’ve had years of not being able to leave the country because of Covid. We are going on a summer holiday next year if it kills us. We’ll make cutbacks elsewhere.

On what? Food? Clothes? Yes! Recent research by the travel trade association Abta found that 55% of us would cut back on eating out in order to afford a holiday, and 40% would buy fewer clothes.

Well, I despair. Great. While you despair, I’ll be wearing a wristband in Sicily, preparing to eat as much breakfast cake as I possibly can.

Do say: “We’re all going on an all-inclusive holiday!”

Don’t say: “Can we apply for permanent residence when we get there?”

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