A new survey conducted by the Post Office has found that more than 50 per cent of 'all-inclusive' holidays work out costing more than paying for accommodation and food and drink separately.
The Sunday Times reports that around one in three British holidaymakers now go all-inclusive, even though it's now possible to get a better deal by eating a local bars and restaurants.
Post Office researchers interviewed 798 holidaymakers who had been on an all-inclusive holiday, and found that a whopping 88 per cent felt misled by claims that all meals were included. One in six ended up paying extra for á la carte dining, while others were charged for mineral water or surprised to find few recognisable drinks included in the deal.
Given that recognisable brands of beer and premium spirits cost, on average, more than £4, and wine costs around £13 a bottle, it's easy to spend more than £200 on extras during the course of a holiday.
First Choice, which now only sells all-inclusive holidays, told The Sunday Times: "All-inclusive holidays do offer great value for money. Case-study research we conducted last year showed that a family of four could actually save about £500 on a holiday by booking all-inclusive rather than a B&B option."
Click on the image below for some good value late-summer escapes...
Best destinations for a late summer escape
More than half of all-inclusive holidays will leave you out of pocket
Why go? The weather is perfect at this time of year. And the flight is just seven hours from London, so you can leave in the afternoon and arrive on the island for cocktail hour! What's the deal? Enjoy buy one get one free British Airways flights to Bermuda when you book a holiday by 25 September with the Endless Summer Deal offer. It could save your family up to £1,000!
Why go? The autumn leaves are in full colour and the scenery is breathtaking. The days are warm too and the nights are crisp. Boston is New England's largest city and is alive with art, film, food and jazz festivals throughout September. What's the deal?Tour America Direct is offering a four-night holiday at the Hilton Boston Back Bay Hotel, departing from London Heathrow on 20 September from £799 per person, with a saving of £80 per couple.
Why go? The first two weeks of September in Corfu are blissful with temperatures around 30C - think hot days and warm evenings. If you want the beaches to yourself, go in the last two weeks of September when temperatures are in the mid-20s, the tavernas are quieter and the evenings are a little cooler. What's the deal?Classic Collection Holidays is giving away complimentary upgrades on an all-inclusive holidays when you book a stay at the Marbella Beach Hotel between 24 September and 31 October, saving you £406 per couple per week.
Why go? Warm sea, warm air! With temperatures between 23C to 31C, the heat is not as uncomfortable as in July and August. The Red Sea is perfect for lounging on the beach, diving and seeing the historical sites of Luxor and Cairo. What's the deal? For those looking for a luxurious break, Kuoni is offering a seven-night stay at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna with Egyptair flights from Heathrow (via Cairo) and transfers from £877 per person in September, saving you £389 per person.
Why go? The ideal time to visit Shanghai is in September and October when the peak tourist season has passed and you can enjoy mild temperatures of 20C while exploring the cosmopolitan city. Hotel prices are cheaper, the city is less cramped and it's a great time to experience a cruise on the Huangpu River. What's the deal? For a luxurious break for less book a stay at The Langham Xintiandi between 28 September and 7 October, and you can enjoy three nights for the price of two.
Why go? Unspoilt landscapes, beautiful beaches and pretty towns and villages with spectacular scenery from September through to winter. What's the deal?FBM Holidays is offering 15 per cent off any week stay in September at the semi-detached house Cleggars Castle, reducing the cost from £450 to £382.50. The property is great for a family break and is close to the beaches of Tenby, Saundersfoot and Amroth, as well as a perfect spot for walking, cycling and fishing. The owners have their own vegetable garden too and will offer you seasonal fruit and vegetables at a low cost.
Why go? For a laidback beach break, Protaras is great for families and couples who are not looking for the party lifestyle of neighbouring resort Ayia Napa. With sandy beaches, seafood restaurants and temperatures reaching cooling down to 25C in late summer Protaras is a great spot for a last-minute holiday in the sun. What's the deal?sunshine.co.uk is offering a stay at four-star family-run apartment complex Amore Apartments for £179.57 per room for seven nights on 2 September. Flights from Gatwick cost an additional £282.86 per person.
Why go? I September is hot with a daily average of 27C, although there is a slight chance of refreshing rain showers. It's the back end of the monsoon season, so it's cheaper! What's the deal? Thomson is offering seven nights for the price of six at Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort throughout September with prices starting from £1,428 per person (saving you £283 per person) and including flights from Gatwick.
Why go? With fewer crowds on the beaches, warm temperatures and cheaper prices, September is an ideal time to visit Croatia. Whether you fancy a city break in Dubrovnik, a foodie break in Istria or an island escape in Dalmatia, there are plenty of possibilities. What's the deal?Cheapflights.co.uk is offering seven nights at the adult-only five-star Ariston Hotel in Dubrovnik with return flights from Gatwick from £726 per person for a 23 September departure.
