Thomson holidays, or Tui, as it’s now known, have been one of the UK’s biggest providers of package holidays for over 50 years. The company started life as Thomson Tour Operators as part of the Thomson Travel Group in 1965, and practically invented the package holiday. They grabbed the public’s attention with their incredibly cheap deals for holidays in Majorca for just £19, way below anything any other holiday operator was offering at the time. The result was that Thomson made package holidays affordable for ordinary people, opening up the travel market particularly to destinations such as Spain, the Canary Islands, and Portugal.
As time went on, Thomson expanded their reach to cover practically every destination you can think of, but have been best known for their services to Mediterranean destinations for the last 40 years.
What is a package holiday?
Put simply, a package holiday is when your travel, hotel and often some meals, drinks and entertainment are bundled up into one ‘package’. So rather than buying your flights and hotel bookings separately, you buy a package deal that puts everything together in one go. The deal is offered by the tour operator (in this case Tui) – all you do is decide when and where you want to go, the number of people, and the number of nights you’ll be staying.
Why choose a package holiday?
By packaging everything up into one bundle you save two things – time and money. Rather than spending days hunting around for hotel availability that tallies in with your flight times, and the best deals on offer when you’ve got some time off work, package holidays provide you with a simple, all-in-one bundle.
Package holidays do have their drawbacks – for example, you’re limited to certain hotels and flight times, and not all aspects of the holiday are included (unless you go for an All Inclusive option), so you will need to plan your own excursions and meals unless you go full board. But on the plus side, package holidays are considerably cheaper than trying to put together your own ‘modular’ holiday (i.e. flights, hotels, etc), especially if you’re travelling with the family.
Are Tui holidays affordable?
Holidays from Tui are designed to be affordable, and the company has retained the principle of making cheap package holidays available for everyone. As with any package holiday, you’ll pay a premium during high season and during the school holidays (particularly half term and summer holidays), but in general Tui holidays are considerably cheaper than many of their rivals.
If you really want to save money then look for last-minute deals. Flights and hotels often sell off unbooked seats and rooms cheaply, and if you’re not fussed about when you travel (and to a certain extent, where you go), then you can pick up a very cheap package holiday. Look for cheap deals during the ‘shoulder seasons’ too, this is the spring and autumn months just before and after the main high season period.
How do you book a holiday with Tui?
Generally, bookings are completed online by visiting www.tui.co.uk and creating an account. From there you can browse the full site, book holidays, pay for your travel adventures, and contact their customer support team.
Alternatively, you can book Tui holidays at your local travel agent. The company offers holidays to over 180 destinations worldwide, as well as cruises. They have a particular emphasis on ‘green’ holidays that fall in line with their Sustainability Commitment.
Some flights and flight-inclusive holidays are ATOL protected, but do check carefully, as some holidays and services listed on their website are not covered by the ATOL scheme. If you do not receive an ATOL certificate once you have booked your holiday, or parts of the holiday are not listed on your ATOL certificate then your booking is not ATOL protected.
In the first instance, you should contact Tui direct. Under the ‘Contact Us’ section, you will find a list of various telephone numbers – the one you use will depend on the type of holiday or query you have. For example, for holidays and flights you can call them on 0844 248 1697 (charges apply) from Monday-Friday 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
Alternatively, you can use the online form to make a complaint. Include as much information as you can, such as booking reference and holiday dates. You can also leave both positive and negative feedback on their website.