Almost half of package holidaymakers will be heading abroad on all-inclusive trips this year, but changing habits mean most of them will find their trip costs far more than they expected, according to the Post Office Travel Money All Inclusive Holiday Report.

Research for the report reveals that almost half (44%) of holidaymakers now view all-inclusive resorts as a base from which to venture out for meals and drinks in local bars and restaurants, with around two-thirds of parents who go all-inclusive in Europe spending extra on meals and drinks away from their hotel.

Those who do so spend an average of £254, which is 9% more than a year ago. Nearly three-quarters (72%) paid for meals in local restaurants at an average cost of almost £60. Depending on their resort, this could add up to 21% to the cost of their all-inclusive holiday.

In addition, the research found that families on long-haul holidays are even more likely to visit local resorts away from their all-inclusive hotel for meals, drinks and snacks than is the case in Europe. Almost four-in-five paid extra for meals at an average of more than £53. Up to 73% splashed out more than their European counterparts on a range of drinks and snacks, which means that their extra spend overall averages around £288 – 44% more than when the Post Office researched spending habits 12 months ago.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The all-inclusive holiday generation is now showing clear signs of having more realistic expectations and no longer assume everything to be included in the package.

“Most holidaymakers now prefer to get out and about, spending money in local restaurants and cafes where they will get a real flavour of their holiday resort. That is good news for local businesses but it means that holiday cash may be stretched. Be prepared and take enough foreign currency to cover the cost of items bought outside the all-inclusive hotel.”

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