Why go? The high season being over, prices start to fall - so it's perfect for anyone who fancies one of the many late summer festivals festivals, like the Mare de Déu de la Salut in Palma and the celebration of the grape harvest in Binissalem. What's the deal?Mallorca Farmhouses is offering a lovely rural escape at the country cottage Cassellas de Baix in Campanet with September prices starting from £423 per person, saving you 15 per cent.
Why go? When summer comes to an end in Finnish Lapland, you can marvel at the natural display of leaves changing to fiery autumnal hues during the Ruska season. The underrated season is best enjoyed in the areas of Muonio, Kilpisjarvi, Kittila and Enontekio. What's the deal?Transun is offering all AOL Travel users a free upgrade from a hotel room to a cabin (with its own sauna!) at the Davvi Arctic Lodge on its Discover Ruska break, saving a family of four on a seven-night stay £420. Just mention AOL Travel when booking a Discover Ruska holiday on a three, four or seven-night basis, which starts from £799 per person including flights, accommodation, transfers and activities, like a fell trek, Sami interlude and bushcraft safari.
Why go? Romantic Andalucia with its breathtaking mountains, beautiful valleys and rolling plains with olive groves. What's the deal? Throughout September you can enjoy £300 off a seven-night stay for two at a chic DDG Retreat casa, taking the starting price to £375 per person based on two people sharing.
Why go? Portugal has always been a popular destination for late summer sun and this year the Alentejo region is a hotspot with its new coastal and inland walk, Rota Vicentina, which consists of the 122km Fishermen's Trail and the 22km Historical Way that run along the Alentejo and Algarve coastline. What's the deal?Sunvil Discovery is offering a stay at the typically Portuguese country estate Herdade do Touril in Zambujeira do Mar for four nights in September from £723 per person including flights from Heathrow and car hire.
Why go? Guaranteed sunshine, gorgeous beaches and plenty of activity, from desert safaris to water sports. What's the deal?ebookers.com is offering a seven-night stay at the four-star Golden Sands Hotel Apartments for £453 per person including flights from Heathrow departing on 17 September.
Why go? Wine lovers will adore September in Tuscany when the grape harvest begins and many local festivals celebrate the opening of new wines. Wine aside, Tuscany is a paradise for foodies in September too when there are festivals for mushrooms, bread soup, honey and pizza! What's the deal?To Tuscany is offering a stay at a rustic cottage in the Tuscan countryside which sleeps six throughout September for £683 instead of £1,138, saving you 40 per cent.
Why go? Enjoy a village break close to the sea in an undiscovered part of Turkey. Alacati is known for its converted windmills, great local food and old Ottoman houses. What's the deal?Green Island Holidays is offering a seven night holiday at the boutique Beyevi hotel with flights and transfers from Birmingham or Stansted in September from £718 per person.
Why go? Fuerteventura offers the best beaches and the longest coastline of the Canary Islands. If you're looking for somewhere to relax on an idyllic beach and get active with water sports, like scuba diving, surfing and windsurfing, Fuerteventura is just a four-hour flight away. What's the deal?On The Beach is offering a holiday at the main beach spot Corralejo for just £385 per person, including seven nights at the four-star Corralejo Beach Aparthotel in a Junior Suite on a half-board basis and flights from London Luton on 25 September.
Why go? From Fashion's Night Out to Broadway Week, New York has a whole host of events in September. There's also 20 per cent off at various restaurants, hotels and attractions until the end of the month with the Official NYC Coupon. While August in New York can be too hot, September is the ideal time - the average daily temperature is 24C - perfect for days of shopping and sightseeing! What's the deal? Travelbag is offering three nights at the four-star Excelsior Hotel from £799 per person including flights with British Airways from London Heathrow when you book by 25 September for travel until 21 October.
Why go? While other far-flung destinations like the Caribbean, Thailand and India are experiencing hurricane and monsoon seasons, southern Tanzania boasts perfect sunbathing weather in September. With unspoilt white sand beaches and lagoon forests to explore, you can enjoy a relaxed or adventure-filled break in southern Tanzania. What's the deal?Africa Odyssey is offering seven nights at the boutique beach lodge Ras Kutani on a full-board basis from £1,990 per person, with a saving of £447 per person, including British Airways flights from London.
Why go? September and October are the ideal months to visit Tunisia, when the edge comes off the summer heat and the date harvest begins. September is also a great time to go diving with lots of underwater tunnels, caves and wrecks to explore when it's quieter. Don't miss the Neptune Trident Festival from 5 to 9 September, where you can test your spear fishing skills with the locals in Tabarka. What's the deal? With Directline Holidays, you can enjoy seven nights at the three-star Hotel Golf Residence in Port El Kantaoui on a half-board basis from only £293 per person, when you depart from Birmingham on 5 September.