Package holidays are simply where the travel operator offers the whole trip, including the flights, hotels and in some cases the transport when you arrive at your destination. Bearing this in mind, a lot of the tips for getting cheap flights will be the same as they are for package holidays. Having said this, there are some specific ways of bagging a package holiday bargain.
The reason that many tour operators offer such cheap deals for packages is because they buy a certain number of flights and hotel rooms which they then try and sell throughout the year. By definition, they will have more possible holidays during peak season, but then there will also be greater demand meaning that the bargains may not be what you would hope.
Last minute package holidays are readily available if you are not fussy about destination and can wait until the very last minute. If you simply want somewhere hot, tomorrow, you will almost certainly bag a bargain; if you want a specific type of destination or resort then you may find that you are not able to get that last minute deal.
Optional extras are big business for package tour operators and they will often make most of their profit from these extras such as insurance, excursions and transport at your destination. Whilst these will often be available elsewhere cheaper, you may find that purchasing these from your package holiday operator will allow you to negotiate a discount on your holiday. You may even be able to get a ‘free’ extra if you agree to book on the spot.
Another thing to bear in mind is that accommodation is not the expensive part of the package and you will sometimes find that a package holiday to a particular destination will end up as a cheaper alternative to trying to book flights on their own. Last minute package deals are often so cheap that you can take the point of view that even if you hate the accommodation you can always phone around for your chosen hotel. On a similar note, the best bargains are often those that are classified as ‘allocation on arrival’. This simply means that you will be allocated accommodation when you arrive.
Some operators offer a halfway option where you will be told the resort, the type of hotel or the grade but the final selection will be done when you arrive.