Thinking of booking a vacation package? If you're a newbie to packages, and you're on the fence about whether to book that air-inclusive, two-week mega-trip to Thailand or Italy or anywhere else, here are just a few of the benefits that a bundled package can offer:
Fly for less: Tour groups have major negotiating power when it comes to airfare, and they pass that savings along to the customer. Many packages, like this Budapest/Vienna/Prague trip, offer open-jaw air, meaning that you'll fly into one city and out of another. This makes for incredibly convenient sightseeing, and saves a ton on trying to book this kind of airfare yourself.
Hot hotels: When booking a vacation package, check out the hotels offered. You can score some amazing deals on 4- and 5-star hotels by booking a package. Check out this air-inclusive package at the InterContinental San Juan. The whole package costs $525 per person, and this hotel normally costs about $240 per night all by itself.
Cultural context: Escorted tours, particularly in far-away destinations such as Ecuador, Vietnam or South Africa, allow travelers to see a new place with the help of a an experienced guide. Sometimes guides even live in the destination city. They walk travelers through major historical sites, highlight important history, and provide insider tips that solo travelers won't glean from any guide book. The best part? Most escorted tours allow lots of free time for wandering -- and taking advantage of the tour guide's tips.
Choose escorted, or not: Don't feel like tagging along with a tour group for days? There's still a way to take advantage of package pricing. Hotel-and-air packages, and fly-and-drive packages that include air, hotel and car rental cater to more independent travelers. This allows for the best of both worlds; you to take advantage of group pricing, and do your own thing on the road. Check the details when you book, so you know what you're getting.