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Full Board vs. Half Board: What's the Difference?

By Aimie Carlson & Harlon Moss || Published on March 1, 2024
Full Board includes all three main meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Half Board typically includes breakfast and either lunch or dinner, offering fewer meals.

Key Differences

Full Board accommodation means your stay includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This option is ideal for travelers who prefer having all their meals arranged at their accommodation without worrying about finding restaurants for every meal. On the other hand, Half Board generally includes only two meals: breakfast and either lunch or dinner. This plan suits travelers who wish to explore local dining options or who don't need all three meals provided every day.
With Full Board, you're less likely to need to spend additional money on meals, as your food is fully covered throughout your stay. It's convenient for those in remote locations or where dining options are limited. However, Half Board offers more flexibility and the opportunity to experience the local cuisine outside the hotel, making it a popular choice for those exploring urban areas or places with a variety of dining experiences.
Travelers choosing Full Board enjoy the simplicity of a pre-planned menu and the convenience of not having to search for meal options three times a day. It's particularly appealing for families with children or groups seeking a hassle-free dining experience. In contrast, Half Board can cater to adventurers and those who enjoy spontaneity in their dining choices, allowing for exploration and discovery of local dishes and eateries.
Full Board arrangements can sometimes be more cost-effective for travelers, as they bundle all meals into the accommodation price, potentially offering savings over purchasing meals separately. Conversely, Half Board might appeal more to budget-conscious travelers who plan to eat out less expensively or who prefer to have only one major meal a day at the hotel.
The choice between Full Board and Half Board ultimately depends on the traveler's preferences for convenience, flexibility, and the desire to explore local culinary scenes. While Full Board offers the ease of pre-arranged meals, Half Board allows for greater freedom and the chance to discover local food offerings.

Comparison Chart

Meals Included

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Breakfast and either lunch or dinner


Lower, as all meals are at the accommodation
Higher, with more opportunities to eat out


Best for remote locations or convenience seekers
Ideal for urban explorers and foodies


Potentially more cost-effective overall
Can be cheaper for those eating out

Traveler Type

Families, groups, those preferring simplicity
Adventurers, budget-conscious travelers

Full Board and Half Board Definitions

Full Board

Full Board can lead to savings on meals.
Opting for Full Board saved us money compared to dining out.

Half Board

This plan can be more budget-friendly.
Choosing Half Board, we saved on one meal a day.

Full Board

It's a hassle-free dining plan for travelers.
Choosing Full Board meant we didn't worry about meals during our vacation.

Half Board

It offers flexibility to try local restaurants.
With Half Board, we explored local cuisine every evening.

Full Board

This plan suits those who prefer not to venture out for meals.
With kids, Full Board keeps dining simple and on-site.

Half Board

Half Board is popular among urban travelers.
Staying in the city, Half Board allowed us to enjoy lunch on the go.

Full Board

Full Board is ideal for locations with limited dining options.
In the secluded lodge, Full Board was our best option.

Half Board

Half Board includes two meals, usually breakfast and one other.
Our hotel package was Half Board, so dinners were our choice.

Full Board

Full Board means all main meals are included with your stay.
The resort offers Full Board, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Half Board

Half Board suits those with fewer meal requirements.
As light eaters, Half Board was perfectly adequate for us.


Is Full Board suitable for foodies?

Full Board is convenient, but foodies might prefer Half Board for more opportunities to explore local cuisine.

Does Half Board include drinks?

Drinks are usually not included in Half Board and might be charged extra.

Is Half Board cheaper than Full Board?

Half Board can be cheaper as it includes fewer meals, but actual savings depend on local dining costs.

Can I choose which meals are included in Half Board?

Typically, breakfast is included, and hotels offer a choice between lunch or dinner as the second meal.

Are Full Board and Half Board available worldwide?

Yes, many hotels and resorts around the world offer these dining plans.

Can I find vegetarian options in Full Board?

Most accommodations offer dietary accommodations, including vegetarian options.

Can I add meals to Half Board?

Additional meals can usually be added, but they might be charged separately.

Are special meals like halal available in Full Board?

Many accommodations can accommodate special meal requests, including halal, when notified in advance.

What's included in Full Board?

Full Board includes three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Is Full Board the same in every hotel?

While the basic concept is the same, the specifics can vary between hotels.

Can I switch meals in Half Board?

Policies vary, but some accommodations may allow switching between lunch and dinner.

Is Full Board worth it?

For those seeking convenience and staying in remote areas, Full Board can be very worthwhile.

Can I upgrade from Half Board to Full Board during my stay?

Upgrades are possible but depend on availability and may incur extra charges.

What if I miss a meal in my Full Board plan?

Missed meals usually cannot be refunded or exchanged, so it's best to plan accordingly.

Is Full Board restrictive in meal choices?

While more structured, many Full Board options still offer a variety of meals.

How does Half Board work with dietary restrictions?

Inform the accommodation in advance, and they can usually cater to dietary needs.

How do I book a Half Board or Full Board stay?

These options are usually selectable when booking your accommodation online or can be requested directly.

How do I know if Half Board is right for me?

If you enjoy dining out and exploring local foods, Half Board might suit your travel style better.

Do children get discounts on these plans?

Many hotels offer discounted or free dining plans for children, depending on age.

Are tips included in Full Board?

Tips are typically not included and are left to the guest's discretion.
About Author
Written by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.
Co-written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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