Package holidays getting personal: Travel companies are adding a host of optional extras to post-lockdown getaways
- Hays Travel, Travelbag and others can arrange taxi transfers on many packages
- Responsible Travel has tailor-made holidays on offer to Greece, Cuba and more
- Freedom Destinations can build bespoke fly-drive trips from Canada to Namibia
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday idea, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Adding your own touches to a package holiday…
Travel companies are going all out to lure back their customers this summer, adding a host of optional extras to post-lockdown getaways.
Many will also create bespoke itineraries for families who want a package holiday with a difference.
In the driving seat: A trip to the vibrant cities of Cuba could also include your choice of coastal B&Bs
You can get your break off to a good start with nights in airport hotels, access to airline lounges and private transfers to resorts. But book soon while prices are still low.
Take some of the stress out of an early flight with a room at a Heathrow or Manchester airport Premier Inn in July from £28. Book direct at premierinn.com to get flexible options for late cancellations.
Having access to an airport VIP lounge lets you avoid crowded terminals and relax with free drinks, snacks and wi-fi. Online specialist Lounge Pass offers tickets for Club Aspire and Plaza Premium at Heathrow from £32, while Kuoni, Virgin Holidays and others can add access to the price of holidays.
When you arrive overseas, if you don’t want to wait for a packed coach to your resort then Hays Travel, Travelbag and others can arrange taxi transfers on many packages. Or get a quote from the likes of holidayextras.com.
Fares for a family of four from Palma airport to the main Bay of Palma resorts start at about £28.
Holidays themselves are also getting personal, with a huge number of tailor-made trips on offer from Responsible Travel.
Adventures include a walking holiday in Greece with guided tours of the ‘wonders of the world’ monasteries of Meteora. Ask the experts to pick your hotels and route for a very personal eight-day holiday from £690pp plus flights.
Cuba may also be reopened to tourists this summer, and visitors can build their own holiday by staying in a choice of family-run B&Bs in a mix of city centre, coastal and rural locations. From £1,195pp for a 15-day trip, excluding flights (responsibletravel.com).
Book the eight-day Italian Intermezzo trip from Insight Vacations, and as well as an itinerary taking in Lake Como, Venice, Tuscany, Florence and Rome, you can contact your personal Travel Director beforehand with special requests. Recent examples include advice on booking private wine tastings and help finding the perfect spot for a romantic marriage proposal.
Insight Vacations will help you plan the perfect Italian itinerary. Pictured is Lake Como
While away, take advantage of ‘Insight Choice days’ that let you pick between, say, a food tour or a gallery visit, a mountain hike or an art talk. Italian trips from £1,866pp, excluding flights, with insightvacations.com.
If you fancy a fly-drive holiday, the advisers at Freedom Destinations can build a bespoke trip that includes flights, rental cars, a detailed route and hotels which can be as basic or as luxurious as your budget allows.
Ideas include an 11-night Canadian Lakes And Lodges fly-drive from £2,935pp that starts in Vancouver and offers the chance to try horse-riding, fly-fishing, gold-panning and mountain-biking. A range of hotels includes the Emerald Lake Lodge, with timber walls, stone fireplaces and an outdoor pool that’s perfect for star-gazing.
There’s also a 20-day, two-country holiday which includes drives through the deserts and game parks of Namibia, one of Africa’s safest and most beautiful countries, and ends with a week on the beach in Mauritius. From £2,339pp (freedomdestinations.co.uk).