We all see fantastic package holiday offers advertised all the time, but do they give the value they appear to at first glance? Unfortunately, the only way to see if they are truly good value for money is to do some research and cost out the included items individually and see what comes out as the most economical and suitable for your needs.
The packages usually include as a minimum airfares and accommodation and then there are the additional items that may or may not be included. These are: transfers, meals (1-3 per day), drinks, resort facilities and activities or special shows etc. It is important if you have quotes from a few different travel providers or websites that you clarify that they all
include the same items so you know you are comparing apples with apples.
Start you rown research by getting prices on the basics of airfares and accommodation and see how that compares to the package price. It is always worth checking with the resorts direct as well as websites and agencies that specialise in your destination. Then look at the cost for adding on any meals that may have been included and see if there is a significant price difference to the package price.
I have had a personal experience recently where to just add breakfast for a family of 2 adults and 2 children under 10 was going to add $600 for 7 days. This was for a resort in Vanuatu and the four of us actually ate out with large cooked breakfasts for $40-$50 per day (so only spending around $300 for the 7 days) and we could try out different restaurants/cafes each day.
The same goes for lunch or dinner options that can be included in the all inclusive packages. You have to way up if you want to be committed to always eating in your resort or want the flexibility to try other places. Also, do you want 3 large meals every day or perhaps you prefer just 2. These all need to be considered before you book & pay for something you may not actually need.
It is also worth looking at the transfer options as well. You can often save quite a lot on these if arranged independently. The hotel you book with can offer options and costs and you can easily find out on-line the cost of taxis, shuttles, busses etc available at your destination.
These costs all add up and the more you can save on getting there and staying, the more you have to spend doing fun things when you get there (or on some retail therapy).
Some times the package deal on offer is truly a bargain and you should snap them up quickly – but just do a bit of checking before you do to make sure!
What type of holidays do you usually prefer – the package holiday or a more independently booked trip?
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