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Published on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Consumer champion finds packages are cheaper than DIY holidays


New research by Which? that shows package holidays can work out considerably cheaper than DIY bookings will come as a welcome boost for tour operators as they head into what is usually the peak selling season.

The consumer body found that budget package holidays were cheaper in eight out of 10 cases, with the biggest saving more than £400 for a holiday for two to Greece.

Which? researchers compared the price of TUI and Jet2holidays' cheapest packages in May 2021 with the cost of identical DIY bookings from five UK airports.

Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said many people are put off booking a package because they worry they'll have to pay more than booking flights and accommodation separately. Which? research showed this was not the case, he added.

Rory said Which? has been urging holidaymakers to book packages since the summer for the 'unparalleled protections they offer'.

In the examples Which? looked at, researchers calculated the cost of the DIY package using the cheapest airfare from the same airport on the same date as the TUI or Jet2holidays' package and included one check-in bag per passenger.

The cost of return airport transfers was also included in the DIY bookings if these were included in the corresponding package booking, to create an identical holiday.

The biggest saving was £442, for a two-week holiday for a couple flying to Rhodes from Bristol, booked through TUI. The same holiday with travel and accommodation booked separately would cost £1,025, compared to £583 when booked as a package - an increase of 76%.

The average saving across the eight packages that were cheaper than a DIY booking was £157.

Only two package holidays worked out more expensive than booking flights and hotels separately - one Jet2holidays trip to Salou and one TUI holiday to Majorca.

But even when it was cheaper to book flights and hotels independently, the maximum saving was only £31 per person. Which? said this was 'arguably a negligible amount given the protection holidaymakers would be sacrificing through not booking a package'.

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