Holidays are always special no matter the type – honeymoon, backpacking, budgeted, family or luxury. Some people we know swear by package holidays and others by custom journeys. The first group jets off on a bargain holiday, see 10 cities in 8 days, and come back raving about the food had. The second group however think of the package holidays as the devil incarnate. They want to be involved in every aspect of the panning such as flight timings, road transfers, touch they take. The holidays are special journeys, an experience to be had and cherished.
These differing points of view make it a little difficult to choose where to go on holiday, and how to go about arranging it. Consequently we thought it could be useful to have a bit of a holiday face-off, and draw up a fancy list of all the pros and cons of each so that you don’t have to.
First up, the package holidays:
No faffing – you get on the plane, onto the transfer, and arrive at your hotel. You follow your tour manager around, dawn to midnight, for daily excursions and eat what they give you.
Cheap – thanks to last minute deals, special offers and mass operators a package is a bargain.
More protection – dependant on who you book with, you are more likely to be covered for. They will look after you if things go wrong, or if something happens back home.
Little to no flexibility – most trips go on specified days, and generally you don’t have a choice about times for flying, things to see, sights to see etc.
Lack of exotic destinations – you want to spend half a week fishing of a distant island, go diving with the sharks, take a bike trip through the mountains. There probably aren’t many package holiday choices for that.
Static – If you want to travel to multiple locations you may find yourself rushing. Usually one city to another every night and racing just to tick off the names off a list.
Not a journey – the element of discovery, meeting new people, sampling different cuisines, wandering around. The aspects that make the holidays meaningful are all missing.
OK, and now about custom journeys:
Total flexibility – if you want custom, you can go custom. Nearly everything is achievable, giving you access to a million times more potential “experiences” than on a typical package tour.
Plenty of experts – the world is full of people (like us who have travelled extensively) who can plan the whole trip for you, or recommend places to go and things to see.
Multiple destinations – an island hopping tour of all your favourite locations, in a specific order? Only possible with a custom holiday.
Flexible for groups – if there are lots of you, you are more likely to be able to handle it if it is a tailor-made holiday. Some of you might want to shop while the others visit a museum – all possible on the same day, same trip.
Cost – they don’t come as cheap as the discounted packages. I am afraid that custom holidays cost more than packages due to all those advantages. The pay the price for the experience tailored for you.
High on organisation – if you are designing the whole thing yourself, be prepared to have to grapple with transfers and plane times and different locations.
Autonomy – You are alone on these holidays, with no-one shuffling you in the right direction or doing the legwork for you!
Has this helped you make your decision yet? Do you think customised holidays is the way to go yet hesitant due to the organisation and planning required? Comment below to let us know what you think…