Package deal offers

What are they?

Package deal holidays are normally all-in-one offers with flights, transfers, lodging and typically meals included. In the course of the 1970s package deal holidays enabled hundreds of thousands of Britons to vacation overseas, however the creation of no-frills flights and vacation comparability web sites noticed their reputation wane within the early 21st-century. 

Nonetheless, in recent times package deal holidays have seen a resurgence, largely because of travellers looking for better monetary safety (package deal holidays are typically protected by Atol – see extra under) after the collapse of a number of high-profile vacation firms, to not point out the penchant of price range airways to slap hidden prices corresponding to baggage charges onto fares. 

In line with the Affiliation of British Journey Brokers (ABTA), they nonetheless stay the most well-liked sort of reserving, with 46 per cent of holidaymakers choosing a package deal deal annually.  

The professionals

  • Price – As a result of many operators have struck offers with airways and hoteliers, package deal holidays are typically cheaper than arranging an analogous reserving your self. As flights, lodging and possibly meals/transport are paid upfront, costs are extra clear from the outset, permitting folks to price range extra successfully throughout their journey.
  • Higher safety – By legislation, package deal holidays bought via UK journey firms are required to be protected beneath the government-backed Atol scheme. Because of this in case your journey firm goes bust or your airline fails, you’ll be refunded if you’re but to journey, and entitled to resort prices/flights house if you’re already overseas. At all times ask earlier than you e-book whether or not a vacation is Atol-protected – when Lowcostholidays went into administration final July [2016], 140,000 holidaymakers discovered that they had negligible safety as a result of it was registered in Spain (and subsequently exempt from Atol necessities).
  • Lack of stress – Package deal holidays take away a lot of the burden and laptop rage that comes with planning a vacation and trawling via lots of of worth comparability web sites.
  • For snowboarding and different wintersports holidays, package deal offers are normally higher worth as a result of tour operators normally run their very own lodging within the mountains, have negotiated particular charges, with raise passes and gear rent usually included within the package deal too.
  • Households – Package deal holidays are sometimes higher for these travelling with kids, with many tour operators organising children’ actions and playgrounds. 
  • For solo travellers – Reserving a package deal deal could also be advantageous as many firms supply reduced-price or omit singles’ dietary supplements.
  • Package deal resorts normally have a tour operator consultant on the bottom coping with requests, excursions or emergencies.
  • Package deal holidays as soon as meant a fortnight in Benidorm being herded round by a loudmouthed clipboard-wielding rep. However  over the previous 5 years, they’ve advanced to supply boutique resort stays in upscale locations.
  • Some firms will let you customise your individual package deal corresponding to Saga, which provides clients the choice to dispense with frills corresponding to all-inclusive bars and full-board meals 
  • Package deal holidays don’t simply cater to the sunlounger crowd both – there are package deal holidays for music festivals, backpackers or specialist actions corresponding to biking.  

Associated: Uncover Saga’s in depth vary of holidays and cruises solely for the over 50’s


  • Journey brokers have agreements with massive tourism operators, which means commission-hungry workers will promote their excursions over different choices.  This might lead to you being cajoled into shopping for the primary vacation they recommend, which you will later find yourself detesting. At all times verify comparability websites corresponding to Expedia, TravelSupermarket or Ice Lolly to see if you will get a greater deal your self. 
  • Package deal holidays usually imply compromising. Though chances are you’ll be proud of the resort and vacation spot, chances are you’ll be much less satisfied with the full-board meal plan that requires you to dine within the bland resort restaurant each evening relatively than the charming Greek taverna down the street.
  • Package deal holidays are finest suited to breaks of ordinary size (normally every week or a fortnight).  If you wish to go away for a extra irregular time frame, corresponding to 9 or 17 days, tour operators will not be in a position that can assist you.
  • On some company/package deal web sites, particulars corresponding to room classes, breakfast and native taxes will be nebulous, with phrases and circumstances various too.
  • Timings of flights will be inconvenient – typically at 4am – which means you could have to remain close to Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester airport in a single day.

Direct bookings/DIY bookings

What are they?

The increase in price range airways and last-minute web sites within the early 21st-century meant that package deal holidays fell out of style, with holidaymakers giving journey brokers the cold-shoulder by reserving their very own breaks. 

Certainly, in a Travelex survey earlier this yr, 85 per cent of these questioned stated they most popular the liberty of planning their very own journeys overseas. However does it all the time pay to chop out the intermediary? And do DIY bookings supply the identical safety as package deal holidays?


  • Freedom – Do-it-yourself holidays enable travellers to remain in no matter resort they need, dine in no matter restaurant they select, plus give a better option of flight occasions. If you happen to intend to go away for an prolonged journey or uncommon interval that doesn’t neatly dovetail into the fortnight/week length of many package deal breaks, you’re higher off reserving independently. Additionally they work higher for metropolis breaks and multi-stop holidays or when you’re planning on journeying to a much less well-trodden vacation spot.
  • Decrease fee – Impartial travellers don’t should pay the tour operator’s stipend. They’ll additionally lower your expenses by reserving immediately via resort/airline web sites relatively than via a reserving engine or company, whose commissions can lead to you overpaying by over 10 per cent. Analysis by IHG Rewards Membership earlier this yr discovered travellers waste a collective £20m a yr by utilizing resort comparability websites relatively than reserving direct. Additionally, by reserving direct via resort/airline web sites, you will be showered with incentives corresponding to signing up for buyer loyalty schemes, room upgrades, complimentary spa therapies, free breakfasts, air miles or resort chain loyalty factors.
  • Some package deal offers embrace add-ons corresponding to chauffeured transfers, airport parking or all-inclusive bars, which you may not want and are all the time cheaper if booked independently.
  • Reserving holidays your self means can make the most of money-saving journey hacks, corresponding to snagging cheaper flights by enabling non-public shopping (journey websites usually monitor visits and might improve costs primarily based on search historical past) and profiting from last-minute resort offers.
  • The rigidity of package deal holidays means they will dampen a lot of the spontaneity that makes journey a lot enjoyable.


  • The prices – Having forked out for restaurant meals, taxis and excursions throughout their fortnight within the solar, holidaymakers are sometimes crestfallen by the dimensions of their bank card invoice after they get house. 
  • Many reserving websites give you the prospect to order a resort room, however cost is just taken if you verify into the lodging. This may be problematic as charges fluctuate and will even improve by the point you’re taking your vacation.
  • Lack of safety – If you happen to e-book your journey direct with the airline, or your lodging via a villa firm, you received’t be protected beneath the Atol scheme (see above). This might depart you stranded and/or powerless if the airline/lodging goes bust. Nonetheless, when you e-book your flight and resort or automobile rent collectively (or inside 24 hours) from the identical journey web site, it must be Atol-protected, similar to conventional package deal holidays. No matter your reserving strategies, be certain your insurance coverage consists of airline and end-supplier failure cowl which ought to shield you in case your airline or resort/villa firm goes out of enterprise.
The opinions expressed are these of the creator and usually are not held by Saga except particularly said.

The fabric is for basic data solely and doesn’t represent funding, tax, authorized, medical or different type of recommendation. You shouldn’t depend on this data to make (or chorus from making) any selections. At all times receive impartial, skilled recommendation to your personal specific scenario.

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