Travel SOS: Does booking flights and hotels together save money?

Ray has started looking ahead to 2022 and wants to know why he can’t find deals as good as those advertised on some package sites.

Q. Ray
I don’t know whether it is wishful thinking or not, but I have started to look at some international travel options again for 2022.

I have seen some amazing deals for flights and accommodation while I have been searching, but when I try and find even better prices by going directly to the source, I am not able to get anywhere near these prices. Can the deals be trusted? And how do they manage to offer these prices? Has the pandemic resulted in them offering really good prices to try and coax people out of hibernation?

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The deals can definitely be trusted, or otherwise you would be reading bad reviews on every site that you visited, and the companies would not survive for very long.

The reason that inclusive holiday packages are so popular is that it is often so much cheaper than booking all of the individual elements individually and it also takes the heavy lifting away from the traveller, and this was true even before the pandemic.

Many of the companies that offer inclusive holiday packages benefit from industry and business partnerships. This includes having direct access to airline partners and on-the-ground operators, such as cruise, coach and bus companies.

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Tour operators then use these relationships to negotiate the best-value deals, which are then passed on directly to travellers.

Also, the high volume of sales that these companies generate encourages suppliers to offer better prices on tours and experiences. 

Think of it as a cycle: increased online sales prompt travel suppliers to provide more deals and this increases the competitive price points in the market. Travellers then receive more cost-efficient deals as a result.

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While the tours feature essentials such as flights, accommodation and some transportation, travellers also have the opportunity to add extras, including activities and package upgrades.

This option provides travellers with the flexibility to stick to their budget and save on costs.

Do you prefer to book and plan a holiday yourself, or do you prefer to book a package deal with all the work done for you? What do you think provides the best value? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben