Picture credit: Ed Hoskins

Family holidays require a degree of planning. Everyone knows it’s not a simple as looking at desirable destinations, booking one and waiting for the date to come around. While your end destination is important, the actual structure of your holiday is also vital, and this includes amenities.

All inclusive holidays are popular for families. They provide a readymade solution to at least one big issue, and a potential family battleground: meals.

There is also the issue of cost: which is the most economic option for a family holiday?

However, we think the most important thing you must consider is quality. What sort of holiday do you want? What will suit your family best, and, how will the holiday affect you all?

Are You in Control?

The temptation with all inclusive is to cede all control to your holiday hosts, so you no longer need worry about the kids nagging you for drinks and snacks. And your meals are taken care of, so you don’t have to do that much planning around mealtimes.

But then how much choice will this leave you with? Because if you’re staying within the confines of your resort that’s fine, but any plans to eat out and you’re basically paying twice.

If, for example, you choose to stay in a UK holiday cottage, then you’re basically in control of everything you do. You choose where to shop, what food to eat – and if you want to eat out, you can plan ahead for it.

If the kids are fussy about their food, no problem, because you can find food they’re comfortable with in the local shops, or even take it with you. Sometimes familiarity is a great problem-solver.

And you can control the budget.


Your Holiday Experience

It comes down to the kind of holiday you want, and a self-catering holiday cottage break is about exploration.

It’s about getting to know the area around you; discovering new places while having your own home from home as a kind of base camp.

You also have a lot of independence. Some might find this a challenge, if your kids need constant entertainment on tap, for example; but if your family is temperamentally suited to it, then the self-catering holiday can be very rewarding.

You can switch off by doing lots of active things, things that take you away from your normal routine, even while you maintain your close-knit family arrangements in your self-catering accommodation.

Your holiday might just tell you something new about yourself, and give you a much-needed rest in the process. Not every moment has to be magical – but you might just surprise yourself.