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Cheap Travel | Go All-inclusive

I’m making the assumption you’d be reading this if hostels and/or tents aren’t your thing. They aren’t my thing either. Some of us are in our late thirties now and still want to see the world but without being around travelling Gen Z kids and their non-humour humour. Plot twist – I quite like Gen Z humour. I mean how can you be funny in a world where the reality in your formative years in included Trump as president? I digress.

A sign in an airport
Menorca Airport

All paid up front

Use all-inclusive as a base. Why not? Pay for your holiday and then six months later you go on your holiday and breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, refreshments and alcohol is sorted. It almost feels free because you paid for it in a different time. CASHBACK!

Load up at the canteen

I have come to realise that the canteen is one of my favourite places to be. I’ve missed them since school. As an adult you can sit and people watch but without being called a freak and getting bullied. I sit back with a beer most afternoons, you can even see it from the pool. You get the “Brits abroad” in their Union Jack tops, eating chicken dinosaurs, fries and beans from the kiddies section…embarrassing me. You get the Mediterranean Europeans; shirts tucked in, jumpers over shoulders, with an olive skinned glow sharing bread, dips and crudités along a long, communal table. They look incredible. They are incredible. You get the outsiders. People like me. We don’t want to be labeled and will try as hard as possible to be less British.

Man holding beer by a pool in the sun
Beer - with a canteen view

Be polite

“Obrigada” I nod to the Spanish waiter clearing my plate. Successfully insulting him and getting my gender wrong at the same time. “De nada” he politely replies as he can see me clench as I immediately realise my error. “Lo Celso” I respond, attempting to apologise but quickly realising that Lo Celso plays for Tottenham Hotspur and “Lo Siento” is what I meant. I skulk off to the ice cream station. Pistachio for me, an attempt in vain to hide my British-ness. My point is; attempts to be polite, speak the language and perhaps throw in the odd tip will see your beer glass filled higher, your orders remembered for next time and a rapport with the staff that can lead to hints and tips on the locality.

Day tripping

With the all inclusive holiday you can book day, morning or afternoon trips and they will pick you up and get you back between food times. No canteen trips missed. “I’m Louis Theroux, I’m Louis Theroux” I tell myself. Imagining I’m an investigative journalist exploring the all-inclusive holidayer. It’s incredible. Bawdy Welsh in bucket hats sample local liqueur and ask me questions. I tan well… Of course, option two is to take your own trips, if you're all inclusive then you potentially have no obligatory additional spending.

Xoriguer Gin Distillery sign
Xoriguer Gin Distillery - Mahon

Less stress

Humour aside, it’s a great way to travel. I saw the beautiful island of Menorca, explored both sides of it visiting Mahon and Ciutadella with relative ease and didn’t need to worry about supermarket trips for self catering or how much money we’d need for restaurants and those suave men standing outside restaurants trying to charm never got the better of a weak, hungry version of me because I always had a full stomach.

Out of season

I wouldn’t want to do this in the height of the season, I imagine it to be hell on earth. We did this in the final week of the season in Menorca and were one of a handful of British families that were outnumbered by Europeans, and that made it seem ok to me. The local facilities and harbour were all nice and quiet but the temperatures were still that of the best we can expect In Britain. The pool was quiet too. Busy enough to not be dead but peaceful enough. All the staff had enough time to chat and get to know us, but what was nice is that because they had the time they seemed to enjoy themselves.

All inclusive as a base for a holiday is a great idea in European countries in late September and October, but don’t do it in the summer holidays!

Peaceful enough to read a book by the pool

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