The result is a cheaper, leaner, more diverse package holiday sector than ever before. Before we start, it's probably worth asking a stupid question. What are package holidays? Well, if you haven't tried one before, the concept is simple. Instead of self-driving or arranging flights to France or Spain and booking your hotel individually, packages bundle travel and accommodation together. That can save money on flights and secure great deals in popular resorts, but it's not all that packages have to offer.
Most of the time, travel operators will bundle in car hire, while all-inclusive breaks include food and on-site activities as well. So if you like the idea of spending a day playing tennis, eating gourmet Mexican food, enjoying live entertainment, and sipping cocktails on pool terraces, packages make it all possible for less. Not all package vacations are equal, though, and what travellers receive varies. To help you assess each product available at hotukdeals, here's a quick glossary of the elements we would look for in a good package break. Accommodation — Probably the most important aspect of package deals.
Finding a high-quality, highly rated hotel is essential and will make a huge difference in how enjoyable your stay is. Some packages try to push buyers towards inferior hotels, hoping that holidaymakers won't notice, or will balance cost and quality. Don't accept that kind of practice. Make sure your hotel has strong ratings, good facilities, and access to local attractions. If you aren't sure, give reception a call.
Location — Most package vacationers won't want to stay on-site at their hotel throughout their trip though if you don't mind, out of the way hotels can be a great purchase. If you want to explore beaches, markets, town centres, and rural beauty spots, make sure your hotel is well located.
Failing that, ask if it has a shuttle bus, or add car hire to your package. Car hire — Travel operators like Lastminute. This can add invaluable flexibility, letting you visit nearby cities or relatively secluded beaches.
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But it's not essential for some people. If you're headed to the Algarve or Marbella and aren't bothered about roaming widely, a car won't add much to your experience and could represent an unnecessary extra cost. Remember that bike hire or free loans is often available and can be a more enjoyable way to get around. Sometimes, dining options can be exaggerated to hook customers. But much of the time, you will find a range of delicious restaurants from around the world. Just make sure everything is above board to avoid disappointment.
Flights — Package breaks mix accommodation and flights , but this part of the deal can sometimes lead to frustration. Ideally, flights should land as close as possible to your destination and depart from close to your home. Check that you aren't being flown to an airport miles away, and make sure flights land at a reasonable hour. Currency — Sometimes, package holiday brokers will let you change money into local currencies as part of the deal. This is usually a cost-effective way to arrange spending money and definitely beats airport rates.
Make sure to compare commission to the Post Office and nearby banks before changing any cash.
Excursions — Most package vacations will come with the option of adding extras, including trips to nearby attractions. But check reviews before booking, as the quality of these services can vary.
Cheap Package Holidays
With the advent of cheap flights inside Europe and the development of more fuel-efficient planes allowing for direct flights to far-flung destinations, the top destinations for package holidays have become more exotic than ever. Dubai — While once considered to be a luxury destination that only the very privileged could have access to, Dubai has since become a travel destination that even regular households are looking to visit. A good holiday package should organise decent accommodation top attractions like The Dubai Mall , while also offering direct flights to the region.
Iceland — What was once virtually unheard of as a tourist destination has in the last 10 years become at the top of many travellers list. Iceland is truly a one-of-a-kind destination — you can see landscapes you can otherwise only see in the North Pole as well visit geysers and volcanoes. New York — Often the first destination that anybody who makes the trip across the Atlantic wants to see. Las Vegas — Travel companies have branched out in recent years, and you'll even find package holidays to Las Vegas among their current deals.
Stay in hotels on the Strip or out of town resorts, where top-quality golf courses are within striking distance of the famous casinos. Families can enjoy all sorts of entertainment, from amusement parks and desert nature trails to musicals and live pop acts. Many people simply require three things for their yearly holiday — sun, a beach and a quality hotel.
Tenerife — Package holidays to Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands are a great option for anyone seeking winter sun holidays. Because of their southern location, the Canaries enjoy warm weather in December and January, and tourists can take advantage of fishing trips, volcano explorations, and local nightlife. It's the ideal way to beat the winter blues. Benidorm — Affordable and reliably sunny, package holidays to Benidorm always deliver what they promise, and often a bit more on the side.
The resort itself is well-suited to older travellers, with an easily accessible beach and dining options from Britain, Spain, and the rest of the world. Being on the Costa Blanca, Benidorm is warm from March onwards, so it has a long travel season as well. Great for Easter and autumn escapes. Majorca — Mixing up lively nightlife and Balearic sunshine, package holidays to Majorca rarely let travellers down. Probably the best family destination on our list, Majorca has been welcoming British visitors for decades, and visitors won't lack for anything.
From climbing adventures in the interior, to wreck diving, sailing classes and Spanish cookery workshops, it's an island that always has something new to offer. Algarve — A paradise for beach lovers and golfers alike, Portugal's Algarve region is the ideal place to book an all-inclusive escape. Package holidays to Algarve resorts let you mix up sporting activities like tennis, football, golf, snorkelling, and jet skiing, with relaxation in upscale coastal towns with all of the facilities visitors could require. Hotspots include Albufeira, Faro, and Vilamoura.
