An official travel guide, described by the Foreign Office as the 'definitive guide for young travellers' has been criticised for encouraging backpackers to stay in all-inclusive resorts.
The new guide, which is called 'Plan. Pack. Explore.', advises young people to, "consider all-inclusive holidays - set your price in sterling and get meals, drinks and activities in one price."
reports that the move has been slammed by the charity Tourism Concern, who believe that all-inclusive holidays offer little that benefits either the traveller or the local community.
Travel Concern's executive director, Mark Watson, told The Independent: "The all-inclusive model brings the least benefit to local communities. Host communities tend to resent such tourists because they don't contribute to the local economy. And for young people, part of travel is the cultural exchange - which an all-inclusive holiday inhibits."
The controversial advice appears in the section of the guide which focuses on money management. The guide is designed to help young people and their parents get the most out of their time abroad, while alerting them to common mistakes such as not taking out the correct insurance and what to do if they get into trouble when they are away from home.
Khaliida Cox, from the Know Before You Go team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), says: "Now that exam results are out and people start considering a gap year, preparation can be daunting for young people and their parents - particularly if it is a trip away without family for the first time."
She continues: "Gap years should be all about having fun, exploring the world and hopefully enhancing your CV but if you are not prepared before you go away, things can go horribly wrong."
A Foreign Office spokesman told The Independent: "The advice in 'managing money' is meant to encourage people to think about which type of holiday would best fit their budget. The guide does not endorse all-inclusive holidays, or any other type of holiday - it encourages people to consider all the options."
The FCO is encouraging everyone planning a gap year to pick up a copy of the guide to help them avoid preventable problems overseas. It is available in print, online
and as an app.
Click on the image below to find out the best places to sleep on the beach...
- Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil
One of Brazil's most exclusive beach resorts Ponta dos Ganchos offers its guests complete privacy and is surrounded by a fisherman village on the Emerald Coast. Nestled in 25 acres of green forest on a peninsula, the resort has 25 rustic-chic bungalows with large wooden decks so you can enjoy the idyllic sea views. Being so close to the water, you can try scuba diving, whale watching and boating, plus the bungalows have outdoor Jacuzzis, plunge pools and there's a spa overlooking the ocean. From £426 per bungalow per night. Visit <a href="http://www.pontadosganchos.com.br/en/" target="_blank">pontadosganchos.com.br</a></p>
- Yab Yum Resort, India
In Goa the Yab Yum Resort's 12 thatched igloos make for a magical place to sleep on the beach. The silky-soft sand of Mandrem Beach on the north coast of Goa is virtually untouched with only a cluster of beach restaurants and stalls. The igloos and four simple cottages are hidden beneath coconut palms in a sand garden and lit at night by fairy lights and paper lanterns. Each room has an incense burner, richly-coloured Rajasthani artwork and muslin curtains. Doubles from £33 per night. Visit <a href="http://www.i-escape.com/yab-yum-resort/overview" target="_blank">i-escape.com</a></p>
- Lochhouses Farm, Scotland
Go glamping on the East Lothian coast in Scotland where you can stay in a luxury safari tent nestled under trees on the soft sandy beach dunes just one hour from Edinburgh and in a spot that's known for having more sunshine and less rain than other parts of Britain. Harvest Moon Holidays has everything you need for camping on the beach in style, from wood-burning stoves, en-suite toilets, hot showers and a tree house and kids' animal corner for those travelling with children. Explore the fabulous beach, take a pony trek along farm trails and visit the farm shop, which is housed in a faded blue fishing boat and has an honesty box system with local produce available that you can cook on your outdoor cook pot. From £485 for a midweek stay from Monday to Friday for up to eight people. Visit <a href="http://www.harvestmoonholidays.com/" target="_blank">harvestmoonholidays.com</a></p>
- Jake's, Jamaica
