Summer 2019 is fast approaching and we can’t help but dream of sunsets and palm trees, but what type of holiday should you go on this year? To help you decide MyBaggage.com have put together our guide to the pros and cons of package holidays and booking independently.
Package holidays are trips which usually include flights, accommodation and transfers all in the cost. You can sometimes get packages that include food and drinks, just include breakfast or are self-catering. Package holidays are often to beach resorts and tend to be for one week or two.
What are the pros?
No need to plan
Package holidays are perfect for anyone who does not want to have to plan their holiday. Your flights, accommodation and food options can all be organised by your travel agent. They will likely have a portfolio of holidays to choose from, which will mostly be based around popular beach resorts. Once you’ve booked the trip you don’t have to worry about planning anything else other than your poolside outfits.
Package holidays cater to families, with some even having kids clubs and babysitting services.
Transfers are included
This helps take the pressure off planning your transfers to and from your destination. Most package holidays will include transfer from the airport to the hotel. So once you get off the plane you won’t have to worry too much about how you’ll get to your accommodation. Everything is organised and you’ll probably even have someone to greet you in the airport.
If you don’t fancy having to make your own meals on holiday, package holidays offer a well needed rest bite. With a variety of options you can include self-catering, half board or full board to your trip. This will mean that you may be paying a bit more for your stay at the hotel, but you won’t have to leave the hotel and find a restaurant. This is handy if you are staying in an isolated resort or are holidaying with kids.
What are the cons?
Lack of freedom
When you book a package holiday you will tend to stay in one area for your time there. You won’t often get to experience the country you are visiting outside the resort you are staying in. You are limited to what you can see and do. You are also further limited if you have gone fully inclusive and have your meals at your resort, as you then don’t have the freedom to choose an authentic restaurant down the street.
Package holidays are significantly more expensive than independent holidays. You will find yourself having to pay extra for the accommodation and depending on whether you are going self catering, half board or full board. They are often in popular tourist spots or at beach resorts, which will also make prices outside your hotel more expensive. You may end up spending more money than you originally intended.
Ultimately the big con is the lack of choice. You stay at the same hotel for the duration of your holiday and will use its conveniences. Depending on the meal plan you’ve opted for, you might eat every meal here, which isn’t ideal if you find you’re not fond of the food.
When you book your holiday independently it is your job to find flights and transfers, accommodation and plan your own itinerary. Some can see this as the perfect opportunity to make a holiday that is tailor made to suit their needs, however others may not want the responsibility or the hassle of having to organise everything.
What are the pros?
When you book independently you are in charge of choosing where you stay. There is also a wide variety of accommodation on offer, from traditional hotels, guesthouses, Air Bnbs or apartments. Booking this way means you have the choice and can change your accommodation throughout the holiday, say if you only want to spend the first week at the beach and the second in the city. It also means you can shop around and find a cost that suits you best. You’ll find you have a lot more choice of accommodation on offer compared to that of traditional package holidays.
Better for mini-vacations, multiple locations or backpacking trips
If you are looking for a quick weekend break or fancy getting away from it all for a few days then booking independently is a good option. It also is more suitable if you are planning a backpacking holiday or choosing to see multiple destinations.
When you book independently you don’t have to worry about restrictions such as the dates, flights or accommodation factors. You can choose the dates that suit you based on which are the most affordable and which times suit you best.
Easier to hire a car
Package holidays often include transfers from the airport to the hotel so you don’t need to get a car. This can mean that once you are at your resort you’re stuck regarding transport options. If you book independently you are able to hire your car directly from the airport and therefore have more options for exploring your new holiday destination.
Flexibility for flights
When you book independently you will have a lot more flexibility for the flights you get to your destination. This will really help if you don’t have that much time to take off work and if you want to make the most of seeing your destination without taking extra time off. You will also be able to shop around for cheaper flights using things such comparison sites as skyscanner or kayak.
The only real downside about planning a holiday independently is that you have to plan everything solo. You will have to research the destination, plan your itinerary, navigate customs, organise car hire, transfers, accommodation and activities. For some they just want to relax and unwind for their holiday and not have to think about planning at all! Whereas others will see this as an exciting challenge and will leap at the opportunity.