10 Tips for a perfect Holiday Package

posted in: Asia, India, Tips | 47

I have been asked many a times on whether one should plan a holiday in India on their own or should they go for a holiday package. Ideally, I love doing it on my own as there is a certain thrill in researching and figuring out things. However, I do accept that sometimes, it is better to go with holiday packages in India. My reasons for saying so –

  • Shortage of time – Sometimes, as much as you would like to research, you don’t have the time. Maybe because of your job or schedule or owing to some other pressures. A holiday package is a good option at this time, as it really saves time and effort.
  • Economies of scale – Tour packages are sometimes, quite easy on the pocket as they offer you bundled deals – hotels plus conveyance and sometimes even, airfare.
  • Far-Flung local attractions – Some places as in Sikkim, have a lot of distances between local attractions and their local transport may not be well connected. They may even, have places a short distance from the main city and given this situation – sometimes for convenience, and sometimes for safety, it is best to opt for Holiday Packages.
  • Dealing with the locals – Sometimes, it is far easier to deal with one local person who speaks your language than with many who do not. No one really want the additional stress of an unknown place, unfamiliar culture and language.  With a holiday package, a lot of things are taken care of and this stress is reduced drastically.

I am sure that there are plenty of more reasons of why people opt for various holiday packages in India. It is no wonder that there are tons of India tour packages in the market today – with different duration, itinerary and prices. Given the plethora of options, it can get quite overwhelming for any traveler to pick that one holiday package that suits their needs. Here are my 10 tips that can help you select some amazing holiday packages.

1) Selecting the right tour operator for a Holiday package

Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0

Every region has special tour operators. You can find these through various websites, like www.askme.com

Do a check on their background – how long have they been operating in a particular regions and what do their customers say about them. A little online research on third-party sites like TripAdvisor can help gather information about how satisfied their clients have been. The research will also, help you understand how good they are with their local guides and tours. Based on the ratings and research, shortlist 2 or 3 operators and get their quotes.

2) Pricing

Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0

Most travel operators list their Holiday Packages without including the applicable taxes. Always request for a complete quote that includes – not just the tax components but all the expense heads – stay, conveyance, meals, entrance fees, guide charges etc. Ensure that when you are comparing the deals based on price, all these components are accounted for.

3) Accommodation options

Hotel Devraj Niwas, Udaipur
Hotel Devraj Niwas, Udaipur

Request for the hotel names and check these names for the customer reviews. Compare the price that you would get if you were to book on your own Vs. what the package offers. Also, always note the location of the hotel – the more central it is, the better it would be for you. I have found that sometimes, in a bid to offer lower prices, the stay is compromised by way of location or quality of the place. If you are not alright with the stay options, check with the travel operator on other options.

4) Meals

Image Credit: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credit: Pixabay under CC0

Most Holiday packages offer complimentary breakfast.  A few of them may even offer lunch or dinner or both. Typically, you may not want to opt for all the meals as you will be spending most of your day sightseeing. Also, you just might want to experiment with the local cuisine and other restaurants. In such cases, ensure that your package is tailored accordingly.

Here is where I would like to clear a confusion that happens with terms like MAP and AP. MAP essentially means, Modified American Plan and includes a breakfast and one more meal (either lunch or dinner). AP means an American Plan with all meals included. In case you see these in your holiday package, you now know what they mean 🙂

5) Customization of your itinerary

Examine the itinerary of your holiday package carefully. Ensure that all the places that you wish to visit are covered and that you have sufficient time in each of these places. If there are some additional places that you would like to explore, check with your tour operator and add them onto your list. Adding or deleting places could also, mean that you may need to extend or reduce a day from your package. Ensure that the pricing for the same is adjusted accordingly.

A lot of travel packages come with scheduled visits to local shops. I personally, like to shop locally but at my own terms. Hence, I tend to opt out of these scheduled shopping trips and adjust that time with possibly, another attraction of interest.

6) Local and inter-city conveyance


Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0

One of the biggest advantage of a holiday package is that all your inter-city and intra-city conveyance is taken care of. However, when opting for a tour package, ensure you get details on what kind of vehicle would you get, whether it is AC or Non AC, what is the seating and luggage capacity, what would be the drop and pick up points and if there are any tips or additional expenses to be borne. Check if it is an exclusive transport for you or would you be sharing it with someone. Always insist on a driver that can speak your language.

7) Guides

Check if there is a local guide assigned to you. Ensure that his fees are covered in your package. If not, please find out what are the applicable charges. There is a tip that you may have to give your guide at the end of your tour. These are generally, not included in your package and could be over and above your guide charges. Make sure that the same is clarified in your holiday package.

If a tour guide is included in your package, find out on what days and parts of the itinerary he will be present. In case there is no guide included, you may want to get details on where to hire one from the travel operator.

8) Entrance Fees

Travel Tips for picking a holiday package

A lot of local attractions have an entrance fee . Figure out if the same have been included in your travel package. If it is, get it included clearly on all quotes and invoices.

9) Payment Terms and Fine print

Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0

There are various options available when it comes to payment terms. Please ensure that while booking , you have carefully read the fine print and payment conditions. Ensure that your refund clause or cancellation clause are clear. In case of any emergency or cancellation, you may need the same.