Bohemian boutique resort Jake's is located in the small seaside fishing village of Treasure Beach along Jamaica's South Coast and has brightly coloured seafront cottages that fit seamlessly into the beachscape. There are secluded sunbathing spots, coconut trees and beachside dining. If you're going on a romantic break, the honeymoon cottage Octopussy 3 is on the sand and rocks with a private outside bath and shower overlooking the sea - just don't be surprised if you spot a dolphin swimming past while you're in the tub! Rooms at Jake's from £60 per night and the honeymoon cottages from £210 per night. Visit <a href="http://www.jakeshotel.com/" target="_blank">jakeshotel.com</a></p>
- Tolcarne Apartments and Surf Shacks, Newquay
Head to the UK's surf capital Newquay and sleep on Tolcarne Beach, where you can choose from beautifully furnished self-catering apartments, a cosy chalet-style beach house or shabby-chic surf shacks. Each offer gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and are ideal for a British seaside getaway. Opt for the surf shacks that sleep up to four adults for a back-to-basics beach experience where there are cabin bunk beds, one electric light and a fresh water tap outside! Surf shacks cost from £60 per night and two-bedroom apartments start from £100 per night. Visit <a href="http://tolcarnebeach.com/" target="_blank">tolcarnebeach.com</a></p>
- Tiki Hutte, France
If you thought that glamorous St Tropez was all about luxury hotels and villas, think again as there are beach huts too. And they're pretty swanky as well! At Tiki Hutte on the glorious Pampelonne beach, there are palm trees, thatched roofs and modern beach accommodation that's perfect for sociable guests - it's made for groups of friends or families, with a stylish caravan holiday feel. Book one of the front row huts to be right on the beach and don't worry if you forget your swimming costume as Pampelonne is known for being a nudist beach! From 160 euros per night for up to six people in one first row hut. Visit <a href="http://en.riviera-villages.com/" target="_blank">riviera-villages.com</a></p>
- Wilson Island, Australia
Make an iconic trip to the Great Barrier Reef even more memorable by staying on Wilson Island and camping on the beach in a luxurious tent. Tailor Made offers the ultimate castaway experience with tents set among foliage and running down to the white sands and azure waters. With the emphasis on simple indulgence, you can enjoy lounging on a hammock, snorkelling, having a gourmet picnic on the beach and sipping champagne at sunset. Even dinner is a treat with fresh cuisine plucked from the sea! From £265 per person per night including meals, drinks and transfers from Heron Island. Visit <a href="http://www.tailor-made.co.uk/holidays/home.htm" target="_blank">tailor-made.co.uk</a></p>
- Island Dhow Safari tents, Mozambique
Eco-camp under a simple canvas on the beaches of the Quirimbas Archipelago National Park in Mozambique where you can hop from island to island on Scott Dunn's Ibo Island Dhow Safari and sleep under the stars. You'll snorkel through turquoise waters, picnic on remote sandbanks and spot the array of wildlife before catching fish for dinner so you can experience dining and sleeping on the beach. The safari costs £3,379 per person including international travel, transfers, seven nights' accommodation with four nights camping and guides. Visit <a href="http://www.scottdunn.com/" target="_blank">scottdunn.com</a></p>
- Villa del Faro, Mexico
Stay in a unique stone cottage on a deserted beach in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico to be steps away from the Sea of Cortez. Villa del Faro is perfect if you're looking for seclusion with miles of empty beaches and surrounded by beautiful sea and pristine dessert. The Stone Beach Cottage sits literally on the beach and has a comfy bed, solar lights and a fairytale atmosphere. There are four other spaces to rent at Villa del Faro - the Casa Alberca and the Casitas - and it's an awesome spot where turtles nest on the beach, there's year-round surfing and swimming, plus whales to be spotted. From £90 per night. Visit <a href="http://www.oneoffplaces.co.uk/The%20Americas/Mexico/Baja/Villa-Del-Faro.aspx" target="_blank">oneoffplaces.co.uk</a></p>
- Kasbah Tabelkoukt, Morocco
Fancy having this stunning kasbah all to yourself? Perched on the edge of a cliff in the Moroccan Sahara, the exotic abode is in a wild setting in Mirleft, where it invites the ocean to reach up to its rock face. Kasbah Tabelkoukt has sumptuous Moroccan interiors, a stunning pool overlooking the Atlantic and a great terrace for dining under the stars while you listen to the waves. The beach below is practically deserted and if you don't want to rent the entire building you can book one of the 10 bedrooms. From £790 per week for two people or £1,620 for exclusive hire per night. Visit <a href="http://www.oneoffplaces.co.uk/Africa/Morocco/Agadir---Ouarzazate/Kasbah-Tabelkoukt.aspx" target="_blank">oneoffplaces.co.uk</a></p>