Last updated on November 5th, 2018
From time to time we all need some all-inclusive vacations. Actually, to some places, it’s way to cheaper to travel with a travel agency, such as Thomas Cook or Thomson. We bought a package with Thomson just a few weeks ago and wanted to share with you what to expect from an all-inclusive holiday with Thomson Holidays /TUI.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m the biggest supporter of independent travelling – where you plan everything on your own and try to see as much as possible – our most amazing trip was probably an 8-day-trip to Balkans when we visited 7 countries by coaches & trains. However, some destinations are just not ready for independent travelling and it’s so much cheaper and more convenient to go there with an agency.
When we were considering buying a package to Hurghada, Egypt with Thomson Holidays, we checked how much would it cost it to go there on our own. The flights from London to Hurghada were around 400 pounds per person with EasyJet, with no bags included, so count extra 30 per person. The hotels were around 50-100£ per nights, so during 11 nights, we would spend at least 550 and more likely 800-1000 pounds for both of us. Then there are transfers from the airport, which would cost additional 30-40 pounds for a return ride. In the end, it would end up being around £1650 for both of us. Well, for our package to a 5* hotel we paid only £1070 in total. Do you want to know, how do we manage to travel so much & work full-time? And how can we actually afford travelling so much? – Head to this post.
What to expect from a holiday with Thomson Holidays
Bag allowance with Thomson Airlines
Their baggage allowance is very strict and if you feel like you’ll have overweight in your luggage – better pay for the bigger bag – 20kg one (by default everybody gets 15kg for free). We didn’t have a scale at home so we thought we have around 15-16 but ended up having 17.5 each plus too heavy hand luggage – so we had to place all the extra items in one bag and were about to pay 150£ for bag overweight for one way! Instead, we decided to throw away some of our belongings and it was quite embarrassing. So, if you booked your holiday with Thomson, make sure, that your luggage is not exceeding their limits.
Thomson Airlines flight review
Don’t expect anything fancy from your flight with Thomson – you need to pay for your food and drinks on board and the prices are standard – around 3.5 for a sandwich or 4.5 pounds for a Mediterranean or Cheese Box. You also need to pay for drinks. There is usually no in-flight entertainment (even on longer flights like the one we took – London Gatwick to Hurghada).
Thomson usually includes airport transfers in the package – the process is pretty straightforward. When you arrive at your destination, go through the passport control and customs checks and arrive at the exit of the terminal, you just need to look out for people wearing Thomson / Tui t-shirts and ask them, where are the coaches. There is usually a booth with a Thomson assistant near the coaches and you’ll be given an envelope with the details about your hotel and the information about your local Thomson assistant in your hotel.
Thomson assistants at your hotel
At every hotel Thomson works with, there is someone from the agency working usually in the mornings (around 11 am depending on the schedule, but don’t worry, you’ll be provided with the additional information). There is a semi-mandatory meeting for all the new guests usually next day after the arrival when the assistant will tell you more about the hotel and will try to make you buy some pretty expensive Thomson tours.
We found, that the tours with Thomson were at least 2 times more expensive than the tours on Viator or GetYourGuide, so it didn’t really make any sense to book with Thomson, but if you want no-hassle and 100% security, you should better go with them.
Check out and departure
Around 2-3 days before your return flight, you will receive a letter from your Thomson hotel assistant, telling you about the return transfer time (usually it’s 3 hours before your flight). It’s better to come earlier, as sometimes there are more coaches and you can travel hassle-free (because airports in some countries like Egypt are a mess).
After your trip
Once your trip is over, you will receive an email from Thomson asking you to fill the questionnaire and tell your opinion about the holiday with Thomson. In case, something went really wrong (like you got sick in your hotel, for example, and that wasn’t your fault), you can work with some of the external legal agencies and even claim money from the agency. However, I’ve never done that – so I can’t help much with that.
To summarise, Thomson has some really great deals. However, don’t expect anything fancy from Thomson – it’s a budget-friendly family-oriented holiday provider. It’s trustworthy and pretty big – so don’t worry, you’ll be pretty safe with Thomson. Would we use Thomson again? Well, maybe, if we find some really great deal for an unmatchable price!
Interested in our posts about some exotic destinations? We travelled to more than 59 countries and have plenty of useful tips for most of these destinations!
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