At first glance, it seems so much better to book all the elements of your holiday yourself. "Who needs help? I’m perfectly capable of sorting it all myself, thank you."
But here’s a few thoughts about why you should use a tour operator for their next holiday:
1. It’s easier
Low-cost airlines were the first to catch on to it: instead of them doing the hard work, now you have to go through their website, check flights, book them, print the boarding card. Save that time by booking via a tour operator. They’ve either worked it all out beforehand or will spend hours preparing a tailor-made itinerary for you. (AITO specialists know their destinations like the back of their hand.)
"If something goes wrong with the booking or holiday arrangements, you have someone to lean on."
2. It’s more comforting
If something goes wrong with the booking, or the holiday arrangements, then you have someone to talk to or lean on. Do it yourself and you’ll potentially spend hours on the phone trying to sort out the problem. Instead, just call your tour operator, and give them the problem. They’ll be sympathetic and helpful. AITO companies pride themselves on offering end-to-end service.
3. It’s usually cheaper
Specialist operators often have special ticket prices with airlines to whom they give a lot of business; ditto better rates for hotel rooms. It can therefore often be cheaper to use the tour operator’s buying power. Okay, sometimes you might find a last-minute offer on a flight or a hotel and then it’s not cheaper with the tour operator. In that case — well, read points 1 and 2 again… there are other benefits with a specialist. But it’s usually cheaper.
4. It’s safer
If things go wrong on holiday (natural disasters, terrorism, etc.) a tour operator has, by law, to sort things out and get you home — at its cost, not yours. They are experienced at it, too. Book on your own and you are on you own. When the tsunami struck Thailand some years ago, the Foreign Office worked with tour operators to get clients home; it admitted that its biggest problem was to find individual travellers, as it had no contact numbers or details for them, making it difficult to help. Tour operators were able to track down their clients more easily.
"If the hotel or airline goes bust, a bonded UK tour operator will ensure you always get a full refund."
5. It’s financially secure
If the hotel goes bust before — or when — you are there, if the airline goes bust (as Cyprus Airlines did in 2015), or if the operator itself goes bust, a bonded UK tour operator will ensure that you always get a full refund or, if you are on holiday, you’ll be brought home at no cost to you. All AITO operators offer full financial protection for any service you book with them.
Doing it yourself might seem to be a bit more fun — if you have the time/patience. But using a tour operator means ease, comfort, cost savings, safety and financial security.