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All-Incl. Vacation w/

All-inclusive packages may seem like a minefield to first-timers, so we've put together a guide to getting the best deal.

Choose the right destination
Long-haul holidays tend to command the greatest savings. The vast majority of holidaymakers who responded to the Post Office's All-Inclusive or Not? survey who had travelled to far-flung destinations felt that their holiday represented good value for money. Considering destinations like Mexico, the Caribbean and Africa is likely to mean you're getting the best possible deal. Here's our round-up of .

However, for those who want to stay closer to home while still making those all-important savings, the survey highlighted Greece and Spain as the best-value short-haul destinations. Mallorca, in particular, stood out as a place where all-inclusive packages were consistently hard to beat. Click here to find .

Take the whole family
And there's more excellent news for families. Many companies let children stay and eat for free at all-inclusive resorts, meaning Mum and Dad can allow their kids those little luxuries without worrying about additional costs. Furthermore, the benefit of a well-run children's programme to keep the sprogs occupied throughout the day is a fantastic fallback for any parents in need of some downtime - something you definitely don't get with a self-catering deal.

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Find out what's included
The jargon surrounding all-inclusive breaks trips up many travellers. At Travelzoo, we try to ensure you know exactly what you'll get for your money - and we'll always let you know when you're getting something extra special, like premium-brand drinks or a room upgrade. However, if you're still unsure, we advise double-checking on booking to avoid any nasty surprises once you're there.

While some people prefer to spend extra money in the à la carte restaurants to break the routine of the buffet bar, this certainly isn't necessary. Almost three-quarters of the holidaymakers surveyed by the Post Office rated the all-inclusive resorts' buffet food quantity as good, while over three in five said that taste, quality and choice were also good - incredibly positive news for your stomach and your wallet.

Finally, be careful how you pay for extras
So what happens if you do decide to treat yourself to something extra on a whim? Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money says, "It is important to carry enough foreign cash to cover meals, drinks and other charges. This year we again found that only half of the holidaymakers who paid for extras had taken foreign currency with them, while 25% paid by credit card and 18% by debit card, laying themselves open to additional bank transfer charges. Almost one in ten withdrew cash from an ATM abroad or changed pounds in their hotel where exchange rates are likely to be poor."

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