While booking a hotel, we come across several terminologies which does not make sense to the guest. The most important aspect of a hotel booking is the meal plan, and it is essential to understand all the plans so that you can make the correct choice according to your need while making your bookings. There are four basic types of meal plans which are provided in the tourism industry-


American Plan is abbreviated as AP in hotel listings. It includes three meals a day- breakfast, lunch and dinner. The establishment, be it a hotel, a resort or a cruise provides the meals on-site, mainly in the dining room. Those travellers who are visiting remote places, where there are very few restaurants and eateries can opt for the American plan of the meal so that they can have their food easily.


  • The travellers can easily decide the budget, as you can find out the total cost of the lodging as well as food well in advance.
  • You can be assured that a meal is waiting for you at the hotel and do not need to worry about restaurants while on the move.

Family having lunch at a restaurantImage Source


  • The American plan is not for the foodies since the traveller does not get to eat foods of his choices. He also does not get to taste the varieties of food available in the local restaurants which are unique to the area.
  • It is not appropriate for those people who have a minimal appetite since they can not have their meals at the notified times and it usually goes in waste since they have already paid for it in advance.
  • Some of the hotels and restaurants have a fixed menu for different meals, and the customer does not get more than a few options.
  • If you are on a sightseeing vacation, you will be out for sightseeing and activities during day time, and this will make it difficult for you to avail the lunch which is included in the American Plan.


When we see the hotel listings, Modified America Plan is abbreviated as MAP. This plan includes two meals – breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner – instead of three meals. The meals are served usually on-site or in the dining room of the hotel or the resort. This plan is best for those travellers who are visiting places which do not have many restaurants. In those cases, the person can have two meals from the hotels they stay in. They can get the third meal on their way if they find a restaurant so that they are assured of two meals and at the same time get the opportunity to taste the local restaurant food.


  • It is usually cheaper than the America Plan as one meal is less in this plan.
  • You get the freedom to try other restaurants while on the move.


  • Your desire for the search for food is gone, as you already know that you have paid for your meals.
  • You are out of luck if the menu of the meals is limited and fee substitution is provided.

Restaurant with limited menuImage Source

  • The food is served only at specific times. So if you are late or are not hungry at the moment, your money goes to waste as they do not serve food outside of the specific times.

How to Get the best out of the Modified American Plan

The best idea is to have breakfast and dinner at your hotel. You can have your breakfast before leaving your hotel, and then eat your lunch while on the road from any restaurant of your choice. Once you are tired and exhausted, after the entire day’s events, you do not need to look for food as you are assured of the dinner at your hotel.


The continental plan is abbreviated as CP in the hotel listings which essentially means that the quote includes breakfast for every guest who occupies the room overnight. The meal is usually served in the hotel restaurant or a specific breakfast room. Typically, the breakfast is served buffet style. All the dishes and items are placed on the table with all the required cutleries. The guests have to get up and take their own meals without any limit to how much he can eat.

Simple breakfast spread at a hotel's restaurantImage Source

The Continental Plan is entirely dependent on the hotel as to what they will provide you for breakfast. Some places usually offer a very skimpy meal with just bread and toast whereas some provide delicious dishes ranging from croissants to muffins along with coffee or tea.


European plan usually abbreviated as EP in hotel listing signifies that the rate is solely for the lodging and no meals would be provided. The food you order from the hotel will have a separate bill. All taxes and tips are also additional.


  • You are not limited to the hotel food. No matter where you are visiting, you can have the opportunity to taste all their local special dishes.
  • You can easily save money by deciding for yourself about the food you want to it. You can make your choices according to your budget which can help you save more money for your other needs.

Trying the local cuisine at a restaurantImage Source


  • While calculating your budget, it becomes very difficult to make an accurate budget for your trip. That is because you do not know about the expenses that will have to be made while eating out.
    If you are visiting a mountainous area in lousy weather, it becomes challenging to go out looking for your food.
  • You may not like the food of some places, in which case it becomes tough to savour your appetite. Some people may be prone to some ingredients which are locally found in all the dishes.

We hope the above pointers will be of some benefit to you as you decide which meal plan to go for during your trip.

Why not take a look at some of the best non-vegetarian dishes in Kerala or the best breakfast delicacies of the state!

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