Package holidays are one of the most popular ways to book an overseas holiday as they offer holidaymakers the highest level of protection and peace of mind. So, what is a package holiday and why should you book one? 

Any type of holiday – such as a city break, a beach holiday, a ski trip or even backpacking around the world – can be a package holiday. While packages can be ‘ready-made’ by the travel company they can also be ‘tailor-made’ to suit each customer’s preferences and budget. The definition of a ‘package holiday’ is simply that a travel company has put at least two parts of your trip together for you, such as your flights, accommodation, car hire or tickets to a local attraction.

Booking a package holiday offers a range of benefits to holidaymakers, including legal and financial protection under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations, great value for money, and the convenience of having someone else plan your holiday for you. 

Whether you choose to book a package direct with a tour operator or indirectly through a travel agent – which gives you the chance to compare holidays from a range of companies – you will be able to enjoy the many benefits that come with booking this style of travel. On top of all of the usual benefits of booking a package holiday, many of our Members are also offering additional flexible cancellation and rebooking policies, so it’s worth finding out what your options are.

Here, we explore some of the main reasons why booking a package holiday is a good idea.

  1. You have the right to a replacement holiday, if available, or the right to a refund if your holiday is significantly altered by a change in the situation at your destination.
  2. You’ll be looked after if something goes wrong, for example, if your flight is cancelled, your travel company will either need to re-arrange your flight for you or offer you a refund for your whole package. 
  3. Your tour operator protects your money if you booked a package holiday and they subsequently go out of business (financially fail). If you’re yet to travel, you can make a claim for a refund for your package holiday. If you’re already on holiday and your package includes return transport, the cost of getting to your return destination will be covered and you may also claim to be reimbursed for the parts of the package that can no longer be provided. 
  4. It’s a convenient, hassle-free and time-saving way to plan and book a holiday as your travel company will do all the work to find the best holiday to suit you – down to your specific requirements such as hiring a car, arranging transfers or booking excursions.
  5. Your holiday is arranged by one company, so you’ll receive all your essential information from them and they’ll be the only company you need to get in touch with if you need to make any changes before you go or require assistance while you’re away.
  6. You get good value for money – they are often cheaper than booking all the elements independently, as travel companies have access to discounts that are then passed on to you. In many cases, package deals can be exclusive to the travel company you’re booking with, so you won’t actually be able to book them anywhere else. 
  7. You get the holiday you paid for as the details of what you’re booking must be clear, accurate and delivered to you as described. For example, if your hotel is not up to the standard you were promised, then your travel company will need to find you a suitable alternative or make the necessary refunds.

If you have any questions about package holidays, we’d recommend speaking with an ABTA Member for more information. 

Why book a package holiday?