Top 10 cheap package holiday providers

Family on a beach

Are you desperate to get on a plane to somewhere warmer, but unsure of which package holiday provider to choose from? It can be daunting to balance getting a cheap holiday deal with receiving good customer service, and good facilities. Luckily, Which? has put together this list of the top 10 cheap package holiday providers, to make your life a little bit easier.

These reviews cover package holiday providers – that’s companies that offer traditional beach, resort or poolside packages combining flights and accommodation.

To be named a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP), companies must be highly rated in their survey. This year, they have taken extra steps to assess their treatment of customers throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They have also spoken to customers who were left out of pocket and scrutinised their refund policies for cancelled holidays.

Top ten package holiday providers

Holiday company (sample size) Average price: short haul/ long haul Accommodation Customer service Description matching reality Organisation of holiday Value for money Customer score
Jet2 Holidays (672) £89 / £89

Kuoni (48) £178 / £224

Hays Travel (42) £85 / –

Trailfinders (62) £150 / £196

Saga (103) £114 / £173

Co-Op Travel (37) £78 / £87

Inghams (39) £125 / –

Mercury Holidays (33) – / –

Expedia (114) £87 / £102

Love Holidays (46) £69 / –

British Airways Holidays (172) £92 / £143

Tui (855) £90 / £125

Virgin Holidays (120) £75 / £150

On the Beach (57) £64 / –

Travel Republic (46) £66 / –

First Choice (122) £83 / £117

Secret Escapes (44) £87 / –

Balkan Holidays (38) £70 / –

Broadway Travel (32) £87 / –

Best At Travel (32)

69% (44) £75 / –


Jet2 Holidays

Jet2Holidays offers affordable city breaks and resort package deals to a wide range of European destinations such as Crete, Tenerife and Rome. Flights depart from 10 regional airports across the UK, including London Stansted, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.

Jet2Holidays is a reliable choice and refunds quickly if anything goes wrong.

Jet2Holidays competes with Tui to whisk holidaymakers to their favourite fly-and-flop resorts, but there’s no contest as to who customers prefer. Jet2Holidays outdid Tui in four categories in the Which? survey of package travel companies: the organisation of the holiday, accommodation, customer service and holiday reps. Sitting at the top of the table, it shares its excellent customer score with luxury brand Kuoni, whose holidays are, on average, twice the price.

Hays Travel

Hays Travel is now the UK’s largest independent travel agent – Hays Travel grew its portfolio dramatically when it bought out all 555 of Thomas Cook stores when the travel company went into liquidation in 2019. Offering fly and flop holidays, city breaks and far-flung tours, the company prides itself on customer service and value. To book a trip, you have to call or pop into store, you can’t book online.

Hays Travel delivers on its good value for money promise and finds itself among the best near the top of the table in our survey of package holiday companies. It’s a Which? Recommended Provider.

When booking with an independent travel agent, you’d expect the customer service to be second-to-none and that’s certainly the case with Hays Travel, which was rated five out of five stars in this category

British Airways Holidays

The holiday arm of the well-established airline brand, British Airways Holidays provides package holidays to a wide range of locations, though mostly in Europe, the USA, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Offering beach and city breaks, winter sun holidays, fly-drive adventures and lakes and mountains trips, there’s the option to book online or by telephone with an ’expert travel advisor’.

British Airways Holidays can be relied upon to provide well-organised trips, though don’t expect a luxurious flight. It makes the grade if you’re after a city break, but for other types of holidays it’s worth looking at alternatives as there are better and cheaper companies out there.

In the Which? survey of package holiday companies, British Airways Holidays sits in the middle of the table, failing to compete with competitors despite its decent star ratings. But the company does excel when it comes to city breaks.


Expedia is a well-known online booking site that allows you to take a self-assembly approach to planning your holiday. From UK staycations to European city and beach breaks, as well as escapes to exotic shores, its website boasts thousands of properties in destinations worldwide.

DIY holiday booking site Expedia generally performs its function well, but look elsewhere if you require more tailored support.

