Any travel agent worth their commission would rather sell you a package tour instead of only a plane ticket, and it’s a fact that some vacation packages actually cost less than regular round-trip airfare. While packaged travel certainly isn’t for everyone, reduced group airfares and discounted hotel rates make some tours an excellent value. For two people with limited time and a desire to stay at first-class hotels, this is the cheapest way to go.
The “wholesalers” who put these packages together get their rooms at rates far lower than what individuals pay, and the airlines also give them deals. Special-interest tours are very popular among sportspeople who want to be sure they’ll get to participate in the various activities they enjoy. Such tours generally come with airfare, accommodations, and transfers included.
The main drawback to the tours is that you’re on a fixed itinerary in a tourist-oriented environment, out of touch with local life. You may not like the hotel or meals you get, and singles pay a healthy supplement. You’ll probably get prepaid vouchers and etickets to turn in as you go along and won’t be escorted by a tour conductor. Some tour companies do not accept consumer inquiries and require you to work through a travel agent or a website such as Holiday Hypermarket. Do check all the restrictions.