The beauty of an all inclusive break is that you have everything paid for ahead of time, so can eat, drink, and be merry without any hassle.
Unfortunately, however, not all holidaymakers get the fuss-free getaway they’d hoped for.
Jason Walker, 42, had booked an all inclusive trip to Majorca with his family, but was shocked to learn when he arrived that a new law had been put in place restricting alcohol consumption.
Rather than the unlimited beverages expected on a holiday like this, the party were limited to a maximum of six drinks per day; three at lunch and three at dinner.
Claiming that they hadn’t received the board basis advertised, Jason said he was left ‘very upset and angry,’ and it’s understandable why. Although it’s part of official Balearic legislation to curb antisocial behaviour in spots like Magaluf and Ibiza, you’d naturally feel short changed.
To avoid disappointment, your best bet is to read the small print and do your research before you go.
From the destinations currently limiting all inclusive drinking to the little-known rules many hotels have in place, here’s what you need to know.
Where do all inclusive drinks restrictions apply?
Lawmakers in the Balearics recently introduced all inclusive drinking limits of six per day, but the rules don’t apply right across the Islands.
As these rules are designed to target unruly holidaymakers, they’re focused on the areas that typically experience antisocial behaviour.
These are the affected regions:
- El Arenal
- Playa de Palma
- Sant Antoni
In these areas, pub crawls will also be banned, and the sale of alcohol in shops is banned from to 9.30pm to 8am each night.
Balearic Islands Tourism minister Iago Negueruela said: ‘We want British tourists – we don’t want this type of tourism.
‘British tourism is essential for our islands. We share with the British government the view that some images of British tourists are embarrassing.
‘We want to put a stop to bad behaviour. We will increase the police presence in these areas and the number of inspectors – we will have zero tolerance for tourism excesses.’
If you like a tipple and are planning an all inclusive break, it might be best to avoid these locations.
All inclusive explained
Whether you’re heading to the Balearic Islands or elsewhere, it’s good practice to check the terms of a holiday marked as all inclusive before booking.
There’s no official definition of all inclusive, which means you might not get the same at every resort.
While it normally means that all food and drink are factored in, some travel operators offer budget options (sometimes labelled as ‘basic’ or ‘light all inclusive’) and upgrades (‘plus’ or ‘premium’) at different price points.
Most all inclusive deals comprise breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and unlimited soft drinks and local alcoholic drinks.
Light all inclusive is closer to full board and will have limits on food and drink, whereas plus packages can include extras like premium beverages or a ‘free’ mini bar in your room.
Always check the fine print before booking your holiday, as this should make clear what you can expect.
Be aware while checking, most hotels only serve all inclusive alcohol between certain hours, after which you’ll have to pay.
Other amenities that may not be included as part of this board basis include a la carte restaurants, WiFi internet, and access to on-site spas, golf courses, or watersports.
Make a list of essential and desirable facilities for your break, then see if they’re included in the package you’re booking.
If you find you have to budget for a number of extras to have your perfect break, it may be cheaper and more convenient to opt for self catering instead.