Package holidays were the market leaders in travel in the latter decades of the last century. As a marketing concept they were brilliant. Tour operators would bundle together goods and services, stack them high and sell them cheap through high street travel agents. They worked for millions upon millions of satisfied customers.
There was your flight, airport to resort transportation, your variously priced accommodation, help and support in resort and all kinds of optional extras, made available at great value. And best of all guaranteed by the operators and travel agents and their industry body with underwritten insurance in case of something going wrong.
Then along came the Internet, budget airlines and the thrill of customizing your own travel experiences. Package holidays went seriously out of favour with the consumer. But now they are evolving to emphasize a key requirement of the holiday buyer once more. It’s more SECURE to book a holiday through a UK tour operator. It is doubly safe to do so when you pay with your credit card.
The great crash of ‘08 caused many an airline and tour operator to disappoint many customers. Bankruptcies were many and surprising. The consumer naturally began to look for more guarantees when booking their holidays. They naturally turned back to the package tour operators.
The operators evolved, in the face of Internet competition, with what has become known as ‘dynamic packaging’. Customers select the various parts of their own holiday from all those available and conveniently pull them together. This differs markedly from the old predetermined, take it or leave, deals pre ‘09.
So now you can have the flexibility of self-booking along with the security of a large organisation and guaranteed satisfaction. Add in the reassurance of credit card insurance and you can see how package holidays have come of age. Your chosen travel agent is the only one who can book flights, so when difficulties crop up, as they inevitably do from time to time with contracted airlines, alternate arrangements can be made through the ‘one stop shop’. This kind of convenience and time saving is another big selling point with modern travellers.
In addition to all this the latest package holidays give the reassurance of in resort representatives, to answer all the questions and sort out any niggles between holidaymakers and resort management. They also provide all the usual guidance and tours because of their specialist local knowledge. So it really is time to look again at package holidays.
It is well worth considering booking this year’s holiday with your credit card. Mostly this is because of the ‘purchase protection’ benefits available on all major cards under the terms and conditions of the ‘consumer credit act’, for further information check out this site.
So, if your tour operator goes into financial liquidation and you do not have travel insurance you can still get your money refunded from the like of Visa and American Express. The cost of the holiday has to be over £100. But the coverage is still available even if you only pay the deposit with your card and the balance in cash. This can help you keep the interest payments down.
You will not get these benefits if you only buy the flights. You need to purchase the whole package from the tour operator, since they are only the intermediary for flight tickets.
One final thing to consider is the cash back and or reward programs that most credit card companies operate. It is always a question of balance of course but there are great bargains to be had when it comes to booking your holiday.