American Plan

The American Plan, sometimes abbreviated as AP in listings, means that the nightly rate stated by a hotel or resort which includes three meals a day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the American plan, the meals are provided by the hotel’s kitchen and served on site, typically in the dining room. Some hotels offer guests the option of being on the American plan or paying à la carte for the food consumed in their facility. Travelers choosing a hotel in a remote location where there are few restaurants — or none at all — are advised to stay at a hotel that offers an American plan.

Advantages of the American Plan

  • It’s easier to budget for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. Knowing in advance what your vacation will cost can help you to stay within your means.
  • You can spend more time touring. And less worrying about where your next meal is coming from.
  • Breakfast will be waiting for you. In some hotels, breakfast is buffet style and all-you-can eat. On cruise ship, expect a bounty of food and a wide variety from pancakes to bagels with smoked salmon. Free-standing hotels may not be as generous with their offerings.
  • Drinks with dinner. Normally beverages, including coffee, soda, beer, soft drinks and wine are included with the meals. At other times of the day, you may have to pay for them. On major cruise lines, passengers can buy a drink card that makes non-included beverages more affordable.