When you are booking travel, some of the terminologies could be clearer, especially when you are trying to consider your budget for meals. Hotels and resorts have meal plans that are added to the room rate. Some meal plans, however, are already included in the overall package. Either way, adding a meal plan is a great way to plan your budget.
Let’s explore some of the meal plans you can consider. There are four common types of meal plans. The most common is the All-Inclusive (AI), followed by the European Plan (EP), American Plan (AP), and Continental Plan (CP).
The All- Inclusive plan represents including all meals, snacks, and drinks. The types of food and drinks may vary from resort to resort and should be considered when booking an All-Inclusive Resort property. Some resorts have classified these by different room categories. For example, the AMRCollection of resorts in the Breathless brand has their EXHALE club that offers premium beverages to those that book that room category. In addition, resorts may use different names for their all-inclusive plans, such as Karisma resorts. They use the term gourmet inclusive.
The European Plan (EP) is room-only. Guests in these hotels will pay for any meals. EP is the most common in cities and among most public hotels.
The American Plan (AP) is similar to the all-inclusive plan but only includes 3 meals daily with the room’s price. Just so you know, this may not include drinks and can vary widely from hotel to hotel.
The Continental Plan (CP) is a bed and breakfast plan. It includes your accommodation and breakfast. The type of breakfast can vary from a hot breakfast to a buffet with a few hot items included.
In addition to the most common meal plan terms, you may also see Half Board Meal Plan (HB) and Full Board Meal Plan (FB). The Half Board is when breakfast and evening meals are included in your room rate. Breakfast will typically have drinks such as coffee, tea, and juice but will not include drinks in the evening meal. Full Board is when all three meals are included, breakfast, lunch, and dinner; however, no drinks are included. This plan is perfect for those who want to take advantage of their accommodations and amenities and do little outside the resort.
Planning your vacation using a meal plan can help you with your budget and help you not overspend on meals. In addition, knowing that the majority of your daily spending is paid for when you depart for your trip brings peace of mind and helps relieve the stress of deciding where to eat and surprises expenses. Include your travel advisor in this conversation, as they will know which resorts have plans for you and enjoy all your vacation destination has to offer you!