Britain has one of the best developed 'foreign holiday' industry of any country in the world. Although the industry is not devoid of criticism, for 'good value general holidays for the average family' the major companies perform very well. We often use standard holiday packages as a basis for our research trips to different destinations and we have always received good value, but this is perhaps because we know how to select the package to suit our needs.
Major holiday companies are very good at:-
moving large numbers of people from Britain to their holiday destination.
transferring those people from the arrival airport to their holiday accommodation.
collecting people at the end of their holiday and returning them to the airport.
These activities lend themselves to the bulk-buying of flights, accommodation and bus hire at very advantageous prices. As a result they can offer a package which you would find extremely difficult to match by booking independently. If you understand what the companies do well and know what they are 'not good at' you should have little cause for complaint with your package holiday.
Major holiday companies are 'not so good at':-
giving a clear total price of a package holiday, particularly where this involves supposedly 'free' child places, under-occupancy charges, airport surcharges and insurance.
giving a balanced view of resorts in their brochures, or of informing you of items which you might dislike.
explaining that in most companies the Holiday Reps first priority is to sell you 'commission earning' trips and car-hire.
Reading through tour brochures we interpret the resort/accommodation descriptions as follows. "Lively" - full of young drunks and ear-splitting garage music till four in the morning. "Quiet" - a long way from anywhere and nothing happens. "suitable for families" - noisy kids. "twenty minutes from the centre" - probably downhill but on the way back loaded down with shopping it will feel like a lifetime. "in the centre of the resort" - sleepless holidays. "New" - is it finished? building work? "Peaceful" see "Quiet". "Inclusive resort" - fatties pigging out day and night. Once you have mastered this 'estate agent' style of descriptions and have checked with a good Guide Book you should know what you are letting yourself in for.
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