The Pro’s and Con’s of Package Holidays
Broadly, there are two kinds of travellers in the world – those who love package holidays and those who don’t! Their reasons are understandable and quite sensible even, in some cases. However, when choosing to go on cheap all inclusive holidays, would you be looking to travel a la carte or choose something that’s been tailored for cheap holiday-fans?
To help you make your choice, here are some reasons to pick or stay away from package holidays.
Reason to Pick: Everything’s Included!
The moment we read these two words, we are hooked! From airplane tickets to hotel rooms to food, everything is part of the package. Once you’ve paid the travel agent at the beginning of the trip, you can go through the entire tour with an empty wallet and still enjoy every single thing.
Sure, if you want to make purchases or go eat in different places, you will have to shell out your own money, but when has that been any different?
Reason to Stay Away: Everything’s Included!
When was the last time you experienced quality in mass production? Package tours are all about bulk sales – from meals to rooms to service. Sure, you’ll enjoy your stay because the costs are lower, but even the facilities will be lower in quality.
You get boxed meals picked out from fixed menus, sometimes served while travelling between places. Time, at tourist attractions, is short and quite minimal. Travelling is tedious, often extended into the night to maintain strict schedules.
Costs are cut at every opportunity and quality, obviously, goes out of the window!
Reason to Pick: Flexibility!
If you are thinking that, on package holidays, you’re stuck with a group at all times, you’re mistaken. Almost every single package trip gives you at least half the day to explore the place you’re in, at your own leisure.
This means, no more group-travelling, no more time-bound stays and freedom to eat where you want, buy what you want and see what you want! Besides, staying in a group means meeting new people and that’s what you’re looking for anyways!
Reason to Stay Away: Flexibility?
Sure, you get to take the half the day off but if you’re travelling from the city at night, which is how most package tours save time, you’ll be required to return to the hotel in time to catch your transfer coach.
Almost every package holiday, that covers more than one city, requires travelling through the night. This way, the duration of these tours can be shortened, minimizing the cost to the travel agency and, in turn, to you.
If you’re thinking about partying out late into the night, think again because your pseudo-freedom might just turn into a bad hangover on a 4 am bus-ride over unforgiving roads. Also, you cannot change your dates, your seats or even your rooms because everything’s been booked in advance with a deposit that you won’t get back.
Heaven forbid if you are stuck with people in the group that you can’t stand. There’s no getting out of that too!
So much for flexibility!
Reason to Pick: Value for Money!
After “Everything’s Included”, this is probably the most important thing for package holiday travellers. If your hotel doesn’t match your brochure, you can lodge a complaint! If you didn’t get your “welcome drink”, you can lodge a complaint!
Basically, if anything is even slightly off from the brochure’s pitch that made you sign-up, you can lodge a complaint in return for some compensation (if the travel agency has a reputation).
As for everything else, rooms are cheaper, food is cheaper, travel costs are lower and they tend to ensure that everything you need is already taken care of. What more can you ask for?
Reason to Stay Away: Value for Money?
If you are a couple travelling on a package tour and want to spend the days lazing by the beach, there might not be time for it. If the package holiday includes a full-day trip to a local prison, 15-miles out and over roads with potholes the size of Birmingham, you feel obliged to be on that bus, more or less because you’ve paid for it.
You’ve already paid more than what you would have for a prison tour that you didn’t want.
Enjoying that package holiday already? Spend an hour on the Internet and, chances are, you’ll find a cheaper flight, a cheaper hotel and a whole lot of time to spend on everything that you’ve wanted to do and more. If you want to pay for something that you didn’t want in the first place, “value for money” becomes secondary!
Despite all the arguments for and against package holidays, we’ll always find people who are running towards it and those who are running away. If you want to ensure that you have everything you need to enjoy your holiday, exploit the Internet, find out as much as you can about both arguments and you’ll get to the right decision. Then, maybe, picking a holiday-mode might not seem so difficult!