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Does it pay to take a package holiday?

The main summer season for package-holiday companies began this month and although, due to the recession, the number of bookings last month fell by 15 per cent compared to last year, the package deal is becoming increasingly popular, reports the Independent. Families may be trimming three or four days off their usual 14-night holiday to make it affordable, but they’re still going and the all-inclusive holiday deal is proving tempting. All-you-can-eat-and-drink packages make up a huge 36 per cent of summer bookings, an increase of 31 per cent on 2010.

Knowing that you’ve paid for your break in one fell swoop, with no worries about meals and snacks for hungry kids is a great advantage, but it’s not the only one. With 2010 set to go down as the year of the travel trauma, many travellers prefer to play safe by opting for a package holiday rather than a do-it-yourself itinerary online. Booking through a reputable operator means you can transfer the risk to the holiday company, which is obliged to look after you if you’re grounded at Gatwick, or the resort hotel is not up to standard.

Prices can also be amazingly cheap. Over the recent Bank Holiday weekend, as Easy Jet prices went through the roof, Thomson was offering a package to the Greek island of Thassos, including transfers and a hotel room, with breakfast for the give-away price of £270 per couple! So check out Thomson, Thomas Cook and their smaller rivals to see what’s on offer. You may well be very pleasantly surprised!

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