Don't dismiss UK holiday deals from your travel plans. In the summer, destinations like Cornwall, West Wales, Dorset, southern Kent, and Norfolk can be great places for beach lovers, and holiday camps offer very affordable package deals. It used to be that package breaks were more or less the same. Travel agents like Thomas Cook would offer a set of hotels in a few destinations, and travellers would accept whatever was available.
This could work brilliantly but sometimes left visitors trapped in situations where the activities, lodgings, and food available didn't quite work out. Now, things are different. There are numerous ways to book package escapes, and here are some options that you' may want to consider. Traditional all-inclusive breaks — As we mentioned earlier, traditional breaks include a few core elements: flights, hotels, food, activities and not much more. In these breaks, you'll encounter a list of features, and there won't be much scope to customise your arrangements. On the upside, prices tend to be lower than for personalised holidays, but the lack of freedom to go your own way can put off some people.
This style of break tends to work well for groups of older travellers with similar needs, and may also suit families on a budget. Custom built package getaways — These days, many people are choosing to build their own package breaks, and it's easy to see why. These breaks let you choose whether to add in dive classes, deep-sea fishing excursions, whether to increase your luggage allowance, and whether golf needs to be part of your experience. This is great news for people with specific interests and who want to make the most of their trips.
But it can lead to situations where you make the wrong decision or miss features that should have been included. You can usually purchase extras for additional fees, but this can make trips more expensive than going it alone. Last minute holidays — When you book a package break, you'll be faced with a decision whether to book early, or wait until short term deals appear.
Booking early locks down your travel arrangements and helps you plan things like time off work. But last-minute holidays can deliver big savings as resorts scramble to fill unsold rooms and airlines try to offload unsold flights. If you do choose to go last minute, make sure you're flexible about taking the kids out of school or booking time off work. The best deals can often be found slightly out of season before the rush for accommodation fills up resort hotels.
And the price differences can be massive, so holding out until the last moment can be a sensible, if risky, way to travel. Before you book anything, it's important to talk about security. In recent times, there have been stories of package operators going out of business, leaving thousands of travellers stuck in foreign countries, while disrupting the plans of those planning to fly. The good news is that help is available if this happens to you.
Check that your supplier is ATOL protected , as there's a slim chance that rogue operators continue to offer trips outside the legal framework. ATOL carries with it some important rights for package holiday buyers. Firstly, it means that if your operator or airline collapses, you won't be out of pocket. Moreover, if an airline used by a package operator fails, the company selling your trip is obliged to offer you an alternative package or a refund. And, if you are away when the company fails, ATOL accreditation means that you'll be flown back free of charge.
There's no doubt that package holidays have plenty of advantages. For one thing, they are the most convenient way to fly abroad. You don't need to worry about flights, hotels, dining out, or even getting around. Everything is provided for you — but that can also be their major drawback. If you are the kind of traveller who wants to explore new sights and experiences, and who hates working to a pre-determined itinerary, packages probably won't have much appeal. They are mainly designed for people who intend to stay in one place for most of their holiday, not for people with the desire to roam more widely.
Some people also criticise all-inclusive breaks because they separate visitors from local communities, and feed profits back to multinational companies. That's something to think about, but remember: hotels won't lock you in for the duration of your stay. More importantly from a customer perspective, package deals can be deceptive.
This is very important to bear in mind. Read the small print before finalising a booking. Check that all meals are covered and that there aren't supplemental charges for things like alcoholic drinks. Unscrupulous operators often charge extra for things that really should be free, and that can ruin the whole experience. Overall, cheap all-inclusive holidays will be ideal for some, but a poor decision for others.
Think hard before you make a booking and play around with booking sites to see if going it alone is feasible. But don't dismiss all-inclusive escapes. They can be the route to fun, rejuvenation, and superb value for money. If the waters of the Mediterranean or the casinos of Las Vegas are calling you, it's time to search for cheap package holidays. But how can you find holiday deals that will ensure the lowest prices and the features you need to avoid any disappointment? Firstly, use the advice contained in this buyer's guide to choose the destination and style of holiday you require.
Think about what extras are essential, and which can be jettisoned. Then dive into the hotukdeals package holiday listings to see if any packages stand out from the crowd. Our listings gather together up-to-the-minute deals from leading travel merchants like Lastminute. Most listings will come with a headline price, the length of the break, and comprehensive details about what's included.
Read through this information to avoid missing any crucial additions. If it all checks out, click through to the booking site to take advantage of the cheapest package holiday seals around. When you need to get away from the stresses of home, why spend more than is absolutely necessary?
Not to mention, we're part of TUI, Europe's largest tour operator, so you know you're booking is in safe hands with Holiday Hypermarket. We firmly believe holidays are for everyone, and that's why we sell all sorts of package holidays for all sorts of people. No matter whether you're looking for a family holiday , a last minute getaway with friends, a luxury honeymoon escape or a solo beach break, we have the holiday for you.
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