Travel Agents offer package deals with the unique selling point of the package being ATOL and ABTA protected. The same level of protection is available by purchasing the right travel insurance and paying on a Credit Card for all the bits of the holiday.
The majority of times package holidays are more expensive and you can save yourself a lot of money if you book all the bits of the holiday and package it up yourself. 90% of all my own and family holidays have been booked separately for flights, accommodation, airport transfers and insurance and over the years we have saved tens of thousands of pounds.
Often you may think you’ve booked a packaged deal by the way its been advertised but if the company books the airline and hotel separately you won’t be getting the level of protection you think you are anyway. Reputable Travel Agents who package up the holidays will add on the protection at a small cost and all Travel Agents will be well advised to add this in for the benefit of the customer. Many package holiday sellers make it a condition for travelers to have travel insurance and most of the time the insurance will provide similar cover to the ABTA and ATOL cover. I would say be brave and adventurous and book separately but with the right alternative protection and you’ll never look back.
ATOL, IATA and ABTA are valuable brands that provide a level of reassurance and protection and if you don’t have the time, patience or inclination to shop around and book the same or better flight or hotel for less then a package holiday is the least hassle option. The middle ground would be to ask a Travel Agent to package a bespoke deal for you but add in the protection. It could be a case of you needing a holiday after dealing with the pain of booking it all separately or it could be that the money you save will pay for another holiday. I tend to go with the second view and many of my fellow Travel Agents sell packages to their customers but book their own holidays separately.
We saved £1000 each on our tour of Asia which included Singapore, Bali, Malaysia, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Bangkok and will show you how we did it in our next weeks blog.