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Why do millions of UK consumers choose package holidays?

Date posted: 01.02.2024

Package holidays remain popular with holidaymakers who can’t get enough of travelling overseas. 

Image of person planning and booking holiday
Person planning and booking holiday

In fact, in a recent consumer survey conducted by ATOL, around four in ten of us said they would book a package holiday for their next big trip. 

But what is a package holiday and why should you consider booking one? 

What makes up a package holiday?

Package holidays are now so much more than the traditional sea and sand trips to the Mediterranean, although millions of us still enjoy our annual getaway to enjoy sunny resorts in Spain, Greece and Turkey.  

Basically, as long as you book two or more elements of a holiday and pay for them in one transaction, then that counts as a package. 

The travel industry now offers package holidays to suit every type of traveller, whatever their budget. Whether you want to go on a city break; a walking, gastronomy or cultural tour; a cruise or a winter sports holiday – all can be booked as a package deal.  

Package holidays can also include safaris; trips including tickets to local attractions, gigs or sporting events; and even festive visits to Christmas markets or to meet Santa in Lapland.  

You can also enjoy package holidays on an any board basis – be that self-catering or bed and breakfast right through to all-inclusive, where drinks and all meals are included in one overall price.  

All-inclusive holidays continue to grow in popularity as many people enjoy controlling their spend, and knowing they will not have to keep dipping into their wallet once they arrive at their hotel. 

Package holidays including a flight benefit from ATOL protection

When you book a package holiday where you fly to your destination, you will be financially protected by ATOL in case your holiday company goes out of business. 

It doesn’t happen very often, but should your trip provider cease to trade, you will not be left out of pocket. 

If you are abroad, ATOL will organise your flight back home, and assist you to stay in your holiday accommodation usually until your scheduled day of departure. ATOL will also reimburse you for any money spent to replace ATOL protected parts of your trip. For those who have not yet travelled, you will be able to make a claim through the ATOL scheme. 

You can use our handy tool to check if a holiday company offers ATOL protected trips. 


Package Travel Regulations 

As holiday makers you will also be protected under the Package Travel Regulations. 

This means if an element of your holiday is changed, doesn’t go quite as planned or isn’t as you expected, the holiday company you booked with has a duty of care to look after you. The law also makes sure holiday providers are advertising their packages correctly, ensuring you get what you paid for and expected.   

If there’s a crisis while you’re away, and it’s not safe for you to stay at your destination, your tour operator should help to get you home by arranging flights, getting you to the airport and refunding any out-of-pocket expenses.  

In short, the Package Travel Regulations are there to make sure you receive the package holiday you paid for. 

Simple and easy to do

When piecing together a DIY holiday, you have to make separate arrangements for flights, transfers, excursions and, of course, your accommodation. 

A package holiday does this all for you!  

Packages are hassle-free – all you have to do is decide where you want to go, book and look forward to your trip, with everything taken care of. And if you need to make any changes, or you require assistance along the way, you have just one company to deal with.   

Can come out cheaper

If you book flights, hotels, transfers, and the many other aspects of a holiday on your own, your holiday might come out more expensive than planned. 

By booking a package holiday you can enjoy the discounts offered by the economies of scale that holiday companies can pass on. Transfers are also usually included, removing the risk of paying hefty taxi fares. 

Obviously, it pays to do your research and shop around but recent research found that all-inclusive packages were cheaper than independent holidays in most popular destinations.  

But before you book, make sure you always check you are ATOL protected. 

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