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A package holiday synonymous to an All-in-One holiday or an All-Inclusive holiday is one way of vacationing. The concept was pioneered by Gerard Blitz, a Belgian water polo player. He established Club Med in 1950, implementing the idea of a “package”, an all-inclusive resort. The idea took off to become a popular and fastest growing ways of vacationing. It was a brilliant concept then, and, still is today. The concept of an all-in-one package holiday is a flexible one, which could be designed to include families, couples or solo travellers.
Although I am an ardent advocate of designing your own adventure your way – a DIY vacation, I am also a believer of choosing what suits you best for the time of the year you are vacationing at the destination you will be visiting. Be it an adventure trek, camping in the mountains, slow travel or a beach holiday – you should do what best suits you. I have experienced package holidays many times in the past because it suited the occasion. I note below a few of my experiences.
My experiences of package holidays & Why I recommend it
My experiences with package holiday began many years ago when my children were toddlers. It was one of the best options for family vacation.
Our family vacation to World Disney Resort in Florida was a package holiday. The package was an all-inclusive one. It suited us well because my children were with other kids of similar age. We stayed at a resort within the park and had free popcorn and unlimited beverages. We watched the fireworks at night from the balcony of our hotel room. At breakfast, we were entertained by Disney characters. My kids had a fabulous time and many happy memories. Our trip to Disneyland Paris was also similarly packaged.
When we visited Morocco for a week, it was a luxury, an all-inclusive package. The package included three meals a day and unlimited drinks. The resort had a wellness spa centre for women which I used for a small fee.
We experienced similar positive experiences at Port Aventura in Spain, Phuket in Thailand and Penang in Malaysia.
Given all of my positive experiences with package holiday, I cannot recommend it high enough. I have put together 10 superb benefits why you will love to experience one as well.
What is a package holiday?
Before I go through all the benefits of a package holiday, we need to appreciate what is meant by the term “package holiday”.
A package holiday is a deals package with flights, transfers, and accommodation. It may sometimes include food and beverages. Packages are usually for a 7-day or 14-day in duration at a time, with a beach type destination, although not always.
For British holiday makers, a package holiday is a popular style of vacationing. They can get a low cost deal with no stress of booking at multiple sites. According to Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), about 46 per cent of holiday makers opt for a package holiday each year.
However, It is not just about the no fuss no stress deals package that makes it an attractive option. There are other upsides as well. Travellers on package holidays are generally protected financially. The protection includes certain assistance guarantees that does not come with a DIY holidays. More on this below.
The 10 superb benefits of package holiday
1 | Package Travel Regulations
A UK traveller benefits from the financial protection afforded by UK legislation when the package falls within the The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. (The Regulations)
1.1 | Financial protection under The Regulations
The Regulations sets the benchmark for travel providers to advertise their holiday packages honestly and ensure that it is delivered as described to their customers. The customer has the right to expect that the holiday booked and paid for matches the description given when it was bought. Basically, you must receive what you pay for.
Furthermore, the Regulation sets out the travel provider’s responsibilities of care in the event should something go wrong during any component of the holiday booked with them. Essentially, the travel provider has a legal duty of care to make sure that their customers are safe, help them resolve problems and make any necessary refunds.
Therefore, if the package holiday fails to match how it was described, The Regulations gives you the right to ask your holiday provider to put it right. If the holiday provider fails or unable to do so, you can claim compensation.
Pro tip: Pay careful attention to how the package holiday is described by the travel provider in their brochure, website or via their agent.
1.2 | What is a “Package Holiday” within The Regulation?
To benefit from a claim under The Regulations, the package bought must meet the definition or have the features that of a “package holiday”. Typically it should be:
Advertised as a package or all-inclusive deal;
That the holiday was bought for an inclusive or total price;
That more than one part of the holiday such as flights and accommodation was bought from one holiday provider with one payment;
After booking one part of your holiday, you were prompted to buy another. You did not have to enter your personal and payment details again. You completed all of the transaction within 24 hours of the first booking.
In other words, if your holiday looked like a package deal when you bought it, then it probably is.
You can still benefit even if your holiday does not fall within the above features provided it can be a ” Linked Travel Arrangement”
1.3 | Linked Travel Arrangement
A Linked Travel Arrangement is when you buy one service from a travel provider and you are then prompted to buy another but on this occasion your personal information and payment details aren’t transferred. Also, you must buy the additional services within 24 hours of each other for them to be considered a Linked Travel Arrangement. The first travel provider has the responsibility to inform you that it is a Linked Travel Arrangement.
The Linked Travel Arrangement provides limited protection – you get your money back only when the provider goes into insolvency.
A Package Holiday – When you book more than one part of your holiday through the same travel provider or website
A Linked Travel Arrangement – When you buy one part of your holiday and then you are prompted to buy another part within 24 hours but your payment details aren’t transferred.
The Regulation – only apply to packages sold or offered for sale in the UK.
Does not apply to business trips.
2 | ATOL and ABTA Protection for package holiday
The other two elements of your holiday protection are ATOL and ABTA.
2.1 | ATOL
Under UK law, your holiday is protected if it is a package holiday. Every travel company incorporated in UK that sells air holidays and flights is required to hold an ATOL.
