Package deals are generally a good way to book cheap holidays, with the convenience of paying a reasonable price upfront for flights, hotel accommodation and sometimes meals as well. Before choosing a package deal, it is a good idea to check whether you could actually put the holiday together yourself at a better price. Sometimes you can go online and find a budget flight and book a hotel at your destination for far less than you would pay for a package deal. Price is not always the only criteria to consider, however and you should also check on what safeguards you have if something goes wrong. Package deals typically come with ABTA and ATOL protection, which means you are covered if the airline or holiday company goes into liquidation. You may want to pay a bit extra for the peace of mind this brings.
When booking a package deal, it is a good idea to see if you can drive down the advertised price a bit. The same holiday is often offered by different, competing travel agents who might be prepared to make you an offer if you are prepared to haggle. The availability of various online price comparison sites also makes this an easier process these days. You might be surprised at how much you can get off the price of your chosen package deal if you do some research and talk to a few travel agents.
Another way to get a good price when booking a package holiday is to leave it late. Travel companies often advertise huge reductions shortly before the given departure date of the holiday in a desperate attempt to fill seats. There are obviously some risks in doing this. Leave it too late and the holiday you want might be fully booked. This method of getting big discounts is probably best for those who are most flexible as to where they want to go. If you are just looking for somewhere hot and sunny, for example and do not particularly care which country or resort you go to, then the risk of not finding what you want is much smaller. Surprisingly, you can also get some good bargain packages if you are prepared to book very early.
One factor that really makes a difference to the price of a package holiday is whether you have to go during the school holidays or not. Travel companies increase the cost of packages by a very significant amount once the school holidays start. You can take advantage of this by going during term time, but be aware that schools can take a very dim view of you taking your children out of school just for a holiday.
Some countries are much cheaper than others when it comes to things like eating out. It is important to take this into consideration when choosing a package deal. If meals are included in the package this might not matter so much, but if you are going to be eating out in restaurants a lot this can make a big difference to the overall cost of your holiday.
One final thing to look out for when booking a package holiday is the availability of Groupon deals, which can help drive the price down even further.
Ensure you protect yourself for cancellation by purchasing Single Trip Travel Insurance once you have booked your package holiday. Check the policy cover and limits carefully and make sure that it covers you for the full amount of the holiday otherwise you could be out of pocket in the event of a claim. You may find that Annual Multi-trip travel insurance may be more suitable for your needs particularly if you travel frequently.