Self Catering Costs More for Families

Self Catering Costs More for Families

I was reading Darren Cronian’s Travel Rant’s blog  ( ) the other day and what I was seeing made my eyes bulge.  I couldn’t quite believe it so I had to check for myself.   Yes it was true.

If you are looking for self catering accommodation from most of the big players it can cost MORE to book 2 adults and 2 children than 4 adults only.  This is not always true it has to be said.  In fact I tried a few different booking and the price was comparable or slightly more for 4 adults,  I was about to give up when I found this:

Thomas Cook and Thomson Guilty

On Thomson,  Two weeks in August on Corfu at the Olga Apartment ?1,956 for 4 adults and ?2,197 for 2 adults and 2 children – almost ?250 more.  However to weeks in  the Olympian Village would be the same price for both groups.

On  Thomas Cook, two weeks in August on Corfu  at Kokinos apartments ?1,184 for 4 adults and a whopping ?1470 for 2 adults and 2  children.  A full ?286 more.    I found more case of this in Thomas Cook searches than Thomson.

Going on holiday as a family is expensive enough without adding insult to injury.

Try booking all adults

When I used a price comparison engine like Directline Holidays then it helped to eliminate this problem by finding the cheapest options for your party.  This just goes to show , once you have settled on your resort and accommodation, that you should try both options when you have children, to see which come us the cheapest.  This should take only a couple of moments and you could save quite a bundle.    Even if you are using a travel agent then insist they double check with other combinations.  Alternatively look for operators and accommodation that are offering free child places,  although I usually find that  I am not keen on the accommodation on offer.  Reputable travel agents should be prepared to do this for you.

Why is a party of all Adults Cheaper?

The explanation for this phenomenon lies on the surcharges for under occupancy on accommodation (measured by full fee paying adults).  This varies from operator to operator and accommodation to accommodation.  The tour operators say they aim to return the cheapest price possible.  You can argue that the holiday with children might be no cheaper:  but there can be no ground for it being more expensive. The tour operators should sort out their booking systems.

Note also that hotel rooms are also costed on the basis of occupancy by two adults so if you tried to book two rooms for a family of four, rather than squeezing into one, it could also work out more expensive on packages than going with the four adults options.  It is probably worth checking.

From the Thomas Cook help pages:

“Can I book a child as an adult, if the holiday works out cheaper?

It is usually possible to book a child as an adult, as there may be occasions when the total holiday cost will be lower when booked this way. However, this may mean that any child booked as an adult may not be able to take advantage of some bookable childrens’ facilities / clubs at your accommodation.”

I think this is also a bit disingenuous, as frankly I cannot see the staff who run these facilities at the resorts either checking or turning you away.  In the unlikely event they did then I am sure that escalating the issue would resolve it in the name of customer satisfaction.

What to do to get the cheapest holiday

So to summarise either:  use a holiday supermarket, like Directline Holidays;  check all combinations of adults and children to find the cheapest (or get your travel agent to do it for you); or ensure you are taking advantage of free or reduced childrens’ fares.

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