Package Holidays – Are package holiday the best option?

Package Holidays 2018 + 2019 Have Certainly Changed

Since the early days of the mass package holiday market in Spain the traditional package holiday has evolved for the better. In the early days it was a one hotel fits all option where couples and families and young holidaymakers all holidayed together. This obviously led to problems with families wanting their children to sleep and others wanting to party all night long. Fortunately today you have options and there are different holiday types for many different holidaymakers needs.

People are different and they have different views social backgrounds and holiday budgets. We will try to cover as many different options to try and help as many people find the holiday they are looking for. Some years I have more money to spend on a holiday than others and some years I struggle to get away. For holidaymakers with a larger budget there will be a lot more options to choose from and just because you are spending more doesn’t mean you should get ripped off either.

What exactly is a package holiday?

Generally a package holiday consists of accommodation, flights and either car hire or am airport transfer to the accommodation you have chosen. You pick a hotel and flights and can relax knowing that the holiday firm will take care of everything. You can of course book the same flights and accommodation on-line yourself and even the airport transfers as well. This however does not mean you have booked a package holiday. You could get the same accommodation and even the same flights but from a legal perspective it is not a package holiday. By booking a package holiday you are going to get a better level of protection particularly in the event of any part of the holiday being affected. If the airline goes bust then arrangements will be made to get you back home and you will generally be able to finish your holiday as you booked it. If the flights are altered the holiday firm will re-arrange the airport transfers and let the hotel know as well. Being on a package holiday is almost like having the extra peace of mind where you can relax knowing that if something happens you should be looked after. Some holiday firms are better at doing this than others and some have a better reputation for looking after their customers as well.

A number of years ago during the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud problems many non package holiday customers were delayed coming home and had to find accommodation themselves. A lot of holidaymakers on package holidays were given somewhere to stay and got an extra weeks holiday including meals free of charge. As mentioned before you may be able to book the same or similar flights cheaper and also the accommodation for less then you could get the same or similar holiday in the sun for less. Lots of people go away on holiday and all there arrangements go smoothly on package holidays and non package holidays. So if you are confident that you could handle any problems then have a look at alternatives. If not there are lots of great value package holiday deals and options that are not available to people putting together flights and accommodation on their own.

Some Holiday Accommodation is Exclusive

Not all accommodation is going to be available to book so in some cases you will not be able to put together some holidays. Some of the large holiday firms have contracted all the rooms in some hotels all year round. They have invested in the property to make sure it meets the standards they are looking for and offers all the facilities they want for their customers. It’s a smart move as it means that of you want that holiday you can only get the holiday by booking a package holiday with them.

Examples of Package Holiday Firms

Typical package holiday firms include Thomson Holidays, First Choice Holidays, Thomas Cook Holidays, Olympic Holidays, Balkan Holidays and of course there are lots more. Some of these firms also offer ways to put together (dynamically package) flights and accommodation that are not defined as ‘package holidays’ so please check before you book if you are concerned.

You pays your money and you takes your chances – Or do you?

Finally how do you know if you are on a package holiday? The travel firm you book with will issue you with an ATOL receipt. Most overseas air holidays booked with UK travel companies must be protected so look for the ATOL logo before you book. Also you should be given your ATOL certificate to show you are covered as soon as you have booked and paid any money (including a deposit) towards a holiday or flight. There are some travel firms that are based in Europe that are selling flight and accommodation holidays in the UK without any ATOL protection! For further information on the ATOL scheme (click here) Some travel firms have other methods of protecting your money in the even they go bust which include putting any money paid into a special bank account. Please check and make sure you check what cover is offered for what you are booking before you actually make your reservation.

Alternatives to a Package Holiday

If you are happy to put something together then there are lots of sites that can help you do this. You can combine cheap flights from the low cost airlines with their accommodation deals. You can even add on either car hire or holiday transfers if required. You can just book the flights and then go to an accommodation web site for your hotel, apartment or even private villa.