This is a quick guide to getting your best holiday.
A traditional package holiday has many advantages providing inclusive flights, accommodation and transfers for one price. This is especially relevant for 7/10/14 day breaks.
However, if you want shorter or longer periods or a less visited destination, city break or multi-stop holiday , a DIY holiday may suit you better.
All inclusive deals which include meals, snack and drinks, if you don’t mind eating in the hotel, can mean savings.
Being flexible on travel dates and destinations can save money too, for example, is a late summer holiday in Bulgaria rather than Greece cheaper?
Once you have decided on a holiday and are willing to be flexible regarding dates, shop around. Go to the price comparison websites, look at the offers on this site which will give offers from a multitude of tour operators and airlines or go to the individual organisations.
Book late to take advantage of unsold seats or book early for special offers and discounts such as early booking discounts, children free, buy one get one free - weeks ….again, shop around.
What ever you decide you can either get a Travel Agent to sort out the details or Do I Yourself On-line
This will suit many people as the Travel Agent can sugest alternatives and organise eveything or you.
Booking through a reputable Travel Agent gives you consumer protection through ABTA. This means that in the unlikely event your travel company goes out of business, you have a quick, clear and simple process for you to follow, so you’ll be able to continue your holiday as planned or get your money back.
Package holidays with flights included come with consumer protection through ATOL (Tour Operator protection). ATOl protection should mean you get home if there is a real problem without being out of pocket, if there is an issue with the airline or weather, legal costs etc. But having ABTA protection gives you someone to contact initially for help.
A good travel agent will also remind you about those extras you may forget. Airport Parking, Transfers, Insurance, Airport Hotels and Excursions
Independent Travel Agents have access to a huge database of flights and hotels from many different Tour Operators, not only those on Price Comparison sites, and can find you a holiday much faster than you can.
Sometimes a Travel Agent will quote you a lower price than going direct on line to a Tour Operator. Bear in mind that tour operators are the wholesalers and travel agents the retailers.
If the price is the same why not use a Travel Agent and get the ABTA coverage.
If you go to a Thomas Cook (Thomas Cook is not an independant Travel Agent) shop they are less likely to sell you, for example, an Inghams holiday.
You can call the tour operator directly to get a quote for your holiday and sometimes this is cheaper but not always. If you do get a lower quote, do give the agent you dealt with initially the opportunity of requoting.
For the DIYers there are two options. Book a package with a Tour Operator or book everything on line separately.
Tour operators such as TUI also have High Street shops. However there are many more smaller Tour Operators that you can find online (Click for List).
Tha real advantage of visiting a shop is you get to speak directly to a person who knows the holidays and can advise you on the different options ( hotels/excursions/car hire/ski hire).
You maybe too far from a Tour Operators shop so using the internet is the way to go. Use our list of Tour Operators to choose some to check out
This is often choosen by the adventurous. It is not without its risks. Although the legislation has changed you will still not have the same level of protection as you would with a Travel Agent or a Tour Operator.
Remember you will need airport Transfers