Summer Vacation – Are Summer Vacation Packages Worth It?

Where are we going on summer vacation this year?

Perhaps it should not amaze me but I am still intrigued by human nature in choosing a summer vacation. Why do some people almost automatically book the same hotel, in the same resort year after year while others insist on something totally different from they last summer vacation?

I am sure that it would take a lot more than one article to explain it! If you and your family are considering your next summer vacation, you will know as well as I do that a whole bunch of decisions have to be made. Three of the most important decisions to consider when scheduling a summer vacation are typically:
Destination

Suitability

Price

With the wealth of information now available on the internet posted by travel agents, tourist boards, airlines, hotels, travel companies, and individuals, we can almost run the risk of information overload. We can end up with too many decisions or too many options to choose from.

Whereas some people may prefer and get a lot of fun out of organizing the whole trip themselves, others may prefer to take advantage of a particular summer vacation package that is on offer. Even so, there is still a level of uncertainty as to what a summer vacation package should or should not contain. This is not surprising since different resorts, different travel companies may offer a variety of ‘incentives’ to attract more customers…
All inclusive deals

Tours and excursions

Children’s entertainment

Free access to private beaches

Free park admissions

Airport transfers

Car rental

The list is endless. Summer vacation packages are offered by a wide variety of different companies with each company likely to offer their own package inclusions. Depending on our own personal family circumstances, however, it is likely that we can find one that almost ticks all the boxes if not completely.

So, are summer vacation packages worth it? Well, that depends.

For some, the overall package price (within reason) may take second place to the convenience and range of inclusions offered in that package. To others it may be a case of shopping around to get a price more suited to their budget and having to compromise on what’s included in the package.

With summer vacation packages, there is a misconception that savings will be made by buying a package compared to a more DIY style of vacation where we pay as we go. Packages are often regarded as deals and, yes, they can benefit from discounts but this is not always the case. Whoever has put the whole package together still needs to make a profit somewhere.

So, unless you want the package because of the convenience and the ‘worry-free’ arrangements that are included, I would encourage anyone to take some time and compare the cost of the package to the overall cost of doing it yourself. While doing this, also compare the benefits offered to individuals against those offered in a package which may have been organized by a large tour operator with ‘buying power’.

Hotel accommodation and nearby vacation facilities or attractions are a good example of this. I have found that booking accommodation directly with the hotel often offers a less attractive deal compared to booking through a travel company or buying a package. This may be actual price per night, meals, transfers or even excursions.

This is all the more reason to make sure there is enough time to do some research which, again, is easy given the information available on the internet. For example, if you have a specific hotel in mind, visit the online website of the hotel you wish to check out. You may be surprised to see a difference between the summer vacation package price and booking directly. Depending on the vacation destination package in question, you may find the difference saves you money or ends up costing you more.

Online travel websites and professional travel companies are where most vacation packages are found. Online travel websites are good because they are free to use, but you are encouraged to watch for hidden fees. These hidden fees, if they do exist, could cause a significant increase in the overall cost of your summer vacation package.

When the right research is done, we know when we have found the ‘right’ summer vacation whether it is a packages deal or a vacation we have organized by ourselves. There is no doubt in my mind also that depending on our personal circumstances and with a bit of research, summer vacation packages can definitely be worth it.

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