Thomas Cook, Superbreak Mini Holidays, Freedom Travel Group and The Holiday Place are just a few of the recent companies falling into administration, leaving holiday makers stranded, disappointed and left fighting to get their money back.
Instead of entrusting an agent or tour operator with their money, holiday goers are increasingly choosing to take back control and make their own holiday arrangements – booking travel, accommodation and car hire themselves. It’s easier than you think, and it can save you money too!
In this article we list the top 10 reasons to book direct – so stop and think, will your holiday company be there this time next year?
1. The collapse of tour operators and agencies
The Civil Aviation Authority list 7 companies registered with ATOL that have failed within the last 12 months. Each company will have a left holiday-goers out of pocket with no where to go for their precious time off. It’s worrying, but no wonder, that ABTA have webpages dedicated to consumer advice on what to do if their travel company goes out of business.
You could be forgiven for thinking long standing institutions such as Thomas Cook are too big to fail. Poor enterprise risk management and failure to adapt and modernise, combined with an increasing number of disruptive business models coming on the scene each year, means it is inevitable that there will be a growing trail of failed operators to come in 2020, each one falling whilst holding on to holiday-goers hard earn savings.
So, reason number one, don’t lose out and take back control of your holiday.
2. Commission led selling
Travel agents will push the holidays that give them the biggest commission. They will do their best to push holidays on you, upselling a dream and cajoling you into booking a holiday that suits them, not you. They will also earn perks for pushing extras that have inflated costs all to meet their precious sales targets.
Reason number two, don’t get upsold.
3. Design your own holiday
A tour operator will put together a packaged holiday and then sell it en masse. You holiday with a crowd and do exactly what everyone else does. By booking your own holiday you have the freedom to choose your destination, how you travel, what you do, see and experience, and even decide who you spend your precious holiday with. Sounds amazing to me!
Reason number three, take back control and design your own holiday, just the way you like it.
4. Save Money
By booking direct you can trim £100’s off the price of your holiday. Tour operators will make a margin on everything and you are paying for their operating costs and shareholder profits, when you could be spending that on upgrading your accommodation, going on an excursion and making more memories!
Reason number four, get more for your money.
5. It’s not all about hotels
The world is a big place and you don’t need to stay in a hotel when you go on holiday. There are a wide variety of property types out there; villas, gites, chateau’s, B&B’s, apartments, private retreats, niche hotels, cottages and guest houses as examples. They can all offer different and unique holiday experiences, opening-up a world of holiday options and opportunities.
Reason number five, you don’t need a hotel, there are many types of accommodations.
Package holidays are normally only available for fixed blocks of time such as 7, 10 and 14 days and may only start on certain days of the week. By booking your own holiday you can go at times that work for you and your annual leave. Maybe you’d like a short get away, or just want to eek out your two-week holiday by an extra day. Booking direct makes this all possible.
Reason number six, book a holiday that is however long you want it to be.
7. Travel times
Planes fly at-all-times of the day and from many locations – they don’t just fly at 5am out of Stanstead. Booking direct means you have more choice of locations to fly from and at times that better suit you. Sure, some flights maybe cheaper if you travel early, but the internet is full of cheats and hacks to get the best flight prices for savvy travellers.
Reason number seven, chose your own flight time and where you fly from.
You don’t have to stick to one place on holiday. Why not explore your holiday destination and book two or more accommodations to get the most out of your holiday experience. You may be able to do this with a tour operator, but it will be at a premium that stops most people from even considering it.
Reason number eight, go on another holiday during your holiday!
9. No need to compromise
Package holidays often come with compromises – time restrictions on mealtimes, the same choice of food everyday and seeing the same people. You don’t need to join the conveyor belt following people around the hotel going from restaurant, to pool, to the bar, to restaurant etc. By booking your own holiday you can do what you want, when you want.
Reason number nine, you don’t have to compromise.
10. You can still get a hotel experience if you wish
If you book your own accommodation, and still want a bit of that hotel experience, many hotels allow you in to use their facilities and entertainment for the day. Yet whilst everyone else will be doing the conga around the hotel, you can go back to your own pool and your own choice of sunbeds at your own villa.
Reason number ten, get the best of both worlds.
Don’t wait – take back control of your holiday and honour your preferences today
We’ve been booking our own trips for many years and the sense of excitement is as special as the holiday itself. Putting it all together is exciting with the prospect of designing a holiday exactly how you want and all the new opportunities that come with doing it yourself. You may be worried about protection, but its not all about ABTA and ATOL, there are ways to secure your trip and book with confidence. Travel insurance, paypal buyer protection and paying with credits cards (through section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act) can give protection to your travels.
Some people will always book through an agent and will have same type of holiday experience year in year out. Those who book direct broaden their horizons and open up a world of new experiences.
At Secluded Escapes we list a wide range holiday accommodations such as villas, apartments and niche hotels. You can find your perfect holiday rental accommodation with us and make your own holidays (www.secludedescapes.com).