The History of Package Holidays in the UK

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Package holidays have been a long standing tradition for many residents of the UK when planning their vacations, or traveling to neighboring European countries. The idea of the bundled holidays in the UK came about as early as 1841, and was organized by Thomas Cook, of Melbourne, Derbyshire, who was the founder of the Thomas Cook Group travel agencies.

The concept of the package holidays was to offer Europeans an affordable means to travel between various countries in Europe for an all inclusive rate, which could include airfare, transfers, and accommodations. Thomas Cook’s idea of bundled travel packages offered residents of the United Kingdom their first chance at affordable travel abroad, and Euravia Airlines was the first to offer these first charter flights to neighboring European countries.

Trouble arose when the tourism industry began declining in the 1970’s. Although there was intense competition from other tour operators, a situation arose when one prominent travel company faced losing booking deposits, and left thousands of tourists stranded. This incident nearly collapsed the bundled travel packages industry in the United Kingdom, which led to the industry losing its appeal for many years. In recent years, thanks to the internet age, clients have become more pro active, and have begun booking their own travel arrangements, airfare, and accommodations separately, which led to the popularity of travel websites. Due to the affordability of bundling, many tour operators are now offering substantial deals on their travel sites for all inclusive airfare, hotel accommodations, and even vehicle rentals. Many of these bundle packages are targeted specifically toward the UK residents, offering spectacular deals in warmer climates such as Spain or Crete.

One of the many reasons the history of bundled travel packages has been so popular for UK residents is due to the fact that many are looking to escape their wet, cold, northern island weather in exchange for tropical island weather and sunshine. In the past, before bundled holidays were a popular commodity, clients had no choice but to book their travel arrangements separately. But due to the progress of technology and travel combined, and the insight of Thomas Cook many years ago, affordable package holidays are a reality and an affordable splurge for family fun for any resident of the UK who is looking for a great escape!

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