Avoid paying a full 100% on booking. Most reputed tour operators insist on a part payment at the time of booking (generally between 25% to 50%) and the rest a week or two before the actual date of departure. In some case, they are flexible enough to insist on the balance payment on arrival at the first destination.

10) Local contact and Vouchers

Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0
Image Credits: Pixabay under CC0

Ensure that the tour operator gives you the contact details of their local tour operator or office. This would be required in case of any hitches, during your travel. If you are going to more than one town, ensure that the contact has an office or a valid contact number for each of these places.

All the confirmed bookings – flights, hotels and conveyance, have to be documented well and the travel operator must hand out email confirmations or vouchers of each, well before the journey date. Any special deals or trip options have to be mentioned on the voucher – for your own records as well as for any hotel/ local operator that you will be dealing with on your tour.

I guess, that should help you pick your perfect Holiday Package in India. Do let me know on what you think of these tips and while you plan that perfect holiday, don’t forget to pin this on your board and share the travel tips.

Travel tips for a Holiday Package


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47 Responses

  1. Wonderful post. I could recollect all of these, when I first visited Thailand via MakeMyTrip. I am sharing your post via twitter ! Happy writing !

  2. Very well enumerated. Loved the last pic. each brick of it. 🙂

  3. My point of view will be – when I travel , I just want to relax without thinking about staying, food etc etc

    “Just go there and relax” my mantra . So most of the time I go with ‘Holiday Packages’.

    Good article covered almost all points. Thanks 🙂

  4. I have done a few package tours and yes if they go well, they take out a lot of hassle out of holidays!

  5. I only booked a package once in my life. My husband and I enjoy the freedom of creating our own vacation, but we’ve only traveled within our own country for many years. If we were to try overseas travel, we would book a tour, and I’ve learned from this post. I never would have thought about the guide’s fee not being included, for example. Tweeted.

  6. wow nice tips 🙂

  7. Helpful post. But only one thing that i dont follow is—i never like to go for guide rather i read books, the history and the other things before visiting any place(specially historical).
    i also like to travel my own because if i like the place i can extend my days of staying.

  8. Great tips for a hassle-free vacation. Checking the hotel for reviews beforehand is a good idea to avoid disappointments.

  9. Very useful, Ami. People often forget to read the fine print and end up feeling disappointed or cheated. Sharing!

    • Thanks Corinne. 🙂 They sure do and I learnt from experience too. It leaves you feeling so unsatisfied.

  10. Well written. What a lovely pictures! I loved the last pic most 🙂

  11. I am sure this post is very helpful for those planning to visit and dunno how to explore. It makes sense to avoid disappointment. However, I suggest to explore on our own to make it fun and adventurous. Somehow, I don’t trust guides.

    • I think a good guide really helps understand a place better. Of course, your research helps keep his stories on track 😛

  12. Useful tips, Amy. For me, the accommodation and itinerary come first. Of course, the other ones mentioned here are also important… 🙂

    The last picture is wonderful…!

  13. What lovely blog and beautiful tips……

  14. Wow..Ami, Fab Tips and Great post……
    and bytheway I really like your name – Ami, it’s very cute… xoxo, Neha


    • Thank you Neha. Glad you liked my post and my name …The credit for my name goes to my mom 😀

  15. Hi Ami,

    Thanks for nice “10 Tips for a perfect Holiday Package – Thrilling Travel” post ! It’s really hard to manage perfect Holiday Packages as well as choose right holiday package too. Thanks again Ami, for sharing this perfect article with valuable sound !

  16. Yes one needs to keep all these points in mind. Very well stated Ami.

  17. Great pointers and you are right. Research even when you are taking a package. 🙂

  18. Wonderful tips, nicely composed, last pic was fantastic!!!

  19. We’ve never booked any sort of holiday package ever. It sounds like it’s worth it, but I would want to control most of the aspects you mention. I guess that’s why it’s good to know what to look for when building/buying a package.

    • While there is convenience, one needs to heed to certain caveats. If done properly, a holiday package can be a lot of fun.

  20. I have not used askme.com before…I will definitely be checking into it.

  21. While we much prefer to organize our own tours and reap the flexibility that comes with independence, we have joined a few organized tours and have had mixed results from terrible to absolutely incredible. It is so important to take your expectations into account when booking a tour.

    • I know how cheated you feel if your organized tours go bad. Hopefully these tips can help reduce that risk 😀

  22. Great and informative post! Although we never travel with a fixed itinerary or holiday package, these are great tips for people who do!!

    • I too, prefer not to travel with a package but sometimes, it just works out for the better.

  23. Though travelling on your own is always a better option, but mainly because of time constraint we sometimes opt for packages. But it is always advisable to look at the itinerary, because in many cases we found that the package itinerary missed out on important places.

  24. What a great guide! I’m hoping to get to India one day, and when I do it will likely be with a tour package for all the reasons you described. Not knowing the local terrain, transportation system, cultures and way of life might be overwhelming in a country as large and diverse as India.

Would love to know what you think