ATOL – Air Travel Organiser’s Licence is a UK financial protection scheme and it protects most air package holidays sold by travel businesses that are based in the UK. The scheme also applies to some flight bookings, usually those where you book flights (including UK domestic flights) but do not receive your tickets immediately.UK Civil Aviation Authority
ATOL bonding scheme is where a £2.50 ATOL fee is built into the cost of your flight that guarantees you a refund and/or a flight home if the airline goes bust.
In addition to ATOL, there is also protection afforded by ABTA.
2.2 | ABTA
ABTA is the operating name of what was formerly known as the Association of British Travel Agents. It is UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators. ABTA enforces standards and provide insurance for holidaymakers in the event of financial problems for travel companies.
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for 70 years, offering advice and guidance to the travelling public, as well as leading the travel industry in supporting high service standards, working with our Members on health and safety, and promoting responsible tourism at home and abroad.
Our offer of support, protection and expertise means you can have confidence in ABTA; and a strong trust in our Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that you remain confident in the holidays and travel experiences that you buy from our Members.ABTA
In essence, ABTA’s bonding scheme ensures your costs will be covered in the event that your travel provider goes out of business.
3 | Easy Booking Process
An easy booking process is evident when you do a package holiday. On an online booking, all it takes is a few clicks, and you are done.
You do not have to go to different websites to book your flights, accommodation and transfers separately. You do not worry anymore about searching and matching the cheapest flights with the best hotel deals.
Meals and beverages are often included In an all-inclusive deal. This means you do not have to search for restaurants in the vicinity.
Everything is arranged for you by the travel provider under one transaction. You receive one confirmation. You have all your essential information in one place. You do not have to keep track of various booking confirmations.
Another key benefit of most package holidays is that some destinations come with an in-resort representative. This ensures help is at hand if there are any problems while you’re away.
4 | Saves time
Along with an easy booking process, a package holiday saves you time as well. A package alleviates the need to book individual components which is time consuming. You can basically book the whole package with a few clicks, and you are done.
5 | Stress free
With everything done in one booking, it alleviates the stress of looking and matching various deals. Worries are off your shoulders. You only now need to ensure you are packed on the day to board your flight.
6 | Cheaper prices and Great value for money
Cheap does not necessarily mean good value. Package holiday tend to work out cheaper than a DIY holiday in most situations. This is because many holiday providers struck deals with airlines and hoteliers, and buy flight seats and rooms in bulk to create their package. They benefit from huge discounts and they pass these on to their customers. The package or bundles such as “flight + room” is not available for public purchase.
However, a package holiday also comes with good quality accommodation and facilities. Holiday providers will try and provide the best package because they have stiff competition in the industry. You are likely to get the best value package and the best quality accommodation for the holidays you select.
For skiing and other winter sports holidays, package deals are usually better value. Holiday providers usually run their own accommodation in the mountains, offer lift passes and equipment hire in the package.
Buying a package holiday is also a great way to save money. Often, the package includes meals and drinks, in which case there are no additional expenses involved. Moreover, as flights, accommodation and maybe meals/transport are paid upfront, prices are more transparent from the outset, allowing for effective budgeting during holidays.
7 | Facilities and Entertainment
In general, each resort and hotel at the package holiday destination offer various facilities and entertainment for their guests. These usually consists of cultural nights, comedy shows, or live music nights.
Some of these high-end hotels and resorts offer sports facilities such as golf or tennis, a well equipped fitness zone and a spa and wellness facilities where you can pamper yourself for a small fee.
8 | Affordable luxury in a myriad of options
There is no denying that holiday providers specialising in package deals offer a myriad of options. From high-end five star luxury holidays, glamorous ocean cruises, to three-star average experiences or budget alternatives. The high-end ones are often affordable and therefore doable for many which would otherwise be an unreachable experience.
There are many types of package deals to suit everyone’s needs and financial plans. You just have to decide which one is best suited for you.
9 | Safety
Safety is not something often thought of when vacationing but it is also not too far off from anyone’s mind when travelling to a precarious zone. if a situation should arise, for example, a local coup or a natural disaster like the volcanic ash clouds, you know that you are not alone. The package holiday provider has a duty to safeguard you and your family and ensure your safe return home. You mat also be within reach of a representative.
Moreover, if you decide to visit a dangerous zone, then being in a resort which is usually a secure area will be the best option.
Last but not least is the opportunity to socialise with people who share the same interests as you. For example, if you opt for a family package, it offers you the opportunity to meet other families as well. This makes a great occasion for kids to play together and make friendships. In a way, you know you have more sets of eyes watching the safety of your kids than just you. Moreover, a family vacation destination usually organise activities for kids or they may have kids club where parents can take a breather while leaving their kids in a safe and secure environment.
The opportunity to socialise is also present when you book a ski package or beach holidays.
What do you think? Is a package holiday your kind of vacation? If so, you will find some practical resources to use for booking your dream all-in-one package deal below.
Practical resources to booking your package holiday
Do not leave home without travel insurance from World Nomads
Need more ideas to plan your vacation? Visit my Travel Resource page for inspiration and choices in trusted partners.
Is this post valuable to you in planning your package holiday? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.
Have a splendid vacation.
**All photos above are courtesy of Canva