Where you book is almost irrelevant: the booking portals for package tours differ > Simple switch off and don’t have to worry about anything anymore: This is what the perfect vacation looks like for many. Several booking portals have therefore specialized in package tours and are looking for an all-round carefree package. But where do you get the best deals?
Now choose from our test or comparison table a package tour booking portal that is easy and quick to use, offers many filter options for better and always the one currently best prices knows.
|Package travel booking portals compared|
|Illustration *||Compare winner
|offer & Prices|
|Size of the offer||average (2.7)||large (1.7)||average (3.3)||very large (1.0)||average (3.3)|
|Timeliness of prices||good (2,0)||good (2,3)||good (2,0)||good (2,0)||good (1,7)|
|There are vouchers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|speed||very fast (17.91 sec.)||fast (28.86 sec)||fast (29.78 sec)||fast (28.53 sec)||fast (27.89 sec)|
|service||very light (1.0)||easy (2.0)||very light (1.0)||very light (1.0)||easy (1.7)|
|filter options||very much (1.3)||many (2,3)||many (1.7)||many (1.7)||many (1.7)|
|Response time for email inquiries||fast (55 min.)||very fast (9 min.)||fast (51 min.)|
|Quality of the answer||very good (1.3)||good (1,7)||average (2.7)|
|To the provider *||to the provider »||to the provider »||to the provider »||to the provider »||to the provider »|
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Booking portals for package tours:
Hardly any differences in the test
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- Whoever Accommodation, transfer and flight not want to search together individually, can do everything at once with one package tour book.
- Ab-in-the-holidays, check24, HolidayCheck, Opodo and Weg.de hardly differ in price from each other.
- It is common Single booking however cheaper as the package tour.
If you want to book a trip, there are basically two options: Either you look for the individual travel components such as accommodation, transfer and flight separately and book them separately. Or he goes the easy way and books a package tour, which usually gives him a complete package. According to an evaluation by the German Travel Association (DRV), the latter accounted for more than 40% of all holiday trips booked in Germany in 2018. This means that the package tour is still very popular with consumers. Comparison.org has tested five of the best-known online booking portals for package tours: Ab-in-den-Urlaub, Check24, Holidaycheck, Opodo and Weg.de. The result: They hardly differ in price, since the same booking engine is used everywhere. The only differences are in user-friendliness and service.
The comparison result: Little differences in price
|Rating dimension||Judgment of the testers|
|offer||The tested booking portals for package tours differed only slightly overall. Whether from-on-the-vacation, Check24, Holidaycheck, Opodo or Weg.de – all sides were very similar in terms of price, there were only deviations if a trip was already booked and another operator was therefore chosen. The variety of offers, however, already differed. For the same travel destination, the same travel period and the same number of people, we were able to find 388 different offers for Ab-in-die-Urlaub, all other booking portals listed a smaller number. The reason for this: Ab-in-die-Urlaub offers numerous exclusive trips, which the other portals accordingly lack.|
|topicality||The prices displayed were fortunately almost always up-to-date. Only in isolated cases was the actual travel price higher than that initially displayed on the booking portal. An example: For a package tour from Dresden to New York City including flight and accommodation with half board, the provider Weg.de showed a travel price of € 985.00 per person. In the next booking step, the offer increased by a total of € 591.00 to a total of € 1549.50 per person. Such deviations were very rare in our test. Smaller price differences in the 1 to 2 euro range were the rule. The reasons for this often lie in the rounding of the price or in the calculation of applicable exchange rates for trips abroad.|
|ease||Overall, the operation of the portals was simple and intuitive and differed only slightly. The search on Holidaycheck was a bit more complicated than on the other tested sites. The customer is spared intrusive advertising. At Opodo, the adjustment of the travel period took some getting used to. The websites of the booking portals were clear overall. We devalued from-on-vacation, because it was not immediately apparent from the offers whether additional services such as the transfer between the airport and hotel were included in the travel price.|
|speed||The search took less than 30 seconds per trip on all booking portals. Check24 was particularly quick. It took just under 18 seconds for the offers to be displayed.|
|service||If you want to book a trip and need help or have questions, you can contact the booking portals by email. Our testers did this and found that both the processing time and the quality of the responses differ greatly. At Holidaycheck, Check24 and Weg.de we received an answer within an hour. The first two were detailed and very helpful, while Weg.de’s answer was very short and informative. Opodo and off-on-vacation were devalued. At Opodo we received the automatic message after 25 minutes that the service point was currently overloaded and that we had to be patient with an answer – which we still did not receive two weeks later. From-on-vacation did not respond at all. The company’s press office refers to the service team that "committed and also experienced in dealing with these cases" be. On the Facebook page of Ab-in-den-Urlaub, questions and problems are quickly responded to. You can see from the response times there that you are "always close to the ball on this matter". If you have an account, you can also do this go, however, direct contact via the Service Center is recommended.|
Recommendations for travelers
In principle, it doesn’t matter which portal travelers use when booking a package tour. The operation of the pages is a matter of taste, the overall differences are minor. However, we can make the following recommendations:
- Anyone looking for a particularly large variety of offers is best advised to go on vacation.
