Wednesday, 7 December 2011


The explosion of the internet has changed all aspects of commerce and social life. And the holiday sector in particular has been completely altered. Gone are the days of trusting your local travel agent to organise all aspects of your two weeks abroad. Now a myriad of travel sites, flight aggregators and cheap hotel search engines have revolutionised the way we travel. But the package deals are still out there and sometimes they’re more economically sound than building your trip from the ground up. So what are the pros and cons of the classic package vacation deal and independent travel plans?


If you’re travelling alone rather than with a family, then organising all aspects of the trip yourself is probably the best bet. Then again, this is the way to go if there’s a large group heading somewhere together and room sharing and multiple activities becomes a factor. With DIY travel, every aspect of your vacation can be controlled. Ideal if you are planning a holiday of an unconventional length, plan to visit a number of locales or are heading to an unusual destination. And if you sign up to the myriad of travel sites and holiday email alerts, you can see your perfect trip and snap it up a last minute bargain for a fraction of the price.


All this organisation can be a headache, especially if you are trying to figure all this out yourself. While you might find the perfect flight for a low price, it could then be tricky to unearth that cheap hotel. And dealing with a larger number of travel organisations increases the risk of something going wrong (businesses failing, email confirmations not arriving, booking confusion). And of course, if you are not internet savvy, you are at a stark disadvantage. Online research takes a certain amount of skill especially with the vast amount of travel related websites out there.


In short – ease. Everything is planned and organised for you. Perfect if you are taking a family holiday and don’t have the time or inclination to sort everything out. Flights, accommodation, transfers and sometimes even food and entertainment are included. This can often work out as a much cheaper option than building all parts of your trip separately. There’s a huge range of resorts and destinations on offer for package deals, often aimed at families so kid based activities and plenty of nightlife for the grown ups are offered. And there is often a holiday rep onsite to help with any problems you encounter. You are also better covered with these sort of holidays in terms of insurance and compensation if something unfortunate does occur.


What you pay for is what you get. With an all-inclusive deal, if any aspect of the trip is problematic, it is going to be difficult and probably expensive to alter it. Basically, you’re stuck. Multiple visits to other locations can be quite hard to organise around a package deal and you also have to be wary of any ‘add ons’. Trips outside the resort, additional meals, sundries from the onsite store – these can all add up and eat into your vacation budget. There are also problems if you are a solo traveller as single person supplements can be applied if you’re on your own in a room.


Many felt the death of the package holiday was inevitable with the rise of the travel site and online research tools. But all-inclusive deals can still be the best option if you want a cheap easy trip, perhaps with a family, and are happy to be situated in one place. If you want something more unique and bespoke or are planning to visit one, or a number of unusual destinations and want the ability to change your plans, then a DIY holiday is best for you.

About the Author: Dale Shaw writes for If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do, then check out their range of adrenaline adventures, unique gifts and experience days; that is if you’re brave enough!