Portugal is a stunning country in Europe, known for its beautiful beaches, rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re planning to travel solo, as a couple, or with your family, Portugal has a lot to offer. This is why it attracts thousands of tourists each and every year, some of whom return time and time again. When it comes to planning your trip, you have two options: a package holiday or a DIY holiday. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and in this blog, we will compare the two to help you decide which one is right for you.
The Benefits of Choosing a Package Holiday in Portugal
Package holidays are all inclusive trips organised by travel agencies. They usually include flights, accommodation, transfers, and sometimes meals and activities. They are designed to be hassle-free and provide everything you need for a relaxing vacation. They are often the ‘go to’ option for people who don’t have the time to plan their own holiday, or those who would rather someone chose various elements for them. Some of the advantages of package holidays in Portugal include:
Convenience – Booking a package holiday is convenient because everything is organised for you. You don’t have to worry about booking flights, accommodation, or transfers, as it’s all taken care of by the travel agency.
Cost Effective – Package holidays can be cost effective because travel agencies have access to bulk discounts on flights and accommodation. This means you can get a better deal than if you were to book everything separately.
Security – When you book a package holiday, you are protected by the travel agency’s ATOL or ABTA protection. This means that if anything goes wrong with your trip, such as the travel agency going bust, you will be protected and able to get your money back.
Itinerary – Package holidays usually have a set itinerary, which means you don’t have to worry about planning your days. Activities, excursions, and meals are often included, which means you can simply relax and enjoy your vacation.
As with everything, there are also some disadvantages to package holidays. For example, with a package holiday, you are tied to a set itinerary, which means you can’t be as flexible as you would be on a DIY holiday. You might have some say over what accommodation and flights you pick, but options are likely to be somewhat limited. Package holidays are popular, which means you may encounter crowds of tourists at popular attractions and resorts. This can make it difficult to enjoy a more authentic experience of Portugal, which you would get if you planned everything yourself. When booking a package holiday, you are limited to the options offered by the travel agency. This means you may not be able to stay in the exact location or accommodation you had in mind.
The Benefits of Choosing a DIY Holiday in Portugal
DIY holidays are trips that you plan and book yourself, without the help of a travel agency. You have complete control over your itinerary, accommodation and activities. There are a lot of benefits that come with organising your holiday yourself, and it’s the way a lot of people choose to plan their trips.
Flexibility – DIY holidays offer maximum flexibility. You can create your own itinerary and change your plans at the last minute if you want to. This means you can make the most of your time in Portugal and see and do everything you want to.
Authenticity – With a DIY holiday, you have the freedom to explore Portugal’s less-touristy areas, which means you can have a more authentic experience. You can also choose to stay in unique and interesting accommodation options, such as homestays or boutique hotels.
Choice – When planning a DIY holiday, you have complete control over your budget and can choose the accommodation, activities, and restaurants that suit your preferences and budget.
Learning Opportunities – When planning your own holiday, you’ll learn a lot about Portugal, its culture, and its people. This can be a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the country and its history.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to DIY holidays. For example, you have to dedicate a fair amount of time to planning the trip, and this doesn’t simply mean choosing a hotel and selecting a flight. Without a travel agent’s expertise and knowledge, you need to do all of the research yourself. You also might find booking everything yourself to work out more expensive, as many package holidays offer deals and discounts for having everything under one booking. There’s also the hassle of having to keep on top of multiple bookings; you need to remember your flight, your accommodation, your transfers and any activities that you have booked in advance. With a package holiday, someone does all of this for you.
Should You Choose a Package Holiday or a DIY Holiday?
Whether you book a package holiday or a DIY holiday will depend on how much control you want to have over your trip to Portugal. If you have the time to dedicate to crafting your ideal holiday, you might want to go down the DIY route. If you are pushed for time and you would rather someone made the hard decisions, a package holiday is likely to be the better option. Luckily, you can’t go wrong with either, and you are guaranteed a wonderful holiday in Portugal regardless.