Self-catering vs all-inclusive: How to steer your client in the right direction

Last updated October 17, 2023

As a travel agent, your mission is to curate the perfect travel experience for your clients. One of the big decisions they have to make is whether they want to go all-inclusive or self-catering. This choice can seriously impact their trip, so let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the differences, weigh the pros and cons of each, talk about some middle-ground options, and share some tips on giving top-notch service.

Understanding the difference between self-catering and all-inclusive options

Self-catering accommodation options:

When we talk about self-catering accommodation options, we’re talking vacation rentals, apartments, and villas. Basically, your clients get their own pad, complete with a kitchen. They can whip up their own meals, plan their own day, and explore local eats if they fancy it.

All-inclusive accommodation options:

On the flip side, all-inclusive accommodation options mean booking a resort or hotel where most (or all) meals, drinks, activities, and more are included. Hotel room add-ons ensure a  “no-worries” vacation where everything is taken care of on-site.

Pros and cons of self-catering accommodation options


  1. Flexibility: Your clients can cook or dine out on their own schedule, catering to their tastes.
  2. Budget-Friendly: Self-catering can save some cash, since they can shop locally and dodge pricey restaurants.
  3. Privacy: It’s like a home away from home, with plenty of space to spread out.
  4. Immersive Experience: Shopping at local markets and cooking up traditional dishes is a real cultural dive.


  1. More Work: Your clients need to plan, shop, and cook – not everyone’s idea of a vacation.
  2. Fewer Amenities: Self-catering spots might not have all the bells and whistles of all-inclusive resorts.

Pros and cons of all-inclusive accommodation options


  1. Convenience: No meal planning or extra effort – it’s a carefree vacation.
  2. Variety: Resorts usually offer a buffet of dining options and activities right on-site.
  3. Social Vibes: Perfect for those who love mingling, with events and entertainment galore.
  4. Predictable Costs: Easy budgeting with most expenses upfront.


  1. Upfront Costs: All-inclusive might seem pricier at first, but it can save in the long run.
  2. Less Local Flavour: Exploring local culture and cuisine might take a backseat.
  3. Crowds: Popular all-inclusive places can get packed, impacting the overall experience.

Self-catering vs all-inclusive: Is there a middle ground?

Absolutely! There are options like half-board (breakfast and one other meal) or just breakfast packages that strike a balance between self-catering and all-inclusive. This way, travellers can enjoy local bites while still enjoying some convenience.

Regardless of their choice, you can still provide awesome service

To provide exceptional service, it’s crucial to gain a deep understanding of your client’s travel preferences, budget constraints, and culinary desires. Present a diverse range of options, including both self-catering and all-inclusive packages, enabling them to select the most suitable choice.

Elevate their travel experience by tailoring it to their specific desires, whether it involves arranging immersive cooking classes or organising exciting excursions. Staying well-informed about the latest travel trends and accommodation options ensures you can provide the most enticing choices. Moreover, don’t underestimate the revenue opportunities that come with promoting all-inclusive packages – not only can it boost your commissions, but it also grants clients a carefree vacation where all expenses are covered upfront, enhancing their overall enjoyment.

Global Accommodation is your go-to for accommodations that match your traveller’s holiday style. StayGlobal makes searching a breeze, and with Stay Specialists, booking becomes a snap. Whether your clients lean towards self-catering, all-inclusive, or something in between, you’ve got the tools to create their dream trip. Happy travels!

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