Online service provider Expedia allows you to mix and match, so you can choose hotels, self-catered accommodation and flights to get the ideal holiday for your needs. And because there’s no set airline or hotel brand to pick from, your choice feels unlimited: you won’t be forced into accepting inconvenient flight times, as there’ll usually be an alternative.

Expedia is a no-frills holiday provider though, so the company won’t be rolling out the red carpet for you or going that extra mile, but it does offer value for money on beach/resort package holidays.


Household name Tui is the UK’s biggest travel company, probably best known for its beach and poolside packages. It does, however, also arrange city breaks, escorted tours and villa holidays. With more than 80 destinations in 30 countries worldwide, travellers can book a trip online, call the contact centre or pop into one of Tui’s high street stores.

Despite a decent customer score, this megabrand still sits in the middle of the Which? results table and fails to measure up against many of its rivals.

For a company that’s been around almost 100 years, you’d think Tui would have perfected its holidays by now. However, in our survey of package holiday companies, it fell miles short of Jet2Holidays which offers similar trips for budget-conscious travellers.

Customers made positive comments about the accommodation provided – one described it as ‘outstanding’ – and when it comes to the holiday description matching the reality, happy holidaymakers rated Tui five stars out of five. However, while satisfied with the package, some customers were far from overwhelmed. ‘They did the job, but no frills’ was one response.

Virgin Holidays

Well-known for its long-haul holidays to the USA and the Caribbean, Virgin Holidays also offers package deals to a whole host of other short- and long-haul destinations, including Dubai, Mexico, Botswana, South Africa and Singapore. From beach breaks and villa holidays to city escapes, travellers can book online, over the phone and at the company’s high street stores.

An accomplished provider of long-haul packages, Virgin Holidays usually provides great customer service. However, the travel company has let customers down in the past during the coronavirus crisis.

Virgin Holidays appears in the Which? results table for four of their surveys – package holidays, city breaks, self-guided tours and villa holidays – and while the company is fairly consistent with decent ratings across the board, Virgin Holidays was simply average when compared with competitors.

On the Beach

Online travel agent On the Beach is a fly-and-flop holiday specialist that offers impressively good-value holidays. At just £64 a day on average for a short-haul holiday, no other company rivalled it on price. However, customers only gave it middle-of-the-road ratings in the Which? survey of package holiday companies, so it sits in the lower half of our results table. It clinched just three stars for description matching reality, with one customer complaining their resort was ‘far more remote than described’. Other gripes included delays with transfers.

Bargains can be found, so it could be worth booking with On the Beach if you’re after a cheap and cheerful beach getaway. Just don’t expect anything fancy.

Travel Republic

When you take a look at what online agent Travel Republic has to offer, you’ll find plenty of cheap and cheerful deals. Out of the 22 companies that appear in the results table of package holiday providers, Travel Republic offers the second-cheapest short-haul breaks – on average, £66 a day.

The company generally delivers too, with customers rating its value-for-money holidays with four stars out of five. Travel Republic was also rated four stars for the quality of its accommodation, its customer service, the organisation of the holiday and for its online description matching the reality. One satisfied customer commented: ‘Good company, easy booking’.

However, despite all this praise, Travel Republic is far from top of the results table – plenty of other companies outperformed it.

Love Holidays

Despite praise from customers such as ‘good all-round service,’ when the going gets tough, the company’s customer service appears to diminish. When the coronavirus crisis struck, Love Holidays affirmed that refunds aren’t its strong point. After cancelling thousands of holidays, the company refused to even discuss cash refunds with customers, instead offering credit notes, in some instances worth half the value of the trip.

Which? verdict: It’s a good idea to look elsewhere. You may find a value-for-money break, but when things go wrong this holiday company is not be trusted.

Secret Escapes

Secret Escapes performed averagely for its beach/resort breaks, but the company found itself ranked near the bottom of the results table – it couldn’t match up to competitors. As one customer commented: ‘It was OK, but not great and not as luxurious as they’d described’. Another said there were renovations going on in their hotel which they hadn’t been made aware of.

Secret Escapes looks good on paper, but in reality both Hays Travel and Jet2Holidays offer a better service for beach/resort holidays and you know they’ll refund in a crisis.


Source: Best And Worst Package Holiday Providers – Which?