A vacation is one of the biggest single expenditures of the year for many people, so it’s important to try to get the best deal possible. There are plenty of ways to save money on your vacation, but one misguided notion that some people have is that it’s always cheaper to book a package vacation. Though package deals are in fact sometimes the lowest priced option, there are many instances when it works out cheaper to book each segment of your travel separately. (See also: How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package)
Before we dive into the times when it’s cheaper to book each element of a trip yourself, we need to answer two key questions.
What is a package vacation?
Many people think of a package vacation as an all-inclusive deal where flights, transfers, and hotels, as well as food and drinks at the resort are all covered. While that is one type of package vacation (usually called an all-inclusive vacation), the term is also applicable to the increasingly popular bundled deals. These are where you get a combination of flights, hotel, and potentially car rental for a fixed price, but not the catering that you’d expect with an all-inclusive.
What is an independent booking?
This is where you book each element of your vacation separately on a DIY basis. You will make these bookings directly with the providers rather than through tour operators or brokers.
Here are eight times booking independently is cheaper than booking a package vacation.
1. When you have time to search and compare
One of the main benefits of package vacations is that it takes all of the hard work and effort out of planning your trip. While for some people the planning is a large part of fun in itself, for others it’s the cause of a great deal of stress and simply not something they have time to do. If, however, you do have the time to scour the internet for deals, then you will more than likely be able to shave dollars off each element of your trip. (See also: The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites)
2. When you don’t stay in a hotel
Package deals invariably include the cost of your hotel in the price, which is fine if this is specifically the type of accommodation you’re looking for. But there are so many different options for accommodation now, that a hotel often won’t be the cheapest one. For those willing to explore other possibilities there are huge savings to be had. Where you stay usually accounts for the biggest…