Independent Holiday Booking Myths

26th February 2021

The Truth About Independent Holiday Booking

If you book your own flights and accommodation independently, this article is for you!  

Why do people book their own flights and accommodation? 

The biggest reason is cost. They see it as cheaper than booking a package through an agent, with the perceived hidden costs. So, you might be surprised to learn that recent research from Which? found that in 8 out of 10 cases, packages were cheaper than the same holidays where flights and accommodation were booked separately.

The evidence

Which? compared 10 packages for 2021 from Jet2 Holidays and Tui to popular destinations for UK holidaymakers. The destinations were Spain, the Canary Islands and the Greek Islands.  

For each package, Which? compared the cheapest airfare available for any airline and the best hotel price using hotel booking websites to calculate the DIY price. If hold baggage and transfers were included in the package price, these were also included in the DIY price to provide a true comparison. 

Depending on the departure airport, savings varied from 4% to 76%.  The biggest saving compared with elements booked separately was £442 for a 2-week package to Rhodes flying from Bristol airport. The package prices were also cheaper, by £158 and £53, from airports such as Stansted, which have among the most budget flights. 

Only departures from Leeds Bradford airport were cheaper than the comparative package and then only by £24 and £31 per person. However, as Which? pointed out, even this saving is negligible, given the protection provided by a package under the Package Travel Regulations 2018 (see separate article).

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Why are tour operators’ package holidays usually cheaper?

Despite scouring the internet for bargains via budget airlines and online hotel booking platforms, tour operators gain achieve better savings. Why is this?

Airline Ownership

Some operators such as Jet2 and Tui operate their own airlines. EasyJet now also provide package holidays through EasyJet Holidays and a number of operators will use low cost airlines to give you the best package price. In addition, operators are able to negotiate great prices with hotels due to their size and increased buying power.

Hidden Extras

As many people find when booking elements separately, that great price you see at the beginning doesn’t look so great when you add on all the extras which may not be included in the initial price you saw, i.e. taxes, hold luggage, pre-booked seats, etc.

Being familiar with the operators and their areas of specialisation, we know where to look to find those deals. And it’s a myth that it’s much more expensive to book through travel agents rather than independently because they earn huge amounts of commission!  The reality is that, in many if not most cases, the prices are not more expensive if booked via a travel agent. Sometimes deals are only available through agents which over extra, exclusive savings.

Specialist Know-How

Perhaps the most compelling reason for booking through a reputable travel agent rather than independently, apart from access to special prices and increased protection, is our know-how. For example:

  • We won’t book the wrong airport or flights without hold luggage for a winter holiday. 
  • We won’t book flights allowing 30 minutes to clear customs and change terminals in a huge international airport, so that you miss connecting flights. 
  • We won’t fly you to an airport that is miles away from your destination, arriving in the middle of the night with no means of getting there.  In short, we will take care of the detail so you can relax. 

For complete peace of mind about price and the finer details of your booking, talk to the friendly experts at Mondial Travel about your next holiday. We’re here to help.


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