- Check24’s search is particularly quick and easy. Holidaycheck and Opodo take some getting used to.
- Only at Holidaycheck customers are spared advertising.
- Pay attention to whether there are special offers for single trips.
- All portals advertise travel cancellation insurance or other additional services – some more, some less intrusive. These services are usually unnecessary or very expensive.
- Each of the tested booking portals offers travel vouchers. Customers at Check24 had the best experience with it, while the worst was when they went on vacation.
- If you want to save, you should compare the package deal with the separate booking of the individual components. Often you pay less.
Package tour vs. Single booking: which is cheaper?
Vacation packages are probably the easiest and most convenient way to book a complete vacation quickly. Compared to booking individual travel components, you save a lot of time because you don’t have to search separately for accommodation, flights and transfers. Instead, you get a complete package with one click. In contrast, it takes more time to search for the individual travel components. What still makes the package tour attractive is the fact that the customer is significantly better secured by booking with a single tour operator. With problems and questions you only have one address to which you have to contact. In addition, the organizer is liable in the event of bankruptcy, whereas the customer can easily remain at the expense of making an individual booking.
However, it has also been shown that the individual booking of the travel components often cost less than the package tour. You could only save on the package tour in three cases. The average saving when booking a flight, hotel and transfer separately was € 76.03. It is therefore always worthwhile to compare the prices with hotel and flight price comparison sites such as e.g. before booking the package tour. Compare KAYAK or Trivago if you really want to save.
The following table shows three examples:
|package tour||Single booking|
|Jersey (St. Heliers)
The Club Hotel & Spa St. Helier
Double room, 2 pers.
Departure airport: Stuttgart
|€ 872.00 p. P. at Check24||€ 717.42 p. P.
Hotel: € 491.43
Flight: € 225.95
|Tenerife (Playa de las Americas)
Park Hotel Europe
Double room, 2 pers.
All inclusive with transfer
|691.00 € p. P. at Check24||€ 658.00 p. P.
Hotel (All Inclusive tariff): € 426.00
Flight: € 218.00
Transfer: € 14.00
Aleo Club Resort
Apartment, 2 pers.
All inclusive with transfer
Departure airport: Munich
|€ 536.00 p. P. at Check24||€ 566.00 p. P.
Hotel (All Inclusive tariff): € 310.00
Flight: € 238.00
Transfer: € 18.00
Vouchers for travel bookings: a real bargain?
Redeem travel vouchers: how it works
The principle of the vouchers is always the same. Discounts on the travel price can only be paid out after the start of the trip. This has to do with the fact that the booking portals are only travel agents, but not themselves travel providers. The customer enters the corresponding voucher code when booking a trip, but initially pays the full price. The booking company only transfers the voucher value to the customer’s account when he is actually on his way to his destination – usually with a period of 14 to 28 days after the start of the trip, sometimes only after returning.
All travel portals tested by comparison.org regularly offer their customers vouchers – as an advertising insert with various mail order companies, as an additional bonus when booking a trip, for advertising new customers, etc. The voucher value ranges between € 25 and € 100, which is a lot for many customers enticing offer.
That sounds very good, but the voucher is only paid out after the actual trip. This procedure always harbors the risk that the promised voucher payment will fail to materialize.
Especially in the case of going on vacation there have been numerous complaints in recent months, such as some negative reviews e.g. at Trustpilot.de and Testberichte.de. Upon request, Kevin Wiederspächer, a company spokesman for Ab-auf-den-Urlaub, points out that some of the individual cases involved a system changeover. Furthermore, among other things, errors on the part of the customer when entering the bank details or entering the voucher code are a possible factor.
We recommend: You should not necessarily rely on a payment of the voucher value. It doesn’t always work. Customers have had better experiences with Check24 vouchers.
|Coupons currently available|
|25, 50, 75 or 100 euros||
Travel booking systems: What role does TravelTainment play??
Many travel agencies in Germany – whether stationary or online – use a travel booking system (Destination Management System, in short: DMS) to compile the trips. They use the corresponding travel databases.
The best-known online booking software for package tours and last minute offers in German-speaking countries comes from TravelTainment, The Amadeus Leisure Group. It is used by many large travel providers and travel portals, including
- holidaycheck.de and
We found it surprising that almost all travel websites rely on TravelTainment. But this ultimately explains our comparison result – namely that it doesn’t really matter which portal you book with.
Other booking systems are Tiscover (HRS Destination Solutions), FertatelDeskline and Tomas. Compared to TravelTainment, these systems are significantly smaller or less widespread, in some cases they have a more regional focus.
There TravelTainment Almost all major German booking portals are among its customers, the company can provide meaningful data on the travel market and the booking behavior of consumers. In 2014, for example, it could be determined that travelers tended to spend less money on package holidays than in 2013. 59% of the trips booked cost € 1,499 or less – in 2013 it was 55%. According to TravelTainment, the financial cutbacks of the travelers were particularly noticeable in the choice of hotels, as fewer and fewer 4 or 5-star facilities were booked.
So we tested
We compared the offers of the booking portals for a total of 10 package tours. We have chosen the same destination, accommodation and conditions for each portal. The travel period, the number of travelers and the departure airport also remained the same.
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