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Whether it’s making bookings, planning itineraries, or sorting out logistics, modern travel planning can feel like navigating a maze. This complexity can sometimes undermine the relaxation that holidays are supposed to provide in the first place.
The Allure of All-Inclusive
For those who feel that simply packing their bags and jetting off without any worries sounds more appealing, package holidays are an increasingly popular choice. These all-inclusive travel deals bundle flights, accommodation, transfers and even meals into one neat package, with the aim of providing a stress-free holiday.
All-inclusive package holidays have a certain allure that’s hard to resist. You simply select a destination, pick a date, pay upfront, and you’re done. Your holiday is booked with no need for further action until it’s time to pack your bags. The predictability of costs is another significant advantage. Since almost everything comes included in the price tag, unexpected expenses rarely crop up — something that can be common in other forms of travel.
As well as convenience, all-inclusive deals usually offer a good amount of variety. Both budget-friendly and luxury options may come with things like spa treatments and varied dining experiences. There are all-inclusive deals catering to all budget types and interests.
There are a couple of drawbacks to consider, though. One of the best parts of travel is the spontaneity and unique experiences it can bring, but when everything is mass-produced and put into packages, it can take some of that away. When everything is planned in advance, some of the cultural experiences you have may feel a bit inorganic and unauthentic.
That said, for many people, travel is more about just getting a chance to switch off from normal life and not having to worry about anything for a while. Like everything, it’s a balancing act, and travellers should weigh up what’s most important to them when deciding which way they want to go.
Easy Preliminary Logistics
When you’re planning a trip on your own, the preliminary logistics can be daunting. Arranging flights and accommodation, comparing prices, and ensuring everything is in order can take up significant time. With a package holiday, this hassle is greatly reduced, leading to more and more travellers choosing this approach to travel.
Many booking companies began to notice the popularity of this style of travel and started to offer package holiday solutions to make the process smoother. One example of a company doing this is the eDreams flight and hotel packages that incentivise travellers by offering savings when flights and hotels are booked together. The package holidays they offer are available in many different destinations and are tailored to cater to customers who prioritise simplicity and efficiency in their travel plans.
Another way package deals streamline the logistics process is through relationships. Travel booking companies often have established relationships with hotel chains and airlines, allowing them to get exclusive deals that may not be available to people booking on their own.
The best package deals will also take care of the logistics involved before you even get on the plane. Baggage allowances, airport transfers, and dealing with gates, terminals, and check-in times are all things that have the potential to cause unwanted stress. Providing everything you need to make these aspects of travel just as seamless is often included in the package.
Ultimately, the expertise of travel planning companies is key. They understand the complexities of travel planning and how to structure things in a way that balances convenience and affordability. In effect, you’re leveraging the expertise of travel experts when you book a package holiday, much in the same way that you’re leveraging the skills of food experts when you eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Local Tour Guides
Something else that can both enhance a travel experience and take away the stress of planning is utilising the services of a local tour guide. There may be holiday packages where this is included as a service, but even if yours doesn’t, this is still worth considering.
Having a local navigator by your side comes loaded with benefits, especially when exploring unfamiliar territories. The main benefit is the depth they bring to your trip. A knowledgeable local expert will be able to navigate you through all the popular tourist destinations, but also introduce you to some of the hidden gems that many travellers miss.
More than that, local experts carry an intimate knowledge that’s hard to replicate from reading reviews and guides. They can take you to the restaurants where the locals go and provide you with a thorough understanding of the history, culture, and traditions of their city or country.
Picking The Right Locations
Tourism varies from country to country. While travel of all types exists in most countries, some tend to cater to different styles of tourists more than others. Some parts of the world are all really easy to get around and cater to the cheaper, backpacker market, whereas other regions have positioned themselves as the perfect places for a stress-free break.
Thinking about the latter, let’s start with some top destinations known for offering value-for-money package holidays. Turkey, Mexico, and Spain frequently rank highly in this regard. Greece is another good option. These countries are popular for good reason. They provide an endless stream of historical sites, incredible natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality.
One downside is that given their popularity, some travellers may not find them adventurous enough, even if they’re looking for something stress-free. For a different Mediterranean experience, consider a country like Montenegro, and in the Americas, Guatemala may be a good alternative to Mexico. While these countries may not be as popular as their neighbours, they are both rich in unique experiences and offer a similar, yet different experience.
The next consideration is seasonality. We don’t always have control over what time of year we can travel, and even when we do, sometimes we want to travel when things are cheaper. If cost is important, travelling during shoulder seasons is a good idea. This is the period between peak and off-peak seasons, and the specific months this entails will depend on which part of the world we’re talking about. For example, if Greece is the destination of choice, consider visiting in early May or October instead of the busy summer months in between.
The type of travel is something else that should factor into picking the right locations. The 21-year-old solo backpacker and the family of five likely have different interests and wants out of their holidays, and the couple looking for a romantic getaway likely have different interests again. Deciding what you want to get out of your trip is the first step in deciding where to go.
To illustrate this, let’s say the family of five wants to relax in a sunny destination without planning much, but still have plenty of outdoor activities for the kids. An all-inclusive resort stay in the very popular Cancun or another Mexican destination might be perfect, with the parents being pampered and the kids enjoying being out on the water.
The couple looking for a romantic getaway might decide that a luxury hotel overlooking the ocean in Santorini is what they’re looking for, and the young, solo backpacker might favour a package deal that involves staying in cheap hostels while partying in Bali, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Key Features to Look For in a Package Deal
Not all package deals are created equally, so it’s important to know what to look for. If the goal is to ensure maximum value and minimum stress, there are a few specific features that need to be included.
First off, comprehensive coverage is non-negotiable. It’s no good booking a package deal with the goal of everything being taken care of, only to later find out there are still lots of things for you to organise. This means that everything from your transport and accommodation to meals should be included in the package price.
Safety and insurance features also need to be a part of the package deal. Sometimes, things outside of both the booking company and your control happen, like flight delays and cancellations or lost luggage. Worse than that, maybe something of yours will get stolen, or you’ll get sick or injured. Even though these situations are not hugely common, it’s comforting to know that if something like this happens, you’re covered.
Related to this, checking out customer reviews can play an important role when selecting a package deal. Spend some time reading through the feedback left by previous customers to get an idea of how the company operates, particularly in situations when something goes wrong. These insights can also give you invaluable insights into what awaits you at the destination of choice.
The next important feature to consider is one that we spoke of earlier: pre-flight and other logistics. Does the package you’re looking at include airport transfers? Do they provide real-time updates on changes to flight times? Many of these things may seem minor, but they all add up, especially if the goal of your trip is to relax and not have to worry about anything.
The key benefit of a package deal is simplicity. Travel involves many moving parts, and having as many of them as possible taken care of allows you to simply show up and enjoy the experience. Make sure to consider exactly the type of travel you’re looking for and do a bit of research to find the right company to go with. Other than that, it’s hard to go wrong.